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Old 06-03-2008, 03:15 AM
Shanti Shanti is offline
Community Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: IL (near St Louis, MO)
Posts: 82
Unhappy Thanks for the patience:)

I am so sorry I have not been online. I have my appt tomorrow with my NS amd will hopefully be lifted off the extra precautions, but I just didn't want to risk doing anything that was "fixed" because God knows when I get online I have one heck of a time getting off...LOL

First and foremost, I hope that all of those that have had surgeries since I've been on last are doing well....and that the rest of you are doing well also. I can't wait to be able to sit here once again and be able to contribute instead of always asking questions. I just want to do my best obeying docs orders, plus it's still killer sitting here for more than 5 min.

Anyway, as you may remember, I had the TLIF at L4-L5 April 10th. They had to make another incision on the right side in order to get the second half of the hardware in. The swelling has gone down quite well. I am still having leg pain but it is getting better. But since I am a "fusion virgin" I have some post-op questions if you don't mind

For starters, in the beginning I had no problem laying on my back...but now I can no longer do that without some pretty decent discomfort....almost like I am feeling the hardware???? Keep in mind, I am not all that thin, but not that heavy either. What are your thoughts or experiences on this? I would think I would have felt it earlier if it was from swelling or something. Or moreso on the left side since that is where they went over my other scar from my last surgery.

Secondly, prior to, as well as coming out of surgery, I had no tingling in my heel. Now, suddenly, my entire bottom part of my heel has been numb and/or tingling.

Also, I just got my pre-op reports from my pre-op scans saying they found I had a central (extruded) herniation at L5/S1 (which I felt I had for a while) and now seem to be having significant problems with that. Is it possible (I would think) that this disc could have gotten worse from all the roughness during surgery?

Finally, I was doing real well with my walking, but now I can barely make it around our block and my right leg in the L5 dermatome (outer thigh down to ankle) feels like it just doesn't want to go anymore. It feels weak.

I plan to bring this up to my NS tomorrow (well, today now...LOL) but I feel like I'm being knit-picky or that he'll feel I am thinking less of him. He is a good doc, but it's just with my past history with docs that makes me worry about these things.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any info you can give me as to what you feel these things may be. I also attached 2 images, just in case. One is of the incision after surgery and of the the x-ray to show the hardware.

Thank you once again for all your help!!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TLIF.jpg (40.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg xray.jpg (35.1 KB, 5 views)
Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:34 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
Distinguished Community Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: S. Indiana
Posts: 9,900

Shanti, it is good to have you back and to hear about your recovery. Sorry all is not going well but that isn't uncommon with fusions. Your L5-S1 could be worse from the rough handling or the additional pressure now that the fusion is directing pressure down to L5. The heel numbness could be a natural result of your body recovering as the nerves were stretched and abused but it could also be something new to keep an eye on. I felt like I could feel my hardware for many months after my lumbar surgery. Doctors claim it isn't possible and I haven't had that feeling since the first year after surgery.

I hope you continue to improve and your areas of concern get better as your recovery goes on.
1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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