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23 years old, Just had a disc replacement, HELP, testicular pain etc

RomeSCRRomeSC Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone, this is my first post.

On Wednesday June 23rd I underwent an anterior total disc replacement at L4-L5 using ProDisc-L.

I injured this disc over 1 year ago and have not been able to fully enjoy life ever since. As an active 22 year old, athletic and engaged to be married male, I was heartbroken by this injury.

I tried Chiro for over 6 months, spine injections, pain management... nothing helped.

I found a clinical trial for XL-TDR in my hometown of Buffalo, NY and signed up. They declared me a candidate, but said it is possible my high hip bones might prevent lateral entry to the spine.

My insurance company (after a long battle) approved me for an anterior disc replacement using pro-disc as a backup plan if they couldn't get in from the side.

Of course... they couldn't get in from the side, and I woke up on Wednesday morning with a big incision in my abdomen.

So here is why I'm posting...

I was told by the surgeon team (A neurosurgeon and a spine-specific orthopedeic surgeon) that I should be able to get it from the side, but if not I should still be able to heal before my wedding on July 24th, 2010.

It is now June 27th, and I am only 4 days out from my surgery. Obviously I have some pretty bad back pain upon movement of any type, and I have incision pain also like normal.

This is what I'm worried about, please keep reading :(

I have very painful left testicular pain. The two days I was in the hospital I had large swelling in the left side of my scrotum, but I did not notice any pain (IV narcotics might have helped with that). A few hours before my discharge on friday,I started to feel pain in the left testis. I was told its from the swelling, which is normalish, and discharged.

It is still hurting, and hurting a little bit worse than at discharge, tonight on Sunday. I have previosuly had testicular torsion surgery 5 years ago and this pain is reminiscent but milder.

I spoke with an on-call urologist today who told me I can wait it out and see or go to an ER for an ultrasound to see whats up. He also said if the testis torsion surgery was correctly performed, its not possible that fluid swelling screwed up the old surgery.

Getting to and Sitting in an ER 4 days after spine surgery doesn't sound like a good idea.

QUESTION FINALLY: Has anyone who has has an ADR has testicular pain (i.e., hurts to the touch, tender when moving) and/or had fluid swelling in the left side of the scrotum?

PLEASE respond with your story, I am kind of desperate. I expected back and incision pain, but never expected testis pain again after the last testis surgery.

I have 4 weeks til my wedding, and my bride and I have saved ourselves for each other. I am terrified.



  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    There are spinal nerves that can affect the genitalia so it's possible a nerve that was irritated by the surgery. However, get it checked out for other causes ASAP. Some hospital ER's here have a system where you can go online and check their wait time. Also, you could call the doctor and ask him/her to call the ER and have you at least be able to lay on a gurney while awaiting your turn due to recent spine surgery.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • yes i have the same left sided pain from my spinal fusion at l-4-5,they told me since 1993 there is nothing they can do about it,so i live with it.
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I should have added that if this is nerve related there are some medications that can help while the nerve heals (nerves can take a long time to heal). I am on gabapentin (generic for Neurontin). And sometimes post-surgically they can do an epidural steroid injection to the nerve that is irritated. I had this done after my neck surgery to calm down a nerve that was not doing well, and it worked well.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 

  • pain in my testicles!! I am a woman! Lol!
    (Sorry, couldn't resist saying that! :D)

    Welcome to Spine Health Rome. :H

    I agree with SpineAZ that you should definately get it checked out straight away.
    Particularly in view of the short time until your wedding. You want to get onto this, and try to get it fixed or at least the pain controlled, as soon as possible.

    I had to spend a long day at hospital having tests, a few weeks after my lumbar fusion surgery.
    The staff were very helpful and each place I went, they found me a bed to lie on if I needed one.
    There should be plenty available in a hospital! :-)

    I really hope that things improve very soon.

    I wish you and your bride a wonderful wedding and a long and happy life together. :D

    Do let us know what happens.
  • Sorry to hear of your problem I am a women also so I haven't had that experience. I just wanted to say you could probably get through the ER line sooner if you tell them you just has spinal surgery. It could be nerves or maybe an irritation. My husband had a hernia surgery and the betadine they used didn't get completely washed off and it burnt his skin. It caused swelling,pain and irritation. I don't know where exactly on your abdomen you had sugery but some of the sanitizers could have gotten on your "man parts". I hope things work out before your wedding hang in there!!!
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  • Someone should hit your doctor over the head for telling you that you would be OK for wedding festivities and a wedding night 1 month after that type of surgery. Holy Smokes!!!

    I've not had your exact type of surgey but have had a 360 fusion done in Jan. I did not experience the type of pain you are going through. As has been mentioned there are lots of nerves that had to be moved out of the way. Was a vacular surgeon also involved to move the parts out of the way? My vascular surgeon told me prior to the surgery that one of the complications of this type of surgery is reverse ejaculation. He said if that was experienced that it would naturally correct itself.

    I'm curious why you chose to do this via a clinical trial?

    I would get on the phone again with your surgeons office and get them to make some phone calls to be seen by someone that can help. It is BS for them to send you to the ER where no one knows you, especially after just getting out of the hospital. You will probably be looked at, maybe a ultrasound, and more drugs and sent on your way. They will most likely tell you to go see a specialist which is what your surgeon should be sending you to. What makes it better? Are you maybe trying to do to much to early?
    I wouldn't be letting the surgeon off that easily especially since he told you you would be good to go for your wedding.

    Please do post back what happens.

    Good luck Rome.

  • Is your abdominal incision horizontal or vertical?

    I had a 360 fusion (anterior and posterior). My abdominal incision is horizontal beginning just the the right of my navel and across to my left hip bone.

    Going from your hip to your groin is a major nerve called the ilio-inguinal nerve.

    I am female and I have had a lot of problems with that nerve. It sits low and deep. I had a lot of swelling after my surgery, similiar to being 9 months pregnant only shifted to the left.

    At first it was thought I had a surgical hernia and sent to a general surgeon. He is the one who realized it was the nerve.

    My pain management doc was going to do a nerve block, but my spinal surgeon felt the risk for infection is too high.

    I wish you the very best! I also wish you and your bride a life time of happiness! Hang in there and let us know how you are doing!
  • Hey again all, here to update and clarify.

    I did not do the surgery through a clinical trial. I would rather have done it that way, because they go through the side of your body near the hip and the risk for complications is far far less, and with much faster recovery time.

    However, when I was under anesthesia and on the table they concluded they couldn't get in from the side and went with plan B, through the abdomen.

    My incision is a couple inches from my navel down to a couple inches above my penis, vertically of course.

    Having a fusion from the back is VERY different than a replacement from the front it seems. According to a handful of websites, I concluded these average times regarding anterior-entry lumbar disc replacement:

    Time in hospital: 3-5 days
    Time until returning to desk job type work: 3-5 weeks
    Time until resuming leisure activities/manual labor: 3-5 months

    I was in the hospital for 60 hours from pre-op to discharge.

    Today (5 days after surgery):
    - I am able to walk a couple hundred feet before feeling significant back stress
    - I can walk up the flight of stairs to my apartment pretty comfortably if I go slow.
    - I can sit in a comfy chair for about an hour comfortably before lying back down

    I am trying to be as cautious as possible to speed recovery along so I can be better for the wedding day (and night). My biggest concern at this point is the abnormal testicular pain I am experiencing.

    I have contacted a urologist myself (who saw me during my hospital stay and diagnosed acute epididymitis) telling him that after 3 days on his anti-biotics the swelling is still there and so is the pain. He switched anti-biotics tonight and told me that if it isn't feeling better by wednesday morning to call him and schedule an ultrasound.

    My concern is that this exact pain I am feeling is what I felt when I had restricted bloodflow to the testis because it was twisted. I fear the fluid sac that has formed above the testis might be cutting off some blowflow leading to pain. I don't want to wait until wednesday for an ultrasound, but I don't like the thought of going back to the hospital so soon. I should have been more forceful and asked for an ultrasound tomorrow.

    Perhaps I will call now and leave a message for the morning to see if they can get me in.

    Thanks for your comments all. How long did it to take of you to be up and walking after surgery? I feel like I'm doing pretty well, but I have a high tolerance for pain. They gave me hydrocodone for pain, but I try not to take it because I hate pain killers.

    Hoping I'm better for my incredible bride-to-be,
  • P.S.

    Any of you have problems with skin numbness?

    I had little feeling in my skin pretty much anywhere after the surgery, and gave myself a little blood blister by pinching my leg to hard trying to test my numbness (I didn't feel it)

    It is getting slightly better, but I still have a general flat feeling to my skin.


    I also still do not have my voice back to normal. I used to have a pretty deep speaking voice and a decent singing voice, but since waking up from anesthesia my voice keeps cracking like I'm back in puberty and I can't sing at all.

    Does this stuff clear up?
  • Dear Rome, does your groin still bother you years later?  Had laminectomy 6 months ago, and my groin is in a world of discomfort. The Nuerotin doesnt work too well. Why are my testicles killing me everyday since surgery. How much longer is this pain going to last. Anyone please respond that has an idea, thank you
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