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2 questions after a L5S1 Fusion, 5 weeks post up. Related to leg pain and twisting.

Happy Friday,

I've been reading many posts on here and have only asked one question and given a few personal opinions experience comments.

I've updated my whole profile for those interested but I wanted to hear some feedback if possible on a couple questions. We all know the Docs and PAs run the show but many of those have not had the personal or specific issues we all have from time to time so its great to hear from those who can give a personal experience.

I had by one level fusion done 5 weeks ago. 2 week follow up was great and my 6 week is coming up soon.

I've been doing well, really cut back on pain meds, maybe 10mg perc in a day, usually in morning or night, and sometimes both depending on how I'm feeling. Keep in mind I've been in pain mgmt for 3 years so that is nothing compard to pre-op.

I've been doing my Dailey walks, tracking with an app on the phone. Doing about 1.5 miles per day. Hoping to increase to twice a day starting next week.

So here's my question, in the past, I've had debilitating sciatica down my right leg after reherniating the same disc 8 mos after my microdisectomy. (Hence me believing a MD is a bandaid). But over the last week or so, I will wake up with an intense and sharp pain that shoots from top to bottom on my left Quadriceps, kind of on the outside of it. (Front of opposite leg) I knows its nerve pain, but its so intense that it wakes me up and the next day, I can feel the lingering effect a bit, about a day.

Has anyone had a.new nerve pain that actually shoots down the quad instead of the hamstring? Hasn't happened in 2 days but its has happened 3 or 4 times over the paat 3 weeks. Is this just nerves in your specific case or experience. I know someonw will say only a doctor should answer, etc.
But personal experiences is the biggest value for me on this forum

Secondly, my NS likes me to have the soft back brace on anytime I'm up moving around for a while. Which as well all know, as you start to feel better, the more up than down, which can good and bad as I'd hate to screw something up.

2nd question, my NS is pretty lenient and not over conservative as he likes his patients not to be to sedentary. Driving on narcs is not good so that's why its a no go now, but the last few days when I've not recently taken, I've made a trip a few trips to the local shopping ctr around the corner to pick up an Rx or small item from the grocery store. Very careful getting in and out, using all my training from the PT and OT.

Well tonight i did that and I usually.like to park in the firelane and get in and out quick. But for some reason I did the legal thing and pulled into a spot.

Well.being dark, I couldn't see behind me as I'm in a suburban (which is great for climbing in and out.of), and I had to twist a little to make sure I could back out. I've been SO careful not to twist for 5 weeks and I had my brace on, but I felt like maybe a little pop or pulled something. And then of course I wonder if I broke a screw or rod. Been known to worry some but just wanted to see if anyone has had something like this happen. Twisting just 5 wks post op.

As I said, been very careful but also noticing moving in bed a lot too, really appreciate any feedback if you get a moment...

Thanks a bunch.


  • Ok, I have two things I want to say.

    1. Please know that nerves can take a long time to 'heal' after they've been compressed. Depending on how long they've been compressed, they may never heal and you may have permanent damage. You should talk about that possibility with your doc. But they can give you nerve pain meds to help you deal with it. But another thing, even if the nerve is now completely 'free', it may take a while for that nerve to 'realize' it and stop zinging. I had severe sciatica for 4 months before surgery. Initially after surgery, it was gone. But for the next six months, I'd have the odd shooting pain again. Now, one year post op, it's all but stopped.

    2. Are you still wearing your brace? You should wear it at all times for the length of the prescribed time your doc said. I had mine on for 3-4 months after surgery. And you'd be surprised how much it takes to 'pop' a screw. If the screw was placed properly and you have been following your post op rules, you will probably be fine. This is purely speculation on my part though, and if you are really concerned, make an appointment with your doctor and they can do an unscheduled x-ray to check current hardware placement.
    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
  • haha... i also believe MD to be a bandaid. But hey, if it works? It's a very affordable and minimally invasive bandaid!
    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
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 01/16/2015 - 2:07 PM
    PS... stop parking in the firelane!
    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
  • I read that all the time about the nerves being effected because of the severity of sciatica as well as being moves around during surgery. I just wanted to hear from someone or a few that actually had it happen to. Theres a lot of my doc said this or i heard this, etc.... Thanks for sharing personal experience

    Glad you agree a MicroD is a bandaid. My NS told me that and that once the integrity of the disc is broken, more times than not, it will happen again. But you are correct, a lot less evasive and honestly, insuranace companies are very "weary" (aka avoid at all possible because of the costs) on fusions and can be tough to get pre-auth without a lot of previous documemtion and a lot of other conservative methods. Just received the EOB on from the hospital on a 3/night stay, $51,000. (What the funniest part is the $25k in supplies). Look forward to seeing the actual reimbursement from the Insurance Company. Prob be $10-15k.

    I have been in the insurance business for 20 years and not only consult and sell the insurance carriers to companies, I've been involved in many a claim.

    It took Aetna over 3+ weeks waiting to get the pre-cert and that's with my NS practice pushing it through as well as me using my influence and understanding the game. My rather "simple" one level fusion was a fight to get approved. Went all the way up to the Aetna's Medical Director and if it was denied, its another 30-45 day appeal process. And what drove me the craziest is the fact I've got so much history on that L5S1. Started with some oral steroids and pain meds 15 yrs ago, countless PT and DC (don't get me started on those "docs) to multiple.injections, pain mgmt to a MicroD that failed 8 mos ago. Longest month of my life...was dying in pain!

    I really feel and can appreciate whatany of these members are going through.

    Yes, wear my back brace, but not every time in get out of bed or relaxing. But for anything more.than 15 mins and walking, etc.

    Lastly, its not really the firelane, its the parcel pickup in front of a large grocery store. And I park parking way back...I'm not rude, promise. ; )
  • I had a 2 level tlif in November 2014. I too experience the quad pain, sometimes it's really intense and other times it's just annoying minor pain. I was told this is normal to have some flare up of this type of pain As the nerves are still angry from being disturbed. I was prescribed neurontin for this as well as a Medrol steroid pack that helped. I use ice when I get pain and that seem s to helps a bit. I was told by my ortho to expect to have some flare ups and pain in places I don't expect as everything heals and boy is he right.

    Another fellow spiney had the same popping issue and he was told by his NS that it's the surrounding joints not fusion, however if you are unsure I would check with ur NS to make sure everything is ok.

    L4/5 S1 Decompression PSF with TLIF 11/5/14
    Spondylolithesis (congenital)
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