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Can Major Surgery Trigger Other Conditions?

Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 360
edited 12/08/2019 - 12:59 AM in Chronic Pain Forum

Since my two three level lumbar surgeries I developed 

neuropathy ‘like’ pain in my legs (I’m told it’s not neuropathy because that’s caused by diabetes) immediately after surgery #1 along with numbness and inability to feel anything with my feet 

Osteoarthritis in my knees hips shoulders and elsewhere we’ll after surgery #2, so bad I got a cortisone shot in my knee which was preventing me from walking.  

General fatigue lethargy heaviness and muscle pain randomly, but so much that I will have to lie down to sleep an episode off 

Some kind of deep arthritis like pains in both feet about 3 months post op, 1 month after my feet inexplicably swelled to the size of sausages 

Asthma that put me in the hospital and I’m still recovering - I have asthma but hadn’t had an attack since I was 8, now they are saying possible COPD or Fibrosis of some kind, lung or liver, possible pancreatic issues   

My two lumbar surgical recoveries were horrible, lack of pain control after surgery #1 I felt like dying and difficult but finally numbed pain after surgery #2 three weeks later, but not before I took so many opiates - I thought I was dying before and after the increase in meds  

Never once experienced any of these things except the childhood asthma, before surgery #1

Has anyone heard of major surgery triggered symptoms/ diseases (arthritis, autoimmune etc) by surgery  ?  

I have barely played dr google because of another thread here, thanks William, but have asked my PM and PCP and they’ve never heard of anything (both attributing my symptoms to side effects from medications, too many to list here or old age, yeah I’m late 50s old)

Thanks


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Comments

  • Joel

    Rheumatiod Arthritis is one thing that can be triggered from trauma, accident or stress according to my rheumatologist, RA is an autoimmune disease, you are born with the gene, in my case, I didn't fit the profile, it normally shows up in patients in their late 20-30s, I was 55, doctor said that it was most likely triggered by either my last surgery or stress, which I had a lot of at that time, she also said that none of this is an exact science, but if it were me, I would get checked by a rheumatologist.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,137

    Joel

    I did not have Osteo of the spine or RA until after my surgery. Plus a lot of other issues the doctors are attributing to meds and scoliosis. But scoliosis did not show up until I was 65. 

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  • Thanks for your replies.  Wow Sandra, I know you’ve had it way worse than I, but that’s eerie.  And Chip, my father’s Mom had horrible RA. She basically was an invalid at 80, but her mind was sharp as a tack.  She lasted to 94.  My surgeries were traumatic and I was under such horrible work stress at the time also...I wonder if I’m on to something ...I feel a rheumatologist visit is in my near future. Maybe then an endocrinologist.  

    I don’t recall any pre surgery warnings that I could Possibly have these types of issues post op ... I remember the paralysis and death  % discussion, but I’m not sure I would have been Gung Ho for surgery if I’d known then why my body is finding out now.  

  • Joel

    If you have a family history of RA, thats all the more reason to get tested, a rheumatologist can also test for many other autoimmune diseases.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 360
    edited 01/14/2020 - 11:38 PM

    So an update of sorts...

    Pulmonary problems lead to chest X-rays (negative) and CT scan which revealed lung scars from previous or current bouts with chronic bronchitis, nothing major...plus three cracked ribs in the back and one in the front, attributed to Severe coughing during this attack

    which hasn’t abated 50% in 3 months. 4 cracked ribs all of a sudden? only broke bones 3 times in my life- and they all were completely my fault. 

    Rib breaks are so painful, I can’t believe how much that hinders pulmonary recovery, first you can’t breath and then you’re afraid to breath.

     on my fourth treatment of prednisone, and all the arthritis pain is gone again for the fourth time in 3 months so that’s a silver lining. Still have zero energy   

    During pulmonary testing upon complete exhale of each of the many breathing testS I had a head rush or felt dizzy and as if I were going to pass out every time, tingling and muscle heaviness that I feel at other times when I’m lethargic and then must sleep for a while.  Drs think the amount of blood reaching my heart is compromised.   Heart sonogram being scheduled.   

    Pulmonary dr and PCP are working together and I’ve had numerous RA marker tests that appear within normal limits so the rheumatologist appt is in the works to try and figure that out.  

    Still wondering if this is all tied to the surgery trauma.   

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  • Joel

    Chronic fatigue is one of the symptoms of RA, I was tired all the time and couldn't figure out why, since starting treatment it has gotten some better. Another problem with RA is your immune symptom is compromied, I recently had a sinus infection, even with antibiotics it took forever to get over it.

    I am glad you are going to see a rheumatologist, be prepared, there is a lot of testing that goes with seeing one.

    Chip

  • Thanks chip, a lot of our experiences are alike.  I wonder if that’s why it’s taking me so long to get through this latest bout of asthma/bronchitis ?  Both my PCP and Pulmonary Specialist have ordered lots of bloodwork, will be seeing results soon )( I love the medical portals - they are one of the best advances in recent patient care in my opinion.  

  • Joel

    I hope they get this figured out for you, I understand how frustrating all this can be, you know something is going on but can't seem to get a diagnosis, hang in there.

    Chip

  • Thank you chip. This week one of the many blood tests came back positive for RA marker, I’ve had so many I’m not sure which one it is but I think ANCA positive. The discussion I’m being referred to a rheumatologist and seeing a higher level pulmonary dr for biologic treatment consideration for breathing issues that won’t clear up, my dr agrees about the weakened immune system, which also could be caused by prolonged periods on prednisone, which could also be a reason for demineralization of feet along with RA. Yes. Frustrating. Tired of it.  Mindfulness is being tested today. Blessings to all for continued support. 

  • Joel

    I hate to hear that you have positive markers, but at least if it is RA, there are several treatments that can really help, I just changed medications last week, that's #3 for me so far, I am now on a biologic and hoping this is the right one, my rheumatologist said it is not unusual to go through several before finding the right one for you and your system, my joint pain is better than before starting treatment, but it could still be better.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

  • Thanks again Chip. I don’t understand biologics and need to read up on the subject since it’s such a new treatment option. I had two follow on tests to the positive  ANCA marker that were negative.  I have spent so much time over the past year learning about nerve and spinal pain that I am also trying to catch up on arthritis knowledge to be able to ask the right questions at my first rheumatologist appt.  if things continue down that path I’ll definitely want more info on what worked and what didn’t for you. 

  • Joel

    I am still new to all of this myself, when I got the diagnosis I went to the arthritis side of things here and did a lot of reading, there are some really good articles on the many types of arthritis. I was told that diagnosing RA and several other types is very difficult, it took me 5 appointments before she was sure and started any treatment, those appointments included bloodwork and lots of it, x-rays, ultrasound and of course physical examinations of all your joints, the doctor was able to look at my recent MRI of my neck and lumbar, so at least I didn't need another one of those, so don't get discouraged if it takes some time to figure it all out.

    If I can be of any help at all, just let me know.

    Chip 

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