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Newbie w/ Lumbar issues - looking at 5th back surgery since 2/2011

Football_MomFFootball_Mom Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in New Member Introductions
This may be wrong area - I did read rules - I'm trying to follow them...

History: back pain started 11/2010. Multi MRI's, CT's, discogram, myelogram, facet blocks, EMG's, ESI, ect - Diagnosed originally DDD w/ impinged nerve on left L5-S1

Surgery 1: 2/2011 - L4/5-L5/S1 noninstrumental fusion - kept developing seroma's and had to have drained every other day 120+cc of fluid, dr ordered CT scan; 3 wks after surgery he went back in

Surgery 2: 3/2011 - drain placed to help w/ seroma and refusion as 1st didnt take - 4 days in hospital

4/2011 - fell due to weak Left leg, broke tib/fib in leg and shatter fractured knee itself - was in wheelchair for 4wks - as u cant use crutches that close to fusion

PT was done for weeks - no relief, increased back pain, etc

Surgery 3 - 10/2011 - instrument (rod, screws, cage) fusion at L4/5 L5/S1

Surgery 4 - 12/2011 - Lipoma (fatty tumor) removed from upper lumbar, lower thoracic area to left of spine

^^^ that brings us up to date with surgeries.. I can not begin to recall all of the injections, therapy, medication changes, etc.. i had a journel on my phone and my phone dumped everything.. so now to where i am today and what i am facing and the question:

I am STILL, after almost a year, in a hospital bed. I can NOT lay flat on my stomach or back.. if i do, it is like a vacuum sucks me to the bed with spasms from hip to hip and up the spine.. the most excrutiating pain I can imagine, so i sleep with head elevated and legs..in a "V" position.

I have been told NOT to work, but I can not afford to not work.. that is a whole diff ballgame and not really relevant right now.

My pain has always been on the Left from day 1- in past 3 weeks Right leg has started. Left leg has zero Achilles reflex and very brisk knee reflex.. right has no concerning abnormal reflexes as yet. Left is severe pain in back of thigh, buttocks, outside of calf.. numb on outside of foot (pinky area up to heel) and pain in big toe and arch- stays very weak and unsteady (caused multi falls) feels asleep, heavy, dead .... Right is starting all of the stabbing and throbbing pains in buttock, thigh, calf and foot like left started with.

CT scan last week states hardware has no hallo and doesnt seem to cause problems; however, i now have a broad based bulge at L3-4 and min broad based bulge at L2-3 - neurosurgeon wants to go in and remove hardward, revise fusion and 'fix' L2-4. I also have bulge at T11-12 and T2-3.. and EMG 3 weeks ago says Left nerve root damage is starting .. right leg had not begin hurting so they did no right emg

I am having constant pain in bra strap area. Constant low back pain and it is even painful to touch, bend, lift, sit, stand, breath, etc.. (u get the point).. Spasms .. and now i have started twitching.. the best way i can explain it is involuntarty ticks, jerks.. all parts of body.. legs, feet, hips, arms, hands, fingers, everything.. if it does it at hips, it throws me into a spasm episode.. no one can tell me why.. and they are not concerned

MEDS: 15mg Oxycodone ... 1.5 2-3x day
Duragesic 25 .. 1 patch every 48 hours (about to go to 50)
cymbalta 60 - 1x day
welbutrin 150 - 2x day
lyrica - 1x day
biflucan - 3x day
ativan - as needed for panic/anxiety attacks
ambien - as needed for sleep

I have a 2nd opinion in 2.5 weeks.. and a surgical consult with original surgeon may 5th.. i am terrified i will never be me again.. i have lost 175lbs the year prior to this starting via gastric bypass - who knew i would have back problems AFTER loosing it.. so my main 4 questions:

1) why can't i lie flat?? anyone else have this issue.. not due to pain, but due to inability to get up, move or anything once I am down because of spasms.. can take an hour or more to get up

2) why am i twitching so bad?

3) 5 back surgeries over a period of 12 months?!?! wth?? and how many can u have fused in one area?? is it normal to remove hardware once your 'healed'?

4) anyone heard of such issues AFTER loosing so much weight? Dr. says it isnt related..

Am i missing anything I should bring up to 2nd opinion dr? Please forgive me for being so long winded, and I am sure I have missed an important piece of info.. I am just so very desperate for answers and no matter how many times i search forums I cant find answers- esp to my inability to lie flat.. i would just like to snuggle with my hubby!.. None of this started due to an accident or injury, it just started..

Please help.. :( Thank you for your time.. Marie


  • Sorry for all that you have been thru.

    I use to get what I called a Velcro type feeling when I would lie flat and when I would attempt to move/get-up I would get severe electrical type shocks along with muscle spasms,those were really brutal.

    What helped me was getting into PT to loosen and strengthen up my muscles.

    Sorry I can't help you on your other questions but I'm sure someone else will come along that can.
  • Just knowing I'm not the only one who literally can't lie flat helps me mentally :( sometimes u feel like ur loosing ur mind .. Maybe I am.. I have certainly lost 'me'
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