Hi everyone. I had L5/S1 spinal fusion with 5 titanium screws & 2 titanium rods inserted 03/07/2013. I was told this would relieve me of my worsening back pain. I was given no warning prior to surgery of the severe leg pain since which I have been suffering from and reading about others similar suffering from for the past hour. Thank god for Google; doesn't make me seem like I should be in an asylum now.
On day 2 in hospital, being on pain killers which were making me very ill and experiencing very poor nursing care, I complained to my Dr of very bad pain from my groin into buttocks, down the back of my legs, particularly in both calves down to ankles. He looked blank and said he didn't know why.
He finally ordered CT Scan & was happy to say I didn't have any crushed nerves so I did not have sciatica. He still couldn't explain the severe, insane pain in my legs.
After suffering 7 days in hospital and another 4 days of suffering at home my Dr sent a script for steroids for 2 days worth. Dexamethasone 4mg x 8. This slightly helped with the pain at night & I did get a few hours sleep.
Once these steroids wore off, I was in absolute agony again. Unable to sleep or stop the pain. All sorts of supposed pain killers just made me dopey & nauseous. I begged my husband to hire me a Tens machine. (From prior experience about 17 years ago, experiencing similar pain in my arm from a red-back spider bite). This helped to some extent. Does not kill the pain, just masks it. After 2 days & 2 nights, I managed to pass out with exhaustion from 3.00am to 5.00am.
I am now only taking one Ibruprofen 200mg every 4 hours & one Voltaren in the morning. Every other drug prescribed so far does not work for me. As others have described, the pain is intense and ongoing. The tightness in my calves is unbearable. The numbness and pain in my buttocks is weird, you'd think if it was numb there shouldn't be pain. So, can't walk, can't sit and can't stand for more than 3 minutes without severe pain.
Funny thing is I feel my back getting better day by day! This was all that I was expecting. I'm due back at work on 14/08/2013, but I can't see that happening at this stage.
I don't understand how this site has been going for several years and yet Dr's world-wide do not warn you, nor have they planned how to help you, or help yourself if you get this pain?
How can any kind of back surgery be allowed to be performed without first finding out how to help all these poor people suffering pretty much the same thing post-op?