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L5/S1 fusion PLIF 15mths on

Hi all. I had my surgery on January 31 2014 followed by 2 more ops on Feb 5th 2014.
I originally had a L5/S1 microdisectomy on Feb 13 2012.
I had a burst/calcified disc at the L5/S1 and a bulging disc on L5/L4.
Now I still have a load of nerve pain in both legs. I have tried to reduce my Lyrica from 300mg twice a day but I just can't and in fact on some days I have to add a 150mg in between doses. I am still on panadeine forte 1 tablet 3 times a day and often have a half dose in between doses.
My left foot has bad feelings on the outer side, feels like I have a wedge on the sole of my foot on the outside when I walk and often feels like my toes are plaited together.
At the moment I am sitting on a dining chair and I dread standing and walking because then my feet are really sore, stiff and ache so much.
It's the same lying down, I can't find a really comfortable pain free position.
This morning (this is embarrassing) I got out of bed, stood up and took one step and felt urine running down both legs like a flood. I tried to stop it (pelvic floor muscles) but nothing happened and it wouldn't stop.
I often have pins and needles feelings in my lower legs and feet.
I had an xray (multi positional) in November and the report said it showed the screws and rods inplace and the cage was ok but no fusion visible. I would have thought by 11 mths you would have been able to see bone growth between the L5 and S1 and forming around the cage.
I do have a smaller than normal L5. the neurosurgeon put the usual screws used in the first op. then the CT showed they were too long so he replaced them with the smallest lumbar screws usually used but the next CT also showed they were too long. The third op he used screws typically used in Shoulder surgery.
So, I would hazard a guess I haven't healed properly.
I had better post this before my internet crashes again.
Judy 50
microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014


  • I have no experience of this but by articles I have read I would have thought you should head for the ER embarrassed or not about the urine leak or at the very least speak to your Dr / surgeon.
  • I agree with Jill, head to the ER ASAP and possibly look at another Ortho or Nero surgeon just in case.
  • Medical Marijana/Cannabis? Might be the answer.
  • That's too bad. Sounds like something is not right. I find that if I don't exercise my pain levels are higher. I hate to exercise but it does wonders. And PRB668 is right, too. No pain meds since 6 weeks post fusion. Good luck and keep us posted. Maybe the pain meds were masking a more serious issue?
  • well I went to the Dr who wanted to put me into hospital but our private hospital medical insurance had run out and we couldn't afford to renew it. So instead she spoke to the neurosurgeon on call at the public hospital who said to get an urgent CT then call them back with the results. So saw the Dr yesterday 3:45 pm, CT at 10:45 am today, back to the dr later this arvo and see what she says.
    In my naive eyes the CT shows dramatic changes in spacing between L4/L5 since the op. The gap has closed on one side with bone on bone and opened up on the other side.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
  • AngelicdragonAAngelicdragon Posts: 16
    edited 04/30/2015 - 9:43 PM
    and still no clearer. The scan showed visualisation of the L5 nerve but was unable to see the S1 and suggested an MRI so now I have to wait for the hospital to get around to reading the referral and making a time.
    Until then I am not allowed to lift anything, bend over, exercise or walk too much. My aim is to remain resting preferably lying on my back.
    My medications were changed from panadeine forte to Oxycontin 10 mg twice a day and with 5 mg endone for severe breakthrough pain.
    oh yay, what a fun time we be having.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
  • Your loss of bladder control is considered a medical emergency. Something is not right. I hope to God they figure it out and get it fixed.
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