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Almost 3 mos post Tlif l5-s1 no relief and new severe foot pain post surgery

Coolrn16CCoolrn16 Posts: 2
edited 11/03/2012 - 8:16 PM in Chronic Pain
Hi...I am new to this site although I have been searching and searching to find others with my exact situation. I have had back problems for over two years now and I am 35, previously an avid trail runner competer. It all started with sciatica down my right leg from the buttox down the the back of my knee. My MRI showed some degenerative changes although slight and a mld herniated disc at l5-s1. I had an epidural injection which made me severely worse, with hightened pressure on the compressed nerve, so badly I could hardly walk. Within 10 days I resumed " normal pain level" with no relief. After several more esi injections unsuccessful we started diagnostic injections of which the only proving result was a bit of relief from a facet block, but even so this darn right sided sciatica remained. I was advised to go for a foraminotomy and this was a bit successful in lessening the pain by about 20%however the doctor supposedly said I had spinal instability and "too much play" that this could be the culprit and before I was even out of the recovery room he mentioned possibly needing a lumbar fusion. Being greedy with feeling slightly better and wanting to feel much better, after 5 mos I went in for the fusion and it I came out with immediate severe new left foot and leg pain. The surgeon mentioned that the surgery was very difficult and had to really retract the left sided nerve but the pain remained so intense. He refused MRI requests and after several mos of continued intense pain, I saw other surgeons that were either afraid to touch me or were at least honest in admitted they did not now how to fix me until finally it was revealed that the left sided screw was in too far and possibly pressing on the nerve bundle coming out the other side of my bone. I went in for my third surgery with the new highly respected surgeon, now realizing that the other surgeon had made terrible mistakes and had even tried to cover his faults! The surgery, a complete re fusion
was completed, but my pain remains severe and high and I am now three months out. I am on 20 mg of OxyContin two times a day, flexeril and even have to use Percocet for breakthrough. I walk alot as advised and am trying so very hard to be a mom to my four babies ages 7-3 years of age. The pain has become so intense and ironically I was on nothing before all the surgery. I have always felt as though I am a pretty tough cookie having natural childbirth with a previous passion for pushing through the pain to enjoy competitive trails races and doing very well. I feel this chronic pain is slowly chiseling me down and I am losing this battle. The pain is awful and everyday it seems as though I am just trying to get by. Am 35, slender and very athletic. I never thought this would happen and it is a nightmare I wish I could just snap out of and run freely, caring for my babies, laughing and smiling again, possibly even working again as a nurse which brought me so much joy. I have heard that these symptoms will subside....but if it is just a true "retraction injury" even the current neurosurgeon thinks I would be at least a little better. I don't know what to do or who to turn to. My sweet husband is in anesthesiologist and racks his brain just about every night not being able to come up with anything more than I have even read. This pain is not subsiding. Any thoughts...this is my last ditch effort reaching out. I would appreciate any advise.


  • I read what you wrote and did not notice if you are seeing a pain management Dr?? If not I would start, as far as the surgery I am no surgeon but it sounds like the damage is done, If the nerve was damaged it can grow back, slowly but it can. I had 1 surgery and was going to have another and stopped it and went for other opinions and have Dr's that do not want me a patient so I have a failed surgery with nerve damage and now go to a Pain Management Dr.

    The more you have done the more Dr's are not going to want to touch you as you found out no surgeon does not want to fix others mistake.
  • all fusions take a very long time to heal .i too had a fusion last dec and i have had a hard time with recovery {had 2 previous operation on my spine ] my feet and legs are swelling and hurt like hell ..they were fine before the operation ..so i know what you mean ..i can't even stand today {as i walked around ASDA yesterday and now i am suffering i also feel sick .i have been ill since the fusion .and i believe i have had a bad result ..some do well some don't ..recovery is very hit and miss .i hope things work our well for you ....for me its another day on my recliner taking pain killers ! good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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  • Coolrn16CCoolrn16 Posts: 2
    edited 11/04/2012 - 11:36 AM
    H there... Thanks so much for writing. I think it has just been a really tough past week for me. Yes, I have been seeing a pain mgmt doctor and he too has little information to share about why all this pain is still here and uncontrollable. He thought the surgery for sure was the answer and then I woke up with new left stabbing sensations in my foot and calf. Taking more meds for me seems as though it is not an option. I guess you could say I am a lightweight and anything more than what I am on, totally dopes me, I lose weight being sick and I am unable to even remain cohesive for my small children. I feel completely saddened by what little I have to offer them even now. I am having a terrible time with adjusting to watching others pick up the kids, play with them, and even myself knowing when To say "no" that I have to lay down. I think one person mentioned adjustment disorder and I agree...I think that is a given. Who ever grows up and just easily accepts that this is reality. I guess for me this is still so fresh and reality is , I may never get better. I have read alot of reports and done hours and hours of research on nerve injury and damage. Sadly , there are not many "good" reports posted. One person commented that maybe these people got off the site which may be true. I think I may just need some positive news or even listen to others experience. It seems as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Please share any thoughts...good or bad.
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