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severe back pain 2 years after fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My back problems began when I was 23 years old and pregnant with my first child.Tht was 6 years an 2 surgeries ago.My last surgery being a fusion at L5/S1 almost 3 years ago. Before surgery I could not walk as my legs were completely numb & my pain was totally unbearable.I went to the best NS in the area.Tho it was bout 8 month recovery I have been doing well only having to take ultracet and lyrica for pain. Until recently tht is.My pain is almost as bad as before surgery an my right leg is completely numb.Has anyone experienced problems after doing well for so long? I'm so scared to even get a new MRI....


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348

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    Since you have already been through surgery, you do know what is necessary to diagnose your current problem.
    I would discuss your current with your doctor so you know what is going on.
    When you start to experience problems that are like you had before your surgery, I would want to know what is causing this. No, it is not normal to have problems post surgery ike you have unless there was something you recently did that could cause this.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
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  • Hi Southernbelle,

    Unfortunately, pain and symptoms can sometimes return after all the recovery... It can depend on a lot of different things such as your history and diagnosis, how you ended up having your other surguries, etc... All i can tell you is from my own experience. I had a lumbar fusion (details below in my signature) about 10 years ago. I recovered very well and no major issues until about 1 year ago. At that time the back "went", pain returned and i had right leg pins n needles. I can relate to your anxieties.... when my symptoms returned it was like PTSD!!! I was soooooo afraid that the pain wouldn't go away, that thered be more ops.... My OS who had done my 1st surgery was very hesitant to go down the surgical road again and promised me we'd try everything else 1st. I had another MRI, and then he recommended facet injections (unpleasant!!) but very helpful procedure (for me). The facets worked and my symptoms went away for nearly a year. I had repeat facets 13 months later (Dec 08) with positive results. I was lucky in that the first thing my OS tried worked... sometimes you just have to keep trying.

    Sounds like you know yourself... need to be seeing the docs and getting that new mri...

    Good luck and keep us posted,
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
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  • Hi, I am assuming you are from the south as I am. Would you mind sending me a private message to let me know who your Dr. was in case I have to get a second opinion soon. I too have had problems ever since my fusion.
  • This is very interesting, i too had back surgery for exactly 2 years now. I had a l5/s1 fusion due to degenerative disc disease. before surgery my pain had progressed over 7 years with numerous injections(cortizone,steroids), myelograms (chemicals), mri, decompression, etc. after years of depression and anxiety (still). I found a great doctor that did a discogram (painful) and identified where i needed to have surgery. i had surgery and after recovery i was fine for about a year or so. just recently over the past few months i have started have pain again lots, especially after standing for long periods, certain exercise moves, laying down...i get pain in my legs and my back feels so bad like it will break into two. i have been so afraid to go the doctor (i haven't been in a year) because I don't want to hear that it did not fuse right, or anything. my mom is pressing me to go, but having back surgery was worst than having a baby. i am full of fear and anxiety daily. i live with anxiety (one it's inherited and two living in pain for so long) and it is very hard to see a bright future. i understand you situation, did you go to the doctor yet?

    i am 35 years, dealing with back pain for years, disc degenerative disease, over 7 cortizone injections, physical therapy, etc....

  • I had my L5/S1 fusion 2 weeks ago. Although the first week was difficult, I felt much better in week 2 - My doctor did a minimally invasive procedure and I wouldn't wish an open fusion on anyone - just can't even imagine how painful that would have been! Anyway, I knew going into this that down the road (not sure how many years I have) there is a good chance that another disc will go or that the OA in the other facet joints will continue to or begin to cause pain again. I also broke my L1 vertebrae, so there is a good chance that might degenerate over time. So - if your fusion helped your pain for a period of time, it is probably a new issue or different disc that is causing the problem. I would get another MRI and find a Minimally Invasive Surgeon to look at it. I hope I never have to go through this again but won't be scared if I have to as I knew that a fusion puts extra pressure on the other discs. Good luck and let us know what you find out.
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