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Severe hip pain related to stenosis and herniation of disc

VhgolfVhgolf Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:53 PM in Spinal Stenosis

I just had a laminectomy this morning to help relieve severe, debilitating hip pain with same pain in shin/ankle.
  It started several years ago, in the same fashion as many who have posted here.  I could walk maybe a block and thats it before that severe pain would sit you down in your tracks.  On a curb, in the middle of the fairway, or even just squatting like a little kid down low to the ground. I tried managing the pain with ibuprofen, intermittent injections of steroids and booze (on the golf course anyway) until 12 days ago when I had a steroidal injection that triggered severe, intolerable pain in those areas a day later.  The pain I experienced over the last 11 days changed me permanently as a person emotionally and mentally. No, not scarred, just changed, hard to explain in words right now.  I have dealt with back pain for 20 years due to a herniated disk like millions of people have, but this pain that occurs in the hip/leg went to a level I didn't know could exist, especially since there was no "safe" position I could find.  You know that special way to lie or sit to alleviate the pain we all find. Typically, it had been the sitting position like many have mentioned and as I talked about above.  I did find something close to that getting down on the floor in a fetal position, but you just can't stay in that position for that long.  I would sometimes get myself to sleep for 15 or 20 mins in that position before my body would reject it and straighten out a little waking me to severe pain.  I would guess I slept for up to 5 hours total over this period.  Luckily my employer is very understanding and figured out a way to allow me to deal with the problem and I am using all my vacation days, which I am fine with of course.
  I tried multiple pain killers that didnt touch the pain (percocet, hydrocodone, dilaudid injections, even flexaril).  There wasn't really time to try to get Gabapentin in my system to work. Additionally, on the second day, when my doc realized how severe my pain was after the injection he put me on a 5 day cycle of duramed to try to calm the nerve/inflamation.  Yes, all this over the 11 days.  
Getting back to my surgery this morning.  I woke up to no pain down in my shin/ankle, but incredible pain still in my hip, yes without standing or walking, I was on my back.  I quickly turned on my side trying for that fetal position, but obviously was still in terrifying pain.  They loaded me up with fentanyl, which I had not had before, but it messed me up pretty good.  Problem is, no pain relief from it.  After several painful hours, the pain has started to subside, and I am now back to pre-injection form, where walking is what brings the onset of pain.  I am somehow very happy about this however.  In my conversations with my surgeon, he said because the nerve and area are so swollen and irritated, that until we can bring that under control, I will probably not receive much relief beyond what is current.  I am taking ibuprofen for now, (I got so messed up on the fentanyl, and subsequent percocet they gave me later, that I cannot take anything else, my stomach feels like garbage and pretty nauseous)  And I suppose the tube down my throat during surgery probably has something to do with the nausea.
I am hopeful this surgery will eventually help me further in this hip pain we are talking about, but I wanted to share my story with people who know exactly what I am talking about.  I will follow up with my personal progress if anybody is still paying attention to this thread.  I am a newbie here, but I hope that doesn't deter you from reaching out and talking about similar experiences. I am 42 years old and healthy aside from this life-consuming issue.  Peace



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You've found a great place for information, and the members of this forum are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I also had surgery for stenosis and like you, beforehand only found relief by bending forward, sitting or squatting (yes, sometimes on the golf course myself).

    You were put on a pretty fast track to surgery, so I'm hoping that means no permanent nerve damage.

    I can tell you from my experience, even though I had a fusion at L4/5 - a different surgery, that it got worse before it got better. The nerves tend to get a little ticked off and can really hit you hard sometimes. During my recovery, I had days where I had to have a walker to get from place to place, worse than I was pre-op.

    But at about 6 months, I started to feel better and now after a year out, I'm definitely better and living a relatively normal life. I'm back to work and all that comes with it.

    I was also golfing six months after surgery thanks to my surgeon asking my PT to teach me a swing that wouldn't break or harm the hardware in my back.

    I'm beginning to have some mechanical pain now in the levels above and below my fusion, but I'm also very active and have to rest now and again to get it to settle down.

    Anyway, I'm paying attention to your thread and would love to hear updates on your progress and how you're handling it psychologically and emotionally. It's a rollercoaster ride and can be difficult, but if you measure your recovery in weeks, not days, then I think and hope you'll be happy with your improvment.

    Take care,
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