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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss Spasms, sciatica etc after fusion in the Main forums forums; Hi, i posted awhile ago about my new problems after my fusion but the thread kinda went all over the ...

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-16-2011, 11:07 PM
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Default Spasms, sciatica etc after fusion

Hi, i posted awhile ago about my new problems after my fusion but the thread kinda went all over the place so thought id try reposting problem. sciatica and nerve pain have become unbearable. 60 spasms per minute...crazy making. Been on muscle relaxants, nerve medication with no help. Finally went back to surgeon yesterday and we will do new mri's with contrast and other scans. Dr. Says the follow up pt they gave me was not appropriate as they put me in a class with people who didnt have any major problems and had me doing things i shouldnt have done.

Id say 3-4 days out of the week im flat on my back...i never know how the day will turn out so cant make plans. Its like when i was first injured but with a whole new set of issues. Oddly, the fusion site does not cause me pain. It sounds strange but I hope he sees something cause right now I feel like Im losing it trying to explain to some of my regular docs what is going on.

Ill keep posting as I get test results. It is possible I may have to have another surgery. More later, but it has become unbearable for now. No medication or amount helps.
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:43 PM
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Default re sciatica and nerve pain

Driobits
I'm really sorry to hear you're having these new/additional probs of this magnitude. I'm sure it's driving you nutz. Re the PT .. argghhh...

Hope you will get some answers post diagnostics. Thanks for updating.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:15 PM
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Haven't you already been through enough? You must instruct your body to behave -

Seriously, I'm so sorry. You put so much hope into this surgery. Please keep us advised as per new films.

Would I sound like a broken record is I recommend acupuncture? I took care of most of my pain. As for muscle spasms. I still get them everyday, not 60 per minute and mostly in my toes but I can usually calm them instantly.

Just for the sake of brevity - I want to know why I (we) get stand-up and walk it off spasms during sex? Is this age related? Our discussions have gone from ooohs and ahhhs to ouches and owes and more! Sucks (no pun intended).

I don't know why but this morning I woke up with more severe pain than usual. I started laughing because I have things I must do today as I have out of town company and she is gone for the day. Laughing doesn't help the pain but does improve my angst. I more than understand how living with pain after hoping to be rid of it brings to down to despair. I know, I've been in that hole. Try getting on a joke site on the web or reread some of our jokes. Try laughing - it does help. If nothing else, it makes you forget the pain for just a few moments. Though my back tries to tell me no - I actually feel better for waking up and laughing.

Another thing. - you also might try meditating or deep relaxation. It might give your muscles a chance to calm down and also takes you to a place you're happy and comfortable.

And lastly, I find laying flat to be very taxing on my back and actually causes pain. You might want to try a zero gravity position to see if that helps.

I do hope your tests reveal nothing is wrong. Another surgery seems too much to ask of you. Enough already. You are in my thoughts.

Dale
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:45 AM
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Default MRI's

Well This Friday I am set for an hour long MRI and then on the following Monday another one that's 45 minutes. Also he's having me take some blood tests. I just hope I don't spasm while I'm in the MRI machine as that will make it impossible to be still. I just want to know what the heck it is!
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:22 PM
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All you want is a proper diagnosis. Is that really too much to ask? Apparantly spinal medical science still has a way to go. I know it doesn't help you now and several others, including Mark are in the same boat but someday I hope they'll say, 'Did you know that they actually used to take out your disc and replace it with either bone to make it stiff or metal to mimic real movement. Can you imagine what those poor people had to go through?'

Wishful thinking!

Let us know if these MRIs show anything - if you can lie still long enough.

Dale
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:00 PM
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Default re spasming

I don't know if you move your legs or jolt when you have spasms tho am wondering is there any medication that you can take once there while "resting" during MRI that would help to lessen the spasms should they occur?

Putting the pillow under my knees usually helped w/my lower back spasms to some degree ~ an injection of Toradol 60mg IM really helps greatly tho I do try to minimize the number I get/year now to about 3 or so (as I use it when have severe cervical spine spasms as well as lumbar).

Good luck and hope you soon have an answer or at least further direction leading to an answer/treatment.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:23 PM
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Red face MRI results re: fusion problems

Well last Friday night I had a very long MRI. The surgeon just called me to tell me that indeed the MRI shows a fair amount of swelling in the Sacrum area. I've just started to read about this new problem that seems to have come about as a result of the fusion. At least I didn't get the usual nothing is wrong with you answer that my HMO is famous for. I bet when I get the written report it will say nothing is wrong. I kid you not!

So were going to try injections in the sacroilliac (help sp)? joing via flouroscopy so they go in the right place. He said he thinks they can get me in within the next two weeks. He said it is possible a surgery would be indicated should the injections not help. In the meantime, I've asked my doc for stronger medications. I hate to go back to something stronger but I'm sick of laying around with no relief.

After everything I've been through with my HMO, as sick as it seems, I'm just happy they acknowledged there is a problem. It only took 16 years of fighting to get the fusion, which I still don't regret. Well, that's the latest. If anyone has any info or can direct me to good places re: sacrum fusing that would be great. Thanks, Liz
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:00 PM
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Default re swelling

Thankfully you got an answer. I wonder if this is what my OSS was talking about back when proposing a 3 level global fusion and I didn't want to have it and later when thinking about getting ADR surgery (he poo-pooed that until he started doing them) he said that often patients that have a multi level lumbar fusion and particularly L5S1 and L4 may end up having SI joint problems if they don't already have it to which of course he said that's Ok because we could fuse your sacrum if that happened.

He had already told me that the lumbar discs above the 3 level fusion at some time might need to be fused so it just sounded like way too much potential future surgery for me.

I hope the ESIs will do the trick for the swelling and maybe it's just inflammation and needs the regularity of some ESIs for a while.

If it is sacral fusion you'd be looking at possibly I seems there has been some people either on this forum and/or some others that have had that done with good results. Hope you don't have to have more surgery if at all possible.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:43 AM
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I just had a lumbar continuation fusion of L3 and L4, i am already fused from C4-L4 now. Yes i said C all the way through the thoracic. Anyway my surgeon just did the extension to L4 and opened me up from T7 down. He had to put in an extension rod which is why it started so high.

Anyway my point being i was so inflammed i could barely walk and had steroids by IV in the hospital and epidural nerve blocks 4 days after i got home from the hospital. they did wonders, i went into the surgical center hardly able to put weight on my right leg and it is totally normal now. Only a few twinges here and there.
So i have great hope for you that the injections will work and you will not need further surgery. Good Luck and make sure you let us know how you made out.
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:09 PM
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I understand swelling but don't see how a surgery could/would solve this problem if indeed, swelling is the only thing causing your current pain???? Doesn't surgery or other injury actually cause more swelling?

I know I won't be alive but someday, they'll have a better understanding of the human body.

Dale
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:51 PM
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I was wondering the same thing as Dale. How could surgery fix swelling., I am in the same boat right now and my doc has only suggested injections of steroids
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:02 PM
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Default maybe

He meant inflammation as it's kind of common to hear about SI joint probs after this area being fused or and the recommendation I've read about has been fusing the sacrum. Because the idea is if the SI joint is now bothered by the fusion above then fusing sacrum will stop movement, stop inflammation and calm things down. At least in theory.. not sure how it works. Those that have had that might want to chime in if this is what D's surgeon might be considering re "more surgery." Maybe I'm wrong and that's not what he meant at all but it sounds like a possibility to me.

I would think the first course would be the steroid injections to see if the area could be calmed or the inflammation could be calmed down (inflammation generally can cause swelling of sorts).

Last edited by Maria; 09-04-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:29 PM
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Default Date set

Ok...got a date for my SI injection with ct scan on the 20th of Sept. At 8 am...what fun. I have to go to Oakland Kaiser as where I live they dont do flouroscopy. Wish me luck!
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:25 PM
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Default wishing you luck

With your SI joint injection and the CT scan. I have not been to that Kaiser in ages (used to have Kaiser long ago when first moved to CA). A friend of mine up north goes to that one regularly and far prefers it to the Southern CA one she was going to here when living down South.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:21 PM
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I don't know how far Oakland is from where you live but a schlep is a schlep.

Regardless, good luck. It should stop amazing me at the pain that keeps coming because too many are in the same boat but enough already. Hopefully, by the 21st things will be looking up.

Dale
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:09 PM
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Good luck with that injection , i will remember the date , it is my son;s birthday and i am having injections the following day.
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:13 AM
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Default More surgery.....?

Honestly, Ive been busy just getting all the info about a sacral block and doing reading on how fusions can cause this sacrum problem. I have so much more to learn before I would do another surgery. I am awaiting the written report still. My conversation was brief with the doc and I will talk more with him after the injection. Ill write more as I learn. I always knew a fusion could affect the discs above and below but was unaware of this specific problem.

I still dont regret the surgery but it aint all over yet. I will tell you that the docs after 15 years are finally giving me the medication Im requesting instead of giving me garbage and that helps.
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default yep a schlep is a schlep

I go from LA county to SD county to see my PM and for my injections in the past. Since I don't drive the freeway anymore I go by bus when I can manage to sort of drape myself across 2 seats. Thankfully I only go every 3 months tho have been in SD every other month these least 6 months or so.. I'd like to settle down. Am condo hunting.

Re more surgery..guess you'll cross that bridge if and when you get to it. Hoping the injections do give relief and thanks for updating!
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:48 PM
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Default Maria...

or as my mom used to say, we'll jump off that bridge later!
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:31 PM
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And Scarlet O'Hara used to say, I won't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow!

And here's hoping tomorrow doesn't have to come
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:34 AM
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Default Sacroiliac injection done!

I had my SI injection done with CT scan on Tuesday, Sept 20, 2011. It is now Friday.

It was a bit more intense than I had thought. I am so sick of these injections!!! The caudal block, the facet blocks, and now this.

Yesterday I was in excruciating pain. If I had gun I would have used it I hate to say. They told me that after day two the pain would get worse as the longer acting steroid starts to take hold. I was in so much pain I was close to fainting. I think we all know what that is like.

Today was good. I've been lying down for so many months, I'm completely deconditioned so it's not easy. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.
The doctor who did the injection said is was primarily for diagnosis. I've done some more research and this does seem to be a problem for people who have had fusions. What a bummer as the fusion area does not hurt so that was a succses. Can you believe it?

I'll post more as time goes on. I have absolutely no idea how long the relief will last but I'll take it one day at a time. I seem to be on that life plan anyway. If my doc recommends another surgery I will probably go for it. I don't want to spend my life in bed as I have in the last six months. It's been the pitts. More later
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:35 PM
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Default re injection

Dridobits,
That sounds like what my first ESI felt like. I'm sure you plan on asking your surgeon about success rate with surgery for this area should it come to that and I'd be interested to hear what he has to say (even tho we know all cases are individual tho statistically speaking). Like I mentioned before I've read about a few people that had that surgery after having success w/fusion at fused levels tho creating this other area of concern/pain. The few persons that had the surgery reported feeling better tho I have not kept up with forums they posted at to see if still doing well or ? Hope so.

Glad to hear you're getting some relief from the steroid and I hope that perhaps it will be enough to decrease the inflammation and allow some reprieve from pain/irritation. Good luck there and thanks for posting your update.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:29 PM
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D,

While I have not been in your exact circumstances, I know when you feel like throwing in the towel. We say, no more surgeries but when it gets too bad, we'll reconsider. As for the gun, why didn't your doctor tell you about this amount of pain and prescribe something suitable?

I do hope that the next few days will bring you some relief. You have suffered enough for several lifetimes.

Dale
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:15 AM
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dridobits, what levels were your spinal fusions at? I had L3 and L4 fused last month. Still in enough pain that it is hard to stand up straight and hard to walk any distance. I make it around the block with my dog at a pretty slow pace.

I have had tons of ESI's as you have. I hope this last SI one is giving you relief still . Let us know.
thanks judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:10 AM
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Great news that you got some relief. I hope it keeps up.

Mark
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:05 AM
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Default Discs fused

I had L4 and L5 done. It is now about a week after the injection. I have had 75 percent improvement. I just drove six hours from the sierras home to get the last trip of the season. Before the injection I wouldnt have dared do the trip. Dr. Has asked for an update so when I hear I will report. Thank goodness even for short relief. I live to be up in the mountains so it was great to go. On another bizarre note, my dog ruptured a disc and is now partially paralyzed in her rear legs. I live on a hill with stairs so I have to now rely on neighbors for help. If its not one thing its another, huh?
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:45 AM
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I am glad you had some good pain relief . A trip to the Sierra's is what i am looking forward to when i get that 75% pain relief. My life is the same, if it is not one thing, it is the other, then the other and so on!!!
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:59 PM
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D,

Anytime we get to feel normal is a great moment. Glad you were able to do something you loved.

A friend's dog also ruptured a disc - a mini doxie. She discovered this is a common problem with this breed and other long type dogs. Acupunture was able to restore some movement again but he just kind of dragged his hind legs. They no longer allow their new doxie to jump on anything.

For us dog lovers, their injuries impact our lives almost as much as our own.

I hope this improvement sticks around for awhile!

Dale
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3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:41 PM
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Default re discs/animals

One of my Persians has severe disc degeneration and has lost partial use of hind legs. He walks very oddly.. like one leg seems to go forward and the other one is kicking around trying to go somewhere so is gait is off and weaves. He can no longer jump up on things that are much higher than a foot off the ground and he won't go up and down stairs anymore.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:25 AM
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Default Maria

Sorry about your cat. It's hard when they are hurting. I miss sleeping with my dog so much. I am upstairs and she can't make it up. I have a tiny room downstairs I am thinking of moving to just because I miss her so much at night.
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Chemically sensitive disc/Annular tears, DDD, mild bulging, facet arthritus

Dancing accident in 96. tried PT, acupuncture, pilates, pain mgmt. nothing worked. Epidurals, facet blocks, caudal blocks, discogram. Opiates for ten years, oral prednisone, toradol inj. & more.

Two level spinal fusion with BMS, cages, hardware. due to bone density problems from chemotherapy, they had to go in front and back. Surgery Nov. 6, 2010. So far no regrets.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:11 AM
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Default re sleeping w/our animals

When I move I'm going to get a new bedframe that is lower to the ground and skip the box springs. That way Winston will still be able to jump on the bed as it will be low enough. Either that or I'll sleep on the floor as I'm going to put laminate floors in if not already in. Where I'm renting now there is brown carpet and I don't want to sleep on the floor here tho I was doing that at my husband's house so Winston could sleep w/me ( actually both my persian cats). I don't let Lola sleep w/me (mini schnauzer) because one of my cats isn't crazy about her tho she's sleeping right next to the bed where I step down).

Actually once I got used to sleeping on the floor it was amazingly good for my low back. Just had to have enough cushion of sorts for the rest of my bod.

Yeah we get used to these guys.. the downstairs room sounds good to me so your dog can sleep w/you.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:11 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
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People simply don't understand what our pets mean to us. We consider them our children. They are so important in our lives and worth whatever sacrifices we must make.

My own mother complains that I am not free to go and do whatever I like, whenever I want to and I explain that Lucy or whatever dog we happen to have at the time gives us daily love and pleasure 50 weeks out of the year. Surely she is worth a 2 week sacrifice if she prevents us from picking up and going somewhere.

I'm never alone with a dog in the house.
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