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double microdisectomy l5 s1 has ruined my life please help!!!!

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all ;) I'm very new to asking for help but am so scared I don't know what else to do! On the 15th of April 2011 I was booked in for a routine and apparently very simple l5 s1 microdisectomy for a ruptured disc with a big protrusion it is now the 5th of may and I was just discharged from hospital yesterday in a much worse condition then I entered it in. I am 21 fit and healthy and injured my back while working. On coming out of surgery on the 15th of April I noticed that my right foot was very numb and i was in a lot of pain on talking to my ns he said it was completly normal and would settle down in a week or two. He came in the next morning concerned as I was still very sore and my pain in my buttom and my legs were still very prominent. He sent me in for an mri and discovered that the original ct scan had missed the fact that the right side was also in need of surgery so on the 20th of April I had a second surgery expecting to be able to go home the next day however when physio came to help me mobilise we discovered that my legs didn't seem to remember how to work properly I resembled a baby lamb walking for the first time and while laying down if I stretched my legs out my right leg jumped around the bed having a fit. My ns has never seen anything like it it is now 2 weeks after my second surgery and I have been sent home with a wheel chair and a walker and encouraged to mobilise as much as possible. I am in so much pain my leg and bottom pain is still killing me my foot is numb and I can't walk without supervision my surgeon now seems to want nothing to do with me I asked if I could have another mri done before I left the hospital but he refused saying it was a waste of time I'm scared can anybody plz shed some light on this for me if I have missed any info plz let me know its all very fresh in my mind do I'm all scatered trying to make sense of it all kind regards and much appreciated


  • many people have this operation and come out walking .its the first time i have heard of some on having to use a wheelchair {i am sure it happens|} whats you next move ?? if you are in the uk maybe i can help .i can give you the name of an excellent consultant
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • It's not that I can't walk at all it that my knees and feet are very very shakey so mobilizing can be very difficult walking what would usually take 5 seconds is taking me 5 mins so I tire quickly I am not reliant on the wheel chair but its there as an aid so people can take me places etc sorry for that confusion it was just confronting to be told by an ocupationa therapist to take a wheel chair home with Mr wen I walked into the hospital almost fine despite the pain in my legs etc thank-you so much I wish I were in the uk!
  • i had one done with a lasar. i had to wait while they found the lasar then i had to wait while they calibrated it. the worse part is i woke up during the proceedure while they were burning off dis with a lasar. OUCHIE AND HECKIEDARN. they were going to put me out again but dr said don't worry we are done. he said he heard me scream and wondered if i remembered what happened. after a few f-bombs on my part, i said hell yes i remember. any proceedure no matter how simple, has risks. they should have given you a list of side effects that can happen. i hope dr did and discussed them with you. talk to dr if you continue to have problems
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dr might not want to do mri just yet after only 2 weeks out of surgery. They will usualy tell you surgery agrivates the nerves when they go in there and it might take some time for nerves to calm down and go back to being beter. So give it a litle more time and hopefuly it will work out. Its not like mri will fix anything right now. Its time to totaly let it heal to see where you stand. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hey there
    First, I am so sorry you are having such troubles at such a young age.

    Second, I wouldn't be so quick to say you wish you were in the UK. In my opinion, you have many more options if you are in other countries.

    Now, for your situation, do you have a good relationship with your parents? If yes, see if they can help you navigate the healthcare system. If not, you need to find someone that you can trust to help you. You can do it yourself but sometimes being in pain and feeling as if you are at the mercy of the doctor...makes it tough to ask the tough questions.

    You are pretty new out of surgery. So the positive thing is, you may just need a couple of week for the inflammation to reduce. Do you have a good General Practitioner that you can consult that can help be your advocate with this surgeon? If yes, talk to your GP and explain the problems you are facing and see if he can talk to the surgeon to better understand your prognosis. Typically the surgeon will indeed work with your GP.

    Now, I don't want to scare you but I suspect your surgeon may be worried about malpractice suit. I would be if I were him. You are young to have a back surgery, he & the radiologist overlooked something on your MRI which created the need for a 2nd surgery, one might question what other options the surgeon presented to you instead of a MicroDiscectomy. Also, did they review the risks of the surgery with you? Look through your paperwork.

    What advice do I have?
    1 - create a journal of events
    2 - collect your records including MRI imgage, MRI report, Post operative report. Your surgeon might ask why you want all of this but tell him you want all your records in a central place in case you have an emergency. They are YOUR records so you have a right to them.
    3- ask the surgeon what the next steps are. Typically on an MD, he should see you 2-weeks and 6-weeks post op. And then again at 10 weeks. In other words, you are typically under his care for 3 months after an MD.
    4 - If he has never seen this, ask him what he recommends because clearly something is not right. Ask him if there's a neurologist (different than a neurosurgeon) that you can see or if there are any tests that can be done to help identify what is causing your issues
    5 - As for strength, that does take time to get back. Sounds like your nerves are quite irritated which can cause weakness. Ask the surgeon if he plans to prescribe Physical Therapy..this can help with body mechanics which in turn can help rebuild that strength.
    6 - he may want to wait on re-MRI because while you are healing from surgery it is difficult to get a true picture of what is happening. So ask him when he would be comfortable doing another MRI.

    Keep asking him questions.
    Bring someone with you to take notes
    And, if you are still not seeing a response or he is rude, start looking for another doctor. Of course, mind you...it will be tough until you are about 10 weeks out of surgery, for another doctor to take you on.
  • one more thing...having all your records will help.
    There is at least one institution I know of that does remote opinions.

    My initial surgeon was very supportive.
    When we knew the 1st surgery didn't work, I told him I was thinking of using the eCleveland Clinic's remote opinion. What's nice about it is YOU fill out the questionairre about your symptoms and what questions you want answered. You send all your records (MRI, MRI Reports, XRays if you have them, Operative report, last office visits, etc). They review them and give you their opinion.

    Good luck.
  • It sounds like the doctor might have been a bit negligent here. Not seeing some on a scan that he was supposed to operate on? That is just sloppy. Also, just sending you home when you are practically immobile is a bit dangerous as well. I would look this guy up on healthgrades!
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