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HUGE Mistake

At this point I am 3 weeks past l5s1 fusion and feel I have made a huge mistake. 10 days ago I started having this horrific pain in right side of butt and radiating down leg. Had no idea what it was. Doc said it is sciatica pain which is normal after surgery. Surgery site is painful but I expected that. Can handle this pain ok. But the sciatica is like nothing I have ever experienced and I have had 5 other major surgeries. Monday it was so bad I had my friend take me to ER was given dilauded IV and the relief was incredible. So I come home and yesterday was decent. Pain was still there but about a 6 on scale. This morning I wake up and it is off the charts again. Going into an operation and having this blindside me makes me pretty angry. I feel surgeon should have told me this prior to surgery. As this pain is worse than the pain I had prior to surgery I can not help but feel I screwed up big time with this surgery  


  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 240
    I feel the same sometimes with my fusion. But I had no choice in the matter. When you go under the knife, you are helpless and at the mercy of your surgeon. I sure he did the best he could with you. Everyone takes different time to heal, some feel more pain than others. As I too had other procedures done in my life.  The back so far is the worst by far. And the only people that understand that are spinys. Hope as the weeks go by you will feel some relief.
    Greg fisher
  • If I could get rid of the sciatica pain I would be great
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  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    I feel your pain!  I had the exact area with left leg sciatica 10 years ago and did everything in my power for as long as possible to NOT have surgery. It got so bad, I had not been able to get into a bed (any horizontal position) in over 3 years- I slept in chairs or leaning forward at a dining table on a pillow (not great for neck). I was going to a multi faceted P.T. Chiro, Accupuncture, massage clinic 5 mornings a week just to be able to sit for 40 minutes at a time so I could keep the bills paid through work. By the time I gave in to surgery, I also had to grab the top of my pants leg and lift it out of my car, as the sciatica had progressed to motor impairment, and I couldnt lift the leg on its own.   .The very big difference for me was from surgeon to surgeon, and I talked to many!From Orthopedic surgeons wanting to use the cage, to neuro surgeons wanting discectomy/laminectomy (fusion), that was my final choice. Oh, I tried minimally invasive first (laprscopic-a waste). heres the good news, finally we got it right ad after the final fusion through S1 the very minute I woke up I knew how much better I was!!  the releif from sciatica continues 10 years later, but lower back pain has returned (as happens to some of us). Its not the same as before though...just constant but not impaired movement any more.
    It sounds like you still need to have something corrected, as the sciatic nerve must be flairing up from a cause?
    did you get an MRI after surgery? For me  personally I ask if the metal will prevent MRI or is compatible because I need the scans! 
    I encourage you to nag until you find what is the cause of this sciatic pain so it can be fixed. sometimes I feel like our bodies are mechanical like older cars and trucks, and it can take more than one try to get it running smoother.
    please stay in the conversation, 
    You are right....theres nothing like it...it is horrible. I feel for you, and wish you the perfect "fix" (if such a thing exists).
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • My neurosurgeon says it is normal after surgery to have this sciatica pain and will go away. I pray he is right because this pain is so much worse than the pain I had the surgery for. I guess time will tell 
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    Patience is definitely an important part of nerve healing. When I was first hurt in 1982 I wouldnt let doctors at that time implant metal cages, rods or similar devices. I chose at the time to give my body a chance to heal on its own, I had mulitple orthopedic injuries, and know nerve healing takes time. It makes sense that right after surgery, theres much happening, maybe swelling, maybe changes your body needs to compensate for. I was very patient at the time. LIttle by little I was impressed with both my body's ability to regenerate, and the advances in medical technology that came along in following times. I waited for procedures I was comfortable with, or until I ad no choice but to undergo surgery.
    Some of us also believe the body can be amazing in the long term (7 year cycles). I also respect and understand life does not always allow that timeline to be employed for many ppl and circumstances.
    Thanks for keeping us up to date, please keep posting so we can see ow you are doing
    all the best wishes for feeling better.

    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
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  • Today was the best day yet. I see the end of the tunnel. I believe the sciatica nerve is calming down as now I just have an achey feeling now that horrendous pain. Leg is weak but will get stronger. I have hope
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Great news Linda.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    i cant help thinking that you are so fresh out of surgery, that it would be almost impossible to make a solid statement about your surgery.   i can understand that right now, you felt it was a mistake.  but it all takes time
    please take some time to read recovery the most important phase

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • rvelarde64rrvelarde64 rvelarde64@gmail.comPosts: 2
    You hang in there Linda76017. I was very afraid after my surgery because I didnt understand why I had pain in such weird places. I'm a month past my surgery and my back feels great. This residual nerve issue I can do without but it's part of the process. Fight.
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    thats such good news. Patience is your best friend I guess. Nerves make their own time table
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
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