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Problems after spinal fusion

Can someone help me? I have had the l-5 s-1 fusion and at first I felt better about a month after I took my shell off I felt like something was wrong cause the pain was worse than before surgery and told dr so and he says its normal you just had a fusion and it will take time for it to heal and all WELL its been 3 years now I still have alot of pain I haven't slept in my bed since the surgery I have pain in lower back down to my foot shooting pains had MRI and MRI showed bilateral compressed sciatica my doc said that its not the case that he doesn't know what the problem is because my spine looks like a 20 year olds spine and in 43 I can't walk more than 100ft or drive for more than 20 minutes or my legs will go numb from waist down and I fall or have to use my cane to stop the car so I can try to get out of car to stand or hang my legs over the seat to get some kind of feeling, I get shooting pains down my legs constantly and tingling and pain constantly and then this past year my hip the one they took bone from for fusion has swelled up all the way down to my knee I have constant headaches and problems with numbness pain tingling in all limbs and hip now my surgeon seems to think it is beyond his scope of expertise and basically told me it was in my head ( yes this is a workmans comp case) does anyone else have these problems or am I really going crazy? I'm confined to my house because I can't go anywhere without my hubby or someone because of all of this can someone please tell me I'm not crazy! Thanks


  • You are not crazy!

    You really need to see someone about how much pain you are still in 3 years after your fusion of L5/S1.

    Can you get another opinion.
    I am in the UK and don't know how the Work Comp works, but I do think that you need to see someone about this.

    Who gave you the result of your MRI scan that showed the bilateral nerve compression?
    Do you have that in a written report?

    I hope that you have someone to speak up for you and support you to insist on another opinion.
    I really hope that you will have some success in getting another opinion.
    Please let us know how you get on.
    In the meantime this is a great place for understanding about spine pain and support while you are going through this.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better. :-)
  • I also have had an Osteotomy of the right knee and I just
    Can't take this pain anymore I haven't had a good nights sleep in over 4 years I tried everything before surgery the 3 injections and pt and didnt work that's why I went with fusion I am sorry for rambling on I just feel so tired of not getting answers and this hip being swelled up like it is scares me! I have survived breast cancer and thought this would be a piece of cake now I am regretting getting this done! Has anyone had issues with shooting pains tingling and numbness after surgery?
    And swelling of the hip?
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  • You must tell a doctor about your lack of sleep and how you are feeling. Also tell them about your swollen hip.
    Perhaps going to your GP would be a good start. You have suffered for too long and need someone to listen to you and help you.

    Please don't let this continue without talking to your doctor.
    Have you been in touch with your surgeon and told them how much pain you are still in? I know that it is 3 years since surgery, but it is worth trying to talk to them and see what they suggest.

  • BlueanneBBlueanne Posts: 4
    edited 07/31/2013 - 12:03 PM
    Thx jelly hall and with workmans comp here they fight you tooth and nail to get any second opinion
    I spoke with my lawyer for past two years about this and he is trying to get me a second opinion and yes I have a written report I found out early to always request a copy of reports of any tests or surgeries that you have! And its nice to have someone to talk to about this because unless you go through it you don't understand it! I really am worried about my hip and thigh being swelled up also have lump in back of thigh it just seems to go through my doctors ears to the room next store lol!! Thanks for listening!
  • Yes I have spoken with my surgeon and I am in pain management and take pain meds along with baclofen I have tried lyrica and other meds like lyrica and I have a reaction to them! Pain management also tried to put me on morphine and I had reaction to that but I'm 43 and shouldn't have to be on pain meds to be able to walk to the bathroom I feel my docs just aren't listening to me the knee doctor blames my back problems and my back doctor blames my knee I feel like I can't win!! Again thx for listening!
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  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
    edited 07/31/2013 - 12:10 PM

    I know from experience how helpful it is to talk to someone here who understands spinal problems. :-)

    I really think that you need to see your GP and tell them about your pain, hip swelling, lump in the back of your thigh and how you have not been able to sleep for such a long time. Tell them how you are feeling! It must be awful for you and they need to know how it is affecting you. Perhaps your GP will even be able to advocate for you to get something done about another opinion.

    You are not on your own; there are many of us here who have also had spinal fusions and understand spinal pain.

    Don't give up hope of getting help.
    We are here to listen and sympathise when you need to talk.

    Wow! I wish I could come with you to see your doctor!

  • The segments do not fuse
    The vertebrae and discs next to the spine fusion develop problems

  • Which state do you live in? Since you are a WC case, be very careful about getting treatment from someone other than a WC doctor. Each state has their own rules for WC cases, but where I'm at if you go to another doctor outside the system, they (WC) have the right to not provide coverage any longer.

    Also, each state should have an Ombudsman in their Department of Labor office to help injured workers navigate the system. In KY, they will help you very much. I'm shocked your lawyer hasn't already obtained you a second opinion at WC's expense. Perhaps you should look into changing lawyers. This shouldn't take too long to get. Also, document everything!

    I wish you the best!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2

  • I am glad that you posted this message.
    I am in the UK and so know nothing about the WC system in the US.

  • Welcome to Spine Health.

    I suggest that you start a new thread of your own giving us more information about you.
    Perhaps in the new members area.

    It sounds like you have had a spinal fusion surgery.
    What levels was it on?
    How long ago was it?
    It sounds like you are having problems now with the adjacent levels.
    Have you been back to talk to your surgeon about this?
    Have you had an MRI scan to see what is happening?

    When you tell us more about yourself, you will get some answers and support from members. :-)

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