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Is a nerve damaged after back surgery?

I don't even know where to start.

All this happened in Venezuela.

My dad had back surgery about 25 years ago, I would say early nineties, some metal plates and titanium wires were attached to his column to correct some disks,problems.

years passed by and he was having a lot of back problems and pain so a spine surgeon recommended to have the metal plates and wires removed, he did, this was around 2000-2001 During one of the check up the x rate showed that there were 5 pieces of wires left on his back, but told him that they might not represent any problem.

Recently my father was driving and suddenly he couldn't feel his legs. He was freaked out, this has never happened to him, he went to a specialist in back and spine and the doctor said that some of the wires my be getting close to,the nerve and that it was extremely necessary to have surgery to remove the metal objects because there was a rick that he would not be able to walk again. the surgery was suppose to take only one-two hours.

During surgery the doctor found a great mess, part of the metal wires were actually inside the vertebrate and covered with surgical cement, it took a great deal to have the wires removed, the doctor mentioned that two surgical tools broke, he mentioned that at one point when he was pulling one of the wires a nerve was attached to it and he carefully put it back.

I have pictures of the wires, two of the 5 pieces removed are at least 4 inches long, very shocking.

After surgery my dad is at home but with excruciating pain, he scream and cries, he said that he has never felt this kind of pain before, his right left kind of contract and his describes the pain when he tries to put his right leg back in position as unbearable.

Today finally we found one of the medication that we couldn't find called Dolak that helps great deal with the pain. The doctor is even surprise on how much pain my dad has and how long is taking to recover. My dad had surgery on December 16.

Should I be worried about some severe nerve damaged? It is kind of normal for such of surgery to go thru this pain?

It kills me to hear my dad over the phone crying like a little child as I am the only son away living in the US.

I will find the details of exactly what type of surgery he had the first time and what exactly was recently done, but any advise or words of wisdom will be greatly appreciate it.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 12/25/2013 - 1:54 PM
    As I went through the process to find my surgeon and my vascular surgeon (I just had a ALIF and PLIF with bone graft at L4-S1), I was shocked how different every surgeon might view my particular case and how many seemed eager to cut me up and send me out the door. I don't know what procedure your dad had or what kind of doctor he saw, but there are always bad surgeons out there, as much as there are good ones. I would highly suggest you to do some research on the surgeon (has he has any malpractice suits filed against him? Is he still operating? What are his ratings? Where did he get his degree)? Also have your dad maybe get a second opinion from a respected surgeon about his current options. The spine is the center of all nerves, so he could definitely have some nerve damage. I wish you luck.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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