I had a spinal fusion in October and its just over 90 days out right now. I'm having a sever stabbing pain when bending from the waist on the lower right side of my back right at the surgery site (L3-L4). It doesn't feel muscular at all, it feels like my spine is pulling apart. The surgeon says that my back looks fine on the x-rays and he discharged me from his care even though I strongly objected. I'm in physical therapy right now (going on 3rd visit) but I don't feel like anything is improving other that the fact that I lost the shooting pain down my right leg. My straining to straighten up after bending hasn't improved and now I have the shooting pain that I didn't have before the surgery. I don't know what to do at this point.
BK you told my story. I had surgery in October and was actually doing really well but this last month I did something. I have been walking the dog and taking a exercise class but now I can not even do that. If I am on my feet for more then 10 minuets the pain in my lower back is excruciating and I have to sit back down and stay there. I have a bruise on my back too that was not there a few months ago. I am really dissapointed because I have been weaning off my pain medication and now if I need to run errands I have to take a pill and then can only be out for a 1/2 hour at the most. I had an xray done last week and am on a waiting list to get into my surgeon. I guess I am wondering if there cuold be something wrong inside where the hardwear is. BK did you ever find out what was causing yours? Thanks for any help. I am at a loss. Michelle
Hi Michelle, sorry to hear about your pain. I have been to physical therapy and a new orthopedic doctor plus a pain doctor. The ortho doc says that everything is in place and looks fine but I don't have the proper amount of bone growth yet to complete the fusion. He says that it takes 6 months - 1 year but I'm already 5 months post-op and not doing well with the bone growth. I have a follow-up for that in September to determine where I am with that, I may have to get a bone graft if it hasn't started growing in by then. Physical therapy hasn't helped at all. I just had facet block injections at the fusion site and at the level below on Friday and I don't feel any relief, still having the shooting pain...now all the way into my left buttock so it's actually getting worse. The only thing that I think can be causing it is that the fusion is not really progressing as it should and nothing but hardware is holding me together. I really don't know where to turn right now.
thanks for sharing, i've heard also it takes about a year to see results but all the "NEW" pain as well as continued back pain makes me wonder if it was all worth it. I have been thinking about going to a different Dr to see what he says
Its not my intention to dishearten you but I had spinal fusion 15 years ago and still suffer similar symptoms as you describe. A visit to a different 'surgeon' next week in the hope of some 'new discovery'. Given up on facet joint injections after many many attempts, morphine reigns as my only relief. Sincerely hope you gain relief. Donblanc.
Thanks for your reply. I did not think about the bone not fusing. I went through a lot to get the surgery done because I have such weak bones. There was a chance that it may not work. I sure hope that is not the case and that bones have stayed strong. It took me a year to get them to where he would do surgery. I had many facet joint shots and not a one have worked.
Has your doctor said anything to you about removing the hardware> I read in a couple of differnt forums of people who have had to have that done. Well keep me posted as to how you are doing, Lets hope we will both be pain free soon.