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ongoing pain after fusion

devildogreissddevildogreiss Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Lower Back Pain
Fell 45 ft in 2006, had an xray and was told i was fine. 3yrs later i get an MRI, and am told i have degenerative disc disease of the l3-l4, l4-l5, and t11-t12, with difuse bulging from s1 to t12. discogram confirmed that all 3 disc were causing significant pain, with the l3-l4 being the worst. no relief of pain from neurontin, lyrica, tramadol, percocet, vicodin, valium, ESI's increased pain and developed radiating pain through left buttock and down left leg. Was supposed to have prodisc-l artificial disc replacement of l3-l4 in dec 2009, however due to doctor decision while in surgery they did and off-center fusion using synfix device. Since my surgery i have had multiple falls due to complete numbness in left leg, and have had another surgery to remove a stomach tumor (benign). have started pysical therapy and graston treatments. Pain before surgery was and 8 of 10, and since even with 2 vicodin and a valium every 4 hours is still a 7 of 10. falls are regular due to left leg issues. I am wondering if this is normal and if i should ask my doctors about any other testing, they will not do any testing to determine nerve damage, as they feel that my leg issues are normal. I am in the military, so i am asking if anyone has these same issues or am i getting the run around. also why wouldnt they fix all levels.


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,745
    If the MRI and discogram showed that you needed a multi level fusion. I don't see why that wasn't done. There could be a lot of reasons for the falling with the leg numbness, including one of the levels that weren't fused. It sounds suspect to me and I would want another opinion. And an explanation why the other levels weren't addressed when the MRI and discogram indicated the necessity. Good luck, and welcome to S-H.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • The military will not accept that type of an outcome as "normal". I recommend that you contact the neurosurgeon who operated on you and ask for an evaluation. Or contact your PCM and request a referral to a different surgeon or even a neurologist at this point.

    Are you stateside or overseas at the moment? Was your neurosurgeon military or civilian TriCare provider?

    The US military has some of the most top notch surgeons and neurologists. Feel free to send me a Private Message if you would like some assistance navigating through the military medical system as it relates to neurosurgical and neurology for active duty and retirees.


    Have you done some time on "The Rock"? I lived there for 15 years.

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  • I also had a ALIF-PLIF fusion this past Oct, and it hasnt helped at all. Sometimes I think the pain is worse than before surgery. I also have hip, and leg pain. I am awaiting a CT scan to go to the pain clinic, and am hoping they will offer something. Ive tried discussing this with the surgeon, and he's being a jerk about it. I am so fed up with this. They've got me on Lortab, 5 but its not helping. Ive applied for disability, thats all I can do at this point. Somedays, I dont want to get out of bed.
  • devildogreiss,
    It is never easy when the reasonable expectation we had prior to surgery creates more pain and it is always difficult to determine what the residual pain will be after any surgery. Perhaps your disks were unsuitable for doing all those, which would then place addition pressure of the extremity of each enclosed section; my own fusion used a hartshill rectangle. One might have expected some explanation of what your fusion would entail and the reason for not doing what you thought would have been explained at the appropriate time, I too still have that numbness you mention and loss of sensation in my toes so you have my sympathy.

    Take care and good luck.

  • before surgery ? my surgeon want to do one on me before he operates i was just curious to see if you had your disc checked prior to surgery
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