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Still having pain after surgery

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  • It's me again. So I have decided to go ahead and schedule my fusion surgery asap instead of waiting till after my wife's hysterectomy. I just got out of the emergency room, I was having excruciating pain, and leg weakness upon awakening in the mornings for the past week or so, I had fallen to the ground from some serious muscle spasms 3 times in the past few days, even while going pee. And all my surgeons nurse says is "waiting on insurance", and "if the pain is so bad go to the E.R.". So I did and what a waste of time. Waiting on the insurance to approve my fusion so it won't be so much money out of our pockets is getting to be a real pain in the butt...literally. :S
    Anyways I found out what the giant white area in my MRI is called...Seroma. That's what all the swelling is near/under my incision. The Internet says it should be drained if the seroma is causing added pain (which it is), and I don't know why my surgeon just blew it off like it's nothing. Everyone says go to another surgeon, but I am skeptical of an unfamiliar face cutting on me you know. I feel like my surgeon is an ass at times, but I liked him from the get go. Just because I'm in the boat I'm in doesn't mean he put me there. He is very thorough, and looks you in the eye, and seems to care but lately he seems like he don't give a crap by letting me sit in pain for so long. I know doctors are busy people but come on already. So hopefully the ball is moving along and I can get this fusion done and over with. I thank all of you again for your input and concern. I will let you know more when I get the date of my surgery. Speaking of which the surgeon said the way he does fusions I'll only be in the hospital 2-3 days...is that a normal hospital stay for a fusion? Thanks again. Talk to you all soon. :H
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  • Well I have my surgery scheduled for June 15th @ 7:00am. I am a little nervous but so happy that the possibility of being out of pain is getting nearer. I know I can still be in pain, or the surgery could fail again but I am going to stay optimistic about everything. So far it seems like I am getting worse with each day (more pain/trouble walking, not being able to sit up but for a few minutes, and laying down just plain sucks!) So I will let everyone know how it goes once I am able to sit up at the computer. Thanks again for all the support!
  • Monday morning the 15th of June I had my Level 1 Fusion at the L4-L5 level, and was out of the hospital on the morning of the 17th (A bit to early for my taste)and, so far so good. Some slight nerve pain has comeback and the surgical pain is no joke. My incision has been "bleeding" and I am getting worried. I know they stitched me up from the inside out and put steri strips on it. Probably along with some glue, but the guaze has been getting completely saturated and has had some of those strips come off. Gonna get new ones today because they are supposed to take them off in 2 weeks not a few days. I have some major bruising in a sort of "V" shape around the incision...Doctor says it's probably from the retractor they used. He also said my disc pretty much cleaned itself out the rupture was so bad! I am in a brace 24/7 except for when in bed or showering. My legs are still pretty weak, but I feel way better than before. The hospital stay was good except for the part of the nurses waking me up every 2 hours the 1st night, and every 4hrs. the 2nd night. I had a cathater in when I woke up, a mobile pain pump with two leads that ran down the sides of the incision dripping some kind of "numbing" med and one lead got pulled to much and was leaking so my back pain came quick to the side the pump was not working on. Another thing they had in me when I woke up was a "blood drain" which was supposed to suction up any fluid build up. I think the hose got clogged on that thing since I am having so much drainage still. I hate the fact that I have to basicly do zip for a long time (3-6 months). Hope I can keep my sanity. I go back for my post op in 10 days so I will keep everyone informed! Gotta go walk for a bit.
  • Best of luck with the fusion! Yes, it is normal to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. They will probably bring in the physical therapists the day after surgery. Don't be surprised if you have a catheter in when you wake up in recovery. I don't know how they expect someone who just had major back surgery to try and go in a bedpan...it's impossible and they won't let you walk to the bathroom even with a nurse probably until the third day. Do you know if they are going through the front or the back/both? Make sure you do all of the physical therapy after you get out of the hospital and take the meds that you have/are given and you will bounce back quick. I'm here if you have any questions. I've been there! The fusion was the toughest surgery I've ever been through, but I played it by the book and was back to work in 4 weeks instead of the projected 6-8. Even though in the end my fusion failed, having confidence in your doctor is half the battle =) Hang in there!
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  • Well it's been 6 weeks and so far so good. The sciatic pain is gone but my back muscles have a ways to go. Especially after 3 surgeries in less than 5 months. Doc says everything is where it should be, but I am having this curvature in my spine that wasn't there before. Doc says it's my body adjusting for "comfort". It's not very comfortable. I am out of my brace. Allowed to lift 25lbs. and about to start 6 weeks of PT. The only time it's hard to deal with is after laying down. Doesn't matter if it's for 5 mins. or all night. When I get up I feel like I did the first time I got out of bed after surgery. After I'm up for a bit I do ok. I'd trade my old sciatic pain for lower back pain any day! They are supposed to put me on a better muscle relaxer but my insurance is requiring a Prior Authorization from my Doc, and that's almost taken a week and still hasn't gone through. I could just go pay cash but I'm still out of work. What do they think...I'm made of money? I'll keep you all in touch with my situation after some of my PT ( I'm hoping for some water PT). Bye for now.
  • Hey, that's great! Sounds like you are on the road to recovery.

    I remember your story, and you've had a rough time. I'm glad things are looking up for you. :)

    Best wishes,

    Maryanne
  • Glad to hear everything went well! Best of luck with PT. Take care of yourself and don't push too hard =)
  • Thanks again for all the support. I'm done with PT and still very weak in my lower back. Still have pain when I lay down but I'm looking up. I am happier than in the begining so I would tell anyone who was in my boat to keep paddling along. I am still out of work, but being a mechanic my Doctor says to wait. I agree...don't want to have surgery again.
  • I had a micro discectomy about 19 months ago - am still experiencing issues - only on the opposite side. The surgeon insists there is nothing he can see from recent a recent MRI to indicate any problem; after trying to get in to see yet another surgeon for more than a month, they finally called today to tell me they viewed that MRI online (direct link to the imaging location) and they tell me I'd waste my time and money coming in - they too see no problem.

    I KNOW this is not all in my head - at times, the pain is VERY real, more issues trying to sleep at night.

    Is anyone aware of some sort of "brotherhood" amongst neurosurgeons that might prevent one from seeing patients of another surgeon in the same town?

    At my wits end.
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