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    RLS after major fusion surgery ?
    lovehippos posted:
    Hello, I'm new to this site glad I found Ya'll ! Oct I had a fusion
    L4 L5. with 6 screws,bone graph,spacer's,I had 2 blown discs
    stenoisis, and RLS , surgery was 5 1/2 hrs long, 4 days in hospital.
    I'm now about 2 1/2 months after surgery, I'm taking nothing,
    I went to a party 6 days ago ,first time I wore flat shoes not sneakers.
    Now my ankles are swollen my feet tingle and I have leg pain.
    (before my surgery I had 32 shots 4 epidurals this year alone)
    I have some back pain, I can't bend over much at all. Is this normal ?
    Is it nerves growing back ? I'm 46 have always been VERY active,
    now I can't do much, all the shots and low activity caused me to gain
    20 #'s, I'm trying to walk but the swollen ankles hurt.. I fought surgery for 5 years cuz I was worried I would be worse off. I did take Klonopin 4 RLS B 4 surgery, Any help or what worked for you would be gratefully accepted. Thank You Much.
    davedsel57 responded:
    Hello, Amy, and welcome. I love your screen name! Did you ask for a hippo for Christmas? Do you know that song? LOL

    I've never had surgery but have been managing back pain for over 30 years and have been a member here for almost 10 years. So, you are only about two months out from having surgery? That may not be enough time for complete healing.

    Spinal surgeries are all extremely complex and recovery often takes a long time. Spinal surgery is statistically 50-60% effective for reliving pain and a bit more than that for restoring functionality. You may want to call your surgeon and let him know you are still in pain and are having difficulty functioning. Are you seeing a pain management specialist? That would be helpful if not, especially one who is a physiatrists. Physiatrist pain management specialists perform a wide variety of treatments and do not solely rely on prescription pain medication for their patients.

    Keep doing your research. There is a Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists recommended steps for diagnosing and treating back pain. Within that Tip are links to websites having good information about spinal problems.

    Keep moving as much as possible. Moderate activity is essential for healing and maintaining your health.

    Keep a positive attitude. Sometimes we have to accept what we can not change and work at what can be improved. There is always help and hope.

    I pray you can get answers and relief soon.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    lovehippos replied to davedsel57's response:
    Thank you so much, I love Hippos and no I didn't get one bummer, anyhow, I do have a pain mng team. They are awesome folks, BUT , I just need to suck it up and go back,
    and I will admit after so many years of pain, I just Wanted to be better NOW. Is the foot thing normal ?
    I had RLS before surgery, seemed it went away till I went to the Christmas party in flat shoes, now I got those unhappy legs
    again, I'm with ya about keeping positive , lady from church came and gave me the elements 3 wks after surgery, I live in Florida , can walk anytime. Plan to hit the pool and walk in water, but this leg thing is really bizzare and painfull.BUT
    I'm very blessed to not have the I've been hit by a truck pain.
    Thanks Again Amy
    bj1208 replied to lovehippos's response:
    Hi Amy - welcome to the support group -

    Dave has given you great advise, as always.

    I just wanted to comment on the swollen ankles and the bending. I have a plate, 4 screws and a cage in my back (L5-S1 done 2/08) - I still cannot bend over (I can but hurts real bad) so I squat down. I still wear a corset back brace (wrap around kind) to help me stay more straight (I tend to slouch). Having hardware in our backs is to make it more stable and in hopes of giving us more flexibility but there is a limit on bending etc. so be sure to ask your surgeon all the do's and don'ts during recovery and after being released.

    The swollen ankle doesn't sound right especially if it is still swollen. put ice packs on them and be sure and ask about this. Water therapy exercises can help so do check into this.

    You are still very early in your recovery stages - mine went on for a good 6-7 months before I was released from my surgeon. Then I was referred to a pain management clinic and also physical therapy to try and strengthen core muscles. So I would agree you need to speak with your surgeon (did he release you?) and discuss the pain issues.

    The only type of shoes I wear are either tennis shoes or flats - once in a while I may be able to wear something in a small heal but only for a few hours. Now, I do have nerve damage in both legs and have chronic pains for which I do have annual testing done to see if the nerve damage is affecting other discs. The test is a two part test: EMG and NERVE CONDUCTION TEST. They do this testing for several different areas of nerve problems from carpel tunnel to nerve damage in legs. It is uncomfortable but doesn't last that long. You may want to discuss this with your surgeon. My Pain Specialist doc is the one that does my testing and depending on where I feel the pains (which sides of legs the pain goes down) lets them know which disc(s) are the ones pressing on a nerve root - the below site discusses the issues of nerve roots and if you scroll down a ways you can see a chart that outlines the discs and what nerve roots is affects.

    I hope this helps - please keep us posted~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    lovehippos replied to bj1208's response:
    Joy, Thanks so much 4 the reply, my surgeon told me to go back to the PM people, he ONLY does the surgery, he told me to walk in water and come back in 3 months as the x rays
    look good, THAT"S IT. So I don't know if I'm on target or not,
    and yes I'm in early stage about 3 months after surgery.
    I also have the rod and cage, I made a appt. to go back to PM
    after the holiday cuz I had RLS before surgery but not this
    bad and my feet are still swollen and my back swells where i had the surgery sometimes. I did have a nerve test B4 surgery.
    I am very grateful for the people on here cuz I'm not sure where I should be in my recovery. I also think the added weight is not helping Thanks Again Amy

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