spinal fusion complications
Paul Pain

Boston, MA

#21 Apr 6, 2007
Hi Dmitri,
Thank you for the response. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by the tumor, rubor, dolor etc. I am not very well versed on the medical jargon. Thank you sir.-Paul
Dmitri wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi, that makes perfect sense! Let me explain. You seem accidentally to have stumbled upon the ONLY resonable relief - namely ANTI-INFLAMMATORY treatment. Incidentally it improves microcirculation quite a bit too - and that is a vast vascular bed responsible for tissue breathing.
Tumor, rubor, dolor, calor et functio laesa are CLASSIC signs of inflammation - swelling,redness, PAIN, HEAT, impaired function.
Frankly my eyes pop up when I read about hot wraps for the treatment of your kind of pain...
Melodie

Toledo, OH

#22 Apr 11, 2007
Hello, sorry I was gone for a few weeks..not out of town, but mentally (HAHA) I am now on my new medicine..almost 4 weeks now and I am having a little relief. I slept last nite for the first time in 15 days, and I still feel tired. This medicine (LYRICA and DOXEPIN) is helping. The doctor is gradually increasing my dosage. Now I am having a side effect (all muscles are sore when I awake in the morning) hopefully it will go away. Kim I had my surgery done in Toledo, OH by an excellent surgeon. He is very kind and caring ( your not a number in his book). And I do beleive you need to becareful of the fentyal patch. I was on it since oct'06 ( when I had my first back surgery) and It is very addicting. I was weened off of it, and I did go through withdrawals. I have been off of it now for 4 weeks. Let me know how you are doing...take care everyone.

Since: Apr 07

Oxnard, CA

#23 Apr 12, 2007
kev-jan wrote:
My name is Kevin and I had spinal fusion on my L5-S1 last January and my symptoms are 10x worse now. The pressure in my back is unbelievable, and my legs and feet twitch 24/7, it feels that there is electricity in my legs..Help does anyone else have these symptoms?
Hi Kevin, I had the same level fused in Dec 05. Yes, I have similar symptoms. I'm thinking of having the hardware taken out to relieve the pressure that I feel in my lower back. I've been coping by taking 800 mg 3X daily Ibuprophen. My Dr. says that the hardware can cause swelling and inflammation. Something that really helps is an ointment called BioFreeze. It like putting soothing coolness your lower back and helps you take you mind off of the pain. Keep doing your stretching exercises because the inflammation will shorten your muscles fibers, which will of course add more pressure and pain. My physical therapist says fusions limits your movements so resulting muscle atrophy is one of biggest contributors to long-term pain. Best wishes in your ongoing personal rehab.
Dmitri

Nicosia, Cyprus

#24 Apr 16, 2007
Kim wrote:
Thanks to you too Dmitri for all the help! Any suggestions I will try because I can't picture living in the much pain the rest of my life.
Kim and everyone interested I put up a page for my LBP report download. Does not cost a dime...
http://lowerback.globalnetjoiner.com/
Dmitri

Nicosia, Cyprus

#25 Apr 16, 2007
Paul Pain wrote:
Hi Dmitri,
Thank you for the response. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by the tumor, rubor, dolor etc. I am not very well versed on the medical jargon. Thank you sir.-Paul<quoted text>
Kim wrote:
Thanks to you too Dmitri for all the help! Any suggestions I will try because I can't picture living in the much pain the rest of my life.
Hi Paul and veryone interested I put up a page for my LBP report download. Does not cost a dime...
http://lowerback.globalnetjoiner.com/
Dmitri

Nicosia, Cyprus

#26 Apr 16, 2007
Paul Pain wrote:
Hi Dmitri,
Thank you for the response. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by the tumor, rubor, dolor etc. I am not very well versed on the medical jargon. Thank you sir.-Paul<quoted text>
Hi! These are Latin terms for signs of inflammation. For Your convenience I have translated them int English.
Have a look at my Lower Back Pain Q&A report at http://lowerback.globalnetjoiner.com/
Dmitri

Nicosia, Cyprus

#27 Apr 16, 2007
RandyD wrote:
My Dr. says that the hardware can cause swelling and inflammation. Something that really helps is an ointment called BioFreeze. It like putting soothing coolness your lower back and helps you take you mind off of the pain. Keep doing your stretching exercises because the inflammation will shorten your muscles fibers, which will of course add more pressure and pain. My physical therapist says fusions limits your movements so resulting muscle atrophy is one of biggest contributors to long-term pain. Best wishes in your ongoing personal rehab.
Hi, guys! You might be interested in my Lower Back Pain Q&A report. Does not cost a dime...
http://lowerback.globalnetjoiner.com/ in light of what you are saying it might make an intersting reading...
ron

Ypsilanti, MI

#28 Apr 23, 2007
I just had a 3 level fusion performed L5/S1 through L3/L4, with bone graft, cages, and rods. my -mail is ronandmary1@hotmail.com. if interested I will give you the details.

RON
Lev

Newport, NY

#29 Apr 25, 2007
kev-jan wrote:
My name is Kevin and I had spinal fusion on my L5-S1 last January and my symptoms are 10x worse now. The pressure in my back is unbelievable, and my legs and feet twitch 24/7, it feels that there is electricity in my legs..Help does anyone else have these symptoms?
Yes I had the same surgery in 1998. L5-s1 and I hurt worse now then I ever did!
Kim

Marquette, MI

#30 Apr 25, 2007
Hopefully I will have some more information and more options when I got to Mayo clinic in 2 weeks. My family is already planning that I will be having a surgery when I am there, but at 23, I am just scared to death to get a 3 level spinal fusion. I really hope they will be able to offer some other options. You all have been wonderful and its comforting to know others are going the same thing I am. It's hard for others who don't have back problems to understand the pain it causes. Luckily I am still able to work part time and persuing my Masters degree and should graduate next May. Thanks for all for the support!
iliana

United States

#31 Apr 26, 2007
i had L4-S1 recontruction with hardware and then periformis release for my sciatica. this was in dec. of 05' and sept. of 06' i am still dealing with alot of pain and have been recently told that "maybe removing the hardware would improve my level of pain". my doctor gave me a 50/50% of my pain getting better but no guarantees. i am worse of now than when i first started my treatments. if i had to do it all over again i wouldn't have had the surgeries. has anyone had hardware removed? i'm not sure i want to go thru another surgery.
Carol

Cuero, TX

#32 Apr 27, 2007
Hi, Everyone!
Carol

Cuero, TX

#33 Apr 27, 2007
Well, Hi again! Seems my first post was cut short.

I just stumbled across this site and hope I can get some advice, opinions, etc.

I'm 52 years old, and have fairly severe rheumatoid arthritis. For the last year, I've had increasingly worse problems in my lower spine. The pain feels like a knife in my buttock region. I've been to several doctors to get a diagnosis, finally had an MRI and consulted with a spinal surgeon. I have spondolethisis (sp) at L4-L5, with facet arthritis pinching a nerve. Well, that's my understanding, I don't have a copy of the MRI to be more detailed, am trying to obtain a copy.

The surgeon recommended a spinal fusion, without hardware, along with releasing the pinched nerve by smoothing down the bony spur. He said all this could be done with a minimal incision, said I would have minimal recovery time and it should give instant and total relief from pain. The impression he gave was that it is a simple, outpatient procedure. He didn't discuss complications and was quite vague concerning recuperation time. I don't work but do have two young children, and my husband travels frequently on business. I really need to know what I'm looking at in terms of recovery time, etc. When I mentioned all this to him he said they could just call Social Services to care for my children. That alone frightened me right there! I certainly don't need to hassle with Child Protective Services while trying to recover from a surgery. I felt if I just had a straight answer as to what the recovy would be like, in terms of restrictions and time, we could make arrangements for my children. I'm quite frankly frightened to deal any further with this doctor just because of his remark about social Services.

I do think he's a good surgeon (came highly recommended) but I think I need find someone else before I get involved in a mess with CPS that I can't get out of easily (once involved with that system its just a nightmare!). So, whatever I do, I'll look for another doctor.

Some of the posts I've read here concern me. Seems this type of fusion does indeed help many people, but creates even more problems for others. And, like many have pointed out, a fusion is permanent. They have one chance to get it right.

My rheumatologist recommended an epidural injection, he said it could help with pain, even if on a temoporary basis, and would be minimal risk. He referred me to the spinal surgeon I saw last week, but this guy just dismissed the idea of the epidural and insisted it wouldn't help in my case. I would at least like to give it a try.

My pain varies from 1.0 to 9.5 (Just below the screaming my head off stage). Its aggravated by sitting. Seems I can't sit for more than 15-20 minutes without aggravating it. I can walk fine, no problem, actually walking seems to relive the pain.

My rheumotologist recommended physical therapy. My abdominal muscles are weak and one leg is weaker than the other. I walk with a "herky-jerky" gait, which I feel does contribute to the problem. He (the rheumatologist) also put me on a short course of prednisone, which does seem to be helping. Just this last week (before even starting the prednisone) my pain improved quite a bit, essentially it wasn't even a problem. However, its back today. I feel if its so dynamic and can vary so much within a week perhaps surgery isn't the answer. Perhaps more conservative measures would help. I'd like to give physical therapy another try (tried it a year ago but had to quit due to an insurance problem).

Quite frankly, I'm scared of a fusion surgery, but the thought of living forever with this pain isn't acceptable, either.

Well, sorry, this post is rather rambling, but I'd like to hear from others with similar problems. How did surgery work out for you? How long did it take to recover and how restricted was your life during the recovery? Thanks!
darren

Perth, Australia

#34 May 1, 2007
Hi all had a l5 s1 spinal fusion in jan 07 still having alot of pain in right leg.tightness in base of spine.when does this start to settle down.when walking i get a stinging pain around the fused area.any ideas!!!
Kim

Marquette, MI

#35 May 2, 2007
Have my appointment on Monday at Mayo Clinic. Hopefully they will have other options besides the fusion they have suggested here in my hometown. Reslly would rather not have a fusion. Will let you all know the suggestions they give me!

Since: Mar 07

Nicosia, Cyprus

#36 May 3, 2007
Kim wrote:
Have my appointment on Monday at Mayo Clinic. Hopefully they will have other options besides the fusion they have suggested here in my hometown. Reslly would rather not have a fusion. Will let you all know the suggestions they give me!
Kim, read my report first, will You? It moved to www.lowerback.net

Thanks. Dmitri
Kathi

United States

#37 May 3, 2007
Hi All...had an L5-S1 fusion on Feb 12. I still have to take pain meds twice a day plus nerve meds. Now my left foot and ankle are swollen and doc says may last for months but not sure why. Anyone else with this problem?

Since: Apr 07

United States

#38 May 5, 2007
Hi Kathi...I had a similar thing happen to me with my right ankle. The Doc told me that when they fused my L5-S1 it would put stress on stress on other joints (i.e., SI joint, knee or ankle) My right leg/ankle had atrophied and weakened from nerve compression prior to surgery. The swelling went down after a couple weeks of ice, compression, and ibuprophen. It did take a couple of months to strengthen and get the muscle tone back up. Donít worry it will get better in time.

Since: Apr 07

United States

#39 May 5, 2007
darren wrote:
Hi all had a l5 s1 spinal fusion in jan 07 still having alot of pain in right leg.tightness in base of spine.when does this start to settle down.when walking i get a stinging pain around the fused area.any ideas!!!
Darren, congrats you are about 4 months into your recovery. I recall lots of stinging sensations going on up well past the 6 month point from fusion and graft sites. The tighness in the base of spine I believe is a combination weakened glute muscles and hardware pressure from those screws buried deep in your paraspinal muscles holding your vertebrae in place. The leg pain or neropathy is something will ease up over time. Even though the Doc tells me it may not go completely away. Even at 17 months I still deal with late evening leg pain. Try BioFreeze or a Menthol based topical ointment. Believe me it been a real life saver. Walk everday if you can it will strenghen and tone any your muscles, give you some time to focus on being outdoors, and help you keep your mental sanity. Physical therapy helps with gentle stetching and exersizes but don't over do it.
best of wishes in your recovery.

Since: Apr 07

United States

#40 May 5, 2007
Kim wrote:
Have my appointment on Monday at Mayo Clinic. Hopefully they will have other options besides the fusion they have suggested here in my hometown. Reslly would rather not have a fusion. Will let you all know the suggestions they give me!
Wow Kim, a three level fusion is no walk in the park from what I understand from talking to others. I hope there are other options for you since you are so young. I recently saw an article on Dynamic Stabilization with Peek Rods www.aans.org/education/journal/neurosurgical/... Perhaps if have good disc spaces and no facet joint problems then dynamic stabilization would give you the added support and time for your lower back to heal.

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