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iSpine Discuss Severe nerve pain after ALIF in the Main forums forums; It is 6am and I have been up since 3. I am only getting a couple of hours of sleep ...

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:39 AM
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Default Severe nerve pain after ALIF

It is 6am and I have been up since 3. I am only getting a couple of hours of sleep because my right leg has been having nerve pain. It is more painful than before surgery. Did anyone have this pain during recovery? The surgeon doesn't seem to concerned because x-ray looked good. He mentioned that maybe some nerves are sensitive around my bladder, because I told him it gets real bad when I am trying to urinate. I guess he didn't understand that I am hurting before this and it makes it worse when I am standing at the pot. The nurse mentioned maybe trying an LEI to help. I have been trying Aleve on top of my other meds (oxycodone, soma, neurontin). Seems to work, then it stops after some time. It says only two at first, then you can't exceed that for 8-12 hrs. Not more than 3 in 24hrs. Hell, this stuff wears off in about 4!
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:28 PM
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Damage to the ureter is a potential access-related complication for some abdominal spine surgery (I don't know about yours.) I'm not uset to hearing of pain when urinating.

The days following spine surgery can be horrible. I'm not sure how you know when to raise red flags or now. I see too many patients who want to be stoic and not whine and they ignore symptoms that should get attention more quickly. The converse can be true when people panic at every little twinge and become the boy who cried wolf by calling the doctor's office hourly. It's tough to know when to complain. Make sure your doctor's office knows what is happening. It's great if you have a friend who is a nurse working a surgical floor and is super tuned in to post-op symptoms.

Err on the side of caution... talk to your doctor's offfice. If it get too bad, you'll need to be seen.

Mark
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:58 PM
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Yes, I agree with Mark, Eastex. When I had my ALIF last summer, I also had severe leg pain, that was worse than before surgery. I complained enough that my doctor knew something must be wrong, and that's when he ordered the Cat Scan and saw that some of the bone cement had leaked out before it hardened, and had landed on my S1 nerve root, hardened there, causing me that excruciating pain. Unfortunately, they had to open me back up and get it out. Now, that's likely not what is happening w/ you, especially if they didn't have to use any bone cement, but, like Mark said, if you feel something is really NOT right, call and demand to be seen. Best to err on the side of caution. I'll be thinking of you Eastex. Keep us posted.

Cindylou
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:06 PM
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I had an ALIF 11 days ago and my leg pain is far worse than it was pre-op. I'm also having all kinds of quirky little pains in my abdomen. I just think the entire area has been violated and is doing it's best to regroup, inflammation being a major part of the healing process.
I was told that it would take a good month to six weeks before everything damps down.

Still, it doesn't hurt to give the office a call. I've called twice this week, once to beg for NSAIDS(no-no) and once for a laxative recommendation because I.....well I guess I don't need to elaborate.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:30 PM
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You might want to see about getting on Lyrica for the pain. Lyrica is a medication that targets the nerves and it acts locally instead of globally like Neurontin. I had horrible feet burning, cramps in the calves, pain in the legs, etc. The Lyrica was a God-send even if I gained some weight from them. I had distraction pain for over a year since my ADR Surgery. I was moved up to 400 mg per day which took care of the pain nicely. It's worth talking to your primary care physician about it.

Hang in there.

Terry Newton
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:30 PM
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I wish I could take Lyrica instead of Neurontin. My wife would definitely be out the door if I got back on it. We are going through tough times and the Lyrica made me a monster last time. I may ask them about cymbalta. The surgeon did allow me to start taking anti-inflammatory medications now. Aleve seems to stop the pain a little for a short amount of time. The directions just limit you on the amount you can take. When I urinate now, the pain doesn't get worse. It was just a few times and the pain wasn't anywhere else besides the nerve in my leg. The other function down there seems to be working fine. We tested that last night! Just something simple with no weight or movement on my part. My bowel movements aren't great either. I started taking mineral oil last night, and nothing yet. I will update on what the nurse says. I wonder if something else should of been done other than an xray last week. Something more detailed.
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:52 PM
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After my surgery, both my legs felt like they were on fire. Even a breeze hitting them was excruciating. I was on Dilaudid for 6 months. I couldn't drive during this time but this pain overshadowed all else. I'm glad that my pm realized the severity of this pain and knew that controlling it was first. I was also on a very large dose on Neuontin during this time which did little to control this specific pain.

A little tip - if instructions call for pain meds every 4(6) hours, I would take 1/2 every 2(3) hours so it was never out of my system. The hour that it takes to enter your system plus the last 1/2 hour when it begins to wear off is no longer an issue. My pm liked this idea so much he now recommends it for controlling severe pain.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastex View Post
I wish I could take Lyrica instead of Neurontin. My wife would definitely be out the door if I got back on it. We are going through tough times and the Lyrica made me a monster last time. I may ask them about cymbalta. The surgeon did allow me to start taking anti-inflammatory medications now. Aleve seems to stop the pain a little for a short amount of time. The directions just limit you on the amount you can take. When I urinate now, the pain doesn't get worse. It was just a few times and the pain wasn't anywhere else besides the nerve in my leg. The other function down there seems to be working fine. We tested that last night! Just something simple with no weight or movement on my part. My bowel movements aren't great either. I started taking mineral oil last night, and nothing yet. I will update on what the nurse says. I wonder if something else should of been done other than an xray last week. Something more detailed.
I recommended this on your other post before seeing this one. I know there are side effects reported for Neurontin and Lyrica. I have never heard of somone turning in to the Green-Eyed Monster from it. I will take your word for it. There are other alternatives. I was on Cymbalta for a short period. I couldn't stop yawning and had to force myself to eat. It completely took away my appetite which was great for weight loss.

Talk to your primary care physician for alternatives. Hang in there.

Terry Newton
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:25 PM
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They sent me up to the local hospital yesterday to make sure I didn't have a clot. I received good news and was sent back home. Not being able to drive is frustrating. I had to get a buddy to take me up there and have my dad come get me. I didn't want my wife to take anymore time off since she just went back to work monday. While I was there, a guy had the flu and I told the lady I didn't want to get near where he had been. This nerve pain with the flu would really suck! I have to go Texas Spine and Joint Hospital for a CT scan tomorrow and I have a epidural scheduled right after that. I slept better last night after a heavy dose of hydrocodone. The oxycodone seemed to stop working for now. I am getting low on them anyway, and may want to save them for later.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:47 PM
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Eastex,
I have been having muscle spasms in my leg that I did not have before the surgery and I find that a muscle relaxant has helped a lot with that pain. I hope that you are able to find the cause of your pain soon. Pain is so debilitating and consuming. I am glad that you have sought help and are getting diagnostic tests. I am sending good wishes your way.
Phylly
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