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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi Everyone,
Let me start out with some backround info. I have had 2 lumbar surgeries on L3-4, First one March 2010 micodiscectomy partial laminectomy for herniated disc to relieve nerve pain from L4 nerve being crushed, 6 weeks after that surgery I ended up herniating it again, then the MRI showed some residual disc material leaking, did some injections, tried to take the conserative route but ended up with worsening leg pain but higher up in my leg, after a CT Mylegram it showed I had herniated the disc badly and it was an extraforaminal herniation, I guess which means herniated in a different place than normal so it was compressing my L3 nerve which is more sensitive, I also had an MRI, I had spondylosis, not sure of if I have the spelling correct or meaning, so I had a TLIF fusion at this level with rods, screws and peek cage on March 15, 2011. I should say both of these herniations were affecting my right leg and I did have alot of back pain. When I woke up after surgery of course had alot of pain in my back but didn't seem to feel anymore nerve pain, I think it was about 5 weeks into recovery when I started to have some return of of nerve pain in my upper thigh, surgeon said that could be normal as the nerve regenerates and my back always stayed extremely sore on the right side, the nerve pain continued to get worse and was feeling it also a little lower to me knee, I had started physical therapy at 10 weeks post op, continued to have pain and at 12 weeks DR did a CT scan and the radiologist reported it looked like there may be an infection near the peek cage where they put the BMP, my bloodwork was fine and other than the pain I didn't feel sick, my surgeon said it was probably inflammation created from the BMP, they did see a halo looking image but was hard to distinguish it, they had me do an MRI and that report said there was something that had mass effect on the L3 nerve, when I asked the surgeon he said it was post surgical change and for right now we will wait and see if the pain improves after steriods and 1 week of anti-inflammitories and physical therapy, I was also still taking 900 mg of neurontin (gabapentin) a day, fast forward to the last couple of weeks, I went back to work 4 hours a day to start, I have a desk job so sitting is most of my day, After working 1 week (wanted to give it a good shot) It was just too excruciating sitting or standing for those 4 hours from the nerve pain, last week my physical therapist called the neurosurgeon that he didn't know what to do from where we were bacause of the pain and my surgeon pulled me in his office Friday afternoon, he said he spoke with the orthopedic spine surgeon he works with alot, they reviewed the last CT scan and MRI from mid June and thought maybe the halo could be the BMP calcifying outside the peek cage in the canal or a cyst so they scheduled a ct scan that same afternoon, scheduled a MRI for this Wednesday, talked with my DR's office receptionist Tuesday morning, DR pulled me out of work again because I couldn't handle it, he reviewed the CT results and wanted me in his office for an appointment right after MRI (he can pull it up on computer right after it is done) the CT Scan and MRI clearly showed a fluid filled cyst caused from a reation to the BMP from my body in the spinal canal severely displacing L3 nerve upward and touching the L4 nerve, that explained the extreme soreness in my back and nerve pain in my entire thigh, he said it would be very difficult to do surgery to remove that because he would be cutting through a whole lot of scar tissue he said I had and would have to remove the hardware on the right side, which I am fusing but not fused all the way yet, he was thinking that I could have it aspirated by needle guided by CT Scan, the cyst had densified as it grew larger, he got on a conference call with the orthopedic spine surgeon he works with, the nuerosugeon that gave us the second opinion for my fusion and neurologist/radiologist that is very good at aspirating things in the spinal canal, brought up the CT image and they all agreed that the best course of action is to aspirate it and the neurologist/radiologist would do it if it was acceptable to me, my neurosurgeon assured me he was the best DR to do the job so we are hoping he will be able to get into it, my neurosurgeon has never had a cyst form from the BMP, he has only seen calcification from the BMP in a few cases in the canal so this is all new to him, if they can aspirate it he will follow it up with 4 weeks of Diclofenac (spinal anti-inflammatory) and some prednisone to get the inflammation down, if it doesn't work he and the orthopedic spine surgeon will put their heads together and see what they can do, sorry for the long post, I'm just wondering if anyone else has happened to them and what they did and how the outcome was, It has been very frustrating to say the least, my neurosurgeon is a great DR, have a good day everyone

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