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Had L-5S-1 discectomy 3 months ago and now how horrible low back pain

Jennifer 31370JJennifer 31370 Posts: 1
edited 05/31/2014 - 4:06 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello all ,

I'm praying to find some support or answers here, in January I started to experience low back pain, some shooting nerve pain down my left buttock to down to my left foot, went to the chiropractor a handful of times then stopped because it felt a little better, then comes March and the nerve pain was unbearable could not sleep, sit, stand, do anything without constant
Pain, went back for a few more chiropractor visits, nothing helped, went to general practitioner and he prescribed me ibuprofen and sent me for an X-ray, came back normal. I KNEW this was not normal so I went for MRI and headed to an orthopedic surgeon. I went on March 25 with MRI disk in hand, he told me you are going to have to have surgery on March 28th! I am a waitress and already missed a week of work because of the nerve pain etc, I had a bad herniated disk that and needed a discectomy immediately. Unfortunately I was due to start a nanny job that coming Monday! So I had to alert everyone of my situation and into surgery I went ... Everything went great, I was out of the hospital by Sunday...went home with some pain meds, which I stopped taking by Tuesday because I felt great! The only thing that really bothered me was a little pain from the incision.. Doctor said no driving or heavy lifting etc until my follow up in two weeks, but being I committed to this nanny job and had already missed the first two days I HAD to work that Thursday and Friday for her she just went back from maternity leave and had no ore time off... Thursday and Friday were fine, I was able to carry the baby with very little pain and the 3 yr old was self sufficient.. That weekend which was exactly one week after surgery I woke up Sunday morning, my back really hurt, felt hot, and swelling was moving up my spine, called the on call doc Sunday night, with no reply, called again Monday doc said come right in... Said it looked like it might be an infection, gave me antibiotic said if it's not better in two days to call, well it got worse liquid and puss started pouring out my incision, he put me into the hospital that Friday, exactly two weeks after my discectomy surgery, opened me up and found I had a staph infection! A deep one! So he spent about 3 hours operating, cleaning me out etc... I then saw an infectious disease doc while in the hospital he put me on an antibiotic through IV and then my orthopedic surgeon told me that he wanted to go back in on Sunday to be sure he got it all out and put some more antibiotic inside me... So I've now had 3 surgeries in two weeks...this hospital stay was for 6 days... I was sent home with a picc line I my arm and every 8 hours I had to administer my antibiotic, 6am, 2 pm, and 10 pm so from April 12 until may 8 when I went back to the infectious disease doc I had t deal with this picc line and every Monday a nurse came to the house to change and clean the line, and take blood.. I've now been out of work almost 3 months, I lost the nanny job, and the real reason I'm on this forum is be because for WEEKS now I've been dealing with awful low back pain on my right side like the pelvis bone in the back, it feels like I have some swelling like little balls or knots if I press hard and rub it, I've also been having awful back spasms, I've become completely incapable of standing up alone , getting out of bed, especially in the middle of the night or the first thing in the morning, when I get up I've got to roll myself out legs first...then lean up on my elbow, push myself to grab the wall then work my way up the wall slowly standing up, but sometimes the pain and spasm is so bad I drop right back down, when I go to walk the pain shoots right into that spot from my leg walking or my body sitting on the bed... I've been back to the orthopedic doc at least 3 more times, I looked it up online I feel as if it's my SI joints inflamed, I even stayed in the hospital two weeks ago for two nights because of the pain and spasms, they give me Dilaudid and Valium through IV and I can toss and turn I bed with no problem I can get in and out of bed to go to the bathroom with no help or pain! But the medicine makes me sick to my stomach even if I request getting it after I've eaten... So again they send me home with Dilaudid, Valium, and 800 mg of ibuprofen. At home I'm in awful pain even taking the meds, I can't sit up in bed, I need help to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I've tried walking for exercise and getting some movement going, he gave me a cortisone injection last visit...did nothing... My last stay at the hospital the did another MRI before I left he said everything came back fine nothing wrong with SI joints etc... He is sending me to a pain management doctor but earliest I could get in was June 12! Seems like a lifetime away :( now the pain has been going through my entire low back, it feels nothing like the pain I had with the disk, I've got no nerve pain, it's just horrible stiffness and spasms... I can't live another minute like this, I'm useless, I've got 3 kids , luckily my boyfriend helps me when he can but I've had no income for 3 months, just started getting temp disability but that's only $132 per week! I do get food stamps but again not very much... I tried physical therapy for one day...they couldn't do anything for me since I couldn't stretch, bend, get off the table, they tried the stim, but that caused more spasms, so basically for 10 min I asked him to rub my pelvic bone in the back he felt all the bumps...I'm just desperate for help and answers and don't even know what kids of doc to go to anymore... I want off these pain meds they really done help at all.


  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource
    The first mistake you made was resuming the nanny position so shortly after your surgery. The activity restrictions are there for a reason and you must abide by them, otherwise you put the outcome of your surgery at great risk.
    The infection hopefully, will resolve with the antibiotics and care of the incisions.
    As far as the muscle spasms go, the best treatment for them is muscle relaxers, along with stretching and the use of TENS units, heat patches, and warm showers, swimming. It is not easy to get back on your feet once you have surgery, but there are aspects that you have to "force" yourself to do, and walking is essential in that happening.
    The longer you remain inactive, and don't participate in the physical therapy and inactivity in general , the harder it is going to be to get back on your feet.
    I know that some of this is not what you are wanting to hear, but it does come from experience. If the last MRI showed that things were in place , there was no sign of further injury, then the surgeon has done his part, and now you have to do yours.

  • This is my first time posting to the forum, even though I have read over them many times looking for answers. I have had chronic low back pain for 18 years. It was first on the low right side, and after many different doctors, injections, physical therapy, etc., I found out that I had Spondylolisthesis, meaning that I had a slipped vertebrae at L5 S1. Believing that this would end my pain, I had spinal fusion. This took care of the low right back pain, but starting after a car accident six weeks after the surgery, I now have low left back pain. I have visited multiple doctors, have had multiple tests, injections, etc, including having the hardware removed on the left side. After a car accident in April 2013, I started having pain going down the left leg. Finally, someone did a nerve conduction test and it was discovered that I have nerve issues at L4, L5, and S1. I have had multiple nerve block injections that are effective for about two weeks. Now I have significant pain running down the outside of my left leg. Things are progressively getting worse since the accident in 2013, and I don't know what else to do. I feel I am running out of options and nobody can tell me why the nerves are affected like this. I don't want more surgery but I am tired of being a pin cushion and having pain meds that help but don't completely take away the pain. If anybody has had issues like this, I would love to hear what helped!
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