Author Topic: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??  (Read 387 times)

RococoSoul

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What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« on: January 31, 2012, 12:10:12 AM »
I had a L5/S1 Discectomy & Nerve root decompression at the beginning of November. The op didn't go to plan and I still get a lot of neuro pain as well as permanant numbess from my left buttocks to my big toe. I lost bladder function and had a catheter for a short while and had some infection in my scar tissue. When I came round from surgery and said I couldn't feel my leg, I was told it could be "just one of those things".  Aside from when I was in hospital, I only saw my surgeon 5 weeks post op, in December, for all of five minutes, even though he had said it was the worst surgery he'd ever performed and was aware of nerve damage. It was also at that point I also had sitches removed that had pushed through the scar. I have not been seen by him since and no sign of an appointment. As well as this, I was diagnosed with reactive arthritis in August and have seen my rheumy once, also in December. Because of the flare ups in my joints I'm finding it increasingly difficult to adjust. But I feel I've had no support and not much has  been said to explain why all this has happened, or how!
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booboo

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 12:20:22 AM »
Hi RococoSoul

So sorry you have had such poor information and little or no support since your surgery.

About 4 years ago I had a L4/L5 discectomy.  It seemed to have worked - well no constant pain - but the relief was short lived and after various to ing and fro ing it was obvious I would need another op.  Well it was in fact the same op on the same disc which had popped out again and as you know the pain is absolutely agonising.  The risks are increased also but sometimes you just have to have something done to try and ease the pain.  Luckily my second op worked.

I dont think there is any set time on recovery.  We are all different and our body reacts, heals and takes its own time over things.  I wouldnt be unduly influenced by people who tell you they were fine right after an op - that maybe normal for them but some procedures are more difficult to perform and arent always straightforward so recovery times and how we feel after will vary. 

I dont know - am just a person who has gone through the same op as you.  I was offered physio afterwards but the surgeon soon realised I couldnt cope with even the slightest exercises.  It may be worth going to see your gp and ask for some guidance as to what is available or should have been offered to you.


RococoSoul

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 12:49:46 AM »
Thanks Booboo. I'm going to try and see my Gp tomorrow as I've been getting terrible cramps, where my whole leg locks. When the rest of you isn't working cramp isn't easy to rid of is it? He always has my upcoming appointments in his computer too. But I rely on other people to take me. I did have a physio session and it was excrutiating. And had a hydro session last week after four attempts and it was painful and exhausting. Thing is my appointments are based in four different hospitals and getting an understanding is hindered a lot by that. So far though, I have just been told "it could be one of those things". I'm not one to give up, but it's been one step forward, two steps back. I've had people (my boyfriend inc.) say 'oh so-and-so had the surgery and walked out of the hospital after two days', but it really adds to my frustrations. Not least because I didn't, but I still struggle to walk now. Some things you can adapt to easily, but losing your independence is a whole different ball game.

I'm glad your second surgery went well for you. It was mentioned before my op that I may have to have more surgery as I have extensive lumber damage, lumber to mid thoracic scoliosis and a dislocating coccyx.

It is early days, I know, but I feel so alone.

Thanks for your post booboo :)
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

auntieCtheM

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 01:37:30 AM »
 >hugs<

I suggest that you get onto your surgeon asap and demand to be seen urgently.  Most doctors hate to see anyone in pain.  And this one did something that gave you the pain.

The other thing you can think of doing is making a formal complaint through PALS at the hospital.  A soon as the surgeon gets to know about this he will get his skates on as it means his reputation will suffer.

RococoSoul

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 01:43:35 AM »
I just figured, I was told the risks or at least a reel of percentages before the op, so just took it that I was one of the unlucky ones. But reading some posts I can't help but feel an 85% success rate doesn't ring quite so true?? Thanks auntie, I'll speak to my G.P tomorrow, see if he can get some sense x
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

Hurtyback

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 05:13:31 PM »
 >hugs<  I am sorry that you had such a bad time and are getting no support.
 
I had my discectomy in November 2010. I woke with excruciating nerve pain in my leg, as bad as it had ever been. reading between the lines, it sounds as if my nerve was damaged when the surgeon removed the piece of disc that was wedged in it  >yikes< . My actual post-op revocery went well and I was doing an 'active back' class 3 weeks later - it is just that the op didn't work and I have had no relief from my original pain.
 
I saw another surgeon last month. He said that he thought it would be worth having another look - but also went on to say 'considerable difficulty associated with further surgery', 'very real chance of no help' and 'real chance' of making things worse. Added to the 10,300 that this would cost (as the 'benefits' are not enough for the NHS to fund it) I decided not to bother!
 
As you can see, everyone is different in the way they recover and your surgeon is the person who should be helping you with this.

Danslatete

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 06:44:02 PM »
I had same surgery, i too had problems with numbness and retention etc. I had to go in for more surgery inside 12 months. After second syrgery i had horriffic cramps and pain. I was on enough drugs to knock an elephant sideways.
It took a long long time to get back on my feet. Once a nerve is damaged it takes many months to settle, can take yrs to repair. There is no quick fix. Do what you can not to lose what you have. I know it is frustrating and depressing seeing no end to the pain and problems when you have put yourself through so much. Give it time.
You can always seek a second opinion maybe seek a private appoinment with a consultant that doesnt do surgery in the hospital you were treated in. That way it is likely to be 'independant'
Everyone is different and people experience pain differently. If nothing else try to see a pain clinic and get that under control.
 >hugs<

RococoSoul

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 08:09:21 PM »
Thanks for your posts, Hurtyback and Danslatete.

I'm not sure if I would have anymore surgery if it was offered to me even if it does feel I'm constantly kicked in the backside, and the leg cramps are horrendous, my whole leg locks. And my leg is incredibily sensitive to hot and cold. I have to realise tho it's only 12wks today since my op, early days, but I just thought there'd be a lot more support on offer immediately after. Plus I've tried every med from cocodamol, diclofenac, diazepam, amitriptyline, gabepentin, naproxen, tramadol and pregabalin to Morphine, Oxynorm and Oxycontin and nothing helps but I've had some spacey moments.

Pain clinic has been mentioned, more than once, but I never been referred  >erm<
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

Hurtyback

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Re: What is the Post Op norm re: spinal surgery??
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 08:11:28 PM »
My surgeon referred me to the pain clinic once he said there was nothing else he could offer.