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fusion?help more than leg pain?

ouch2oouch2 Posts: 1,270
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all, I was wanting to get some opinions regarding fusion helping more than just leg pain. The nuerosurgeon that I saw was solely focussed on my leg symptoms and really didn't seem to care too much about my back.

90% of my pain is in my back/buttocks tailbone area. I do have a lot of numbness in my shin and foot as well as cramping in calf and foot...but not a lot of pain there.

For those of you who have had a fusion, did it help the pain in your back alot...or was it more relief for leg symptoms. As much as I would rather not have the numbness in my leg/foot, my real issues are with the excruciating back pain.

Thanks for listening, hope you all have a great Easter weekend!

>:D< Karen
>:D< >:-D< : Karen
L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
adr L5-S1 Feb 2012


  • on many factors, that are occuring in your spine.

    what is wrong with your spine?
    eg, disc, facets, vertebrea, nerves, scoliosis, cord etc, one ? combination etc


    from a surgical point of view, trapped nerves compressing , which give rise to nerve pain in the leg/s, are probably known as the one that gets the most symptom relief

    however, people can still get relief from the back pain


  • From what I know from an mri last summer, I have a trapped/impinging nerve on the s1 nerve root,something with my facet joint as well as very collapsed space between l5/s1 and collapsing l4/l5.disk herniated. My symptoms have gotten extremely worse since then, so I went for another MRI and am getting the results from that this week.

    I am now having a lot of trouble walking, and the pain is terrible 24 hours a day, with only slight relief with meds. Currently taking ms contin 30 three times a day and percocet every three hours.Use tens, heat, ice.
    Thank you for your input.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • some people do get good pain releif, while others dont, or some will have not as much pain
    are you seeing your surgeon after the MRI, i would have a good talk to him about what he expects your fusion would give you in terms of your back pain

    you would think , once the disc space is shored up , which then takes the abnormal pressure off the facet joints that should help

    whats up with your walking? do you find it difficult to walk as far? and if so , is it because of pain , or loss of power, and /or both

    reason i ask , is i have great difficulty

  • it is a combination...every step hurts so much, and I also feel that I have lost alot of power in my left leg,trouble lifting front of foot and toes. My walking has gotten so much worse in the last 6 months, and the distance that I can walk has decresed each week.Hopefully the new MRI can shed some light on this, since when I had my last one (last summer) I was still walking okay.

    Flower, do you find that walking is getting harder for you as well, or is this a symptom that you have always had? When are you going back to your doctor to find out more info on your condition?

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • of spinal probs

    22 years ago due to massive breaking off into pieces of disc , i lost all leg motor function, i had no reflexes and abviously could not walk, stand, i was bed ridden for 3 yrs and toward the end was in a wheelchair

    after about 2 yrs i tried to crawel , at first only managed one knee once forward....

    the day i craweled into my loungeroom from bedroom , i was beside my self with happiness

    gradually after much time , i began to walk and gradually increase my distance and also my ability to sit and drive

    im left with permanant nerve damage, but i have managed very well and could even go to the gym and work out and do heaps of stuff, but i allways had to be carefull and limit the time of bending and such, couldnt carry hardly any weight etc

    then 2 years ago , a woman manipulated me and things went bad, i now cant walk far or squat or bend much at all, this was after the manipulation , as i could walk really well prior

    as for my cervical , my NS , is sending referral for NCS , then i go back to see him

    sounds like your nerve is being compressed , with your foot, MRI, should show the difference hopefully between this and your last one

  • Oh dear Flower, you have been through so much over the years >:D< . What incredible determination you had to get better! I am so sorry that now for the past 2 years you have been dealing with terrible issues all over again.

    I too have thought about going to a chiropractor or osteopath(more the latter) to see about having my coccyx manipulated. I am afraid though that it could make it worse. Flower, do you have pain,loss of power, numbness that is causing walking trouble?

    I am truly at the point that I want to have the fusion, and am willing to take the chance that it will help my back as much as leg. The pain has gotten too bad.

    Has anyone else had a fusion where their main pain was in their back?

    >:D< Karen

    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • not have a chiroptactor manipulate my spine , for me i was told years ago , it would paralyze me, when i went to see this womam, it was for a massage, she non stopped talked that i needed re-aligning and sais it was not like manipulation, well as i was in so much pain , before i new it she had me on the bench and was re-aligning me (i was really concerned and she just kept non stop talking, i had been so carefull for all those years, never to let anyone do this, she should never have done it , she had not even seen any scans of mine)

    so my point is, unless a NS or OS says its ok , DONT do it.
    i should point out this is my personal experience and i realize that chiropratic practises are quite popular for many, but in some cases of specific probs it is not apropriate

    well it sounds like you are at that point that you are ready for the surgery, and its good to be completly confident in your decision
    re my walking, the thing that stops me is loss of power, i also have excruciating pain in my lumbar, i literally get to a point where i cant take steps

  • I had 3 torn discs and had a fusion on L4-5 and L-5 S1 in Dec 2008. It helped initially but then got worse. Did all the usual test and treatments. Took out hardware after fused and no luck with pain. Finally had another discogram and 2 more needed fusing. They were torn. Did that on Dec 2010. Am doing great. Never had leg pain. Am almost off fentanyl patch from 125mcg to 12.5. Oxycodone was 30 mg every 4 hours now 10 every 6-8. Doing great..Had an awesome spine surgeon. He was the key to finding it both times. Maybe you need another opinion. Where are you located? I can give you the name of the best ones in the Midwest.
  • Karen, If you have torn discs, a chiro will only make the pain increase, as the disc fluid irritates the nerves and causes flares in pain. At least that is my experience.
  • Karen,

    I have my L4-L5 fusion done 2 weeks ago today. It has helped the bone on bone pain but not the butt/leg/hip pain yet. From what I've read it seems that the since the fusion has relieved the pressure on the nerves, those nerves are trying to wake up. I am actually having more pain in some ares than I did before the surgery.

    It would seem that this is not unusual, unfortunately #o . Regardless, I needed the fusion because I was down to bone on bone and that was killing me. I also think that the bone pain might have been masking some of the other pains.

    So I've decided all I can do is take it one day at a time, take my pain meds and see how it all goes.

    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013

  • I had a fusion for grade 2 spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra) which was causing severe stenosis on L4/L5.

    I had lower back pain, pain in buttocks and shooting pain down both legs (sciatica).

    I was told by one doctor that the surgery would only deal with my leg pain, not my back pain. If I had had to choose, it was the leg pain that I would have chosen to get rid of. So I had surgery.

    My surgeon had said that he felt that I would also get some relief from the back pain.

    Back, buttock and leg pain are all ever so much better. :D I still get pain if I stand for very long or go shopping, but I am much better than before surgery.

    Hope that this helps. :-)

  • You are very early...You should get alot better. I am 4 months out and still getting better..Hang in there!
  • Thank you all for your comments.

    Robin, it is inspiring for me to hear that you are now doing so well, and that the majority of your pain was in your back. May you continue to feel better :D . I live in Canada. My first opinion definately says fusion is the way to go for me, second opinion was the one that only seemed concerned about my leg. I think that I would be too afraid to go to a chiropractor, but was tossing around an osteopath for my coccyx pain. I think I will deal with my lumbar first( with surgeon) and hope that it will also clear up pain in my tailbone.

    Annie, please hang in there. You are very early out from surgery, and from what I hear, it takes at least 6 months to a year to know how helpful a fusion is. Sending healing vibes your way >:D<

    Jelly, very helpful to hear your experience. Nice to hear that you got the bonus of decreased pain in back and buttocks as well as your leg. So happy for you that you are glad that you had it done and feel so much better than before surgery :D

    I get my results tomorrow from my latest MRI, :SS and will go from there

    >:D< to all!
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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