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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Look...I'm basing my comments on my experiences...so always keep that in mind, but what you've been going through sounds very similar to my experiences after my first surgery (L4-5 PLIF).

It sounds like the PT/stretching are making things worse...causing worse sciatic nerve flare, etc. Your piriformis and other muscles in the sacral/buttocks area are probably inflamed. It would be very unusual to have a lower lumbar area suddenly immobilized without developing this type of issue.

When I had my L3-S1 fusion back in 2010 I had to start and stop physical therapy at least three times. At six months I found I had to back off everything and just walk. Even the simplest stretches were too much. I couldn't afford to allow my sciatic nerves to flare up...so I would drop back and stop most activities ...but it is important to keep moving...you can't just take to bed except for an occasional walk! I remember at a year out from surgery I was considering all sorts of things...piriformis syndrome among them. As I was beginning to walk more, I developed what I thought might be hip bursitis. I was considering *** injections, prolotherapy, etc.

The best thing for me was to just keep walking and at about 16 months out, the "hip bursitis" cleared, and I had no sciatic pain...as long as I avoided those activities that I knew caused it to flare. Just recently, after having mostly recovered from my 4th surgery last Sept. 28th, I went back to my PT (who only works with spine patients) because I wanted to really work on getting stronger and in better shape. What I discovered is that more than the average back surgery patient, I have to take things more slowly as I am more neurologically compromised. So I am just working much more slowly and carefully than I would have liked...but I am beginning to see some results and haven't caused myself any nerve flares or other issues.

You are still very early in recovery...six months isn't very long considering you really had two major surgeries! However, if I were you, I would push to get a new MRI. It is possible there is a hardware failure that is causing you additional pain.

Do you have new symptoms that you didn't have prior to surgery? Were things better for awhile and are now worsening or have you had these symptoms ever since surgery?

The doctor could prescribe a mild muscle relaxer that might help with the muscle twitching. I was extremely sensitive to one but found another that worked that I took after my last surgery when things were acting up!





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