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11 mos post op, pain in lower back. opposite side of where other pain was

Hello to all, just wanted to ask a question, maybe someone might be going through what I am going through. On August 27th, 2012, I had a minumally invasive L3-L4 Spinal Fusion. I have screws in my back. And one of those ( I do not know what you call it right off hand) things that is replacing one of my disc. The reason for a fusion was I had a bulging / torn disc. I went through many alternative treatments, even chiropractic care. This 11 mos has not been a walk in the park. In fact it has been one of the hardest surgeries that I have ever had, and I have had quite a bit.

So, about 4 mos ago, I have been having pain in my lower left side of my back. It is pretty numb there. It was not numb there before. About a week after surgery, I was numb on the side of my left leg. It did not bother me, it did not shoot down the leg, so I was assuming it had to do with the nerves being cut. Well that numbness has disappeared. It is now on my lower left side of the back, and I get the most terrible pain there sometimes. Sometimes it is good. Sometimes it is not. When it is bad, pain level being a 1 - 10, its a 8. So, thinking its inflammation, I use ice, nothing helps, no heat yet. I am worried what this is. I have read that people get their hardware taken out, I am hoping that I do not need another surgery, I cannot go through what I did again, it was awful at first.

I have to mention, I was 100 % fused at 8 mos. I did alot of walking, and going to the gym and just doing what I felt like I can do. I was active before the surgery, so I want to stay active still. Last month, I just completed my first 5K walk/run. I ran. It took a little time, but being my first, I believe I did good. I went 3 1/2 miles in 50 min.

Anyway, I have called my Dr a few times about this, and he prescribes me Tramadol, and says it inflammation. The Tramadol does not work, and I have not called to tell them this, cause I do not want them to think that I am just calling for the drugs. That is not the case. I weaned myself off medication 2 mos after surgery. It has been a hard road. I work at a desk job, and I have to get up and walk every 2 hrs or so, and when I do, I am hunched over, cause I cannot stand straight up right away. It takes time for me to get moving and not being so stiff.

I just wanted to give a brief story on what was happening with me, so you know. My question is, could this be something bad? I know the story, will not know until the dr examines and finds out. Has anyone had this pain that I describe? I feel that there is something wrong. Or is inflammation constant? I have appt with the Dr in a couple weeks, could not get in sooner, they are on vacation. You go to a ER, and they do not know what is wrong with you, they cannot diagnose you, cause they do not know what your Dr. did. I am about to go though and just tell them, can you give me some pain relief until I see the dr. I do not know if they can. I was doing so good on being active and even starting to run again, but I got Tendintis on the top of my foot 4 mos ago, and it is still not right, but I did the 5K. Sorry to vent, This has just got me worried, and I do not know what it could be.

If you have any suggestions, I could use some. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Best of luck to everyone out there that has had or is going through what i have been through or similar.


L3-L4 Miniumally Invasive Spinal Fusion w/ cage and rods. 8-27-12

L3-L4 minimally invasive spinal fusion L3 - L4 with cage and rods. Aug 24th, 2012
Hardware Removal Feb 24, 2014
DDD, Thyroid Disease
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
SI Joint dysfunction


  • Sorry to hear of your troubles.

    Can you take new MRI imaging? I don't know if the hardware will introduce too much artifacts in the films. Maybe one of the screws is doing something to a nerve.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • You think that is possible? A screw can do something to a nerve? Well more than likely he will tell me to get either a MRI or ct scan if the xray does not show anything. I hope its not bad.

    L3-L4 minimally invasive spinal fusion L3 - L4 with cage and rods. Aug 24th, 2012
    Hardware Removal Feb 24, 2014
    DDD, Thyroid Disease
    Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
    SI Joint dysfunction
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