Spinal Fusion of the S1-L5 (6 hour surgery)

Spinal Fusion of the S1-L5 (6 hour surgery)

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BrentAvery
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Joined: 10/14/2011 - 4:10am
Spinal Fusion of the S1-L5 (6 hour surgery)

I had my spinal fusion on March 23, 2010. During the installation of the cage at the S1-L5 the surgeon caused a contusion on my L5 nerve root on the interior edge. The moment I woke up from the spinal fusion my foot was partially numb along with my quad in my leg. I have had severe sciatica pain running from my L5 disc down my bum and down my right leg to the large toe. It is crippling and I can only walk, sit or stand for 30 minutes before the L5 nerve becomes inflammed and I have to lie down in bed to take the weight of my upper body off me to help with a bit of the pain. I take one 20 mg oxycodone and one percocet every 4 hours and two 7.5 mg Zopiclone sleeping pills since the surgery. My leg constantly feels like I am being electrocuted. I am wondering since the surgeon caused a contusion on my L5 Nerve root, if it will ever heal or will I have this crippling pain that makes me lie in bed 80 percent of the day? I have tried exercising but it just irritates my L5 nerve root and makes the pain so bad. As the day progresses, the pain increases and my sleeping, and eating is very limited. My surgeon ended his care with me as he said that no further surgery is needed and yet I am now worse than prior the spinal fusion. I can't work and I have been cut off of WCB because they had a crooked surgeon report I am fit to work and I am financially busted. Anyone have any answers for me as it has been almost 2 years since my surgery and yet I suffer every minute of every day. Do you think that nerve root that the surgeon damaged will ever heal? I have a 9 out of 10 in pain constantly and the opiods only bring it down to a 5 or 6. If I don't take my meds it feels like someone took a baseball bat and hit me across the lower back. Any suggestions would be great!

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charry
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Hi Brent and Welcome

I would get a Lawyer concerning your WCB being cut off and find another Surgeon and pain management Dr. to help you. Maybe using a walker or cane would help you walk more? Have you tried aquatherapy with a Physiotherapist since it's hard to exercise?

It's really important to keep your nutrition up and take supplements if you're not eating well. I hope you can see another Surgeon or get more tests to find out what's going on. Take care. Charry

DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

glo.d
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post L4/l5, L5/S1 spinal fusion, decompression, instrumentation

Hope you are doing better. Looking for information from anyone who has had problems such as ours with nerve damage following lumbar fusion surgery.

I Had my surgery in august 2011 and am about 2 months post-op. The sugery was to be for only 1 cage at L5/S1 but there were complications and a second cage was installed at the junction above. I now have severe sciatica, burning, tingling and numbness of my right buttocks, leg and foot. I had spondylolisthesis and pars defect so the sciatica and pain were there pre-op, however they are worse now and I have loss of mobility of my right foot(can't flex or move my toes), as well as numbness of ankle and foot. I can only sit for 10 or 15 minutes w/o severe discomfort and standing for any length of time is also a problem. I also have very severe sensitivity to cold in my right lower leg(weird). My doctor says I had nerve damage at L5/S1 as nerve root was completely compressed when they went in. With the additional complications during surgery(not clear about what happened but much blood loss and lengthy surgery and time in post op),the damage is worse. I am wondering what people are taking as far as medications. They keep increasing my dosage of gabapentin and dropping of my pain pills. 2 weeks ago I went off of oxycodone and am on hydrocodone(Dr wants me on 6 pills per day but it does not stop the pain), I am on 7-30mg gabapentin a day and it is making me tired and sick to my stomach. Any suggestions. I am tired of the constant pain and inactivity that comes with the territory.

saultup
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nerve damage

Brent
Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. My first surgery was just to reduce some pressure on the nerve, no fusion, and I ended up with much damage to the nerves to my right leg. No problem with this before surgery but wow, what a surprise afterwards. The surgery was 9-2009 and I was told it would take a long time to recover. I'm still working on it. My suggestions: 1. see another doctor for an evaluation. Don't just get any doc but find one that has lots of experience and a good reputation. I ended up traveling 400 miles because I live in a small town. 2. Get in the water, warm water. It is amazing how well one can move when the water supports your body. I found a pool at a nearby apartment complex. 3. Use a cane. I do and it really helps support my body so I can walk more upright. 4. Find a pain managment doc. I do have a fair amount of pain and I haven't yet figurered out what really works for me in the way of meds so I am no help there. It is hard to accept the fact that there is permanent damage that happened during the surgery. What a bummer. I keep telling myself that surgery is not perfect. There are still a lot of things I need to learn. I hope you can begin to piece things together and make progress.

glo.d
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nerve pain

I noticed when showering that the warm water help with the pain. Should look into joining the Y or something. No decrease in pain and I am 3 months post surgery. I am able to walk around for awhile as long as I don't stand in one place.but can't sit down for more than a short time which really stinks. Doesn't make me very socialble these days. Meds are difficult nowdays due to FDA and DEA crackdowns. I am a medical assistant and I know how closely the primary care doctors are getting monitored. Great for abusers but ridiculis for those who are actually suffering with legitimate pain issures. I will do as you suggest and check into a pain management Dr. Can feel depression starting to creep in as I thought by now I would be much more functional. Hope you find relief and some peace from the pain. Thanks for responding. It helps to hear from others in similar situations.
Glo.D

nanaclark
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Joined: 08/05/2011 - 4:32pm
Post L1, and L2

I feel fortunate that I am almost pain free. 2009 I had a spinal fusion of the L3,L4,L5 and S1. I to had numbness,burning and the right leg was very weak. Aug 2011 I had L1 and L2 fusion done. Stenosis and Scolisois has been my problem. I don't know much about either one, but was wondering if anyone knew if this would work itself up my spine or am I just a worrier. Thank you

gwamma3
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Joined: 04/15/2012 - 8:27pm
my spinal fusion disappointments

Brent, our post op issues are vey similar. I had L3-L4, L4-L5, done in November 2011. I thought he was going to do 3 way fusion but did not. Somehow I 'fell'out of bed during stay in hospital, nurses told my daughter they found me on floor. From hospital (btw I dont remember anything inhospital)went to rehab. Had much pain during rehab and when I came home still severe sciatica. It continues to get worse. And I, like you, must stay on bed most of time as pressure on the lowest disc, that was not fusied, is causing all the pain, or so they say. It is hell. Today wanted to go to get in the pool at the spa, it is soothing but does not rid us of pain, relaxes entire body. It takes a while to loosen up and then very difficult showering and stuff then to car, have to lay across front seat to ease the pain of walking out of the spa (must use walker) before driving home. Pain all the time, and now, tonight, can hardly walk and when I get into bed severe pain down back of legs. Going to pain clinic as doctor there said he can ease pain so that I can "wrap my head around' the fact that I need another surgery. On my last visit to surgeon he said he needs to do another surgery and include that disc. I have been very despondent because of all this hell seems we are both in. I really hope you find the answer for yourself,, and I hope I do for myself also. Before I had my surgery so many people told me not to have it, that there were always complications. Now I wonder if they were right. I am worse off than I was before. Good luck!

gwamma3
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Joined: 04/15/2012 - 8:27pm
Brent, Also wanted to

Brent, Also wanted to suggest to you that you get a good attorney. If you have good relationship with your doctor he might know of good one. I seem to remember that BWC always reject you on first filing. Do you go to a chiropractor? If not, might be good idea. I have one and he knows what I am dealing with and he and my medical doctor back me up 100%. Also, after being off work for a year you can file for social security disability. When you file for that list every injury and/or diagnosis you have as they determine that regarding how many problems you have and the severity of each. Good luck again.I know it is impossible to think during these times. I can only think when I am laying in bed using all my pillows to get comfy. But I hate to try to get up. As you know it hurts like h---.