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Neuro: "Surgery was a success" Me"Umm hello, I'm still in the same amount of pain" Uggg

ouch2ouch2 Posts: 1,270
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All, I went for my post op appointment with my neuro. He asked me how I am doing, and I explained that I am in the same amount of pain or more than before my surgery 7 weeks ago (2 level discectomy/laminectomy) He said that he went in and freed up the nerve by doing the discectomies and then removing alot of bone. He said that it was successful.

He said that my facet joints are a mess and I also have stenosis, which I knew. He told me to go for physio in a couple of months and then try facet joint injections. Then shook my hand, wished me luck and that was it, case closed.

I have been trying to be optimistic about my recovery, but now I am feeling so down. The neuro feels that he has done all that he can. I also have an orthopedic surgeon who I also see. Do you think that ortho docs are better for facet issues? In eight months (disc was impinged for a year) I went from no facet problems to moderate 8 months later) That MRI was 4 months ago, so who knows, at this rate probably severe.

He also did not think that it was good that I am on long acting narcotics, short acting, and valium. He thinks that I should take advil as narcotics are addictive.I know that I should try an anti inflamitory but advil ??, how does he think I can go from what I am on to that when even with my pain meds I am in alot of pain. My ortho prescribes my meds.

I just don't know what to do at this point. Any ideas on how to deal with facet issues, is there any real fix for that, as I know injections only work sometimes and then not for very long, from what I have read. Also when you have stenosis (that I assumed was "fixed?" with surgery), does that come back? I also have other bulging disks that could get worse.

Any ideas would be welcomed, as right now, I am just being felt like I have been tossed away by my neurosurgeon.

Hope everyone else is doing well

>:D< Karen

>:D< >:-D< : Karen
L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
adr L5-S1 Feb 2012


  • Hi, sorry to hear of the disconnect between you and your surgeon. Similar thing happened to me. So we agreed to meet up at 10 weeks post ops. Technically he needs to cover yo for 3 months post op...or at least that is how my coverage worked.

    I didn't have facet issues or stenosis. I basically told my ortho that this surgery was anything but gratifying (which was the term he kept using when telling me my surgery was a success). I told him that I would be mad at myself if I didn't ask for another MRI to make sure I didn't re herniate. After much back and forth, he agreed. I Re herniated

    Can you contact him to see if he is willing to get a post op MRI?

    I ended up switching doctors once I learned I had more issues.

    Not sure if any of this helps. But I do understand your frustration.
  • ouch2 said:
    he shook my hand, wished me luck and that was it, case closed.

    This happened to me with one surgeon I consulted with. However, I did not let go of his hand and kinda gently pulled him back in to the room.
    Sometimes these guys see tons of patients and we are just another one to get thru.

    Facet joints can be removed and replaced by new ones, but as you can surmise, it's a radical surgery.

    I figure scar tissue and calcium can grow where the bone was removed.

    Don't stop beating down doors until you get what you want. I truly believe there is a right surgeon out there somewhere that has the solution to your particular set of circumstances, just gotta find him.

    Sorry you are in still in pain. Sucks. :<
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • Sorry you are basically being 'disconnected' by your surgeon. Been there, done that...

    As was said on here before, do you have neuro problems causing neuro issues, or (as I have found for me) Ortho problems causing neuro problems?

    You might want to look into seeing an Orthopedic spine specialist given the facet issues? So sorry you are hurting as bad as pre-surgery. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • oh dear sorry to hear that,they really dont care do they,ur just a statistic.im not seeing my neuro until november!that 13 weeks post op.im not prepared to put up with the pain for that long and neither should you be!fight your corner!i spoke to my gp today about my neuro appt and how long and how i felt she said as my physio has been brought forward to this friday(bonus)to speak to her as they are really the best placed to do referrals as they have direct access to the surgeons.she said see if she thinks its just muscular and if she thinks there something else wrong she can and will chase for a repeat mri or quicker referral.if you have been referred for physio chase that!tell them your in agony(im lucky i was having pt b4 the op and been referred same place and as they noticed id been re referred they could give me quicker appt than if i was completlely new and im seeing the same women so thatll help she knew how i was pre op so will see the huge difference)gp told me to take my diazapam 3 times a day which im loathe to do 1 coz theyre addictive and 2 because they make you feel spaced out all the time im bad enough now taking 2xdyihydrocdeine 4 times a day and naproxen 2 a day i have a constant headache!i wish you luck in pushing for answers and gettin urself sorted asap!!!!
  • Karen,

    This is one thing that always concerns me following a surgery, is how the post-op care will be. Your situation is not uncommon, either. If you have a ortho, use him/her to help you. which sounds as though they are. When you tell someone you are still in pain and they just walk away, my opinion says it is for the better. See if your ortho will get a new MRI, and it might be a CT that is needed. Keep in mind a MRI, will detail soft tissue better, while the CT will pick-up more on the bones. It might even be you need a myelogram followed by CT to see what is going on. Be your best advocate. Don't settle for anything less than a "A", when it comes to your health care. Of course it is all in how you speak to them, in getting them to help you.

    Make a plan and stick with it. For example journal your pain so you have the best knowledge of the type and kind of pain you have and location. You need to give the doctors the best information possible. Maybe some good quality PT is all you need, but then maybe not. Ask about doing some Aqua therapy to start, and see if that helps. They can also work on scar tissue that might be forming. If you can't get past the Aqua therapy, to a land program, then it is time to begin looking for the source of the pain, if they don't look sooner. Plan out your meeting with your ortho doctor, and have someone go with you. You might even let that person help you. look in the FAQ section at the articles on talking with a surgeon, so you hit direct questions. You know your body better than anyone and you know if something is wrong or not, and what your able to do and not do. I am not fond of the wait and see approach while things get worse, been there done that and now have lots of permanent nerve damage to match that process.

    So this surgeon told you to have a good life, so I would be done with them. I am not fond of that attitude and your probably better off that happened. While it is depressing, pick yourself up dust yourself off and do what you need to do, to get yourself better. Remember every surgeon is not for every person, and there are more of them out there to help you. There are plenty of other caring doctors, who can help you. Sounds as though your ortho is helping you, so give him/her the best information possible and let them help you the best way they know how.
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  • everyone. I have had almost a day to reflect and to read everyone's helpful comments. I knew before I had this surgery that it would not "cure" me, and the neurosurgeon was very forthcoming in letting me know that it probably would't help my back and the nerve damage in my foot probably wouldn't go away.

    When I had the surgery, I was at the end of my rope, grasping for any sort of relief for my pain. I was hopefully that I would at least get some relief in order to help me cope with what was left over.

    Dnice, you are right about asking for another MRI. Luckily I do still have my wonderful ortho in my corner. He is the first surgeon I saw and recommended fusion, but he does not perform them any longer. He has met with me all along my journey, and is setting me up for another MRI in November. I am very thankful for him.

    Paul, I didn't realize they were doing surgery to replace facet joints yet. Although, it does sound radical, and hope it doesn't come to that, it is something to learn more about. Do fusions not help with facet issues?

    Brenda, thanks for the hug, needed that. Cat I am sorry you too are having so much trouble after surgery.I am going to try physio and like you will have the same one as pre op. Hoping the best for the both us.

    Tamtam, I have never had a CT or myelogram, but maybe that would be something to talk to my ortho about, thank you. I am going to try PT as well as facet injections as he suggested.

    It really hurt to be passed off like he did, as well as his comments about my meds, and how I should only take advil for facet problems. I wish I only needed advil. I feel that if facet pain is usually dealt with with only advil, then I definately must have something else going on. I am going to read more on the site about stenosis, but does it usually come back and get worse?

    Thanks guys, looks like I am back at square one again, starting with PT injections and MRI.

    Hope you all are having a good day.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Any chance you can get that MRI sooner? I know they like to wait 3-months and the do one with/without contrast...but November is a ways off. I'd call to ask him to move it up.

  • I am going to make an appointment with my ortho (who I adore). I just wish that he had been able to do the surgery that he said I needed almost a year ago. Maybe I wouldn't be in the pain that I am in.

    I Just find it hard to believe that the discectomies/laminectomies have not given me any relief whatsoever. Could it be possible that my facet joints are the sole pain generator for me? I assume with the laminectomy, it would have taken care of the stenosis pain.

    Judging by the neuro's response that the facet pain should be controlled by advil, can it actually just be my facets causing the pain that I have that I need to take MS contin,120 mg a day, 4-5 percs and 1-2 valium. I must really have a low pain threshhold, or else something else must be going on. Either that or facet pain is Horrible.

    I am going to see if he can move my MRI up, and try to start physio. I still walk quite slow, with a cane, and have a hard time after about 500 feet.

    Come on sunshine, going to try to get out and do some walking today, hopefully will lift the spirits.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • They can block the facets out and see if it is the issue or not. However, your issues seem to still be that of radicular pain in nature. What about a new EMG study, to see if that is active denervation or not? While EMG studies are not full proof they do help in some cases. Also lami's don't work for everyone and fusions have to be done. Let the ortho do the exam and hopefully he will have a better answer as to what is going on. Ask him which test would see the facets the best.
  • Bullnanny! I'm so sorry to hear you got ditched by your surgeon. It seems like conflicting ideas from him. He tells you it takes 3 months to declare your surgery unsuccessful, you're still in immobilizing pain, and he declares your surgery a success?! And then he sends you out the door with no viable suggestions?! What an audacious man.

    I really hope things work out with the ortho. You should def push to get as many tests done as quickly as you can. There's no reason for you to be in so much pain when there are options out there.

    Best of luck to you, Karen. Keep your spirits up. You've certainly helped me through some of the hard times with your positive words. I can't help but believe that you will find a solution, and soon!

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