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12 months after Surgery ~~Please get a second or third opinion!!

urluckypennyuurluckypenny Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Before you begin to listen to my story I want to say this isnt to scare anyone. Im just telling my story so you can look at all aspects of the surgery, I have spoken to several people who have success stories mine is not.
After having back pain for 13 years was referred to the spinal doctor and was determined that degenerate disk was present at the L5-S1 area. Before the surgery tried Pysical Therapy, ice cold therapy and several others. Surgery was scheduled for October 2009 for a L5-S1 spinal fusion...wish I would have gotten a 2nd or even 3rd opinion!!!
Ok so surgery day comes and I have family there with me at the ER. They call me back to get me prepped for surgery, Two IV's, monitors etc. They call family back while we're waiting ....Surgery time was 2:00 pm and time kept going by. Before we knew it it was 4:00. The nurse came out and said the Surgeon had some issues with the surgery before me and was going to be longer, so we had to reschedule mine to MONDAY morning....this was THURSDAY??? So they had to take out the IV's etc. I should have known then that this was a sign not to do the surgery?? What was so bad about this, the week before I had worried my self t death about it. Now im thinking to myself I have 3 more days to worry about having it again??
So Monday comes and I have the surgery...dont remember it. After surgery I had a hard time waking up...I would talk to nurse but wouldnt open my eyes. they couldnt give me any pain medicine until i woke from the surgery. It took 2 hours , so I was in terrible pain, and had a cathedor....ouchhh!!!! My mother and wife said this was very scaring because i wouldnt wake up , but i was trying to rip out my staples. Anyway Surgery was Monday and they were going to let me go home Thursday if I could void when they took cathedor out. i tried but couldnt blood pressure jump to 165 i believe and I fainted. So they kept me till friday night and had to go home with cathedor.....uggggh!! Came home friday night and felt ok but not great. Saturday, Sunday felt ok then on Monday started sweating and having chills. All day Monday Tuesday, Tuesday night had chills sweats and then started vomiting. Still had 28 staples in back so couldnt move, and face was red, shaking etc.
Now its gets good (not really good at all)Wife decided she was taking me to ER but Being she couldnt get me in the car she called rescue. Rescue comes out and transports me to ER (with cathedor)...wasnt a pleasant ride. Get to ER and tell them the symptoms Im having,they give me MIR, well 6 hours later they told me I had a urinary track infection because of the cathedor. So we go back home at midnight and Im still having chills and hot flashes vomiting, so my wife calls the surgeon. The PA calls her back the next morning (so remember Ive been home since friday```this is now Thursday)she tells him the symtoms and whats been going on and he tells her to get me back to the ER ASAP. Ok the ER were I had the surgery is about 35 minutes away so we get in the car and I feel like death was coming. NO~ really something came over me on that ride like I was going to DIE!! So we get to the ER there waiting for me at the front door and take me back immediately they wanted to test me for a pulminary embolism ~~ blood clot. After the test they told wife that it was positive ~~ I had a blood clot in right lung. I was there for 45 minutes when the told us, were the local ER had no clue after 6 hours. So they readmit me to the hospital for 4 more days to get me on blood thinners. I was stuck (needles) felt like 100 times, trying to get IV's back in me and the blood thinners they gave me every -5-6 hours. So 4 days later get back home still having to wear the cathedor and now having to take cumadin for 6 months and another thinner was a shot i had to give myself every 6 hours.
So what a eventful 7 days that was,
:prep for surgery
:unprep for surgery
:prep for surgery
:go home with cathedor
:go to local ER 6 hours
:go home
:to to surgery ER
:blood clot located
:have to take blood thinners for 6 months and shots
:wore cathedor for three weeks OUCHHHHHHH!!!

So now Im in the healing process and its going ok the 5-6 months. Then the issues that im having now started coming on and its terrible. My right leg has a pain that shoots from my hip down my leg and under my foot. I spoke to the doctor and he states he thinks its a soft tissue issue and hopes its not a nerve. He gives me some muscle relaxers and at the 6 month part sent me to PT ~ physical therapy. Wow did that hurt, did that for about a week and my left hip started swelling~~ so he advised to stop PT for now. So at the 7 month mark started PT again, and surgeon gave me injection to help witht he swelling and joint pain. So doctor gave me something for pain and muscle relaxer and says see in 2-3 months and to take it easy!! Well then the pain was delebitating in my right hip area still, I can sit for about 30-45 minutes and then it starts to ache, tingle and go numb. Then I have to stand up for 45 minutes, then it does the same thing, and if i rotate my hip about 2-3 inches it pops really loud and feels like it catches. So I go to hip doctor and he does a MIR for torn labrem and it comes back negative. Ok now I go back to the doctor last week and he says hes got to figure out whats wrong it could either be hip issues, muscle issue or NERVE DAMAGE. He sends me to another doctor for a series of shots(3) to see if helps, along with taking gabapentin and flexiril for muscle spasms. The new doctor says he's going to do a EMG & NCS ~~ELECTOMYOGRAPHY ~~ NERVE CONDUCTION STUDY, before he does the injections. Also said I may have burcitis on my hip?

My pain now is probably a 8-9 every day now, as Im typing this my right leg is burning and twitching from my hip, down my leg and foot. I get some relief if I lay flat, that way my leg and hip is straight out. This hip issue wasnt present before the surgery, so now Im worried

I am so aggrevated with the outcome of the surgery, at least before the surgery I could funtion in life. Now I'm having to taKE medicine every day and just lay here. I mean who wants to sit for 45 minutes~ stand for 45 minutes for 24 hours? I set here with my hip, leg , foot burning on fire, tingling, numb??

OK I've got my rant and rave out today.....so does anyone have any solutions or options to my situation? I know theres risk with surgery but I feel now 6 months after surgery Im being pushed aside by the doc. Is it because of the situation at hand and taking fought?? Im only 39 and try to be very positive, but the doubt or what ifs start to creep in ..what if?

Any way thanks for letting me rant and get my story out. As I said in the opening , this isnt to scare anyone, just my way of maybe healing emotionally on the inside. I say this because if helps someone get a second opinion then IM thankful and that makes me heal on the inside.

Thanks for any suggestions or replies.



  • Sorry to hear what you've been through. Did you have fusion surgery with hardware or laminectomy? Have they tested again for a DVT again in your leg or arterial scan? I hope you get back your MRI and other tests results soon and hope you get another Surgeon opinion soon.Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes I have hardware and have gotten MIR back, negative for torn labrem. Im going next friday to get EMG done to see what nerves are reacting or nor reacting. Sorry not sure what a DVT is, and about the second opinion, being Ive already had the surgery how does this work? Just find another orthopedic doctor and explain that Ive had a fusion and am having these issues?
  • Wow- you were put through the ringer. What kind of surgeon did you use? I also want to know (like Charry) what surgery you had.

    You definately had your run worth of bad surgery luck. I hope things start looking up for you.

    Feel better,

  • Sorry I thought they checked your leg for a clot before when you had a pulmonary embolism. (DVT=deep vein thrombosis) I thought you were seeing a new Dr. It must be a Neurologist or Pain Management Dr. instead of the Surgeon. I haven't had surgery yet but hope they find out what's causing your leg pain. I have numbness in my leg and found Cymbalta is helping as well as steroid injections. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi

    Sorry to hear of your experience and all that has gone on, with it. Feel free to rant anytime as we all understand it.

    The emg is the right track to be going on. One thing to keep in mind is you have hardware and for some people the hardware causes issues and once a person is fused the hardware is no longer needed. There are a few here whom have had to have hardware removed. If the emg study comes up positive for nerve issues they can try some nerve blocks to isolate the nerve that is causing the issues.

    I am a firm believer that these surgeries take a full year to recover from. But sense your pain is only getting worse and not better, i think looking for the pain generator is so important.

    You can try and get a second opinion, but in my experience not many surgeons want to take over someone else's work. Kind of like they didn't cause the problem and just don't want to make it their problem. But you might search around and look for a surgeon whom is taking on failed cases. They are out there but you will have to look hard.

    I hope the emg report gives you some answers so they can begin figuring your pain out for you. Keep us posted and take care.
  • I am glad someone is taking care of you and trying to find the cause of your pain! Good luck. Other people have found this link helpful:

  • With all the ranted i was doing I may have lost track...
    When we went back to ER they took me to room were they run the die into your veins....thats how they located the PE.
    MY surgeon sent me to another doctor in my hometown that gives the imjections..he's a spinal doctor of sports? I was explaining the history of this surgery and explained that I was kind of aggrevated with the surgeon feeling like i was being pushed away.
    He told me I was in the right place that he'll do the emg before the injections so he can see and locate the nerves that are damaged?
    It's so bad that I can wake in the morning, and lay there and hip/leg feels about a 4-5 pain scale. I can walk from the bedroom to kitchen to living room and pain shoots to 8-9 with leg burning~tingling~ shocking feeling.
    So whhen does he decide if the hardware is removed? LTwo weeks ago he showed me x-rays and said my back has fully fused? Also when Im trying to sleep~~wich is impossible to do~ but if I lay on my side my back hurts badly so then Ill lay on back. Im constantly turning to side back stomach etc....Im 142 pounds so its an instant shooting pain when I turn??

    And see the surgeon didnt say to get a EMG ~~ he sent me to this doc just for the injections.....after telling the current doctor about the history of this ...he decided we would do the EMG first????

    Thanks to charry~~happyHBmom ~tamtam ~ juliea
  • As you can read I had a bad time with my surgery and healing process.
    Im having the pain run down my buttocks to my inner thigh and to my calf and foot. As the pain shoots down my leg, my foot,toes and inner thigh twitches and jerks on its own. Im wondering has anyone else had this issue, and is this associated with the nerve?
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