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screw removal 3weeks after surgery

kimber1181kkimber1181 Posts: 3
edited 04/02/2015 - 7:38 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi I am new to the forum and posting on line really for anything but I am 33years old and had spinal fusion surgery at L4-L5 4 weeks ago. I had been complaining to my Dr since the beginning that I had pain down my leg and numbness in my groin. All my Dr kept saying is that it is normal and the surgery had went so well and the screws were placed in strong bone... How happy with my surgery he was. Last Thursday I had a medication appt with his nurse practitioner and I told her about what I had come to call my episodes... Severe pain in my groin to the point that I could not stand walk lay down. I didn't know what to do when it happened but cry and scream the pain was so bad. She said it could be normal... There was nothing normal about this... But she was ordering a CT just to be safe. My Dr called me Friday night and said that the right screw was out the side of my spine and on a nerve. I'm guessing my femeral nerve because of my symptoms but he never said. He told me to be in his office first thing Monday morning they were removing the right screw and not replacing it. He said that the left screw would be enough to get a fusion. He kept down playing everything and after surgery said that this only took about 30 min so it was kind of a non surgery. My pain seems worse but I was also only 3and a half weeks post op before they cut the same incision and went back in. Has anyone had revision surgery so close to there original fusion?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I dont know if there are others with a case similar to yours. But I think if I were you, I'd request a copy of all of the reports and imagiing that they did and keep your records up to date. I'm not saying there was any malpractice, but it sounds suspicious and I would want you to preserve the facts in case. Sounds like you are miserable and I'm sure this added surgery has had an affect on you.
    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
  • Well I didn't have the severity of symptoms you did and it wasn't as close to the original surgery, but I did have screws on one side removed due to continuing symptoms (lack of function of my left foot which was not there prior to surgery) about 3 months after my fusion. I was also told the single-sided screws would be enough, which I did my best to research. I came to the same conclusion based on my own, admittedly limited, ability to do some medical research.

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. The increase in pain is definitely due to back to back surgeries (I had 4 in a 6 months time frame, so I am very familiar with this!) It takes an enormous toll on your body, and the fusion itself is a major surgery from a recovery standpoint.

    I think I'm with Sarah about requesting your surgical records. I'm considering doing the same. I do trust my surgeon, but I went through A LOT last year and I think I'd like to have that info just in case.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • Thank you both! My Dr is a great surgeon and has been very supportive ... Feel up untill now. I felt rushed through the screw removal ... He apologized but never looked me in the eye while doing so. I still don't understand how a surgery he said went wonderful and so Happy whith changed so quickly . I would think that they would do an X Ray or something to make sure the screws were placed right. I was not aware of requesting surgical records.. Thank you Sarah for telling me. I have tried to do some research on line just not finding to much. I finally just thought I would post on here and see if anyone had Any experience with it. I don't really trust when he tells me what's normal or not anymore. I still have numbness in my right thigh and the skin on my left side of my butt still hurts to touch, also hurts to sleep on either hip for to long so I sleep in increments of about 3to 4 hours. I know it takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks for any pain from where the screw was on my nerve to go away so I guess it's just a waiting game now. Thank you both again.. Any input or information is helpful. Coltsfan that is ALOT of surgeries to go through... I hope that you are feeling better and getting some relief. I hope that we all get the relief that we need.
  • My doctors were wonderful. My bone was simply not strong enough and the left screw actually left screw marks in my femoral nerve. They removed that screw and all has been fine on that side.
  • Thanks Kimber! If it's any encouragement to you, I found a significant difference in the discomfort/pain occurred 6-8 weeks after surgery and I've heard others say the same. So it will get easier. You will be able to sleep again. I was beginning to wonder if I ever would, but now I usually do. I'm still dealing with lingering symptoms in my foot and I am trying to remain positive that I just need a lot more time to heal because I did go through a lot. So hopefully in time we'll both be back to more of a normal life. Hang in there!
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
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