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AWFUL pain almost 2 years after back surgery!!!!

onlyonelucyonlyonelucy Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Chronic Pain

I had a microdiscectomy (sp?) last year on my lower back as well as a neck fusion with the steel plate and screws. JUST this past week I have been in the MOST horrible pain I have ever had. The pain is in my right butt cheek, down the back of the leg, the calf and into the foot. I can even feel it in the knee. It is soooooooo bad that 1500 mg of VICODIN doesn't even touch it. I can barely even stand on the leg. I have laid on the heating pad, legs propped up, used biofreeze, vicodin, percocet and icy-hot patches. I am guessing this is another disc problem? I HAVE NEVER HAD PAIN LIKE THIS !!!!!!!!!! Going to the doctor tomorrow. I don't want another back surgery. Any suggestions? It is so bad that I am ready to amputate my leg. :''(


  • I am sorry to hear that you are having this much pain my friend. When my first disc problems started, the pain in my legs was so very acute that I could not sit, stand, or lay flat on my back or stomach, even with pillows under my legs. I would suggest trying to lay on your side with a pillow between your knees.

    One Love,

  • sometimes the stress of a fusion on a disc will cause another disc to become unstable. this happened to me when i had a fusion on L4-5. the L3 a couple of years became unstable and i had to have a fusion on that disc. get another mri and check out disc. the pain was worse with the L3 than the other L4-5. i had to stop car on freeway and get out of car pain was so bad. could not sleep or walk. so have as many test as you can to check everything out

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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  • When the clock would go off to go to work I would lay in bed and cry I rolled down on the floor and crawled up the furniture, i had never done any thing but hard work and at times I would go to the bathroom and cry while at work, the pain in my leg foot was so bad I would have taken my life it was that bad the first surgery helped enough that it was livable later the pain returned. Another surgery a fusion the pain is still about a 7 with no relife accept strong narcotics and that is where I am at and willing to get another surgery now I dont know what else to do, they have topped off my meds at 2 30mg ms contins and 3 10mg oxycodones a day with little help,
    LIFE HAS CHANGED AT LEAST I AM 52sorry about typing not very good at it
  • if its as bad as you say you may require more surgery .meanwhile go and see your doctor and and get some diagnostics done and see about some stronger pain killers as i keep saying on here no one should be in so much pain that they are distress just doing basic things like resting and moving around the home .good luck
  • I'm 2 years status post L3-S1 laminectomy with fusion. I;ve never been without some pain. I started having the leg cramps after about 1 year. Always the right leg. Then the pain started. It shoots down my butt and hip and down my right leg stopping me in my tracks. I had thought that having all these screws and plates would alleviate my pain. Now, I've just had another MRI with and without contrast. I don't know what they mean when they talk about the changes at the fused sites .. like bulging and such. Anyway, the MRI shows my L2-3 is wasted! I see my doc in a couple of days. Hopefully now he will refill my pain meds ( vicodin 2-4 a day at most). I also have some problems up in the thoracic region but it's L-23 that's the really bad area. So, I guess I will have that one fused. I don;t know what else to do. What as patients are we to do. Do we eventually wind up fusing the entire spine only to have pain still. I know he will want to remove the hardware and I'm not going for that. The surgery was the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life and would never wish to relive that pain again. I think someone could pull out my fingernails and that would probably be near the pain I felt post op. Doctors / Surgeons like to do surgery but if I'm in the same boat after having this L2-3 fusion, I'm really going to be very angry.

    I hope you do well and that you get relief from your pain. I'd love to have a day where I wake up and I can clean the house and cook dinner etc without having to take multiple breaks to sit down and rest my back.
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    What level was the microdiscectomy? Is this pain different from what you experienced before. It does sound like it could be the sciatic nerve that is involved, but your doctor will be able to tell more after an exam and possible MRI/CT. Sometimes after a microdiscectomy, as the spine "settles", change occur and you could have that level, or a new level, impinging on nerves.

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi, Thanks for your comment. I had L4-S1 fused with screws and rods and bone. Now, I'm not too sure but I think the screws messed up L2-3 as now I have a herniated disc,.Options: disc removal and implant of some sort of device that allows the spine to still move and also he wants to remove the hardware. I really don't know what to do. I;m hoping to get some advice on hardware removal and such.-
  • It sounds like your MicroD did not work, so is back to square one for you, and I am very sorry! Make sure to call your surgeon and let him know what's going on and see what kind of solution he will have for you. Most likely is going to be more surgery, and I know that no one likes that, but you never know... I hope that your pain will get better soon and that your surgeon will give you some good solutions. Take care,
  • tinkz44ttinkz44 Posts: 86
    edited 07/17/2015 - 10:40 AM
    Here is my thoughts & comments for what they're worth!

    Hi! I had a cage put in my cervical (C5/6/7) in March 2010 & then I had a discectomy (level L-3/4) in Feb 2013 & finally a fusion in the same area (L-3/4) in Jan 2014 as I blew out my discectomy by doing too much. I
    I have pain most days. I've also had an ACL reconstruction (Feb 2012 -which started all this crap) from some asshole Dr that cut my nerve & never cleaned the miniscus of my knee.... So I have knee & shin/foot nerve & throbbing pain often as well.
    I've started to get the 'nerve thing' down my left leg & it's my right knee that's buggered!! So that's adorable when I walk!!
    My surgeon wants me to have another MRI to find out what's going on. He says my neck is ok after a contrast MRI but I am so uncomfortable with my shoulder area & down my arm. (Tingles & things)
    I've been going to a place in Vancouver BC called 'Change Pain,' & they are doing injections of dextrose & analgesic over 3 treatments in 3 different areas' & that helps for about 5-7 days usually. (It's on a trial basis so I guess I'm a guinea pig right nowh I'm not saying I don't have pain just not as bad as usual after those treatments.
    My GP is now lowering my hydro morphone & it's killing me but I also use lyrica, cymbalta & tramadol.... Disipermine for breakthrough & now some psychiatrist has put me on Wellbutrone cuz of my depression!!! Cuz of course pain & depression are beasties.... Ok so there's the history.

    Now I can speak on your pain.

    I think it takes more time for some to recover from surgery. I had 3 surgeries in 3 years & im just waking up. I would definitely go see the surgeon.
    Your GP doesn't know as much as the guy that cut you up.
    Maybe a bit of Physio or walking in water to strengthen that area will help.
    For sure do the MRI as it might be the hardware.
    When you're resting put legs up with at least 2-3 pillows unless you have the triangle foam box. (Go get one if you can...should be about $50)
    .......AND ICE , ICE, ICE!!! NO HEAT!! EVER FROM NOW ON!! I know it's cold but ice is your best friend when things hurt!! Did I say ICE?? Make sure to ICE. Only 10-15 mins at a time tho!!

    Try things like A535 or similar. I know these type of topical analgesic ointments help me.
    I also found a pain support group - I know it might sound hoaky but your support at home or friends that you talk to just don't get it.
    Unless you've had this kind of lingering pain (chronic pain) they... Being most people in your circle JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND!! They can be empathetic or sympathetic (which you don't want them to be sympathetic) but they JUST DON'T GET IT!!
    And to be perfectly honest it can tire them out too - then resentment can creep in.... My husband has been amazing! But he goes to the bar 2-3-4 times a week... Cooks dinner, gives me coffee in bed most mornings & really puts in effort... Bless him!
    Good luck & please keep us posted!!

    ** whoever said their thoratcic area hurts after their low back surgery?? I feel that too!! So wouldn't that just be great to have to have surgery there too? Then I'd hit all 3 frickin' areas!! I work with kids with special needs & I've been off work for 3.5 years & I miss my kids!!! Whaaaaaa!! Sniff! Sniff!!
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