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2 Unsuccessful L5/S1 Surgeries. What next??!?!?

https://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/sciatica-leg-pain-radiculopathy/ongoing-left-legbutt-pain-after-microdisectomy-going-craz

that is one of my original posts. 5 weeks post op from 2nd back surgery in one year for l5 s1 disc. butt pain from surgeries. lower back through butt. feels like exactly where my disc is and goes half way down my butt. constant ache, weak/numbness feeling, burning on fire.

3/21/12- microdisectomy l5 s1- unsuccessful, continued leg/back pain in both legs and start of butt pain and increased left leg pain lower half behind the knee and down to foot.

4/23/13- decompression and stabilization l5/s1 with 2 titanium rods and 4 titanium screws

surgeon said he found nerve compression and touched a nerve during surgery, my left leg shot up into the air. he said he freed the nerve on the left side and only went on right side to put the hardware in cause right side looked okay. both my legs and butt pain for sitting more then 1 minute was unbearable. the sitting part has stayed like that 5 weeks out. both of my legs are about the same amount of pain i was in before the 2nd surgery but a little bit worse. at times- muchhhhh worse. this is a renowned surgeon in nyc. he really wants to truly help me. most amazing doctor i have ever met or seen. he truly wants to see me get better. he said he is thinking maybe the disc is too far gone and we can only do a fusion at this point. he wont do the artificial disc because im so young and 6% chance it would make me sterile. he says he will not be responsible for that chance of it happening. i'm so scared and i dont know what my options are?

pain for a month after was worse then ever. went through a break up because of it as well.

now trying to stay positive but everyday its harder and harder.

im 25 years old. and have already lost a year and half of my life to this chronic pain.

what to do next? i am still out of work but should go back soon but i'm worse then i was physically when i left work for the 2nd surgery.

more surgeries? opinions?

thanks all in advance. all appreciated.
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1

Comments

  • I am SO sorry to hear that you have continued and more pain after 2 back surgeries. I am also 25 and am recovering from an L5/S1 fusion that was done on 5/1. At times, the pain is worse than before surgery but for a majority of the time the nerves are freed and the pain in my buttocks and down my legs (along with weakness and numbness) has subsided. I would get a second opinion and maybe the fusion route is the best option for you- just all depends on what they feel would relieve the pain and fix your back the best. I am scheduled to go back to work in a few days and see my surgeon on Tuesday to see if that is still the plan! Keep us updated, and let us know what the doctors say and what you ultimately decide!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • odouglass said:
    I am SO sorry to hear that you have continued and more pain after 2 back surgeries. I am also 25 and am recovering from an L5/S1 fusion that was done on 5/1. At times, the pain is worse than before surgery but for a majority of the time the nerves are freed and the pain in my buttocks and down my legs (along with weakness and numbness) has subsided. I would get a second opinion and maybe the fusion route is the best option for you- just all depends on what they feel would relieve the pain and fix your back the best. I am scheduled to go back to work in a few days and see my surgeon on Tuesday to see if that is still the plan! Keep us updated, and let us know what the doctors say and what you ultimately decide!
    Thanks for your reply. Its nice to see I'm not the only young person who life has been ruined due to this chronic pain.

    WHy did you go straight for the fusion before trying microdisectomy or laminectomy?

    Also did they remove the whole disk with the fusion?

    Was your pain in your back or mainly in both legs and butt?
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  • Regardless of whether you go for another surgery, you might want to ask your doctor for a referral to a PT who specializes in pelvic pain. I hate the butt pain. It might be too much for you, but you could use a tennis ball and try to rest against it and move it around. If you have a good friend, you could ask them to massage your butt. It might sound like a joke, but it can help.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Regardless of whether you go for another surgery, you might want to ask your doctor for a referral to a PT who specializes in pelvic pain. I hate the butt pain. It might be too much for you, but you could use a tennis ball and try to rest against it and move it around. If you have a good friend, you could ask them to massage your butt. It might sound like a joke, but it can help.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • odouglassoodouglass Posts: 264
    edited 06/12/2013 - 3:59 AM
    Nope, you're not the only one that is young and in pain- it is a tough life to live but there are things that can be done to help that pain!!

    1. I went straight for the fusion as my surgeon (neurosurgeon) informed me that I had more of an issue than just a herniated disc. There was something called a pars defect (fracture of the pars) and if that wasn't fixed and stabilized, the disc would continue to herniate. Therefore, he had to do the fusion to stabilize the spine.

    2. Yes, he removed the entire disc and replaced it with a synthetic bone graft. He said my disc was WAY too herniated to save, and it was just not going to completely relieve the pain and damage.

    3. It originally started with pain in my lower back, and then the pain went into my butt and down my left leg all the way to my foot. That is when I first went to the orthopedic to start my diagnosis and figure a solution (after 3 years of this). Then, about 3 weeks before the surgery, I started having the pain go into my right butt and down my right leg.

    Here's to hoping that you get some answers!!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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  • Oh gosh I feel so bad for you.First of all I have to say I remember that pain and it is relentless. I had a fusion done 15 years ago L5-S1.I was so desperate and depressed after 2 years of pain I really didn't care what my surgeon did.It was a total success. My advice to you is definitely get a second opinion. Doctors understand that.Bring all your films.Try to get a spinal reconstructive surgeon. A fusion these days are much easier than years ago so dont put it off.Your life will be so much better. Sometimes we don't realize how small our world gets with chronic pain.I wish you all the best.
  • odouglass said:
    Nope, you're not the only one that is young and in pain- it is a tough life to live but there are things that can be done to help that pain!!

    1. I went straight for the fusion as my surgeon (neurosurgeon) informed me that I had more of an issue than just a herniated disc. There was something called a pars defect (fracture of the pars) and if that wasn't fixed and stabilized, the disc would continue to herniate. Therefore, he had to do the fusion to stabilize the spine.

    2. Yes, he removed the entire disc and replaced it with a synthetic bone graft. He said my disc was WAY too herniated to save, and it was just not going to completely relieve the pain and damage.

    3. It originally started with pain in my lower back, and then the pain went into my butt and down my left leg all the way to my foot. That is when I first went to the orthopedic to start my diagnosis and figure a solution (after 3 years of this). Then, about 3 weeks before the surgery, I started having the pain go into my right butt and down my right leg.

    Here's to hoping that you get some answers!!
    Yes that was helpful. I dont read much about a fusion fixing the leg/butt pain. Since this past surgery and what is bothering me the most is that the top half of my right foot in sooo painful. that didnt start until about 2 weeks after this 2nd surgery 6 weeks ago. Also, you are a success story. I'm just really afraid to go through another surgery and one as major as a fusion. That's alot for me in 2 years. 2 failed surgeries already and in ways they have made me worse.
  • oconnorirl@sbcglobal.net said:
    Oh gosh I feel so bad for you.First of all I have to say I remember that pain and it is relentless. I had a fusion done 15 years ago L5-S1.I was so desperate and depressed after 2 years of pain I really didn't care what my surgeon did.It was a total success. My advice to you is definitely get a second opinion. Doctors understand that.Bring all your films.Try to get a spinal reconstructive surgeon. A fusion these days are much easier than years ago so dont put it off.Your life will be so much better. Sometimes we don't realize how small our world gets with chronic pain.I wish you all the best.
    I went to see an internal medicine/arhtiritisi type of doctor because he diagnosed something wrong with my mom that no other doctor she saw was able to. He was happy to see that I did not have the foot drop and i did not have weakeness in my leg when he examined me. he pressed on a few parts where my butt starts under lower back and pressed 3 or so spots on each side and asked if it hurt. he said they felt inflamed and it did hurt when he was pressing on it. he gave me a shot in my arm of something. said for sacrolic joints and i may feel some relief in about 20 minutes and sent me for an xray. i did not get any relief from it at all. everyday is more and more depressed, i've lost 2 years of my young life, 3 or so relationships because of it, i literally have no life.

    I'm afraid if i have another surgery since the first two did not, that this fusion wont work either. i dont know what to do anymore.
  • I know that you are bummed and nervous about getting yet another surgery and worried that it will just be one more failed surgery. However, are the doctors saying that this has a better success rate than the other 2 that you had? I lost 3 years of my life- and am still recovering from the pain after surgery, I will never be the same but will be close to normal I guess. I want to have kids, and I am worried about that stage after having the fusion.... a lot of uncertainties. I still have some pain/numbness/tingling down my legs and that will get better over time! :(
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Hi Nick

    This is my experience with a discectomy and then fusion a year later. It's a different experience for each one of us.

    5 years ago, I had a discectomy L4/5 which destabilised that area and the pain was even more excruciating. The surgeon I finally went with said that discectomy was not the right procedure for spondylolisthesis, and he did a fusion (ALIF). The fusion was successful, and whilst I'll never be 100% again, I enjoy life - just have to be careful with certain activities.

    Trish











    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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