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Ongoing pain after surgery

On November 11th of  2016 I had a ALIF/PLIF LUMBAR FUSION L4/L5/S1 procedure. Staples were take out 13 days after surgery 19 from the front 18 from the back. My post opp was December 16 and a X-ray was done. But ever since surgery I've had excruciating nerve pain left/right leg this pain cannot even begin to define it. So much that i cannot walk or apply pressure. It is a constant 24/7 pain, I'm taking pain medication along with lyrica, and methocarbomol and it seems to be getting worse everyday. My next Dr. appt is January 16 2017 which is in a few weeks. This pain is a daily struggle and I'm afraid I have permanent nerve damage. I can feel the hardware of course in my back but that itself is tolerable to a point. This has been a nightmare. Any suggestions for alleviation? 


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443
    Texanpain75, welcome to Spine Health and Merry Christmas!! 
    Have you notified your doctor or surgeon of what is going on and for how long? Have you tried heat?
    Sometimes after this type of surgery, the nerves have been compressed for so long they start to wake up. And when they do, for some people, it can be excruciating. And it takes time for them to calm down. I'm sorry you are in so much pain and if it is the nerves, I think I would rather that than something serious. But it will take time.
    I still think I'd call the surgeon.
    Take care, keep us posted.
    Still try to have a happy holiday!
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 996
    edited 12/25/2016 - 6:29 AM


    I agree you should contact your doctor to let him know what is going on... don't wait until Jan 16th.     Having said that it does happen that  some patients wake up from fusion surgery with MORE nerve pain than before surgery.  Your doctor can fix what is crushing your nerves but there is nothing he can do to fix/heal the inflammation in your spinal nerves and until the inflammation subsides your nerves will continue to fire and give you horrible pain.  In fact your doctor probably agitated the spinal nerves even more while he was inside you messing around. Unfortunately nerve healing is a very SLOW process... sometimes taking months.  In my case it took 4 months after my second fusion surgery before my nerves calmed down.  Ask your doctor about some alternative pain meds if the ones you have are not working... not everyone reacts the same to pain meds... and sometimes it's a matter of finding the right combination for you.  Also it's way to early post-op to know if you actually have permanent nerve damage of any kind... at only one plus month post-op everything is still to inflammed to know if there are any permanent issues.   Hang in there... things WILL improve.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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