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L4S1 Spinal Fusion severe hip/butt pain

I am 26 years old and 3 and a half weeks post a spinal fusion. I have read a lot of forums and I have a question for anyone else who has had this surgery. my back is healing nicely but I am unable to walk or stand for longer than 1 to 2 minutes. I think I have nerve problem but it feels like a charlie horse going from my butt to my hip to my groin. I am still on percoset and I'm trying to wean myself off but the pain is so bad that I cannot stop taking it. I have a very high tolerance for pain but this is beyond bearable. it goes down my leg and makes my hip and top of thigh numb. I thought it was muscle but I can almost trace the line from the top of my butt down to my hip to my thigh about 2 inches wide so I'm assuming this must be nerves. I am going to see my surgeon on March fifth but he is very useless. my family doctor is trying to be nice but just keep telling me to stay on the percocet. I am bedridden and very frustrated. the only thing that I have been reading is that the nerve pain in the hip lasts up to a year ......help me please.

Also my nurse at the rehab center told me that my hip pain is from the bone they took to do the fusion but I have no incision in my hip.... same nurse who told me I had a dozen staples when I went to get them removed found out that I had only stitches. so I'm not sure I should be trusting her.
-Kayla
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1

Comments

  • for one thing...I would request that your nurse get her shit together...she should at the very least pull up your chart when speaking with you about your procedure. I had a minimaly invasive fusion Dec 18th, so I am not quite 10 weeks. out. Still on percocet. you need to control the pain, you will have residual nerve pain for quite some time. since we cannot take NSAIDS, we have to deal with the healing process, which will take time. I have had many surgerys, 8 to be exact, this being my first back surgery. This has been by far the most intense pain I have had post-surgically. Stay positive, easy to say, but helps!!! I had the real bad hip pain also, right after surgery, and still cannot sleep on my side. Too much hip pain in the mornings, so I lay on my back with pillows under my knees to keep pressure off my back. The hip pain they said could have been from how they position you on the table during surgery. I am an x-ray tech and have seen these surgeries. They are not delicate!! So just how they had you positioned on the table could have caused some of the pain. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and if you are not satisified, ask more. Have them look up your chart. I think that is absolutely unexcusable that your nurse didn't even know you had stitches...not staples. I have been told to be as active as possible...walking being the most advantageous!! Do your best and stay on the pain meds....don't worry about becoming addicted, this surgery takes time. Are you taking any type of muscle relaxers..like diazapam. It helps with muscle spasms. Also, I'm on lyrica which is a nerve medication. Neurontin is another one I have heard of, on this forum...Good luck and know you are not alone in this!
    radtechtam MIS L4-5 Fusion
  • That is terrible about the nurse. I have had 7 surgeries in my life time, never had staples, and never had "removable stitches". Fingers crossed it will stay that way because quite honestly stitches freak me out. I imagine I'd feel even worse about staples. So no, I wouldn't be trusting the nurse for sure, and I'm glad she was wrong about the staples.

    I had bone harvest from my pelvis for a fusion, but that was in 1989. and yes, I have quite a big scar, and yes, I remember that pain more than the actual surgery pain. It also took a long time to heal. I think the simplest thing to do would be to call the surgeon's office and speak with the nurse. Ask directly if they harvested bone there (maybe they did it without a separate incission). If they did, then you know that might just take awhile to heal. If they did not, then you can describe to the nurse what is going on. Are you on a nerve medication? Those help my recent post surgery hip pain more than anything, but took about 2 months before the medicine truly made a difference.

    So, in short... get in touch with the surgical nurse, and stay away from "staples nurse".
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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  • Wow that is unbelievable that your nurse does not know what is going on..smh.. Sorry you are going thru so much pain..I had my surgery L4-S1 on Feb8th, so I am just a little over 2 weeks now.. I to have been having problems with the nerves in my lets and feet..however not in my hips..but they did not scrap for bone.. they had to scrap a lot of arthritis of off my other disc so my NS use that and donated bone..he is a firm believer that unless it is absolutely necessary he will use donated bone over a bone graph. Thank goodness because I had to have C3-C7 replaced back in Dec of 2011. But I have a friend who like you had to have a bone graph and she said that was worse than the surgery and took a long time to heal and the pain was aweful.. Praying that you can get over this hurdle. And like the others have said..Speak up and express your opinions and concerns. And I would def. report that nurse. I had to have staples for this surgery..35 of them :( So glad those are out! This is a good site to help you thru your tough days. We all understand and are here to help any way we can..I know a few friends I have made on here sure have helped me out in what to expect and how to get prepared and such... Hang in there, stay positive...I know that can be hard at times..But just take one day at a time.

    God Bless and Prayers for your pain and healing
    Teresa
  • KaylaGuyS said:
    I am 26 years old and 3 and a half weeks post a spinal fusion. I have read a lot of forums and I have a question for anyone else who has had this surgery. my back is healing nicely but I am unable to walk or stand for longer than 1 to 2 minutes. I think I have nerve problem but it feels like a charlie horse going from my butt to my hip to my groin. I am still on percoset and I'm trying to wean myself off but the pain is so bad that I cannot stop taking it. I have a very high tolerance for pain but this is beyond bearable. it goes down my leg and makes my hip and top of thigh numb. I thought it was muscle but I can almost trace the line from the top of my butt down to my hip to my thigh about 2 inches wide so I'm assuming this must be nerves. I am going to see my surgeon on March fifth but he is very useless. my family doctor is trying to be nice but just keep telling me to stay on the percocet. I am bedridden and very frustrated. the only thing that I have been reading is that the nerve pain in the hip lasts up to a year ......help me please.

    Also my nurse at the rehab center told me that my hip pain is from the bone they took to do the fusion but I have no incision in my hip.... same nurse who told me I had a dozen staples when I went to get them removed found out that I had only stitches. so I'm not sure I should be trusting her.
  • kayla,im not a doctor but if u are only 3 weeks out u need to give it more time. i had l4-l5-l5-s1.im 42, my doctor says i have the body of a bodybuilder&bones of an 80 year old.the pain u describe is what i had pre surgery.i had a different doctor string me along for a year&did 3 sets of epideral/with steriod shots&a laser guided scope in between.i left him&went to il bone&joint. i have been on painkillers(alot)&muscle relaxers(soma is really good ) valume is what had helped me the most when i was in your stage.im 12 weeks out&i have a shitload of osteo-arthritis&when it rains i suffer,i have never experienced this but u are describing sciatic pain i had pre op. that is gone,my back hurts while it is healing&im not a doc but if u are in therapy already it may b too soon,im starting therapy this week because i overdid it 4 weeks ago&pulled a muscle. when they operated on you did they have a nerve machine there? if you think u need a second opinion try il bone&joint if u are in this area,i still am on pain killers&will slow down when the arthritis is beat(&i will beat it) dont worry about quitting the pain killers for a while&i can tell u firsthand detox isnt that bad,just dont mess with xanax. u can ween off the painkillers when u feel good&if u cant go to a 3 day detox,the first 24 hrs are hell,but then they give u suboxone&it kills the desire for meds. i quit the norcos on my own lasttime but they dont tell you xanax cant be taken long term&thats what got me. when i was looking for a rehab place i called the passages in malibu&they offered to pay 80%of my tab due to the amount of stuff i was taking.(20norcos&8bars a day). im not ashamed but i know if u have the desire u can overcome that stuff so use it to stay comfortable. i iced alot for the 1st 8 weeks&if your siatic hurts jeans are probably gonna irriate it.me personally,im asking the doc this week if its possible to put me on hgh(human growth hormone) i have heard of atheletes&people who are excercise oriented being perscribed this to help them heal. you sound like you totally have a siatica problem&i hate to say this but my siatica pain was gone when i woke from my fusion surgery.dont rush to do too much,i am used to doing so much&this is hard for me to sit around but u have to let the swelling go down&the muscles they cut heal,if i can help just ask,i still need the valume to sleep good or im up for 2 days at a time&im not a addict. good luck.
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  • i just commented on the pain a couple of you are having, i am wondering if anyone out there has been prescribed hgh(human growth hormone by there doctors to help them.i had a odd situation before my surgery,i had a huge vercose vein&the doc that fixed it said nowork(my work is heavy)or excerisce for 10 months or ill open the vien. i listened&4 monthes off the meds i was crawling.when i had an mri&doc asked me when i got hurt,i said never that i can recall.we agreed the excercise i was doing must have been holding me together, its been a shitty 3 years dealing with this&i feel like its time for therapy due to the fact as long as its not damp out i feel ready but several guys i work with had the same surgery(pretty much)&they healed way faster than me. i have read up on the hgh & feel it could help me, i have been in sports or the gym my whole life&i feel the only relief that will truly last&help me beat this horrific osteoarthritis is to workout& the good blood pumping will help. im 42&was in greatshape&the doc says i have a 20 year olds body&a 80 yearolds bones,im not giving up,i have been a prisioner in myhome for over 2 years dealing with these problems&hope im at the part where i can finally fight it in the gym&therapy&i agree with everyone that the meds do help& u deserve to be comfortable,unfortunatly i am kinda immune to the ones i have now but wont go higher unless i feel the pinched nerve agian, if anyone knows of a sucess story with hgh please give me details.
  • I had s5 l1 spinal fusion (plif with instrumentation) 3 and a half weeks ago too in the uk. I am recovering really well and have been very lucky with no pain as bad as the back pain before the op BUT the discomfort i do feel is also in my right hip and buttock and then after walking any distance in my leg muscles. I have assumed it comes from the area of the bone graft but as it was done through the same incidion as the fusion I am just guessing really. Anyway it sounds like it is fairly normal given other posters and you have it worse than most unluckily. Hope you feel better soon.
  • Renee BrownRRenee Brown Posts: 1
    edited 03/10/2013 - 12:06 PM
    I had surgery (L4-S1) fusions almost a year ago. Everything healed nicely and I was back to work after just 30 days. However, my job requires a lot of walking, and my back began to hurt again.

    Here it is, almost a year down the road and I'm still seeing a pain doctor. His explanation to me was that everything is healed perfectly, but my muscles aren't liking the new hardware (rods and screws); thus they keep contracting away from it. My pain just moves around without staying in one place. I guess it's like a lottery draw as to what set of muscles decide to hurt on any given day.

    I have been on hydrocodone ever since my surgery last year, but I don't concern myself over taking the larger doses the doctor prescribes. It allows me to function nicely, given that I'm on my feet 8 hours a day. When my body tells me it doesn't hurt anymore, I'll stop taking the hydro.

    Before my surgery, I had a lot of sciatic pain, from my mid back over the hips, down the backs of my legs and into my feet. Everything from the waist down would go numb (especially my feet), and it was a painful event every day, even with the numbness. All of that went away right after last year's surgery, but then the new set of painful conditions set in, and pain remains in my lower back where the rods and screws are. I can feel the hardware moving with me with each step I take, and that is quite an odd feeling. I also appear to have a swaybacked stance now.

    About 12 years ago, I had to have neck fusions (C5, C6, C7). I had no pain from the surgical site itself, but they did take bone from my hip to perform the fusions. I agree with others that pain in the hip bone remains, and it was worse pain than the surgery itself, but I didn't like the idea of donated bone, and decided to use my own; and would do so again if necessary.

  • Renee, that's interesting what you said about the muscles "not liking" the hardware...I'm only about 8 weeks out, and that's the best description for some of the pain & discomfort I'm having (along with the nerve pain that's back).
    1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.
  • I just came back from my second surgery. I went to the surgeon's office for my post op appointment.. After doing xrays they realized that a screw had come loose in my spine and have been hitting my sciatic nerve for the last 4 weeks. which is why I was having so much leg and hip pain. They had me back in surgery within a couple hours and said I should of never had to suffer that long!. I was extremely frustrated but ever since my surgery last Tuesday I have yet to experience the same sciatic nerve pain as before. back to the starting line but this time I actually have a finish line to go towards. my advice for anyone who has surgery and thinks there is something wrong go with your gut instinct. I sufferred for 4 1/2 weeks. and there is no reason I should of had to. also I called my Family Dr. and told her something was wrong and all she did is give me more percocet. pretty sick.
    -Kayla
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