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recurring pain after decompression surgery

trikeguyttrikeguy Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had decompression surgery at L-4 &L-5 in october, 2010. I am now developing symtems similar to those pryor to surgery. Should I be concerned?


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Anything that concerns you should be brought up to the doctor. Do you see him/her on a regular basis?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I have not seen the surgeon since my surgery. I saw his PA at 12 days after surgery and he just said The scare looked go and I could go back to work with restrictions.
    My employer sent me to an occupational clinic last week and this doctor was shocked that I was not prescribed any PT nor had I seen the surgeon since surgery. The doctor at the occupational clinic contacted my surgeon and today I got a call the surgeons office requesting that I set up an appoinment with their office.
  • The insurance companies are ridiculous. After paying for a 4 level fusion with hardware, 3 days in intensive care and 1 in regular room, a $5,000 bone growth stimulator, they refused to pay for any PT because prior to the surgery I had exhausted the 10 visits per year that they allow. Keeping in mind the visits did not help and actually made my back worse. Ridiculous. So I had to pay to go to them to learn how to do PT at home on my own.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • How was your visit with your Surgeon go and how do the x-rays look if he ordered them? I hope you're improving and you heal completely. 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
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Often it's not insurance co fault that there are, for example, 10 PT visits per year, it's the insurance contract the employer purchased (if your insurance is through an employer). I have a friend who works for the state. They used to have 30 PT per year and it's progressively decreased. Employers ask the ins co to say 'what can we change to lower our costs?'

    You have to be careful with PT. I needed some on my back but didn't do it until October so I could use my 20 visits. I wanted to "clear the year" before using the PT in case I needed it for another reason. Check on your insurance to see what your PT benefit is.

    You can talk to PT about maximizing your time with them and what you can do at home. That way you can not exhaust your entire year's PT allotment early in the year.

    Key to this is when does your insurance plan year start. Most start every 1/1 but there are employers and industries (education) that use different plan year dates so if you speak to insurance ask that as well. Many school districts run 8/1-7/31 since new school years start in August, etc.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Saw the surgeon today. He was somewhat discouraged by the return of systems but is confident things will improve over time. He now wants me to get some PT to strengthen the back muscles. He also put me on more stringent work restrictions as I informed him that the symtems had gotten worse since I returned to work full time.
    Another check up in three months if conditions do not improve markedly.

    Dr. says it may take up to 1 year to know the final results of the surgery and nerve regeneration.
  • trikeguy, I'm in the same position as you, but at a year out of surgery. Was doing great and all nerve pain was gone until about 2 months ago, when it returned with a vengeance, as bad, if not worse then pre-surgery. The PA ordered a CT scan, which my surgeon said showed I'm completely fused and all hardware is intact. Unfortunately, that was the wrong test for what I had told her was happening. Have an MRI scheduled for this Thursday and will see what he finds. He seemed pretty confident he'd find something going on. I finally took the Lyrica and that somewhat takes the edge off, but not really. Hope the PT helps and keep us updated.
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