Sciatica After Hip Replacement

In September, 2009, my right hip was replaced with a metal on metal prosthesis. Having a choice of anesthesia, I chose an epidural over general anesthesia.

The surgery must have gone well, but upon the epidural wearing off, I asked the nurse why it felt like my leg was on fire. No answer just a puzzled look. I reported the condition to my surgeon, but he could only guess.

After being released from the hospital, and a couple of months of rehab, I set out to determine the origin of my leg burning. I enlisted the help of a pain specialist. From the very beginning, it was his opinion that the source of the pain was radiating out of my back, L4.

Up to that point in my life, I had had three back surgeries, all without hardware. The last was two months before the hip replacement. From that date until the date of the hip replacement, no leg burning was experienced. The procedure was a three level laminectomy.

Jumping forward, I had a heart attack two and a half months after the hip replacement and was put on Plavix and other blood thinning drugs, so anything invasive was put off for a year. A year of pure torture. At the end of that year, the pain specialist performed a spinal injection down the L4 root, no relief.

Three months later, I had another mini-laminectomy in an attempt to relieve the burning, but no relief. Two months later the same hip was revised in an attempt to relieve the burning pain, but no relief.

So here we are, two and a half years later and it still feels like my buttocks, thigh, sides of my legs and foot continue to burn. Minutes after retiring for the night, the burning goes away. Upon rising the next morning, back it comes.

Any help would be appreciated. A neurosurgeon and another orthopedist suspect a damaged nerve around the hip caused by the hip replacement. The pain specialist still thinks it's coming out of my back.  Help.

- Ron




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