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Hello from a new member

dverdicoddverdico Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello! Very glad to have found this site and forum...now if I can figure out how to post... :S

I'm 10 days post-op from my first back surgery, and looking for advice, e.g., is my level of pain normal at this point?

I've had lower back pain for 20+ years, treated on and off when really bad by various methods, including chiropractic, acupuncture (neither of which helped me), prednisone/ Norco/Flexeril/rest, which always did the trick after a couple weeks. However, 11 months ago, I woke up and turned wrong - the pain almost knocked me off my feet. My primary M.D. tried the ususal 3 drugs mentioned above, but this time they didn't work. He then sent me for x-rays, which showed nothing of significance. Finally, off for an MRI, which showed much wrong, and my M.D. sent me to a Pain Clinic for epidural injections, a total of 3 in 3 months. They did help somewhat, but during the last one in June, the doctor discovered many bony growths, and told me she was sorry to tell me I needed surgery, and soon. What a shock to me that was!

I then consulted several neurosurgeons/orthopedic surgeons, all from different hospitals, all conservative doctors, and their opinions all matched! Get surgery, and asap. Shocked again.

In the midst of this, there was a female cancer scare and minor surgery (no cancer, thank God!), and then my pre-op EKGs showed I'd had a heart attack in the past (!), so I had to have an adenosine thallium stress test, which showed my heart to be quite strong, so my back surgery didn't have to be cancelled after all.

I wound up having surgery January 24, 2011. I had a laminectomy, diskectomy, fusion at L4/5 of both transverse processes and 2 vertebrae, much (mysterious) scar tissue removed. (Mysterious because where did the scar tissue come from, since this was my first surgery.) My instrumentation: plates, a cage, rods and screws. It was a 5-hour surgery, and they used my blood I had banked. I wear a custom-fitted brace when I'm up; I can take if off while in bed and while showering. I had 22 staples removed 6 days ago, which helps somewhat since the brace was pressing hard against the lower staples, making the area slightly red and swollen.

I'm now on Flexiril and Norco; told not to go back on my gram of Naproxen per day until further notice. (Was on Naproxen for a few years because of trouble with hands, plus the back pain.)

I'm looking for help/advice/personal experience re the pain level I'm in, and the brace. I have much pain in my lower right back, increasing daily. Is this normal for 10 days post-op? Could the tight back brace be contributing to the pain? Should I be using my walker or cane? Also, I have a numb left upper leg now, since I woke from the surgery. Numb from the knee up, mostly front and side of leg. I have pain in lower right leg, as before surgery, and some at top of right leg, as before surgery.

So I guess what I'm saying is I seem to be in more pain now than I was pre-surgery. Is this normal?

I've searched and searched this site for days, but can't seem to find an answer to my specific questions. Any ideas on members' part would be most welcome!

Thank you!



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. we are so glad you dropped in! remember that everyone heals differently and pain levels are different for everyone. but if you are worried, please call your doctor!! there is no need to wait as a phone call can make you feel much better and perhaps prevent future problems.. check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for more input. remember that SH can be a great place to visit during recovery.. someone is always home!!! good luck! Jenny :)
  • Thank you, Lulusheart, for welcoming me and for the advice!

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