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almost 2 years post-op

stockbrokersstockbroker Posts: 464
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Lower Back Pain
On December 19, 2006 I had laminectomy and fusion at L5-S1. This surgery was to repair a spondylolithesis and decompress my L5 nerve which was causing leg pain and weakness, heaviness in my legs. Unfortunately, it was not successful. Either that nerve was too irritated for too long and it never could be okay OR the nerve did heal and I've developed scar tissue around that same nerve. Prior to the surgery, I never really had back pain. I would feel some tightness in my paraspinal muscles and once I had a major spasm in one of those muscles but my main complaint was pain in my legs. Recently, I've been having pain in my spine right exactly where the surgery took place. I particularly notice it when I've been lying in bed, sleeping a long time. Is a very sharp, almost stinging pain accompanied by tightness in those paraspinal muscles. It is extremely painful and I can barely move and have a hard time getting up. I haven't been doing any P.T.. Does it sound like something is wrong? Once I get up I don't have the pain--its just in bed after a long snooze. The surgeon just kind of dumped me when it was clear I was not going to be one of his success stories. Should I call his office, anyway? Talk to my PM? Or, just get back to my core exercises?


  • Even without the hardware I hurt when lying in bed for any amount of time. I wake up several times a night and have to "walk off" the pain and then go back to bed and try a different position. It takes me about 45 minutes in the morning before I start to feel better. I generally wake up around 4am and take morning meds and then go back to bed so when I get up at 5 or 5:30, I don't hurt so much. I get up and take the dog for a 30 minute walk and then I can start my day.

    On days when I have the chance to sleep in all I want, I just can't. I've gotten used to the routine, so unless my hubby says something or someone asks, I kind of forget that it happens (if that makes any sense).

    Maybe you could bring it up when you talk to your PM. See what he thinks. Bottom line, if it really bothers you bad, let someone know.

  • start off pretty well. I have the least pain at that point in the day. I get up for work at 5:45, hit the road by 6:20 for my 1 hr drive that includes a windy road. Every right turn sends my though the roof as it feels like someone is taking a welding torch to my left low back, just above the tailbone. Needless to say, by the time I get to work I'm a mess.

    I forgot to mention, with my morning cup of coffee, I down 2 tramadol. When I get to work I down 2 more.
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  • Your history and symptoms sound almost exactly like mine - except I did not have fusion, just laminectomy/discectomy L4/L5 last May. I also did it because of leg pain but now have even worse leg pain (both legs), numbness, and a new, terrible pain in back, along with a severe tight feeling across the entire low back and sharp pain in low right with change of positions.

    My surgeon also "dumped" me, just never returned any of my calls or even letter asking for help. So I've gone to a new NS and am having my 3rd MRI since all this started, plus a CT scan, hopefully next week, to see what's going on.

    If I find anything I'll let you know. Rosa
  • My dude sent me a nasty letter. I guess it just would have taken too much courage to say, "apparently, that nerve is just not going to heal. Sorry for the bad result. Here's the name of a PM doc. I wish you the very best." What a jerk. Medicine is the only business where customers are treated so shabbily. What ever will it take to change this?
  • And what I love is - they are almost 100% guaranteed payment by either the patient or insurance or both (one of the only professions that doesn't have tons of deadbeat $$ that will never get collected), you have to pay your "copay" before anyone even speaks to you, and they protect each other to the death. Malpractice is almost impossible to prove. I went out of my way to tell the surgeon that operated on me "I don't hold you responsible for any problem - I know not all spine surgeries work - I just want to find out what happened and if there is anything that can be done for the pain." And that was that. Never heard from him again.

    I'm thinking I'll end up with a morphine pump at the end of all this. I suppose it could be worse...
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  • I felt really hurt by this treatment too. As I recall, during the "courting phase", he promised me the sun and the moon and the stars. I naively felt that he actually "cared" about me. Now I feel a bit foolish. I was never more than a paycheck. Had the doctor talked to me, I wouldn't have behaved badly. Like you said, I didn't think he did anything wrong (surgerically). I would never go back to him and I would never recommend him. Susan. p.s. I'm pursuing a spinal cord stimulator. You can read about that under the pain management section.
  • i he had the same thing but 1 year after the op {i have had 2 operations}i have had a laminectomy L4/L5 and a bilateral S1 discectomy.i now have more pain than ever before scare tissue .and my surgeon had dumped me too.the pain clinics are cxxxp .the only good one is my own GP .he knows me and he is dealing with my pain ..as best as he can .i am on 320 mg of oxycodone and i use an acticare .i can't sleep for more than 3 hours ..then pain wakes me.
    my advice to you would be NOT to have any more operations if you don't have to .after my first surgery i was in pain but i could do a lot more than i can now {which is very little}
    proceed with caution these surgeons are not god!!
    good luck STRAKER
  • Perhaps you need an xray or MRI. If the surgeon won't see you go to your pm Dr. for some help ordering the tests and maybe treatment. I hope you feel better. 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
  • Can I ask how long after your back/leg problems started did you have surgery? As I read somewhere that the sooner you have surgery after the injury the higher the chances of success.

    Kind regards to all and stay strong

  • I must have accidentally hit the "flag as offensive" button because something popped up about that - I then tried to back up and lost whatever the page was that said the moderators would review it. I did not mean to flag anything here as offensive but don't know how to fix it. So sorry!
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