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reoccurance of leg pain post fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hey, i was doing so well after my L5/S1 fusion on 18 june this year, i was off all meds by week 2 and feeling great apart from residual back pain which is to be expected, but now.... i am having more pain in my lower back than befroe surgery and my leg pain is reoccuring, but not just in the leg it was before, it is also in the other leg as well now!!!, no pins and needles yet though, but i am so frustrated, i am in pain if i sit/stand/lie down and then try to change position, but the last time i went to my surgeon he told me he does not do more than one level fusion as it always affects the levels above, but we already know the 2 levels above are already on the way out, so i am basically in limbo, i am back at work tomorrow 17.5 hrs this week, but i am so sick and tired of not being able to do the simplest of things like sweeping the floor without having to sit down for 30 mins after because of pain!!!! sorry for the rant, but i really thought i was going to recieve better quality of life after the op, seems i was wrong..... claire x x


  • i had my laminectomy/fusion level 2 l4-s1 on july2408 so im just a little over 3 weeks post-op. im still having leg pain though not the same as before surgery. however the hip pain im havinng is unbearable at times. is this normal? sometimes i cant even put a leg forward to walk because of my hips. and trying to sleep seems to be getting harder. there seems to be no comfortable position. what should i do?
  • hi, i get a lot of hip pain as well, apparently this can last for anything from 6 months to 2 years!!! Have you tried heat or ice packs?? as for sleeping, i find it to be most comfortable lying almost flat on my stomach, with one knee pulled to my chin, the only problem with this position is then getting out of bed!!! but i would rather struggle getting out of bed having had some sleep, than not be able to get any sleep because i could not get comfy, it for me is the lesser of 2 evils!! x x claire x x
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  • Claire and Christy,

    From my own experience with a fusion surgery and hardware removal, the pain you both are experiencing is very typical. As you start to feel better, you get a little more active. You start to turn and bend a little more. The problem is that your back is rigid at one level and something has to give. It sounds like you both might be experiencing some issues with your SI Joints which can cause pain in your hips and down the back of your legs. The SI Joints are going to be stressed more cause you are fused and this joint is not does not like the increased range of motion that your body is trying to make it do. Another thing that can be happening is that around the 6-8 week period, bone ossification is in overdrive right now actually doing what your surgery is meant to do. This process can bring a lot of inflammation to the area and believe me on this, can be quite painful and uncomfortable. If its inflammation, very little can be done about this and you just have to ride it out, sorry no anti-inflammatories allowed.

    If you are doing PT already, discuss the SI Joint problem with your Physical Therapist to see if this is the problem and if there is anything they can do for you. SI Joint problems for me are felt at the belt line to the left and right of the center of your back.

    Take your pain meds while you navigate this period, it will get better.


    P.S. Claire, if I were you, I would try to find another comfortable way to sleep. The stomach is the worst position you can lie on. It's really going to stress your lower back. Try putting pillows between your legs and lying on your side.
  • I am 14 weeks L3-S1 and understand exactly what you are both going through.
    I found that I felt better then all of a sudden started to feel worse again and had to go back onto pain meds. Now after several weeks it is improving again.
    The DOc said it was all part of the fusion process and not to be worried about it.
    Claire - Do you really think you should be sweeping so early? Sweeping twists you back a bit even if you are careful. Ask someone else to do it or just leave it.(I have a courtyard FULL of leaves but I figure they aren't going anywhere.)

    If you can have some PT then all the better.

    Claire, I cant believe that your Dr would only do 1 level if the others weren't stable. That is why I had 3 levels as the other 2 were not strong enough to support the fusion unless all were done.

    Dave- I sleep the same way as Clair does and the o/s and physio said it is fine. As long as the upper leg is bent, it releases the pressure on the lumbar area. Now sleeping only on the tummy is different.

    Claire, have a look for the thread that is called Thank God for Satin Sheets. It will help you get out of bed.

    Oh and Heat pads are heaven if your back is sore.
    Blessings Sara
  • Thankyou so much for replying, i will try not to panic about the reoccurance, i have read up on here and other site's and it seems i am not alone and it is part of the healing process, Angel- i have to sweep as the muck my cat and kids bring in drives me mad and am too impatient to wait for hubby to come home and do it, and i have been back at work 2 days as well now so need to start doing more, slowly though!! also re the sleeping i have been told i can lay like i do as long as i have one leg bent, and i WILL be buying some satin sheets this week!!!!, cheers x x claire x x
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  • Can i get some advice please?? my doc did not prescribe any kind of support for my back post L5/S1 fusion surgery ( 18 june 2008), and now i have gone back to work i feel i need some kind of support for my lower back, just wondering if anyone has any advice as to which type to get, long, short, thick ,thin, with or without vertical bone/metal support strips, magnetic????? i have a heat pad which i use at night, but can only use for an hour as i get far too hot, and end up wet through!!! any help most appreciated xx claire xx
  • Hi Claire, if your Surgeon didn't order a brace then he probably didn't want you to have one.
    I know a lot here seen to heave then but there are also a lot of Drs that dont recommend them .
    Mine said no and here is why. He said witht eh brace our muscles get lazy and we dont learn to use the much needed core stability muscles. Without one, you have to be using your core muscles all the time and from the word go, so ultimately they will be stonger.
    I know even standing now I am aware of holding mine in and I really stand very differently to what I used to.

    If you really want one, then give him a call and ask him to recommend one, rather then buying one that may not be right for you.

    Blessings Sara
  • everything you said makes total sense. i guess im like other first timers that are afraid something is wrong with each new and aching pain. of course my biggest fear is the fusion not working and having to repeat this hard time again. i think i will call my doc tomorrow and see if he will prescribe something different for pain as the percocets arent working well which makes me kinda grumpy.(ok, a lot grumpy!) but im not taking any muscle relaxers at night only tylenol pm which seems to help some. is ibuprofen a no no dave, or is it ok to take? thanks again to you dave and all of you who write in with your stories and advice. you help more than you know!
  • i forgot to mention in my last blog that im not doing pt yet and wont start until november! so for now, all i can do is walk and stare at a house destroyed by 3 kids every morning before school. which drives me insane because i use to normally clean house everyday (maybe a little ocd!lol). so doing nothing is driving me as crazy as the pain.
  • Did you have BMP in your fusion surgery?
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