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Normal pain times 10!

wildfire_101wwildfire_101 Posts: 68
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am not new here and just posted the other day. I am waiting for an approval from my insurance to have a lower back spinal fusion at L5-S1. In which my doctor said it is actually called TLIF. I woke up this morning with horrible hip pain (which i have had off and on) on my right side. It is almost like i slept wrong or something. But tonight i was tucking my kids into bed, they have bunk beds btw, and i was reaching to give my daughter a stuffed animal that she sleeps with and all of the sudden i had this unbearable pain stab me in my lower back all the way across and worse pain in my hip. And i know it is not sciatica but my question is what could it be? And how do i help to try and elevate the pain so i can possibly get some kind of sleep? I already took my pain meds and a muscle relaxer in which aren't helping at all. I can barely walk and it hurts like h***! It is like my normal pain times 10 and won't let up. So can anyone give me some insite into what this could be!


  • The pain you described can be related to your back. I hope you were able to get some sleep. Please do contact your surgeon in the morning for their advice and help.

    Best wishes,

  • I am having spinal fusion L5S1 in six days. Sometimes my hips hurt worse than my back does. It all radiates from the hip my doctor told me. Usually laying on my love seat with a pillow under my head and a bigger one under my knees helps a bit. Good Luck.

  • Yes i finally did end up getting some sleep, about 4 hours worth anyway. I had to lay strictly on my left side and a little on my back but the right side wasn't having it..lol I woke up this morning hopeing that the pain would be better but nope it wasn't. In fact it got worse. Now i am thinking that maybe it might be sciatica after all. Though i dont know for sure because i have never had it before. And i dont know anyone who has had it either. So is there anyone out there who has had sciatica pain before? And if so how would you know that's what it is? From what i was ever told from my back doctor is that if you lay flat on your back on the floor and raise your leg, the one that is affected, to a certain degree you should feel pain radiating down your leg. So i tried this last night when i was crying so bad because it hurt and the pain did not radiate down the leg. But my lower back hurts all the way across, from one side to the other. And my hip is killing me along with pain in the front of my right thigh. If i lay down it helps for a while and i can sit in incramints. It hurts the most when i am walking, bending or twisting. I can not pick anything up off the floor. Thank goodness for the grabber! haha I called my back doctor's office and of course he isnt in the office today. Like i said when i first started this post i am waiting on insurance approval for a spinal fusion. In which i talked to the insurance company yesterday and it is still processing but the lady that helped said it will more than likely get approved because if they were going to deny it, that would have happened already. And i will have this surgery before the end of the year because my back doc knows that my deductable is paid right now and i am on 100% coverage but that'll all end when it hits January 1st of course.lol But i am wondering something.. If it is sciatica will this affect the way that my doctor does my surgery? He is doing something called a TLIF fusion for my problem. Anyway if anyone can help me out with some advice i would greatly apprecaite it. Oh and how long does sciatica usually last? If that is what it is... I already took meds for this as in a pain killer and a muscle relaxer and they did nothing. They don't even take the edge off.. I just can't take the pain anymore!
  • I had sciatica once and it went all the way down one leg. I could definately tell it was nerve pain. It happened when I was out of town so I had to ride in a car for six hours on the way home. We had to stop every 30 minutes so I could walk around. When I got back my dr did diagnose it sciatica. I had some pain meds and it went away in about in about a week. My hips didn't hurt with it like they do now with my ddd. I didn't have muscle spasms with sciatica either like I do now. The best way I could discribe it was that I couldn't touch it like I can say this is exactly what hurts on my back/hips now. Does that make sense? I do get tingling in my legs sometimes and it isn't affecting the way my surgeon is doing my surgery.
  • Just curious...what is the underlying diagnosis/reason for having the fusion?

    It doesn't sound like sciatic pain. Sciatic pain is indeed sharp and typically down the leg or sharp hitting across the back.

    I would tell you that you need to avoid bending, lifting, reaching, twisting after the fusion so you might as well start practicing now. Did you contact your surgeon? Maybe there is an inflammation that is causing more pain. If you are allowed to take ibuprofin (which generally you can't before surgery) that might help or icing the area too.

    Also, sitting adds additional load to your spine so if you are sitting too long or standing still too long, that could also be adding to your discomfort.

    Everyone describes pain differently.
    For me a 10 was that I couldn't get out of bed because the pain was so bad I couldn't put any pressure on my leg b/c it was have the pain elevate so high that I would nearly pass out.

    However, if you are in tears, your pain must be pretty bad. If you don't hear from your surgeon, definitely rest in bed with pillow under your knees but get up and walk (flat surface) every hour or so.

    I wish I had more advice.

    The sciatica doesn't impeed surgery..typically sciatica is caused b/c the nerve is being compressed. In some cases, it's temporary or in severe cases it can cause leg weakness or numbness.

    I hope you can get through to your doctor.
  • My underlying condition is a blown L5-S1 disc. I am waiting for insurance to approve the surgery and then i will get a date..Some doctor's offices work differently as in some will schedaule far enough out and then get the approval and some wait for the approval first and then schedule the date. And that is how my doc is. I did contact my back doctor this morning and of course he isnt there today but they told me to contact my primary doc and see if she could get me in and take a look at it. So i called over there and she got me in an hour after i called.. My primary doc is actually pretty awesome like that. So i went over there and she looked it at and said that she doesnt think it is sciatica or a pinched nerve because i have no numbness or tingling in my leg and it doesnt radiate all the way down either. Her thoughts were that when i twisted i pretty much p***** off and aggravated it. And now it is really inflammed.. she also said that it probably won't totally subside either until i have surgery. But she gave me 800mg of ibprophen to take with the pain killer to try and get some of the inflammation down for now. She also said to rest, rest and rest. In other words stay in bed and alternate hot and cold on it and see if that helps. And yes no bending, twisting or doing anything strenuious until i go in for surgery. She also said even if i start feeling better to still do what she told me to keep things settled down. so this pretty much stinks because i am pretty much home bound now until i go in for surgery.But thank goodness i have 4 children ranging from teenager to a 9 year old. so they should be some good help around the house as i am still trying to prepare for surgery so when they call i am ready. I believe once it gets approved it is going to go pretty fast. He is getting me in before the end of the year. Hopefully i will be able to get some sleep tonight. I got a whole 4 hours last night and that was broken up because i had to keep getting up and walk around.. the pain was so bad i was crying and i almost went to the ER but didnt want to go there and have to wait forever. the average wait here at our ER is like 3 hours to just get to the back...lol but anyway i will keep you posted on how it goes.. if i cant sleep tonight i will be back on here reading some more stories and checking off all the to do lists and what i need to do before surgery happens. and what i need to have here at home before i get released from the hospital... that thread on how to prepare is quite helpful. there things on there i never even though of what so ever.. anyway i will check back later and see what is on here..
  • hi Wildfire...how you feeling today? I hope you are getting some rest.

    I may be on tonight. I've been having a bit of a pain flare up myself and am going back to the basics of no bending, twisting, lifting and no sitting for extended periods of time. As such, I've got my Laidback Laptop holder so I can lie flat to get some of the load off my back.

    Anyhow, I'm glad your primary care physician is flexible to see you in urgent situations.
  • I still have the same intensified pain that i have been having since i twisted wrong the other night.. and i as well have gone back to the basics as in no bending,twisting and lifting...I try to get rest but with 4 kids that is hard to do..i just wish this pain would subside a little bit. my primary doc gave me a steriod and inflammatory shot while i was in the office and it seemed to help for a few hours. but once it wore off everything came right on back just as bad.. as for the other meds she gave me to take with the pain killer it is helping a little bit..I am just tired of being in pain.. now that my back is on the fritz so is my leg...My RSD flared up as well but not much i can do about that right now until i get my back situation under control.. just stay on meds and pretty much hope for the best when it comes to that...but other then that there is really nothing new...just going day by day like everyone else on here...lol
  • I can't tell you what the problem is for you, but I can tell you my experience. I had major pain in my lower back, hips and a wide deep pain down the back of both of my legs to my knees. At one point, I also had sciatic pain which was narrower, longer (down to my feet) and was like an electric shock.

    I had an ESI for the sciatic pain along with a medrol pack and that was from a bulging disk. The ESI and pack took away that pain and it's never returned.

    The other pain I described was from stenosis and facet joint problems. I suspect that your doctor knows what is wrong with your back and this new pain is related to what he is already planning for surgery, but it never hurts to call and talk to him. Has stenosis or facet hypertrophy been mentioned to you before? Those issues can cause different kinds of pain that disc-related issues.

    This may or may not be what's happening with you, but I just wanted to share with you what the deal was with me.

    Take care and I hope you can find a position that helps you - it may vary so keep trying positions each time you sit or lay down.

  • No my doctor has not metnioned any of those things to me.. and i dont even know what those things are or mean..oh he knows what is wrong with me. I just had a discogram and a CT scan done a few weeks ago. and that pretty much told all.. I know my disc is blown. i just dont know what i did the other night. i just twisted a little to the right and they set off something. i have had so much pain since that night. and it isnt getting any better either. i cant even sleep because every time i turn to move or roll over it wakes me up. It shoots this stabbing pain into my lower back, right hip and upper right thigh. so i sleep an hour here and an hour there. i hate broken up sleep, sometimes that is worse then no sleep at all.. i keep hopeing i am going to wake up one morning and the pain is going to be but so far no luck...just wishing on a high star i guess.. But i am going to research those 2 things that you mentioned. and thank you for the info i do appreciate it..
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