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WTH? Could I have blown out the disc above my fusion?

I am totally freaking myself out! I have so much pain...new pain! I am recently fused from L3-SI...July 23, 2012. Pain is the usual hip, groin and thigh but now its really bad front of thigh, now to shin..which is new and in my foot. Electrical jolts that make my legs actually jump! What happens if I blew out L2-L3? There is no where for me to go. I am going freaking nuts in pain...can not get a handle on it! What is going on? I know I have not been the best at taking it easy. I am really scared...almost too afraid to find out!
3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012


  • Often i thought i blew out a disc at another level due to the pain being out of control, Dr mostly said inflammarion causes pain to feel as if other level has gone out, You can check with your dr if you realy think you blew it out but most likely inflammarion taking over, Ask dr maybe for pred pack i think its for 10 days. Its steroid pills to bring inflammation down,

    Usualy its for 10 days because long term us man start to get man boobs , And man boobs are not a prety sight,
    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,

  • I was so sorry to read your post.
    I can understand how worried you must be.
    While you are waiting to talk to your doctor, perhaps you could try icing the area to see if that could help, even a little bit.
    If it doesn't resolve you will need to get medical advice as to what it could be.
    I really hope that this is just inflamation, as alex has suggested. That would be a much better option.

    Please take good care of yourself. I will pray that this will not be a serious problem. xxx
  • Not trying to be a downer but I am concerned for you. I had my original fusion in february L4-5. It wasn't three months later that L3-4 and L5-S1 have blown out. I had another fusion in june L3-4. I am having another fusion early next year on L5-S1. I hope you don't have the problems i had. I will be thinking of you.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Ellencali:

    I can't really comment on your current pain and the source, but I can say without a doubt that your new picture is very becomming. It portrays a happy person.

    Hang tough. We will all get through this mess. Some sooner than others.

  • coming out on both sides...I am so lucky! So happy to be me! See my surgeon on Thursday to see if we will go the sit and wait route or go in and do something...what is the something here? I am fused at 3 freaking levels. What do they do to fix this?
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • Hi ya lady Ellen,
    You really need to get a hold of your surgeon and keep calling them to get in. You really should be not doing somethings yet.
    So what have you been doing. You are only 4 months out of multi-levels.
    For sure I agree with Alex (no not on the boob thing) Inflammation can really be hell of lot pain.
    Don't take no for answer from docs office, if they don't help you go to er if you can.

    If your around lets meet up in chat
    Cotton ball hugs


    oh and Alex you look ok with man boobs..............hahahahahahahhahaha not so good looking on the pole tho
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Ellen, you are just gonna have to come to NC with kids and stay with me and have Duke take a look and see what they can do and I can help take care of you and my daughter can help with kids...I hate you live across the country:(

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    Elli, I hope things turn out just fine for you. Perhaps a flare up that will go away in a bit.

    But, not to scare you or anyone else. Having discs go bad below and/or above a fused set of disc is not that uncommon.
    Read through some of the Chronic Pain threads and you will read a lot about this.

    My surgeon explained it this way: (for me)

    A = Not fused in the lumbar area , but it was L3/L4L5/S1 and then back to L4/L5 a couple of more times. But lots of scar tissue from those surgeries acted as fused discs

    B = Fused in the cervical area (C4/C5/C6/C7)

    C = All the stress then was centered around my thoracic discs. Thats how I eventually wound up herniating 4 T discs.

    This might not be all that common, but making sure you do all the right things and avoiding the wrong things should help you avoid these types of situations.

    No take a deep breath and relax. Take care
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Kind of going through the 'why me" phase. I will sit in briefly and move on. I see my surgeon on Thursday. I really believe this will be a sit and wait, let it heal decision. I just don't see a reason to go back in. They wouldn't fuse that one to the others, would they? That would mean I would be fused at 4 levels, and that just seems so dangerous in terms of ROM. Im so focused on everything right now, Im sure my cervical is just as bad. I have had horrendous pain in my fingers and hands for years....like 15. Always chalked it up to an crush injury I recieved when I worked on airplanes, had a beverage cart hit pin me in the galley during turbulence. Now Im thinking all that pain is really cervical....the 2 hands has kind of made that decision. Now knowing how much degeneration I am dealing with it would make sense. But, one thing at a time....lumbar is the one screaming out, so the squeeky wheel get the grease, right? I am so grateful for this site. I don't always agree with things, though I do enjoy reading the rants...lol...but when it comes down to it, you guys are always here, always post with honest, helpful, heartfelt ideas and I can not thank you enough. I so wish we were not all so far away from each other. I have these little fantasies about SH conferences...hahaha. All of us gimping around....just think what the dance floor would look like? Love you guys, thanks for being there! Peace to all during the holiday season! E
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832

    I am sorry you had to go through the anxiety about whats happening. Some time, our mental approach and how we are reacting can be more difficult to control, then the actual problem.

    Its the Perfect Storm

    1. Initially you are so worried about the winds and water. Where will it come from and just where are you going to hurting from.

    2. Slowly the water's recede, the dikes are holding up, so now is the time to start the re-building process.

    3. The sun is out. Think, the 10" dikes were breeched. Maybe its time to build a 14" dike?

    Ellen, as simple as the analogy may sound, its basically so true. We will find times when we have flare ups. We will
    know they will go away. But its WHY did we have that flare up? We need to identify it. Once we know what caused it, we will avoid that in the future.

    Meanwhile, we need to build our bodies up so we can survive another storm without damage
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • They can fuse the new blown level to your current fusion. My NS just put in two new rods and added two screws. I am having another fusion early next year. They are changing the rods out again and adding two more screws. Take care of yourself.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • lstellerllsteller Posts: 1,428
    edited 12/04/2012 - 8:47 PM
    I am also fused L3/4 through S1 - have you been doing a lot of bending and twisting? Didn't they tell you it would put extra stress on the levels above? I'm so sorry to hear you have more damage. Yes, they can eventually fuse that if they have to. We have a member over on the chronic pain board who is fused from S1, including bolts into his hips and all the way up into his rib cage. Please be careful and try not to aggravate it worse. There is a procedure for damaged and bulging discs (you'll have to ask your surgeon), where they snake a small wire into the disc, heat it up, and it causes the disc to shrink back. You might see if that is an option for you.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • You don't have to BLT to blow out the disc above or below the fusion. Just the pressure alone can blow out the discs. I am in the same boat as Ellencali. I had a one level fusion in February. In april I began to have sciatic pain in my left leg over again. I had a MRI and it showed the L3-4 was blown and L5-S1 was bulging. I had L3-4 fused and I am anticipating having L5-S1 fused early next year.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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