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L3-S1 PLIF Surgery Side Affect

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Folks,

I haven't posted in a while. Had my surgery on 10/29/09. It's been a long tough 3 weeks, (seems like a year).

I'll cut to the chase. The left side of my body feels absolutely great! My problem is my left hip. I am excruciating pain that the percocet isn't even cutting. I've been back to the surgeon twice now to get staples out. They keep telling me that I'm having nerve pain from nerves decompressing. Maybe they're right but it feels like my hip has a knife stuck in it. I've been dealing with nerve pain for 10 years and have never had anything this severe. I'd say I'm about 9 on the scale. I had 3rd degree burns and that's what I call a 10 on the scale.

I just wondered if anybody had a similar post operative experience. They are going to MRI as soon as I can get the rest of the staples out but I'm a little suspicious as I can imagine they wouldn't want to admit anything was damaged from surgery. Anyway, if anybody has an opinion or can share similar experiences, I'd sure appreciate it.

Thanks a bunch,


  • Ooops. I meant to say the right side of my body is great and it's my left hip with the problems. Sorry for the confussion.
  • Bob - I had nerve pain after my surgery, for which they gave me Lyrica (it really helped). I would say the pain got bad at times and I'd be writhing around, but maybe a 6-7 and not up to a 9. If you have that much pain and in just one area, it seems there must be something else wrong. While I'd like to say I hope they find something they can easily fix on the MRI, I hope more that it's a pain that will go away tomorrow (yeah, right!). At any rate, I hope they get you taken care of.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • duplicate post
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I assume you didn't have a bone graft?? Please be very specific about where the pain is located. "Hip" can include a lot of area.

    Does it hurt all the time? Do you get any relief from changing position? Does it hurt more when you are on your feet?

    If we have a few more details, someone may be able to make a suggestion.

    I hope you are able to do your walking -- even if you can only make it a few steps at a time, it is so important.

    Take good care -
  • Gwennie,

    I can tell you know what you're talking about cause the nurses are always on me to be more specific :) My pain is constant to some degree or another. It's much worse walking if I take more than a wee little shuffle step. In other words if I take a normal stride it hurts awful. Also it's terrible when sitting or standing. I have to kind of rotate my leg around to just the right position to sit or stand. The nurse today kept wanting me to agree with her that it felt like a deep bruise but I just can't describe it like that. The best description I can give is it feels like a knife stuck in my hip. I get some relief when I'm laying flat on the bed. It's mostly a problem when I'm standing, walking or sitting up.

    When I say hip I'm talking about just above the buttock on my left side and around to my left side at my waist line. I even feel it in the front of my waist line on the left side if I'm sitting.

    As far as the surgery details, I know it's PEEK cages, screws, rods and connectors between the rods. I know there is some kind of material between the vertibrae and all around the outside but I'm not sure what the grafting material is other than I don't think it came from me.

    It's about 1:00 AM right now and I feel a little better. I had to go get some of the stapels out yesterday and had to be taken to the bank today so I guess I've been pretty active the last 2 days and that might be why It's gotten so terrible. Anyway, I feel like such a complainer. I guess part of it is that I'm really frustrated cause I am only given 5/325 percocets for pain and they are telling me I wont even be able to get anymore of them when they are gone, (giving me 60 at a time - 1 or 2 every 8 hours). I hate that I have to take pain medicine but I just really thought they would do whatever it takes to control my pain. Instead they act like it's just killing them to prescribe anything and all the while I'm in tears and can't even think straight.

    I really appreciate you all. I hope that I can help others some in the future. It's just kind of hard to focus right now. THANK YOU!
  • Oh Bob - that is just terrible about the pain medication. I had Fentanyl patches and left the hospital with a bottle of 500 oxycodone (percocet without the tylenol in it -- which you might want to ask for -- too much tylenol is bad for your liver). You had a FUSION, the doctor should not be holding out on the pain meds for you. I'm a year out and I still refill a prescription for 50 every month. I don't need them all the time, but when I need them, I NEED them. My dosing instructions say 1-2 every four hours. Sounds like they are just making you suffer needlessly. You need to have a frank discussion with your doctor. I did have to sign one of those DEA forms that says I get my meds from one doctor and one pharmacy, but that's all I need, so I had no problem with it. I think it's criminal that they are letting you suffer like that. I think most of the folks on this site would agree that is too little pain med to control the pain from a serious surgery.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I agree with Linda. If your pain level is a 9 then they should be trying new pain meds and not telling you that after you finish yours, they're gone.

    I just had a TLIF and also had major issues with pain levels. It's unbelievable that the doctors are so stingy with the strong pain meds. We just went through MAJOR surgery, you'd think they would empathize.

    Hope your pain goes away.
  • Hi folks,

    At least I'm doing a lot better today. Thought I'd spend most of today taking it very easy and in the bed mostly and it has helped.

    I reckon I am going to have to see the pain management doc that I quit going to when I made up my mind to have the surgery. I was just hoping that I would be able to get off the meds in the near future after the surgery BUT like I said, I also thought the the surgeon would take care of it a little better than they are.

    I'll be alright. I was just so bad off yesterday I couldn't even see straight. Hopefully they will be right about this just being nerves decompressing and it wont last much longer. At any rate, it sure does help to hear from people that understand. Makes me feel like it's not just me being a whimp about it or something like that.

    Thanks you all!
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