Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Spinal Fusion

Hello, 4 weeks ago I had surgery to remove scar tissue and an L3 fusion. I had L4 through S1 in the past.
Just two days after being discharge from the hospital, a demon pain attacked me in the groin of both hips.
The pain was so severe that I called the surgeon three days in a row. Day one he prescribed Nucynta no relief.
Day two, he change the strength and on the third day he gave me steroid pack. It worked! I took them for six days.
On the 6th day, pain returns. Now he put me on Celebrex and told me to see an Orthopedic because he was not a
Hip man. I feel so deserted. I have made an appointment with the orthopedic, but its not until another week. Can anyone
Please tell me if you have been through this? I need to know what can be done? I have done nothing but google this
Constantly. The Celebrex, I take at 9pm and by 4am I am crying in my sleep with horrible pain. I would appreciate
Anyone's advice? I'm totally in pain 100% of the time.


  • Heeeeelp Pleeeeeeeeease
  • is not that long especially for the surgeon who has an obligation to see the surgery through, I'd feel deserted too. You know a fusion takes time. It is my experience that when you have scar tissue removed it can be quite painful. you might look up "dermatomes" to see if the areas of your pain are in these specific nerve areas. http://www.aic.cuhk.edu.hk/web8/Dermatomes.htm. I dont know if this will take you to the one I prefer because it is very clear cut. You might talk to your doc. like make an appt with them too. In saying that go in ready...

    you've looked at the dermatome charts so thats 1 question.
    why not try a nerve pain med and a muscle relaxer?
    The fact that the steroids helped is encouraging, simmers down inflammation and swelling, too bad we can't take those more but side effects are not worth it to me long term.
    He clearly says he's not a hip doc but he knows your nerves run along there and the groin. So sorry for such disregard.
    You will likely get a physical therapy script from the ortho but that is the surgeon's job too, to see you post-op throughout your recovery.
    These are just my experiences it may be hard for another surgeon to "take over" cuz they are funny like that. But if you are not getting the care you need maybe it wouldn't hurt to find someone who hears you!
    hope it works out, take care
  • Hi, I've been looking up Deratomes, but honestly I'm lost. Call me stupid, but I'm not understanding this at all.
    Is there another way?
  • I did do the steroids too, but the doctor says that I wasn't healing. This is why he prescribe Celebrex.
  • EMCEEMC Posts: 84
    edited 06/05/2013 - 6:20 AM
    for the very nice msg...
    the dermatome chart just sites what areas of the nerves affect what part of the body...for example
    follow the S1 areas down the outside of the leg and foot and if that is where your pain is then it's nerve pain and you know what nerve is ornery. I feel you might look at L(lumbar)4 & 5 and follow those front and back...you will see the shaded areas for these nerves run along the hips and groin at some point.
    The steroids are not for "healing" overnight he gave you those to simmer things down in your spine. If you have arthritis they are fantastic btw :) but frankly of course your not going to be healing that fast, a single fusion takes a couple-3 months sometimes on top of scar tissue removal it hurts. It's ok to take pain meds you may not need them long term per say but don't suffer. They help the back alot. It's my experience from working with the docs post operative they routinely put a patient on a "long" acting extended release pain med short term so you can start to heal, walk around and do what you are "allowed" after this type of surgery.
    No you are not stupid about the chart...I am a RN and am familiar with it. I find it a great resource. Once you know what you are looking at your good shape....
    keep us updated and hope you feel better soon.
  • Ohhhh I finally get it! Thank you sooooooo much! You have explained it better than even the doctors. I have always said patients should see a nurse first. The doctor seems like he wants you out of the office within 5 minutes? You wait so long to see them and when you finally get in their office their dying to get rid of you. You've been great! Sorry for the slow response,
    But on top of all this my dog is sick too. I will keep you updated. Now I'm dying to get back to that chart. You're the best dear!
    Many more thanks
  • and for that you have my sympathy .I had a fusion around 18 months ago and from a pain point of view its don't nothing apart from make it worse from a technical /structural pain of view its been a success but the pain is a killer /no sleep no life and for me possible bowel damage [even and I hope not cancer } I have developed constant bowel pain from the fusion and after a multitude of tests they have found something on my small bowel .I mention this because you say you have groin pain .I also have that after my operation and I still do .it because when they stuff all you guts back in it take months and months to settle down it may always give you hell ..so I have been told ..I am on a massive amount of pain killers and at the moment I am very down and worried [re as yet undiagnosed bowel issue} I have tried all types of pain control and nothing really works apart from cannabis .I only use it when I am desperate .I don't know how you feel about that drug but for me its been a life saver .after 17 years of back pain and the last 7 have been hell I do know how you are feeling ,I wish I had some answers for you I just hope that science has some answers for us in our life time .take care
    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
  • Dear tony I am so very sorry and I will keep you in my prayers. Did the bowel start with being constipated all the time? Because I'm having that issue too. I have lost faith in these doctors. I feel it's learn as you go and no one knows what to do about nerve issues. I have never tried cannabis but I'll keep it in mind. I would try anything at this point. I pray you don't have cancer either. You know I thought I had bone cancer myself. It seems like that because my friend's father died of that before my surgery. I guess it left me thinking that way when the groin pain developed. You know the thing I hate the most is the way I was dismissed by my doctor. It seems like he got paid now it was time for the next patient. Have you tried Tramadol? This really helps with the pain, but you have to use Celebrex. Please ask your doctor about these meds. I really feel you'll have better relief. Believe me I have no life either and I'm married. I'm stuck in my house and I'm bore out of my mind. If I miss a dose or just forget to take the meds on time geez I'm crying like a 2 year old. So please look into this and keep me posted. I really believe we have to band together to find answers. Keep trying and please don't lose hope. I know it's hard but you will have a beautiful life. If the doctor is not listening please check on someone else just don't give up. Many blessing stay strong my friend
  • Jimblab9JJimblab9 Posts: 17
    edited 06/12/2013 - 10:07 PM
    For what it's worth, you certainly have my sympathy and I can only begin to imagine what you are going through. I had four lumbar vertebrae fused in 2001 and the first week of hell in the hospital was just for starters. For almost a year after surgery, the slightest misstep when walking would set off a cascade of leg pain. The surgeon would only write Vicodin for a month after my surgery--not very long for a fusion. I couldn't tell from you post whether you are getting the kind of meds necessary to control severe levels of pain. Celebrex was a great help for my condition. But only after a full two years post op.

    I think surgeons often have a way of seeing their work as finished after a procedure. This can leave a kind of gap in pain management if your surgeon is reluctant to write strong meds.

    Good luck and god bless. Sounds like you have had a very major procedure and you have every right to demand whatever pain relief measures are available.

  • arrowwalkeraarrowwalker Posts: 14
    edited 06/14/2013 - 5:54 AM
    Hi Jim, my my you had four fusions? I can't even imagine the pain involve with that. God bless you and keep you pain free.
    I am now on tramadol a muscle relaxer and Celebrex . I'm going now for a cortisone shot. I tell you I would have drank poison if someone said it would be the cure. Did you have hip or groin pain as well? You should have had a wheel chair with that kind of pain. You are right I felt like the doctor cast me aside after the fusion. Almost as if he didn't want to hear from me. He called in 14 pills for pain. If I wanted more I had to pick it up. Could you imagine. I had to go to my primary doctor. You know I just remember something, do you have lumps on your back from the fusion? If I feel my own back I can feel a lump when the fusion was done, is this normal? I think I have to find another doctor to check on what the surgeon did. I just don't know who is it I should see. Anyway, god bless you always and please be well
  • Jimblab9JJimblab9 Posts: 17
    edited 06/15/2013 - 8:06 PM
    arrowalker, I had four vertebrae fused together in one long surgery, which I think equates to three spinal levels? That's four more vertebrae fused together than anyone would want to have.

    Not sure I understand your surgeon's suggestion to refer to a different type of specialist, since it sounds like your pain would be related to spinal and surgical issues--but I am just guessing.

    Tramadol barely touches even the residual chronic pain I have from previously healed procedures. And it gave me an episode of constipation that sent me to the walk-in clinic. Of course, everyone's mileage varies.

    Re the lumps: I have what feels like lumps of muscle spasm at the base of my back. But I think those started pre-fusion. My lower back in the area of the fusion feels a bit like pushing on a board. And if I palpate carefully, I can actually feel the rods underneath the layer of soft tissues. But no--I could not associate a particular lump or swelling with the area of fusion. Sounds like you might want to follow up on that. And just happened think--I had some swelling and tenderness on one side of my groin for quite a while after the fusion, so much so that I had myself checked for a hernia with negative results.

    Good luck and hope you find some better relief.
  • arrowwalkeraarrowwalker Posts: 14
    edited 06/28/2013 - 11:52 AM
    Geez I'm so sorry that Tramadol didn't help, but I know what you mean. I had that same episode with constipation with Nucynta. Geez, I never want to see that pill again. What about Celebrex? I take one at night and it really helps. Howevrr, it wears off about 4 or 5 in the morning and I'm crying even before I wake up. I get the feeling that these spinal surgeries are hit or miss. Please forgive me, I don't mean to sound mean. I guess I'm so disappointed with my neuro that I think somewhere they are all the same. I pray you find relief really soon, but please keep me posted. I'm learning so much in this site that I want to keep track. I will keep you informed as well. Many more blessings
  • Jimblab9JJimblab9 Posts: 17
    edited 06/30/2013 - 8:41 AM
    Fusion--Is the doc only giving you one Celebrex daily? Sounds like it might be a low dosage. Of course, it is for your doctor to assess. But you might ask him if you are on the max dosage of Celebrex.
  • It's raining, its pouring, the kids are snoring, so I'm catching up! First, constipation is very normal with pain killers, I'm shocked you were warned by this and given medicine for this on the front side to help avoid it. Second, sounds like you certainly need to keep looking for a better spine specialist. I have seen lots of doctors, and there are plenty of doctors who will spend time with you and NOT make you feel rushed. You can then develop a trust there. I suggest you keep looking. I can't imagine how disappointed it would be to be "dropped" like a hot potato from the first surgeon. I hope you are doing better. Good luck to you!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.