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Only A Spiney would have this issue

After being in absolute agony for almost two weeks, on last Monday night my boyfriend finally talked me into going to the hospital after I could not even lay down in my bed without crying hysterically. I went to the ER of the hospital my Ortho works exclusively out of (love the doctor, hate the hospital) Until they actually contacted him to ask about me, they were treating me like a drug seeker. I could not feel my left foot at all and had horrible sciatica pain down my left leg. I was given dilaudid in the ER which did not do much. My Ortho had me admitted to the surgical floor. I was given Dilaudid every two hours and Norco every 4 hours. My pain was an 8-9 the entire time I was there. I had an MRI and CT Scan. The MRI was unchanged from last time (slight bulge at L2-L3) but the Ct showed something amazing! The cadaver bone that they filled my L3-L5 PLIF cages with OVERGREW!!!!! The bone overgrew and is pinching my sciatic nerve on the left side. I was sent home with Steroids, Norco, Voltaren( which i cannot take due to having gastric bypass) and wanted me to have physical therapy. Its been 4 days now. My left foot is still numb, the Norco I am taking every 4-6 hours is not touching my pain and I have reached the end of my endurance. I am one of those people that do not take pain medicine unless it is absolutely necessary and I am working full time and going to school full time. I have no time to do PT, and even so, PT is not going to take the bone spur off of that nerve. I rarely have taken Prednisone but it seems like it is doing nothing to stop this. All it has done is make my heart pound, sweat profusely and made my period come a week early. The pain and numbness are still overwhelming. What would you do? Ask for stronger pain meds? Forego PT and just get the surgery done and over with before permanent damage is done to the nerve? I have the busiest weeks of the year at my job, I have two more months of school before I get a two week break and I am moving in a little over a month. I have an appt next Friday with the surgeon. I am so overwhelmed with life in general and this pain on top of it is just more than I can take.

Severe Lumbar Spinal stenosis (congenital) with DDD
2008 Micro Diskectomy L4-L5
2009 PLIF L4-l5
2010 Broken Vertebra L3
3 days later - Removal of hardware and Re-fusion L3-L5

"My Legacy is not up to my genes"
Severe Lumbar Spinal stenosis (congenital) with DDD
2008 Micro Diskectomy L4-L5
2009 PLIF L4-l5
2010 Broken Vertebra L3
3 days later - Removal of hardware and Re-fusion L3-L5

"My Legacy is not up to my genes"


  • Crnko85
    Yes isn't it wonderful what else can happen.
    From my experience and mine only If it was my.choice I would do the surgery ASAP.
    I had lumbar issues for twenty years and nobody ever really did anything.
    Then the last time when pain meds and everything else did not help a xray showed surgery was way over due. Surgery did help but some major nerve damage was already done.
    My nerve damage will never be better. I am getting a second SCS unit this week because of it.
    Waiting MIGHT make it worse.
    I would also.check and see if and what BMP was used and if anything needs to be done about it. If it was used. You need to act on this and find out if there is going to be more problems or if it can be taken care of now.
    Do some research also .
    Good Luck
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    surgery generally is the action plan. But that is something only your doctor will know for sure. I would not ask for stronger pain medications. That is always a red flag to the medical field that there is potential drug abuse going on. My suggestion would be to explain that the current set of medications, not just pain medications does not seem to be controlling my pain, do you have any suggestions? Many people believe that narcotics are the only solution to pain control. When in fact, they are just part of a total package for pain management.

    Bypassing PT might not be a good choice also. But that depends on what your doctor recommends. It is unfortunate that you are at a busy time right now, but you are the only one to make the choice: Your health, school or work.
    Thats a big decision, but from what you describe, its something you will have to make.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • surgery that they used to allow, given all of the hoopla about the ramifications of narcotics, etc, if there is a surgical option available to fix /address the problem, then surgery is what should be done. Since it is bony overgrowth, the best option would most probably be to remove it, and possibly physical therapy to strengthen your core for the post op period.
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