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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi everyone...I am new to the board as you can see. A year and 1/2 ago I had a laminectomy & diskectomy with fusion (using bone morphegenic protein) of L 4 & 5.
That was July of 2004. I did great! Then in October of 2005 I started having pain down the back of my leg that has left me unable to do anything. I have had an MRI, X-rays, EMG and now a Myelogram. I go back to the doc this Monday, April 10th to get the results. Other tests have shown nothing. Has anyone else had a problem similar to this? :wave:
I have leg pain after my L4-S1 fusion 7 weeks ago that I didnt have pre surgery. At first I was thinking maybe your L-3 or L-5 level was effected but you said test were good. Im just a fellow spiney and not a doc. good luck.
Daldridge, welcome to the forum but wish you didn't have to be here! My husband is 11 months post-op and has been experiencing foot, ankle and calf pain for the past several weeks. He can hardly walk right now. His neuro said that the nerves to his legs were so compressed that when they started recovering, it was going to be painful. That could be what is happening to you, also. He just happened to have a dr appt with his family doc this morning and was essentially told the same. He really thinks this is related to his back surgery and recommended to dh to not be on his feet so much, elevate his legs, and rest them often throughout the day. We'll get the expert opinion in May if it still persists. That's when he goes back to his neurosurgeon. Hopefully he can get some relief before then!

I hope you find relief soon!
Thanks for the Welcome, wish I didn't have to be here either but it's nice to have someone to talk to that can relate to how you feel.

I am presently taking Hydrocodone 500mg for the pain. I use about 40 a week. I am so scared of becoming dependent on them! I took them for 6 months bef0re my surgery and didn't have a problem when I stopped but now having to take it again scares me!

Anyone else have any ideas on how to relieve the pain when it's bad? Heat seems to help. Wish I could afford a hot tub! That is my next goal! I welcome any ideas to help deal with the pain
Aloha Daldridge,

I was wondering if at anytime in any of your PT sessions, did you get to experience a TENS unit? Iíve had one since before surgery, and I still use it on the regular basis.

I have also had to deal with leg pain. Before surgery my right leg and foot was on fire all of the time, numbness, pins and needles and loss of strength, sometimes my foot would drag when I walked (I donít know how many times I stubbed my toes :eek: ). I have gained the strength back and then some, but still have bouts of nerve pain, not near as bad though and not all of the time like it was pre-op, and it is getting better. Nerves take an incredible amount of time to heal; however, I have some permanent damage because we waited so long for surgery, I have no reflexes left on my right leg whatsoever, the Doc smacks his hammer on my knee (fairly hard too), and nothing, no movement, same thing with my ankle.

Another thing is that after surgery, my left leg is now involved, and both (excuse me) buttocks is numb and have the ole pins and needles sensation (oh joy!) Darned if you do, darned if you donít. But I can live with that, I can walk normally again, I can sit comfortably for hours, I just can't lift anything over 6 ounces...just kidding, but I am careful with what I do.

But, back to the TENS, ask your PM Doc or PT if you could try it if you havenít already, then, if it helps, have your Doc write a prescription for one, they can be had for between $100 and $200, and moreÖnaturally, but insurance would pay for it. You can Google TENS and get more info. I absolutely love mine! Good Luck.

Thanks, H'C...

I just talked to my dr and he says he is going to take the hardware out and remove scar tissue to see if that helps. I am scheduled for surgery on June 2. If I'm still in pain after that I will for sure ask him about the tens unit. Thanks for the advice. I'll try anything!!!

What kind of pain? Is it in the hamstring area? when does it happen?

I hope the surgery goes good for you. I also have had the unwanted leg, calf and foot pain post op. I take gabapentin for this, it works wonders.

If you still have the pain after, maybe ask your Dr. about trying it, or some other type of med for nerve pain (just a thought). Also, I know everyones different, but I take mine at night, otherwise if I take it during the daytime, I wanna go to sleep.

Good luck,
Hi All,
I am 5 almost 6 mo. post op from fusion, have had the nerve pain from day one after surgery. I take 1800 mg. neurontin along with ES vicodin and flexiril for the pain, wish I could say it goes away quickly, but mine hasn't yet. I hope the removal will help butif it doesn't I agree with Bernie, ask your doc about the neurontin, it's a life saver for still.

God Bless & good luck.

Carol :wave:
Welcome to the boards!! You'll find alot of great people here with a vast knowledge of information. I would be lost without the healthboards. I agree that a tens unit will help. I rely on mine alot. I have nerve pain that runs from my low back down into my left leg and believe me I know what you mean when you say you can not do anything. I have just came off neurontin and started taking cymbalta for the nerve pain. I do not know if it is going to work. I took cymbalta before and stayed nauseated all the time. I am hoping it does differently now. My doctor can't find anything on an MRI except for scar tissue and the nerve is compressed. I had a laminectomy in 2001 and a fusion in 2002. Since then I have had one problem after another. I have taken so much meds that now I am having to take meds for my stomach because all the meds for back have taken a toll on my stomach. Ask your doctor about a tens....also I have found that when sitting if I prop my leg up on a pillow it takes some of the pressure off. Good Luck!!
Tammy :)
tammys, I take Cymbalta to , and lyrica and I really can't say they help me. Dont they do anything for pinched nerves ?
Hope ya feelin better
Hi All! Im Tammy. I had fusion done at L4-L5 3 weeks ago. Doing great but have leg pain in the one I had no pain in before the surgery. I just started on the Neurontin last nite, and I agree with others.. it's good to take at bedtime, cuz it really makes you sleepy and it hangs in there. I am sure my body will get used to it. I hope not so used to it that I have to up my dose. Anyhoo, Shawley, have you tried Neurontin, it's a prescursor to Lyrica, but it may have some diff compound that might help you some more to relieve that pain. You mentioned pinched nerve.. and helping with that. I guess it depends on the severity of the pinching. Gosh, I hope you get some relief.. we all know how it feels.

The TENS unit is a great way to ease soft tissue pain and have used one myself. I am thinking of getting one that I can keep instead of loaned as before. It's nice to have around for muscle spasms rather than to use medication to relieve. Something for you to consider and it's usually a covered durable medical equipment expense for most insurance companies. Best wishes to everyone and a painfree life. Catch on the next thread.. Tammy
Justoneofus , Hello, yeah I tried neurontin but it made me sick ,I started off with it.
I also have a tens unit but it only gives about 5 minutes of relief , I used to get muscle spasm's but not anymore , I had skelaxin for that. Just burning and thumping pain for me , no spasm's
I have taken and am taking the gabapentin (neurontin) for the neerve pain but it provides no relief. The pain starts in my lower back, hip down my hamstring and into my calf then down into the bottom of my foot.
After 4 days on Neurontin, had very serious reaction to the stuff and doctors took me off of it. Extreme muscle weakness, soreness, bone ache pain over hips and at two of incisions in back (not previously a problem), and severe swelling in legs and feet, stiff neck, and headache.

Doc was out of town, so his PA put me back on prednisone on Friday, sent me for immeidate sonogram on legs to rule out blood clots. Thank goodness none were detected. They gave me an appointment to see the surgeon this morning and he will more than likely order an MRI to rule out staph infection and also to see that nothing has shifted.

Since off the Neurontin and on prednisone medrol pak, I am regaining muscle coordination, back does not ache as much, leg pain is controlled but the hamstring is evident in left leg with some tinge of pain in calves and feet. Swelling is going down some, so leg pain from swelling is not as bad and have much improvement in walking. But like before, once the pak is gone, I am certain the leg pain from the nerve thing is going to return.

Question is, what will they try me on next that hopefully I wont react to. I will let you know. For those of you that can tolerate Neurontin, I am happy it's working for you.

Take care to all of you and I hope that you are feeling better today. Tammy
Hi. I was unsuccessful with the neurontin and tried topamax. It worked well for me after my laminectomy. I'm now set for fusion and will ask for topamax again after. Some side effects to get used to - the worst one for me that I didn't realize I had until I quit taking it (because I need surgery again) was mild depression. After seven months or so on it I also had one of the unusual side effects, which is gum bleeding. As soon as I stopped the topamax, the bleeding stopped.

I hope I don't have that side effect again. If I remember correctly (one of the side effects) it was after an increase in dosage.

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