10 Months After Lumbar Fusion

I got in a work-related (law enforcement) car accident in 2008. At the time, the clinic we're required to go to only diagnosed my torn rotator cuff, broken hand and neck stiffness. Had I went to the hospital and got put into an MRI, a real doctor would've diagnosed my 2 ruptured cervical discs.

It took a year of pain and testing (including one cervical MRI that was misdiagnosed) before I got my answer.  I had 2 ruptured discs at C4-C5, C5-C6, a bulging disc at T8-T9 and a severely ruptured disk at L5-S1.

I went in for a double anterior cervical fusion in December of 2009, then a lumbar laminectomy (L5-S1) in March 2010. Unfortunately, my lumbar disc ruptured again in August 2010, after I worked too hard during aquatic therapy.

I was in excruciating pain up until I finally lost the use of my right leg. I immediately went to the hospital in January of this year. When my surgeon got in there, he said I had the fluid from the disc putting pressure on the nerves from one side and my sciatic nerves were also wrapped in scar tissue, so it was causing all my symptoms.

After the lumbar fusion (l5/s1) surgery, I did great, felt great all the way through therapy, relatively pain-free, and then it slowly started coming back.

Fast forward to where I am now. I've had two caudal steroid injections with no relief. I'm on Norco 7.5/325 (2 every 6 hours), Percocet (7.5/325) 1 every night, Neurontin (400mg) 1 every 8 hours) Robaxin (750mg) 1 every 8 hours, Valium (5mg) 1 every 12hrs.

All of this doesn't make me comfortable. I have terrible aching low back pain across both sides of my waist, down into my butt, down the back/outside of my thighs, and around the outside of my calves and into my feet where it hurts on both sides.

I've had a bone scan and CT myelogram in the last 2 weeks and I see my surgeon on 11/11/11, so I hope to get some answers, because I cannot function with this level of pain.

I got the test results from my bone scan and CT Myelogram yesterday (phone call from surgical nurse). My myelogram was clean (glad to know no nerves are pinched). However, the bone scan shows the left side of my fusion is still not healed and the doctor wants to give it another 3-4 months, do another bone scan, and if it still isn't healed, they will have to go back in.

In the meantime, my surgeon and pain management doctor need to get on the same page. I'm barely functioning because of the bone pain and swelling around it that's causing sciatica.

Hoping for a change in meds and a different type of injection.

Anyone with a similar story? Why wouldn't it be fused/healed within 10 months?

- Matt

10 Months After Lumbar Fusion to Sciatica

10/25/11 Revised 1/23/13


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