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Back Surgery Recovery???...

I tried to keep a patient from falling on July 9th 2012 at 7am by 730am I was in the wosrst pain of my life. I had surgery for a bulging disc L5 on Aug.31st. A few weeks post-op I went numb from my waist down on my left side. My disc bulged again. On Oct. 16th I had surgery again. A few weeks after I went numb again. My dr did another MRI and said everything looked good healling fine just take some time. Now I am in a great deal of pain on my back and the numbness is worse. I am 34 years old with a life teenagers and a wonderful husband. I am not ready to be stuck at home not able to get out nd enjoy my family. Any advice would be very welcomed. I just want to get better.


  • Sorry that you had to come looking for us, but this is a great place for support.

    Having read your post, it definately doesn't sound like 'everything is good'.
    Is there any chance that you could get a second opinion? It is not unknown for a surgeon to say that everything looks fine, and another surgeon will say that there is an obvious problem. Some surgeon's don't like to admit that their 'work' hasn't fixed us. I am not in the USA, but it seems to me that especially in Work Comp cases (sounds like yours may be one) that things can be brushed over.

    I hope that I am wrong, but numbness is not a good sign, especially if it is getting worse.
    I hope that you will find out why you are suffering like this and that things will improve soon.
  • Hi Mandy.

    Are you aware that an EMG study may be able to quantify your nerve damage? If its progressive then you have evidence that its not fine and may get worse.
    Can you discuss the worsening nerve symptoms with surgeon and discuss / request further diagnostic testing like EMG. You would be aware of the diagnostic testing that can be done?
  • I'm sorry to hear you are having problems following surgery. It is in my experience that any numbness following a surgery is not a good sign. I wonder if it could be disc tears? I know after my discectomy last year I reherniated a tiny bit and had scar tissue, but got leg weakness and numbness in my feet as well. After a discogram it was determined that the problem was the disc itself, and some extremely nasty tears. I hope your surgeon can figure out what is wrong. Perhaps seeking out a second opinion would help. (And I definitely agree with Dave, as well.)

    - Jaclyn
    DDD L4-5 & L5-S1 w/ herniation
    Failed discectomy, 8-15-11
    Discogram, 11-14-12
    L4-S1 ALIF (2 plastic cages, 2 plates and 8 screws), 1-4-13
    FBSS & SI joint dysfunction, 12-30-13
    1 year post-op CT hardware scan & left SI joint injection, 1-17-14
  • Thank you for the infromation. I go back to the Dr. on the 8th. I will be sure and talk to him about all this. It is depressing at the way I am healing or not healing. But thanks for you input.
  • All the bet for the 8th. Hope he/she will address the issues that you outline
  • I recieved a call from my Dr. office and they canceled my appointment for the 8th. I have to get another MRI, then I see my Dr. on Monday the 21. I hope this gives me some answers to my pain and nimbness questions. I was told that I should consider a second opinion by my workers's comp consultant. So it looks like I may get another opinion. I will keep everyone up to date.
  • One thing I would mention first is that the work comp consultant you are were referring to is someone working for the work comp company handling your claim. They are an insurance company, and as a rule, are not necessarily concerned with your best interest. Just a thought to keep in mind through the process.

    Even in successful spinal surgeries, not all symptoms go away. Potentially some numbness/tingling and the like can be permanent damage to the nerve and not active compression. But if you're having significant pain well into recovery, that's a different story. Without actually seeing your films it's hard to second-guess, but when it comes to the lower lumber spine, once the structural integrity has been compromised (disc herniation/compression, etc), the only real way to stabilize it reliably is with fusion. Artificial disc replacements are another option, but still debatable. If you want to maintain an active life without multiple discectomies and laminectomies, see if a fusion is an option for you. I'm 34, just had mine 2 weeks ago, so not necessarily a long term case study yet; but I when things progressed too far after many years of pain, I went with the long-term fix and I don't regret it a bit so far. 2 young boys and I'm in grad school.....I don't have time to keep going back for ANOTHER discectomy, etc.
    Best wishes. Be aggressive in your research and definitely seek out a good surgeon to have a look at your case.
  • Mandy: that's great, the surgeons listening and wants to find out why this is happening and what is the cause. Always good to get 2nd opinion.
  • Thank you very much for the advice. I will have lots to talk to my doctor about.
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