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Just recieved an L5/S1 artificial disc replacment July23rd.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I want to know if anyone has had this proceedure and what pain was for thim. I have 2 weeks out and my pain field is 5t to 10 on the pain scale. My left leg is in tremendis pain as I type. I am only up since I took my last precosert. How do yo go forward everyday letting somebody help you. Help with standing up yo go to use facilities? What is that all about. Wy does it hurt to stand up? not the 10 inch cut hurting but my leg like a burninh shaft burning you to your hip :<


  • Hi prodiscak and welcome to spine-health.com Well, 2 weeks out is not actually a long time - it is still very early days after such major spine surgery. What you are describing (leg pain or burning sensation) sounds like severe sciatic nerve pain in the leg, which can be very common at this point (2 weeks or so) after L5-S1 surgery. During surgery, your surgeon would have had to mover the L5 and S1 nerve roots around a lot, agitating these to heck, plus with any inflammation around the surgery area this could be causing the nerve pain radiating down you leg. I had similar nerve pain during the first 3 weeks or so after my L5-S1 fusion surgery.

    Talk to your surgeon about this - he should be able to give you medication to help you. Normal analgesic pain killers, even strong opioid ones like percocet, will not help much with nerve pain - you need a specific nerve pain med such as Neurontin or Lyrica. has your surgeon prescribed one of these for you? If not, talk to him about this.

    Good luck and hang in there - it does get better!

    All the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • My story sounds very similar to most everyone I have read here so, I will make my story/questions as short as possible.

    Summary of my surgeries:

    Pain began in 2004-numerous Dr's visits(Dentist, Optometrist, Primary care, Naturopath, food allergist etc. finally Neurologist and then recent Orthopedic)
    Pain began with headaches, pain behind my ears, top of head pain and base of head pressure/pain. At first convinced was TMJ so went to dentist, went through splint therapy with little relief that didn't last. Ultimately, after CT scan Neuro surgeon stated bulging disk, degenetrative disk disease had anterior cervical fusion of c6-7 this was in 2006. Following this surgery learned had a leaky dura (sp?) the level 10 headaches were gone! thankfully!! but, still a lot of pain that never went away so, in May of this year/2008 more test done by new Dr/Orthopedic and found needed level 4-6 fused. Ortho took previous larger bracket out and placed smaller with the fused 4-6. Now, almost 4 months after surgery and still back of head (I think it is Occipatal area of head)so where top of neck and base of head meet I continue to have pressure, pinching, numbness that radiates all over my head and I think this is causing pain in my jaw/TMJ joints, behind my eyes, ear pain and all of this leads to waves of dizziness. I have just recently had CT scan and my Dr states every thing is healing nicely but, I have "puddles of inflammation" to help with inflammation I have had one set of steroid injections that helped tremendously! for a day and now everything is creeping back, my Dr has scheduled another injection, from my understanding you can have a max of three injections. The initial injection has helped but, I am still taking something for pain every couple of hours. I apologize this has gotten pretty lengthy but, I am praying that others have similar symptoms and what are you doing for relief and does this sound like it is inflammation and I am just not giving it enough time to heal. My questions are: Do the symptoms I describe sound "normal"
    Typical time frame any one has heard begin to see improvement?
    What meds have helped? (meds where you can still function day to day and non-addictive) took Ultram works great but very addictive! and began making me even more dizzy.
    Thank you to anyone that will take the time to read this and provide feedback. I believe that God has a plan for all of us and will never leave us so, we have to pull together and support each other. I sincerely believe if we all pray (when one or more are joined together I think the Bible states..) we can bring a lot of comfort and healing to each other. We are still alive! so we are winning this battle <:P <br />
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  • You may want to start your own topic for these questions as not many people will see it since you posted under someone elses topic. you may want to post in the surgery section and click on post new topic. i do not have any answers for you but i am sure that you will get lots of responses if you post a new topic under surgery. good luck to you.
  • Hi , I have an artificial disc at L4 and have had two fusions Lumbar and Posterior with cage , rods and screws at L5/S1. I remember that severe burning for days after , even with stron post surgery medication I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It just burns ! Have faith it does get better , slowly ! I did not know they could do an artificial disc at L5/S1 , so clever. That spot in the Lumbar Spine moves so much. My L4 artificial disc is going so well but I have had major problems ay L5/S1. It takes a good twelve weeks I reckon and then things start to settle.We are so lucky just to be alive , how lucky is beyond words. Bionic people ! Hang in there , we learn the word PATIENCE. A hard word for me. Kind Regards to all
  • My wife had L5 disc replacement 3years ago, and she felt the same way, not being able to do anything. I didn't mind helping her. I did keep on her about the reccomended therepy the brace they gave her was akward and at 1st only baby steps (with a cane) but she is much better now. She does have some pain when she pushes her self too far (lifting heavy things) and there is a definate "poping" type sound if she moves just right. Hang in there stick with the post surgery therepy it does get better. :)
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  • But I know the burning you are talking about they put me on Lyrica and it helped so much...it was much better than Neurontin...ask your doctor on Monday for it...don't be afraid of having pain meds..I needed them for almost two months out and then I switched to Tramadal...somedays now I have to go back to Norco because of my other pain but I try to stick to Tramadal...hope this helps..any other questions just send me a message...hang in there in about 8 weeks out you will be glad you did it..I was bone to bone and could not even walk before surgery...so I know that pain..I had to use a walker for a few weeks...hugs, brownc61
  • hello im a 45 year old male who six weeks ago had l4 and l5 fused together with a artificial pro disc at l3 my leg pain is better but i have bad pain across low back instead of using bone from my hip my Dr used bmg wit 8 screws and to end plates to keep the cages in place and my Dr choose to do it from the front i was wandering if anyone else has had this type surgery done and if so how much mobility did they loose ans is it normal to have severe low back pain
  • techman57ttechman57 Posts: 1
    edited 05/20/2015 - 8:20 PM
    I am 57 yr male. L5/S1 did not form at birth. All one bone. 1st disc L4/L5. This disc has complete degenerated. L3/L4 has large bulge to the left. L4 sublegated to the right. Have severe pelvic pain and double sciatica. Last yr had Boston Scientific Spectra spinal stimulator system trial implant performed in Dec. 2013. WOW over 90% relieve. So in Feb. 2014 had neurosurgeon perform implant (permanent) . Dr failed to get both leads into epidural space due to his technique. Hired another surgeon 6 months later who was successful and got both 16 point leads in place. However, the system does not stop my pain like the trial did in Dec 2013. Trial was 90%+ successful. Permanent implant is less than 20%. The two leads are positioned at T5 - T9 and causing horrible pain. I now and have always wanted the ADR sys.. Live in Savannah Ga area. Looking for good neurosurgeon. As a retired engineer it does not make since to me if you have bone compressing nerve that trying to jam that pain signal will only result (if it works) in possible future damage that may lead to paralysis. I think I need 2 ARD at L4-L5 and L3 /L4. My question is how successful are these ARD's . As a retired Federal serviceman and also drawing Medicare I have no out of pock cost. The Boston Stem unit charges due to the two separate surges has topped the $300K mark! Thank God I choose to work for Uncle Sam. Anyone have any suggestions? Ard is Artificial Disc Replacement.

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    Spine-health moderator

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