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Bursitis? After Lumbar Fusion???

jcrowderjjcrowder Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Pain Management
I had L5/S1 lumbar fusion on June 30 of last year due to Spondy and very bad sciatica. I would say that 90% of the sciatica is gone and most of the shooting pain up and down my legs and feet are gone. However, I’m having a really tough time with my left hip. The last time I saw my surgeon, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it is now. I mentioned it to him and he said it sounded like your run of the mill bursitis and to take 2 aleve twice a day. I tried that for about a week and it helped a lot. Well, 16 years ago I had a gastric bypass and I am not supposed to take any kind of anti-inflammatory drugs, which means NO Aleve for me. My PCP put me on Tramadol to see if that would help with the hip pain. It helped a little but made me very nauseous to the point of having to run through the house to get to the potty before “earling”! And it would hit out of no where very very fast. I had to stop taking that too.

So I’m left with this bursitis thing going on and I have no idea what to do. I sit on ice packs at night which helps. Sometimes the pain is just in my hip but other times it goes up into the muscles on the left side of my back and down the left muscles on the outside of my thigh. It hurts sitting still, it hurts when I get up and walk but then eases off after about a minute.

Here’s the strange thing. This pain seems to originate from the area where my bone graph was taken for the fusion. That area is sore continuously and tender if pressed upon. There aren’t now, nor have there ever been any signs of infection. In fact the site healed beautifully. I did notice the other day that my hip was bruised all over where the bursa is. That has faded away now. I have not injured it or anything…it just appeared.

What can I do to help this go away? Exercise or stay off of it? Do you think it’s related to my surgery some how? I’m just fed up with how bad this hurts and don’t know what to do to help my self.

Any advice would be most appreciated!
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Comments

  • I have Bursitis in my knee and yes it's very painful! I get cortisone injections in it. Have you tried cortisone? It clears mine right up.

    I have had injections in my hip too.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I think it's probably going to come down to cortisone injections but the thought of that just makes me so afraid. i would rather go through another surgery than feel a needle go that deep. How bad is it?
  • Yep, I had bursitis after my surgery. At my three month check up I complained about pain and the doc gave me an injection in the right trochanteric bursa. It was worth it. It just took a few minutes and it was done right in the office. Just don't look at the needle. It was not painful. It was a piece of cake compared to the surgery. It might help to have someone else along with you in the office to keep you talking and keep you distracted so you don't get overly anxious.
  • I di not recall it being painfull at all. Believe me the results are well worth it.

    That one injection was all I had to have. It did the trick!!

    Why suffer when an injection will clear you up??

    Don't look at the needle and it will be over in the twinkle of an eye!

    Patsy W
  • Can ya'll say cluck cluck.........I'm such a chicken.
  • You are not alone. A lot of people fear needles.

    Just don't think of the needle(easy for ME to say....right?)

    Just think of the relief it will give you. It really is worth swollowing your fear just this once. It's a very thin needle and thin needles are not painful. I was nervous about the injection in my hip too but the Doctor told me about needles and how the size makes all the difference....and he was correct.

    Take a bullet to bite on and someone to hold your hand. Do this just for me(and yourself) LOL

    If it is very painful you can come beat my head in.LOL

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • so like how long is the needle actually in there? does he have to fish around for the right spot once he's in there? ARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHH,,,,,

    Where's my hen house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • To tell the truth....I can't remember hem poking around with the needle. But....it does not bother me to be jabbed with a needle.

    If I remember correctly....it was longer than a regular needle. But again, as I said it does not bother me so I was not paying a lot of attention It could not have been bad at all or I would remember it and I will not hesitate if I need another one.

    You can do it....I have faith in you! Just close your eyes and think of the pain relief you are going to have. Do not think of anything else!

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I've had the injections too and they are nothing in comparison to those they start IV's with....the bursa is actually pretty close to the surface, so that they don't need to go into the hip per se, it is actually on the side of the hip and they just have you sit and the injection is really fast.
    I was having such severe hip and leg pain that I couldn't sit, stand or walk and it was causing spasms that I couldn't breathe through, after the injection, it was better before I left the office.
    I would do them again in a heartbeat.....and I hate , hate , hate needles.
  • I've had 2 injections and they do help for a few months, but then everything comes back. I hate needles too....I can't look when I'm getting blood drawn, but I was getting to the point where I couldn't walk and waking up at night from the pain. I am going to see a surgeon to see if I can get the bursa drained or removed, because I don't want to keep getting injections if they only last a month or two. Go for it. It does give you instant relief. You may be one of the lucky ones who only need one shot that will take care of it.
  • I think you should go to a physiatrist or physical therapist for a diagnosis first so that you know what you're dealing with.

    I'm having awful muscle pains post surgery and my PT does massages to break up the knots in the muscles and reduce pain. I also plan to look into accupuncture now.

    I also find that hot showers or a bath with epsom salt helps. Good luck!
  • Feb. 22nd I had L5 S1 fusion for spondylolthesis. After 6mos. the nerve pain is much better but last month I developed bursitis in the hip on the side where the nerve has been under pressure. PT helped but I made the mistake of doing way too much and not moving back into activity slowly. Now it's back but milder. Even so I can't walk more than 10 minutes without stopping or sitting down. I haven't gone for the shot yet, I am using rest and ice as well as aleve hoping that it will eventually go away. I'm not afraid of shots just don't want to take them if I don't have to. I know exercise isn't good unless it's moderate and you stop when you feel it hurting. I was told that bursitis is common among those of us who have this fusion. I also use a cane when I have to walk a lot.
  • Hi,

    I am fused L1-S1, 3 separate fusions. After the 2nd one I developed bursitis on my hardware. An implant protrubance the surgeon called it. It is painful when I press on it but doesn't bother me too much otherwise.

    Injections really aren't that bad. They usually numb the skin first. And the needles shouldn't be long since bursas are usually near the surface.

    Good luck!! Keep us posted.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Nita, did your doc say you're allowed to take Aleve? I'm still avoiding Advil and Aleve because I thought it interferes with the fusing taking place...
    Otherwise, it sounds like you have a good plan.
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