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Back & Hip Surgery STILL in pain. Is this normal

Back surgery (L4L5 fixation/fusion) in 2004 to relieve sciatic pain. Still going to pain management. Now (Feb 2013) had total hip replacement, hoping to eliminate at least some of the pain. Major fail! My hip seems to doing ok, except my leg is constantly sore enough to cause me to limp & use a cane. Before hip surgery, the dr said my legs were 1/2 inch different in length. He repaired that & said it would take me 6 mo to a year to fully recover. I've completed 12 weeks of PT.

My back pain is much worse especially around the SI joints and at the waist, mid back. That's the previous surgery site. Probably adhesions? My right leg feels very tight & painful when I walk. Bone? Muscles? Everything hurts worse after PT. Stretching does seem to help but it's only momentary. Ice also offers short lived relief.

Someone please offer hope that time will help. My "ever hopeful" attitude is slipping. This pain is affecting every aspect of my life. I'm against narcotic pain killers. I'm taking 800 mg ibuprofen, but not every day as I know it will destroy my stomach, but it does help.

Some would say that it's muscle pain if ibuprofen helps, but that's not true. Years ago it helped with headaches when I had a tumor in my head.

Thanks for allowing me to share. I don't feel so alone.
The silent warrior against pain.

L4-L5 Fixation/Fusion-2004
Total Hip Replacement - Feb 2013


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,759
    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    here are just some of the highlights:

    - detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal conditions and treatment

    - the wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - under the resource tab, there is a section doctor advice health center which can be invaluable.

    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - as a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. you should read forum faq

    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to contact any one of the moderators on my team:
    dilauro , tamtam, liz jellyhall or sandi


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I look forward to being part of the Spiney family. I definitely am at a place where I need to be with people who understand chronic pain. It not only messes with one's body, but their minds and spirit as well.
    The silent warrior against pain.

    L4-L5 Fixation/Fusion-2004
    Total Hip Replacement - Feb 2013
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,552
    part of those results was arthritis tearing my joints apart. In 2010, I had both of my shoulders totally replaced and in 2011, I had my left hip totally replaced.
    My hip recovery was a snap and I am doing really well on the left side. The recovery period for my shoulders was about 18 months, so, I am still in post-rehab. But my shoulders are great. I have more range of motion in them than I did 10 years ago.

    So much of my additional flare ups in 2006 till 2011 my neck/thoracic area was the alleged culpruit. But as soon as I started coming around with my shoulders, so much of the neck and thoracic problems also went away

    It is always amazing to see how one part of the body can impact the other
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Brenda9995BBrenda9995 Posts: 7
    edited 05/28/2013 - 5:41 PM
    I think that hits the name on the head. Prior to back surgery I suffered from spondylethesis & sciatic pain. After surgery, the sciatic pain was still there and the SI joints became the additional hot bed of pain I believe due to different posture due to the fixation rod and it was all complicated by degenerative disc disease and arthritis. Dr's convinced me that a lot of pain was coming from my hips so I had the right on replaced and in the process Dr gave me equal leg lengths (I was off by 1/2 in). Now my hip is great, but my low back from waist high & between SI joints is breathtaking pain. My left leg seems so very tight and the pain when I put weight on it is excruciating. I'm still hoping that the dr is correct in saying that recovery could take 6 mo to yr. My hip surgery was Feb 1 so I have a ways to go. Thanks to all for the encouragement.
    The silent warrior against pain.

    L4-L5 Fixation/Fusion-2004
    Total Hip Replacement - Feb 2013
  • Welcome Brenda,

    I do not share similar issues with you, but still wanted to welcome you. I hope you will be able to regain some of your positivity this summer, I fully believe its half the battle. Best of luck to you!
    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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