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11 Weeks Post-have only seen surgeon once

Hello all! I hope everyone is doing well. I had a L5-S1 fusion done on April 23rd. I saw my surgeon 10 days post op to have the sutures removed and have not seen him since. I have not had any x rays or follow up care. My appointment keeps getting pushed back and pushed back. I think that they have rescheduled it 4 times now! I am concerned about possibly overdoing things since I have no guidance in where I should be at this point. I feel pretty good most days but still get tired and exhausted the following day if I overdue it. I read someone else talking about leg pain. I have that too, although I wouldn't call it pain but more tightness and almost muscle spams in both legs. I have started getting in the pool daily for about an hour at a time. Some mornings I am so stiff when I first get out of bed, tears just start falling. If anyone has had a similar surgery around the same time as me, can you let me know how you are doing?



  • That must be frustrating! Hope you get in soon.
    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.
  • It is very frustrating. My disability insurance company has stopped sending my checks because they haven't received updated doctor's notes. Well guess what...there isn't any! My job had to go ahead and replace me (with my boyfriend...haha). But I am just lucky that my parents are able to help me out. But I am a 34 year old woman who has to call daddy to pay her rent. It's embarrassing and just painful. To add insult to injury, my sister is 2 weeks post total knee replacement and we just found out that her 10 year old son has to have open heart surgery. I know I am completely off topic. But as I sit here and write this tears are just flowing. I just need to know that I am on the right track. I did call the doctor's office and they have sent orders for me to get a x ray before my appointment which is now not until August 8th. Hopefully, I can get him to look at them and maybe release me for work. I have been off since January and am not sure how much longer I can drag this out. Thanks for letting me vent. I am just overwhelmed at the moment.
  • KC ThatsmeKKC Thatsme Posts: 42
    edited 07/09/2013 - 7:48 AM
    Your doctor should be ashamed of himself....that's no way to treat your patient! If it were me, I would INSIST on getting in ASAP especially if it effects your financially! Sorry you're going thru this, but it's probably time to put your foot down (just my opinion).
    Good luck!
  • I'd call and raise a lot of sand... I mean I figured if you were doing fine and all it was unfortunate and "upsetting" but if you can't get your disability then I'd certainly call everyone I could think of (the doctor's nurse, scheduler, CEO of practice, heck, I'd even call the CEO of the hospital, or at least his/her office). That's unacceptable!
    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.
  • I also had a fusion on April 23. I am allergic to steri-strips so I had an appointment with the nurse to have my sutures removed on May 8th. I had an appointment with the neurosurgeon on May 22nd; we talked and he took a peek at my incisions to make sure they looked okay. I go back next week for my first set of x-rays since surgery and will see the surgeon again. I took. Pre-op spinal care class prior to surgery and have read a lot on this site, but wouldn't say I got a ton of guidance from the surgeon, although he never seemed 'rushed" and was available to answer my questions. The PA at the office was very knowledgeable and helpful. She was in the OR during my surgery; at my first appointment she saw us in the hall and pulled us into her office and told us what they had done and showed us the x-rays. I am feeling a lot of tightness in my legs, particularly my hips and ham strings. I have complained of leg pain, but it seems to be improving. I hope you can get your appointment moved up and get some answers! Are you on the April surgery buddies forum?
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Pre-Op Spinal Care Class?!?!?! I've never heard of that. I think that sounds pretty awesome for your hospital/surgeon's office.

    I think I might be "sensitive" to steri strips, they have never bothered me until this last time.... bright red/itchy/miserable. No hives or anything.
    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.
  • My surgery was April 24th and I have seen my surgeon twice. Third time will be this Friday. xrays were done at each visit. My legs ache. muscles are tight and spasm. Things are the worst in the morning. I am tired a lot too. You need to call your doctors office and tell them about your need to have papers filled out and that you have stopped receiving income because of this. Its not right. My doc told me I may be out of work for at least 6 months (I'm a nurse). Stand up for yourself and call that doc everyday if you have to. I hope everything gets straightened out soon.
    injury 12/29/09. L2 henamgioma L3-S1 desiccation protrusion narrowing, L5-S1 nerve rood displaces, L4-5 annular tear DDD L5-S1. surgery 4/24/12
  • My advice if you are the type to complain call the insurance company and file a complaint. I did this before and myissue was resolved in 24 hours. Do u think it is serious enough to consult a lawyer since you disability was cut off?
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • my life since 4/1 is in the april surgery buddies, i was april 1.. fools day...y'all - no not lost on me... have seen my surgeon at 2/wks 4-5wks and now tomorrow 12 weeks and with x rays each time. in the meantime you'd have to read my whole posts to see my situation / nightmare... but had an MRI too. call the insurance company. get the doc to get the papers back to you. absurd,. agree with KC... insist... insist !! have found too many people (myself included) have to be responsible for their own research care and information. it's crazy!! my surgeon's "second" usually is the most responsive made the mistake of using her cell to call mine, and bing.. kept that number permanently.. and have texted her often. HE (wizard of oz) on the other hand, is always right.. yknow, he might BE, but i am the one with the issues...Tomorrow should be interesting. good luck!!!
  • I appreciate all of your responses. I have spoken to my surgeon's Medical Assistant who has been very nice and helpful this entire time. She is very quick to refill meds, return calls, etc. I have asked for orders for x rays be sent over. I plan to have those done tomorrow and leave with them in my hands. I am talking to my company's HR department to find out exactly what they need for me to return to work. I am going to go to the doctor's office with all of this and the x rays and sit and wait. Something has to happen. Either fill out the paperwork and let me go back to work and I will see you at the scheduled appointment, or he will have to work me in tomorrow!

    It is comforting to know that other people are experiencing the aching in their legs. My other concern is sometimes I have very awful pain in my hips. I think this may have to do with my change in how I am walking. For over a year I had a very distinct limp, shuffle, whatever you want to call it. But now I am able to walk normally and I think my hips are saying. "What is this?"
  • Good for you! Stay on top of it and don't let them mess with you! :)
    I'm not sure about your leg pain, but I had sciatica (hopefully yours will go away). The hip pain definitely could be because you are changing the way you walk. Seems like I have hip pain still, but at least it's not constant. Try a heating pad, that usually helped alleviate a lot of my pain. Good luck and God bless :)
  • All of you are so nice and comforting. It is hard to try to talk to someone who has not been through this. They just don't understand that sometimes, you have a random muscle spasm and have to stop doing whatever it is you are doing for a moment. My boyfriend gets completely concerned when this happens but after a few seconds I am fine. The pain in my hips is luckily not all the time. It is mostly in my right hip which is the side I felt most of my pain before the surgery. I do not think that the surgery is a failure, I think my muscles and nerves are getting used to the way things work now.

    As far as the doctor is concerned, I have spoken to my company's HR department and gathered all the information that they need. I was not able to get the x rays and go to the doctor's office the other day as I had planned but it is still something I will have done by the end of the week. Thank you all again for your kind and encouraging words.

    Spinies for life!
  • I have a rather personal "female" question for someone that wouldn't mind private messaging me. I don't want to put this out there and embarrass anyone but it is something I am wondering about.
  • I can try :)
    I sent you a private message.
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 121
    edited 07/12/2013 - 11:27 AM
    I'm glad you're making some progress with your surgeon's office. It seems like it's just us girls on here, I'm somewhat curious about your female question......we might all have experienced it. :). @Morphia, how did your appointment with your surgeon go? @allmetal, I first noticed intense itching with the steri-strips after my laminectomy in 06. My husband pulled them off for me and I didn't give it another thought. 2 years ago I had a knee surgery for a torn meniscus and I very quickly understood the term "weeping rash"! I nearly went insane from the itching and pain. I would encourage you to keep a mental note about that. The pre-op spine class was awesome and super informative about how to prep your house prior to surgery, what to expect in the hospital, what kinds of meds they might use and info on pain management techniques. One thing I'm curious about with the rest of you is did anyone else have trouble getting pain meds in the hospital? My pain pump ran out of a morphine FOUR times, the 3rd time I started timing how long it took for them to replace it; once was 30 minutes and the final time was over 20 minutes. I was so angry and in such excruciating pain. My daughter is an ICU nurse in that hospital and she was furious! Alison (my daughter) was there with me most of the time so I basically had a private nurse and didn't need anything but meds from the RNs so it wasn't like I kept ringing them or anything. I still feel somewhat traumatized by having my meds withheld. What's the deal with that? And since I'm kind of chatty this afternoon; I'll share that I've really put my back through it's paces this week. I had several of my in laws staying here for the past several days. I had 13 people sleep here, ranging in ages from a newborn baby to an 80 year old. I've been cooking, cleaning, washing towels every day, bathing my great nieces and nephews and cleaned it all up today when they left. I popped 2 Norco and 10mg Flexeril after cleaning but I feel pretty good. I think I can say that my worst day now is better than my best day before surgery. At 11 weeks out, I feel like a miracle has occurred and I know the healing will continue. I truly hope and pray that all my April surgery buddies will also have such good results. Happy weekend everyone!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Yeah.... it threw me for a loop. Not to mention there seems to be a PERMANENT "stain" on my back where she applied the glue to stick on the strips. This was in April and it is still there!!! My husband has scrubbed on it many times and today my PT commented on it saying she'd never seen anything quite like that. Humph.

    I think the spine surgery class sounds great. That could be so informative for so many patients. I'm glad you are feeling better at 11 weeks out! Hopefully your recovery will continue to go smoothly and you'll feel better than you imagined soon.

    Yeah for the weekend!
    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.
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