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Extreme Lower back/leg pain

hjwf81hhjwf81 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am posting this for my husband. He underwent a L5-S1 fusion in august of 2009. Since that time he still experiences severe back and leg pain. He went through PT and is now seeing a pain management doctor, but nothing seems to help to ease the pain. Last week while walking down the hallway in our home he lost all feeling in his legs and fell to the floor. His legs spasmed for about 2 minutes before stoping. He could not feel anything in his legs for about 1 hour. The pain was so bad that we once again visited the ER. The doctor there gave a shot for pain, did x-rays and a ct scan and told him that everything looked fine. We left with him still in pain and the pain has yet to ease up. He has told me that he feels like he has herniated another disc in his back. I was just wondering if anyone else has ever experienced the complete lose of feeling and if so what the doctors had for an explaination.

Thank you for your time.


  • I would immediately get in touch with the surgeon that did your husband's surgery, a loss of feeling, falling and spasming are red flags. An MRI might be in order to rule out a problem w/ the fusion or a new issue. Also, try to get the x-rays/ct films from the ER visit so that the surgeon can review them - IMHO a spinal surgeon can better assess these films than an ER doc.

    Please keep us posted, I can imagine how concerned you must be.

  • Unfortunately this experience is not uncommon after a fusion. You should call your husband's surgeon and discuss this with him. This is not a normal part of recovery. The loss of feeling in the leg indicates that a nerve is being compressed.

    This could be from a disc bulging or rupturing. It could also be from a screw that has slipped or moved, and is pressing against the nerve. There are probably other things that could be causing it too.

    Please call the surgeon and make an appointment for your husband to get it checked out!
  • and yet again i am reading about another failed fusion {i am supposed to be having one ...but i am not !}i have already has 2 operations and don't want to risk more problems ..i carnt offer any personal device on fusions but there are many on here that can ..i can ..however offer some advice on pain relife .have you tried a good TENS i can recommend the acticare its a very high end device and should not be confused with inferior units as the acticare is a professional device and dose a lot more than a normal TENS see there web site for more info ..also my wife and i have found that an electrical adjustable bed helps {me anyway she is ok} and i have a rise and recline recliner and that is a gods send my life would be just pure pain without it .i dont know if you have a recliner ? but a rise and recline type is so much better than a normal one that just lets you lay back .once again i am sorry about your husband pain is a terrible thing to deal with on a 24/7 basis ..is he on strong pain medication ..like oxycontin? if not maybe your doctor could give him some ?
  • Thank you for responding to my post regarding my husband. Straker to answer you quesion, yes my husband is on two different pain meds. However, these do not releive the pain. He is currently taking oxycontin time release and percocet. At one time the doctor prescribed muscle relaxers but these caused him to pass out. Just a little history before the fusion surgery actually had undergone a discectomy and also steriod injections. Neither of these worked. He was also released back to work 3 months after his fusion. He works in a manufactoring plant on 12 hour shifts where he is required to lift 150 to 400lb rolls of geotextile material. I know this can not help the situation, but with the economy in the state it is our family had no choice. If anyone knows of anything he can try at home to help elevate in a little of the pain it would be greatly appriciated. Thank you again for reading my post.
  • Oh my, I am so sorry to hear of your husband's difficulties! Have you been able to get ahold of his surgeon? Often when a call like this is made, the surgeon will get him seen in a few days.

    What about also calling the PM Dr who could help with the pain, help to contact the surgeon and could also order an MRI.

    Be sure to watch for loss of bowel and/or bladder. It this happens, return to the ER ASAP. It happened to me, it was embarressing but it must be attended to.

    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers! Please let us know how it is going! Best wishes! Shari
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