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Leg pain beyond control

tmacttmac OklahomaPosts: 3
edited 08/22/2015 - 4:38 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
47 year old male-I had a 360 degree surgery 7 months ago. Cages, hardware ......S-1 through L-4. It has been the most challenging thing I've yet been through yet. Back pain got a little better then seemed to get worse around 3 months PO. CT at 6 month mark revealed loosening screws at S-1/L-5. I am 14 days PO having all hardware removed from backside. Surgeon said both levels were fused. I thought this was supposed to be an easy deal. This has been a painful Post Op. My incision looks different it's hard and sticks out??? I am having leg pain mainly at night when I lay down. It's the worst pain I've ever had and its really hard to explain. It not shooting it's so deep it's a dull numbing tingling squeezing INTENSE feeling. It's got me really nervous I can live with some pain but this is disabilitating pain. I had a little bit of this before my surgery. Any feedback will help me from losing it. I'm no stranger to pain and or injuries. I have had back pain since doctors told me I had spondelothesis at 17 years old. It never stopped me from doing anything I think age, wear and tear finally took its toll. I had tried every option before surgery it was last resort because my pain had gotten out of control I really thought I would come through this.... I just need some feedback .... Am I stuck am I expecting too much too fast I am battling this mental giant now I've always been active and could do most everything now I hurt everyday.

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  • So where are you at now? All hardware removed and leg pain beyond control correct?

    I would go get a new doctor and get an MRI and CT scan done to find the trigger. Get a 2nd opinion at least.
  • tmacttmac OklahomaPosts: 3
    Wow didn't realize it's been so long since I logged on here. The journey continues and unfortunately hasn't been much better. I had another surgery December 18 to redo S1-L5. They harvested bone from my pelvic area. My surgeon said there was loosening at that level. Here it is March and I'm about out of my mind. Pain is pretty much everyday. Some days it's a 10 and some a 4-5. I'm taking Ribaxin and Percocet along with Gabepentin. My surgeon is highly regarded and seems stumped I'm losing hope. Any suggestions???
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 724
    edited 03/28/2016 - 1:46 AM


    I also had to have a redo of my L5-S1 fusion but it was at about 18 months post op from the first fusion surgery due to a broken screw at the L5 level and the weak/incomplete fusion which slipped/broke.  I'm now 14 months post op from the second surgery and the fusion this time looks better but like you it was ROUGH and LONG road to get to this point.  I woke up from the second surgery with ALL of the pre-op sciatica down my right leg and MORE... I was so frustrated... but my doctor said sometimes that is "normal".   It was 4-5 long horrible months before my nerves finally calmed down and I could get off the pain meds... but some days I just wanted to scream.  Beyond the first 4 months it was a FULL 12 months post-op before I was anywhere close to 100% again... and even now there are some lingering nerve issues.  The L5-S1 level is the biggest and hardest lumbar level to fuse due to it's size and the stresses and it doesn't happen in weeks... but rather many many months for some of us.  Also nerve healing is VERY slow and totally unpredictable also sometimes it takes months and months. At this point you are only at 4 months post-op so both your nerves and muscles are still probably trying to sort themselves out from all the trauma. The fact that some days you feel "better" versus others is actually a good sign.  Have you started any kind of PT??  Hopefully you are at least walking every day.  My only suggestion is maybe try some different pain meds... I used time release Oxycodone which worked pretty good on the sciatic but didn't do much for the numbness and tingling.  Today I have a pretty heavy numbness across the bottom of my right foot which seems to be the worst at night when I try to go to sleep.  My doctor says it is permanent nerve damage that I will just have to learn how to live with.   Maybe this doesn't completely answer your questions or concerns... but hopefully it helps a bit.  I hope you start feeling better soon.

    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • tmacttmac OklahomaPosts: 3
    Thanks I needed something positive. I have been unable to do anything the past 2 days the pain is through the roof. The Percocet isn't touching this. I was at my sons baseball tournament this past weekend and did ok and now I'm about to go nuts from the pain. I just don't understand how it can vary from a 3 to a 10 in a day....... 
  • Tmac, I can relate with you. I'm about 7 weeks post op and the sciatica I had before surgery has returned. It's hard to explain and pain meds don't touch it. They have increased my Lyrica and it's masked the pain some but it takes forever to fall asleep. Usually when I wake it's better but this weekend it's not leaving. I don't want to just lay around the rest of my life and it's a struggle on a daily basis. I've always been very active and it's hard to just stop everything at age 53. Hang in there and try to stay positive. I'm fighting with you. Good luck
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
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