Fractured L3 facet

Catch up first: 
ALIFL5/S1 2011
SCS 2013
decompression and bilateral foraminotomy L2-L5 July 2015. 

The relief from July came only somewhat but the right L5 nerve damage is permanent and I didn't expect much there. Right after surgery I developed what they thought were shingles 2" from the scar on my spine and in a 4-5" square on my right hip. Fast forward through all the steroids, biopsies, dermatologists, wound care specialists, etc, and it's still here and no one knows what it is or why. Meanwhile 60 mg a day of prednisone is killing me. 

Now the new stuff. About ten days ago I started having left hip, low back, and thigh tenderness and pain, getting progressively worse.  I had been able to find a "spot" sitting or laying down to ease the symptoms but Monday I was not able to even walk that far or stand without excruciating pain. I ended up at the ER where they finally gave me IV dilaudid to allow me to lay and complete a CatScan. The usual suspects except herniated discs at l3-5 even after decompression surgery. However he mentions a past fracture at L3. I've never had or been told such a thing. I pulled my scans from May '15 and Dec '15 and the fracture happened after May and the July surgery. It is also getting wider separation and appears to be rotating slightly. 
Symptoms are brutal including, pain, numbness inner left thigh,  and throbbing feeling in the knee. The knee feels like it has a "shell" all over it and the surrounding area. I can't stand or walk very long and I have to have a cane because I've taken four tumbles this week. 
Pain dr did an S I injection Tuesday and transformational L3-4, L4-5 yesterday. No effective changes noted. 
I see the surgeon Monday am 8:00 but I'm scared. I half expect emergency surgery due to the worsening gap in the fracture and the sudden onset and severity of the symptoms. 

Anyone else have have similar experience? 


  • Well it seems that a total fusion L2-S1 is in my near future. 
  • Second opinion from my old conservative OrthoSurgeon comes on Friday. 
  • advertisement
Sign In or Join Us to comment.