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Back/sciatic pain help!!

DakincaidDDakincaid Posts: 21
edited 04/15/2015 - 11:27 PM in Lower Back Pain
So I had a fusion s1-l4 in 2010 for spindylolistesis. Ever since I have had bits and pieces of pretty rough right hip pain. My dr just kept saying "your body is just adjusting, your fusion is perfect". Now since November I have had pretty bad right sides back pain that radiates into my groin, hip, down the back of my thigh, seriouse behind knee and pain in my foot. Mri results say hypertrophic facet joint changes at l5. My dr says Mri and fusion are perfect "it's just a strain". I can't drive and the kids I teach (2.5 yrs old) know that sometimes ms danielle falls down :(. What do I do? I had a cortisone injection but it only lasted 4 wks. Help!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I have not had surgery......and I get severe right hip and right groin pain.
    I too fall down..usually without warning, but sometimes I feel my legs give out.

    Since doctor so sure of his surgery, makes it a little difficult. Maybe an EMG would show if part of spinal issues remain despite surgery.

    I don't know...but seems simple enough to try.
    Someone who can relate more to your experience may offer other ideas.

    Best of luck to you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • One piece of advice-change doctor.
    There is one thing neurosurgeons hate hearing and that's a patient complaining he's still in pain after the surgery he's performed on them.
    So many stories like this one it makes you sick to hear how people are being sent home when they are in pain.
    Take care of you and I hope you find a right doctor to take care of you.
  • rishelpatrrishelpat Posts: 7
    edited 04/28/2015 - 8:42 PM
    Wow, I'm really sorry to hear of your ongoing pain...sounds horrific! Since I don't see any other information about further testing (MRI, CT Scans, etc.) it's a bit difficult to know whether the fusion is intact, and these are new problems, or the fusion has failed. Given the information, the best I can tell you is that after my fusion (L4-5 thru L5-S1 in 2001), I was better for a few months, then went downhill. Severe sciatica, weakness, and renewed pain, worse than before the surgery. My surgeon, who is affiliated with xxxxxx, and one of the best on the west coast, ordered one more MRI 18 months post-op, and then 6 months later, with no further relief, declared the surgery to be a "failed fusion". His (almost) exact words were "two years is long enough to know whether a fusion is successful or not". I would seek a second opinion, but that's just me. Best of luck to you! Pat in NorCal
  • Ask your doctor to check on a traditional x-ray for bone spurs on your vertebrae.

    I had my back problems for 17 years...and then all of the sudden, I developed sciatica in both of my legs (bi-lateral sciatica) and about January of 2014, I started falling for no apparent reason...I would just be walking and my legs would give out.

    MRI, Cat Scans...didn't show anything but all the damage I knew was already there, and had lived with for the large portion of my adult life. No one could figure out what was causing the pain. I ended up having to have surgery, and I had avoided it for 17 years because of my metal allergies.

    Lo and behold...yeah, I did need the fusion of my L5/S1, however, there was a bone spur that had developed on the vertebrae where the herniated disc was, and it was not visible by MRI and Cat scan because it was bone. It was lodged in my sciatic nerve about 1/4 of the way...it was severing it!

    Now, no problems at all. It's just food for thought...I wouldn't have believed it had I not witnessed it myself!
    17 years avoiding surgery, now it's unavoidable. Scared beyond belief.
  • Wow.
    I haven't had your surgery but am facing a laminectomy and right hip arthroplasty. I have right groin pain like a knife and it's tied to my hip. However, I agree with Daniel.. change doctors if you must.
    Sorry I can't be of more help. I'm a newbie on this forum.
  • Well, I did have an mri witch my surgeon said was "normal, his work is perfect" I did go back in on wed and he said its my si joint. I had a so injection yesterday and for a few hours I was amazing!! Not so much now. The pain in my si joint is amazingly awful and I had to leave work. Anyone know how long it may take to help? I am acctually gonna do a whole dr swap. New primary and see a new ortho. They refuse to prescribe pain meds because "they don't work, and are not needed for back pain". I've resorted to my dogs tramadol and the vet says she is more then happy to help :)
  • So just got out of a 2 night hospital stay. Woke up wed morning with a fever and unable to walk after my si injection. They couldn't "see" infection on 2 mri's and the steroids they think made my blood counts high. I've been referred to a pain clinic but am wondering if anyone else has had this prob and has any advice. My right leg and hip are so weak and sore that using a walker is even hard to get around. Told the hosp Drs that potty is hard to do but they didn't seem concerned. Needless to say I'm (and my fam) terrified!!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    ....going to the bathroom..are you talking about elimination, itself? Or are you talking about being able to sit on the toilet?

    If it's the latter, there are raised toilet seats, so you don't need to bend so low......if doctor thinks that would benefit you...or he may have reason against it. I don't know, just a thought.

    Also, re' starting pain management, that was best thing ever happened to me.
    PM doctor continues to investigate, treat, monitor.

    Good luck and hang in there!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • When I try to go I have to almost force to get a stream, pain meds prob backing me up for #2 but even passing gas is hard. I use my walker to brace to get up and down. I was sent home w 2 kinds of morphine and Valium with a laxitive to help. Pm dr isn't available till June :(. My surgeon says this is all "normal". I highly doubt it. I'm nervouse cause w my new ins I have to see a new primary and I have a bit of a med history.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    .....care doctor seems good idea to me..always. Even though all my docs know of each other and meds I'm on..I like having primary who has good overall picture of my issues.

    Recently my primary sent me to GI doctor...and it's amazing the new things out there for all types of constipation.....as they are not all created equal. There is even an injection for relief of constipation caused by opiates...pain meds.
    I would think if you talk to primary, doctor can lead you in right direction for relief.

    I don't know what you mean about.....a bit of a med history.....
    And I have no experience with difficulty with urine stream.
    Keep up the communication with doctors and hang in there!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I had DDD diagnose in 2008. Normal back pain but still active and running. Change job in 2010,sitting behind a lorry to work and my leg and butt will go numb. Going on for 3 years until now sitting becomes a big issue. Sit on soft flesh hurts sometime get shooting feeling. Sit on hard like sitting on bone. Nerve shooting feeling on and off. MRI shows nerve not pinch. Recently got bottom feet and heel pain and notice sleeping on side makes my hip bone pain also. Orthopaedic gave gabapentin,still pain in the butt. Pain management said bone inflammation and plantar fasciitis. Arcoxia Celebrex prescribe. Sleepless night and daily life`s affected. Fingers Cross. Lee
  • Well it's now been since we'd morn and even though I'm on lots of pain meds, I have zero urge to go #2. Been using a laxitive powder and drinking lots of water. I don't feel backed up or sick but there is just NO urge. I can't walk w out a walker and break threw pain even on morphine and Valium. Seriously don't want to stay in the hosp again!!!! Any advice?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    .......I think good to call doctor.
    I would remind doctor of what you are now taking for your bowels and express your concerns.

    If doctor says he is not concerned now, and without suggestions now.....I would ask at what point, how many days of not moving your bowels, when to be concerned? And then what to do about it? Make appointment to see doctor? Or doctor will instruct over the phone?

    Doctor should understand you are trying to be prepared for situation that you don't want to get out of control.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I think that's what I'm gonna do. Gonna eat a bit more fruit tonight and if no luck call dr. Thanx for all the advice! It sure does help :)
  • If you're not going and YOU think that's not right, deal with it now. I have found from experience that one can become impacted fairly easily and with little warning until your body decides it's "time to go" . Manual extraction of an impaction in an ER is not worth it. Be more assertive with your PCP that this isn't normal for you and you don't feel you are headed in the right direction., followed with the question of why he can't or won't help you with this.

    If that doesn't work call a GI Dr.

    Good luck.
  • Well my tummy is much better now :) I added a new lax and it worked :). I go for ct with mylo next Friday. I'm really scared about this whole situation. My right si joint can really be just taken away and I would b much happier lol :). Some of my worst pain is when my leg "hangs" like when bringing it up a stair. Feels like the joint lost everything it had :/. Am I crazy here? Any input as to how to help would be awesome! (Beyond my pile of narcotics).
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