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Doctor placed cage too far over

I had an ALIF performed November 2012. I had two cages installed and fusions at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Immediately in the recovery room I was screaming in pain and couldn't move my left leg. Something was wrong but my doctor said it was inflammation from surgery. Me left leg continued to kill me. My doctor sent me home and I suffered for three months. Finally February 2013 my doctor stated he placed one of my cages too far over because of "my anatomy" so it compressed nerves causing my left leg pain. He then performed a PLIF where he shaved off some bone to let my nerves have enough room and fused me through the back. Now I still suffer in pain. My left leg doesn't hurt as bad but from my kneecap down to my toes I have no feeling. I also have nerve pain still. I feel basically like crap all day and my back doesn't feel as strong as it probably should. My doctor knows he messed up but he won't admit it. He should have stopped during the first surgery when he couldn't fit the cage in right and do a traditional fusion through my back. My sister is a nurse and has back issues herself. She told me if the doctor doesn't place those cages perfectly centered then it can cause bad damage and pain. She also told me as soon as they are installed it's not as easy to just remove them due to the dangerous areas of working by all the major blood vessels. I've had all sorts of medications but nothing helps. I had an EMG that shows I have nerve issues in my left leg but when I met my doctor to talk about my results he brushed it off like that test was wrong. My doctor now states that this pain I'm feeling is due to my nerves being compressed before I even had any surgeries. There is no way. This pain was never present before surgery. I only had pain down my right leg before surgery. I am at a loss and don't know what to do. My doctor is not helpful and I am living in pain and only 26. Now my doctor said I just need to continue my exercise and he doesn't need to see me anymore. I am now very upset. I went into surgery thinking I would become somewhat pain free now my left leg Is in so much pain and my doctor doesn't seem to be concerned. Does anybody have any stories to share similar like mine.
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Comments

  • Have you gone to a different surgeon for another opinion?
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • I haven't seen a second surgeon. Is that what I should do?
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  • I would seek out a second opinion. Some surgeons will not work on another surgeons work. But there are some out there that will be willing to help if they think they can improve your current situation. Good Luck! Try to remain positive.
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    I agree with Steve & Summi, I got another opinion years ago from advice here and it was the best thing I ever did.
    I certainly won't hurt to ask other medical professionals.
    ranger
  • and it took me some time to find a few other doctors who were willing to take me on, but if I didn't do that, I wouldn't be on my feet today........so, make sure that you get copies of your surgical record both from the hospital and all of your records from any other doctors you have seen related to your surgery, and since, and bring them with you to the new doctor.
    Be careful about telling the doctor that the first did something wrong, since many, especially in the same area tend to not comment, but I found a couple who were willing to tell me the truth. One did my 'salvage" op and saved me , at least so far.
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  • Thank you all for your help. I just requested my medical records and plan to get a second opinion. This whole situation makes me feel crazy and if I don't get a second opinion I think I would regret it. I'm trying to stay positive. It is very hard some days especially when I'm in constant pain. But I know I'm not alone that's why I love these forums. Thank you again.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    You are doing the right thing. Understood how chronic pain makes it hard to stay positive but in the end I believe you will feel much better about your decision.
    Take care,
    ranger
  • tom bttom b Posts: 10
    edited 12/24/2013 - 9:32 AM
    kjohnson9919 said:
    I had an ALIF performed November 2012. I had two cages installed and fusions at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Immediately in the recovery room I was screaming in pain and couldn't move my left leg. Something was wrong but my doctor said it was inflammation from surgery. Me left leg continued to kill me. My doctor sent me home and I suffered for three months. Finally February 2013 my doctor stated he placed one of my cages too far over because of "my anatomy" so it compressed nerves causing my left leg pain. He then performed a PLIF where he shaved off some bone to let my nerves have enough room and fused me through the back. Now I still suffer in pain. My left leg doesn't hurt as bad but from my kneecap down to my toes I have no feeling. I also have nerve pain still. I feel basically like crap all day and my back doesn't feel as strong as it probably should. My doctor knows he messed up but he won't admit it. He should have stopped during the first surgery when he couldn't fit the cage in right and do a traditional fusion through my back. My sister is a nurse and has back issues herself. She told me if the doctor doesn't place those cages perfectly centered then it can cause bad damage and pain. She also told me as soon as they are installed it's not as easy to just remove them due to the dangerous areas of working by all the major blood vessels. I've had all sorts of medications but nothing helps. I had an EMG that shows I have nerve issues in my left leg but when I met my doctor to talk about my results he brushed it off like that test was wrong. My doctor now states that this pain I'm feeling is due to my nerves being compressed before I even had any surgeries. There is no way. This pain was never present before surgery. I only had pain down my right leg before surgery. I am at a loss and don't know what to do. My doctor is not helpful and I am living in pain and only 26. Now my doctor said I just need to continue my exercise and he doesn't need to see me anymore. I am now very upset. I went into surgery thinking I would become somewhat pain free now my left leg Is in so much pain and my doctor doesn't seem to be concerned. Does anybody have any stories to share similar like mine.
    man on man that sounds like my story,,I had posterior L4 L5 fushion and when I woke up I had pain down my right leg,,bad pain which I never had right leg pain,,it was always left leg pain,,,,7 months out and still dealing with pain,,,my dr is playing of as well,,,going in for a EMG in a week
    L4-L5 microdiscectomy 4/2011

    L4-L5 Posterior lumbar interbody fusion 5/2013

    C5-C6,,C6-C-7 Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion 4/2014
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