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I need opinions!!!!!!!!!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everybody :H .

I am very frustrated, and I need some input. I went to the surgeons today to get checked on because I had a discectomy/decompression on L5S1 in june. I went already for my post op once, and I now went back again because I am in a lot of pain.

Well, I told the surgeon that my leg pain is back, my feet go numb, my back gets stabbing pains, along with the stabbing pains down my legs. He asked me how if first started. I told him that I noticed that my feet were starting to go numb again at first, then it all went downhill.

Anyhow, after the surgery I did still have back pain, and some back pain but it was getting a little better. I have always had the back pain/stabbing. This is just worse now. I know that I feel worse, I know my body.

The surgeon said that he does not understand why I am having this problem. He did the surgery, and I shouldn't still be having this :T . He wants me to get authorized to get a emg done. He believes that this is nerve damage, and I asked him why the back pain? He said that I may have some joint problems, and I do have some arthritis.

I am VERY frustrated, I almost started to cry. I just want to get better, and I feel like it will not happen. I feel like I was dismissed? I asked him if maybe I reherniated? He said probably not. That just doesn't make sense to me at all :''( . The pain just is getting worse by the day.

I would like all, and any input here. He did not offer to do another mri, xray or anything. Should he have????????? If I have nerve damage(I was checked before, a few years ago, and I did), would I get all this pain? I am so confused. Any help would be appreciated. I need a big hug :|



  • Sorry to hear about your pain. It really sucks.

    First of all what tests did you have before the discectomy? What kind of surgeon are you working with? Some of the PM/anestisoligist actually do micro discectomy....

    I would insist upon flexion/extension x-rays and a new mri. If you are having nerve problems that have gone away and then returned it doesn't sound like it was nerve damage to begin with.

    Also I would get a second or even third oppinions from Neurosurgeon or Orthosurgeon.

    The fact that you always had the underlying back pain really makes me think that you might have more than a simple herniation....

    My Lumbar story was 17 months of excrutiating pain and sciatica. I had LBP for about 10 yearsbefore it got really unbearable. When I finally had the first MRI my PCP sent me to a PM for injections and maybe a Micro D. He had said if the injections don't work we will so the Micro D... I don't know what he was smoking because there was no disc material there.... I finally persuaded my PCP to refer me to a NS who looked at my MRI and said these films don't show anything that should be causing you what you are describing, lets do some flexion/extension x-rays and that is where we found the real issue. $150 worth of x-rays showed pretty decent retrololystsis. Thus everytime I moved/ bent over etc my vertebrae slid backwards over the other one about 2/3 of an inch compressing my nerves.

    The fusion fixed that. My low back is pain free.

    Hang in there. It is a journey. Getting to the root of the problem takes a lot of time.

    Hugs, Julie
  • Would be worth getting the emg done as suggested by your surgeon.

    It's very frustrating when you go ahead with surgery and it doesn't help. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that the laminectomy/discectomy/lateral decompression that I had in 08 didn't help and I was in worse pain afterwards, like you, so I understand what you're going through.

    I'm with Julie, and would get a second or third opinion, which is what I did last year.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • The things I had done before I had surgery were 3 epi injections, and joint injection. I had that test to check which disk was bad(that was horrible), I also non-invasive surgery called IDET. That didn't work. I am currently under the care of a neurosurgeon. I just had the discectomy in June. I was a little better as far as the legs, but the back, nope. I just don't know what to do?! I am in soooooooo much pain. It is the worst I have had. It is starting to get to be too much. I am just wondering how I could hurt this much with just nerve damage? This back pain is a killer, the legs are just as bad. Also, I did have a emg before, I do have nerve damage.
  • Sorry to hear of your pain and frustration. At least your surgeon is willing to look into potential causes. I haven't had my surgery yet (next month) but have been told it will not cure back pain, only the pain and numbness in my leg, so I assume there won't be any investigation into any pain in my back post-op, if I am so unfortunate to have any. My first impression is not that you're surgeon is dismissing you but that he is dismayed and trying to think of a way to help. I hope he finds something that can help you to feel better.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I wish you luck with your surgery! What are you having done? I am so glad that I can talk to others with a different point of view! I am glad that is not sounding like my surgeon isn't blowing me off. I have had a bad day with the pain today :(
  • The Xray won't tell him much. From my experience, the Xray just confirmed "disc height" (but really space b/t the vertabrae).

    It is interesting he is opting for EMG before checking to make sure you didn't reherniate and/or that scar tissue isn't causing your issues but the good news is he is willing to test.

    I can totally understand your frustration.
    My first MicroD, I had problems 2 weeks after it and all my surgeon said was "well, the surgery should be gratitying. you had a large herniation mass compressing the nerve". He then said "maybe it's because the inflammation from the surgery is taking longer to go away".

    He put me on a steroid at 6 weeks.
    I took that for 9 days and it did very little other than make me nearly crazy b/c of jitters and lack of sleep. I went back at 10 week and he said he still wasn't concerned and that I should give it more time. I looked at him and said, I'd really like you to oder an MRI. He insisted, we wait. I again told him that I didn't feel comfortable waiting - -> I needed peace of mind b/c if I reherniated I was wasting time letting the nerve stay compressed. He reluctantly agreed to send me for an MRI.

    In fact, he was so confident, that he told me not to make a follow up appt and that he'd call me to review the results.

    Upon leaving, he assured me again "I doubt anything is up, like I said, I removed such a large piece that this surgery should really be gratifying". I looked at him square in the face and said "You keep saying that. This has been anything BUT gratifying which is why I'm glad you agreed to do the MRI".

    Sure enough...got a call to come into the office b/c not only did I herniate, I herniated another large piece.

    So, be glad he is looking into why you are hurting.

    I'm 6 months post-op revision MicroD. Still have some random pain. My doctor wants to wait to do an EMG b/c he just thinks it may take a little time. He will do the EMG later this year if I don't get feeling back just so we can figure out if I do have permanent nerve damage.

    Good luck
  • Heidi, I am so sorry to hear you are still struggling. I had a discotomy L3/L4 back on January 6th. I have 3 herniated disks but that was the one causing the unbearable leg pain along with the back pain that I had for years...but the leg was unbearable. It took 2 months before my leg pain even started to subside. I was so completely distraut thinking the surgery didn't work. When I had the surgery they said it wouldn't fix my back, the herniations are still there but they could make the pain in my leg go away and it didn't for a while. My surgeon was no help at all. It was my family dr who finally explained that I was still dealing with a lot of swelling because I was pushing too hard to be "normal" again. SHe put me on several rounds of prednisone to reduce swelling and sut my work schedule to 4 hours (I couldn't sit any longer) and bed rest for rest of day. After about 2 weeks it started to get better. By 2 1/2 months post surgery, I was finally able to start getting relief and from there could start LOTS of core building to support the back hernitaions. I know I am looking at surgery again down the road but for now my leg doesn't hurt. Hang in there, Rachel
  • Thanks Heidi for your well wishes. I'm having a 2-level PLIF (L4-S1) to correct scoliosis which is compressing the L5 nerve root and causing pain/numbness.

    I lost track of this topic so am late answering your question. I do hope that in the interim you have found some answers to your pain problem. Wishing you well!

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I love it here because I can talk about my pain/ problems. I have no idea why he didn't order a mri, it would have been approved at my hearing in a few weeks no doubt. I have to get the emg approved at my hearing also. I just don't understand why I need the emg?! I do know that nerves cause pain, but what if there is indeed severe nerve damage, is there nothing more that can be done for me?

    I have been having to take pain meds lately, and for me to do that, you know that I am hurting A LOT :(.
    I am afraid that I will not be taken for real, that I truely am still struggling. I went shopping today, and had to sit because I was in so much pain from just walking, and such. I had to get the kids moving for school clothes!

    I am not by far at all lazy, I do not sit on my bottom all day, but some days that is all I want to do. I just need to understand why my doctor wants a emg instead of a mri. I feel worse than I did before. Sorry for complaining, I just don't get it?!
  • Symptoms sound a lot like my experience after micro D. I re-herniated 20 days after surgery. It's realy not uncommon, so I wonder why he didn't want to do the MRI. Did you come out and ask for one, I would. My doc immediately ordered MRI when I told him my symptoms. Because I was only 20 days out and I have DDD, of course I had never completely got rid of the back pain. The big clue in, in my docs opinion, was that my pain was radiating below the knee with numbness and plantar flexion weakness. It was also, by the way, significantly worse than even pre-operatively. I don't know if you are going through workers comp, but I often feel like my docs have followed a more efficient,helpful and maybe more expensive route because I am not a workers comp case. I know that sounds bad, but I really do believe it. I wish you the best of luck.
  • I am not sure but comp could have part in it. I have to get things ok'ed before I can get things done. I did ask if I could have reherniated, and he said probably not?! My pain is worse than before surgery for sure. Like I said in the post above, I hate pain meds and I have been having to take them. I hate the stabbing pain I get in my back!!! I also get it bad in my left leg, on the same side. I also am going numb in the feet again along with constant leg pain.

    I just am not sure what the cards hold for me.......
  • EMG's can also show "and confirm" what your symptoms are that you are presenting. It can also allow the doctors to see if there is issues going on not net diagnosed, or realized by you! Can it show permanent damage, sure. My NS ordered my last EMG before deciding on an MRI this go around.

    Keep in mind though, these tests are not all conclusive or always accurate either. A lot depends on the skill of the technician giving the test (for me, I insist on the Neurologist to conduct it), and then later the Neurologist has to go on that date to complete his analysis of the results. It can be a useful tool. Please let us know how it goes. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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