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Lumbar Screw Removal After Fusion
Looking for recovery information after screw removal. First a little background!
Had L2-L3 fusion in January 2005 and L4-L5/L5-S1 surgery in September 2007. Have been suffering from debilitating nerve pain most of the time (started in 2003!). Have had 22 assorted epidurals/SI injections in the last 5 years, 2 discograms, radiofrequency, and many trigger injections to help with the pain. Formerly on Fentanyl patches but refuse now due to loss of memory and problems with holes in patches, etc. Frankly they scare me - would rather use Vicodin! Horrible nerve pain that no medicine can control!
Epidurals give some relief for 3-4 weeks, but they only will do one leg at a time.
Have had to walk with a cane for months (therefore the grannyat43 reference!!) - cannot move 4 toes on my right foot and feels like my leg is broken. Numb but horrid pain - only my fellow nerve pain sufferers can understand!
Had to quit my very good full-time job in February due to the pain. Work a couple part-time jobs, mostly at home, sell on Ebay, and have another home-based skin care business to try to make ends meet (ask me about it - I really am making money at it!). Only good for about 3-4 hours a day even working at home. I do have a very supportive husband to help - calls me granny due to my cane and how slow I am! At the end of my rope - I want my life back!
My 2nd opinion doctor showed me my recent CT scan and we can see the screws extending out from the bone and pressing on the nerve sac at all 3 fusions. He has suggested screw removal, which will require my incision scar being reopened plus a couple more inches to cover L2-L3 (total of 9-10").
He said about 2 days in the hospital. If anyone has had this done, what is estimated recovery time after that? I am the queen of overdoing it - hoping for only a week or so!