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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

*Hugs* to you, Upstate!

This is a very rare and unfortunate risk of any spine surgery. You just never think something like this will happen to you until it does.

There are several possibilities of what is causing this. You obviously have damage to the nerves supplying the areas affected which happened during surgery. Surgeons will often use small tools to lift nerve roots during surgery so they won't be damaged where they are working, and sometimes the nerve roots become bruised from this or from other work that has been done by the surgeon. It's also less likely that the surgeon actually cut or nicked a nerve root during surgery or while repairing the durasac, but again this is very unlikely. Whether or not you regain feeling and movement in the affected areas will depend on what damage has been done. Please keep in mind that the overwhelming probability here is that the nerve(s) has been bruised vs. cut.

Chances are high that you will start to see some improvement soon, but nerves heal very, very slowly so it's likely going to take a fair bit of time, possibly even many months. I know this is the last thing you want to hear.

You had a lot of levels worked on which means your spine in those areas has now weakened significantly, and it's possible that the weakness is now causing your spine to further collapse and is pinching a nerve in the process.

If it were me, I'd stay in very regular communication with the surgeon - the squeaky wheel saying definitely applies here! Be sure he/she knows exactly how much or how little you are progressing. If you don't start seeing any improvement soon, your surgeon will need to run further tests like MRI's, EMG's, etc. to try finding where and what the damage is. You may need to be assertive, but try not being rude as hard as that may be under the circumstances.

I've had 6 spine surgeries and 3 of those surgeries were to fix the complications caused by the other 3 surgeries. It's my experience that many doctors brush over the 1-2% (according to them) complication rate that occurs with spine surgeries and make you feel as though there's almost no chance it will happen to you. I really feel for you, and know that we are here thinking of you. I'd really appreciate it if you'd keep us updated on this.

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