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New to the Forum: In April I had L5-S1 fusion with hardware

Cathy MCCathy M Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I had a L5-S1 fusion in April the day I was discharged from the hospital I noticed that a small part on my foot felt strange the nurse said it was probably the ted hose causing that part to fall asleep.. I went home at about day three home that spot moved up my lag about halfway to my knee. I took the Drs. about 2 weeks to figure out what was going on . I had made an appointment to see them and they put me on Gabapentin telling me that it was the nerve inflamed probably from the surgery. I started the Gabapentin and it did no good at all. the pain was unbearable and all I could do was cry most of the time. I called back a few days later and they Dr told me to come back in and they scheduled a Cat scan., Later that evening the Dr that saw me called to say he had not seen the results of the Cat Scan but that my Dr had and he would be calling me in the morning .. I thought well that does not sound good I was right he called me the next morning and told me that a some of the bone graft had moved and was sitting on the L5 nerve. no wonder every of movement was painful every step I took was excruciating. He told me that we needed to go back to surgery. later that same day the nurse called to schedule my surgery for the next morning May 5th. After the Second surgery I could tell a huge difference in my back but my foot an leg were the same , they told me it would take a while for the nerve to heal so I stayed on the meds including Narco on an every 4 hour basis which helped some but never took the pain away completely I ended up having to go to my regular dr too to get anti depressants because I was so depressed from all of the surgery's I never dreamed I would need two. I saw the Dr two weeks later and we talked about the nerve in my foot and how that was doing . it was bad It hurt so much that I could not even have fabric or anything touch it. I have never felt anything like this in my life. The Dr put me in PT for something called desensitization therapy oh how much fun that was. NOT!!! for a long time nothing changed it still hurt all the time and I was still not able to even wear a closed shoe I was able to wear a flip flop sandal and even the parts of that shoe that hit my foot hurt. I did therapy for a couple of months, So again I am back at the Dr office for a follow up and x rays to be taken I was beginning to feel better by now still had some pain but was bearable I knew by the look on the Drs face that something was wrong .. The news was not good My Rods and screws were moving and had already moved my spine forward and we needed to go back in and fix them and he would not even know if he was going to be able to replace them until he was in there so on July 8th 2011 we went back to surgery to fix the rods and screws.. once again as soon as I woke up I could feel a diferance and felt so much better I did not need the morphine pump as long either I was able to get up and move without a lot of pain I was released to go home 3 days later from there things improved and even though I still was told I had to walk with the walker becasue they did not want me to fall since the nerve in my foot was still messed up . .The Dr told me that during the last surgery he removed scar tissue from my L5 Nerve I saw in 2 weeks later and he took another x ray and said everything looked good and I could come back in two months , that I was to wear my back brace while I was up and about but in bed I did not have to wear it. everything thing was going great until about a week and ahalf ago when I started getting pain in the exact same spot that I had it before the third surgery and my foot has never really changed I called the Dr office to let them know that the nerve in my foot had changed and was feeling like when the dentist gives you that shot to numb your mouth that was how my foot was feeling the nurse called me back and said the Dr wanted to move my appointment up to friday September 9th. I am so worried now that since I am hurting more and more again that when I see him he is going to say the rods have moved again .. and not to mention that the sensations in my leg and foot are always changing so many times it feels as if my foot is swollen and fat and then it burns and feels like its on fire. I have found that Ice packs help with the burning sensation but nothing helps with the swollen feeling I guess I am just wanting someone to understand what I am going though My husband and kids are great but they really do not understand how I am feeling they try but not haivng been there or have had nerve damage they just do not completely understand. Sorry if I rambled on to long .



  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry for all the problems you have been through since your surgery.. i do hope you are not facing more bad news!!please have a good look around the forum and make yourself at home... i hope you find some answers to your pain problems soon!! good luck! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to spine health. Wow you have been through so much these last few months.

    Will be thinking about you on Friday. Maybe you could try to get in to see another fellowship trained orthopedic or neurosurgeon to get a second opinion?

    It is time for you to get some good news and finally be able to to start your healing and recovery. I know with nerves, especially after surgery can take a long time to heal. Try to elevate your foot to help with the swelling.

    Wishing you all the best. Please let us know how you make out at your appointment.

    >: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
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