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Recent migraine 3 months post surgery
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smalj posted:
My story is a very very long story but here is the Reader's Digest version. Last January(2012) I was hurt at work when a student I was working with had a melt down and became violent and aggressive with me. After a few visits to the initial pannel physician he ordered an MRI that showed my L4/5 was herniated with a 15mm purtrusion. I had to have surgery afte physical therapy and pain management failed me. I quickly became a victim of FBSS which is Failed Back Surgery Syndrom. Dont let anyone tell you that is not real because it is very real and exists. After a brief fight and finally finding a dr that would work with me I had an MRI that showed the first surgery failed, I had an enormous amount of scar tissue and the discs started to collapse. I went to a Dr who is a spinal doc and an assistant professor for back surgeons in training. I choose this doctor because of his reputation as well as the reputation of the hospital. He was very open and honest about the surgery and the 50/50 chance I was taking. He did not sugar coat it at all. He even answered all of my questions prior to me asking, we spent over 1 1/2 hours in his office. I decided to go ahead with the fusion. after surgery dr let my husband know right away that he knicked my thecal sac but caught it right away. I showed no signs of headaches and could move my legs although I am now aware of other complications. I have drop foot on my right side which is now using a brace for safety reasons when walking. I also have little feeling in that foot near the toes and often experience pins and needles. My left side lower has many issues that are really beginning to concern me for long term damage. No feeling in foot other than that it feels like my foot is under the influance of novacane(sp?). Most recently I was treated for a deep inner ear infection but this past week I started with a sinus infection and landed the worst headache of my life. An ER trip took away the majority of the headache (with vomiting) but I am concerned that this may be a deeper issue. Should I be worried at this point three months after the surgery?
Honestly I didnt realize all of the lower leg issues post surgery could be related to that thecal sac issue until about 3 weeks ago when my therapist made a face at the mention of the thecal sac. I questioned him and he was honset that yes this was probably a direct effect of the knicked thecal sac and the chances of perminent damage is high.
The last question I have is this feeling in my right side of my lower leg that feels like my nerve is being torn from my leg and the terrible charlie horse cramping in both legs. While I admit I am not sorry I had the back surgery as my pain level is much lower but I am worried that this damage is something I may have to learn to live with. No one really has said it may be but they will only say things like "its only been 3 months" and "it can take up to 8 months or a year to know what is perminent and what we will regain". Anyone else having this post surgical issues or am I just like my injury "not a textbook case".
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bj1208 responded:
Hi SMALJ - welcome to the support group -

you must give this time especially after having a fusion surgery and from having the first one failed.be sure to follow the surgeon's do's and don't's for after surgery care - don't bend/twist/pick up anything heavy.

nerve issues can take up to a year to heal themselves. most surgeons (good ones) won't release you until at least the 7th-8th month post op and then it would be to physical therapy and pain management provided you are still in great pain and steroid injections may need to be administered to go hand-n-hand with physical therapy.

failed back surgery syndrome is a terminology that is used to widely - it basically means that all parts of the surgery were not 100%. as in my case I fused 100% but the surgeon told me upfront that he could not do anything for the pains or the leg issues. he only said he could stabilize my back, however when I asked bout the domino effect he said will have to wait and see. and yes that is a cause for concern for the disc(s) above/below the fusion can give out over time.

Another thing is scar tissue. the first 3 months of my post op I was doing great then after my 3rd month my pains came back worse than before - scar tissue can hurt worse than anything and there really isn't anything that can be done - oh you can have surgery to remove the scar tissue but then it grows back and you're back in square one.

as for your headaches from the surgery - have you seen a Neurologist? you may want to see one so that they can examine you and determine the best treatment plan.

please keep us posted what you find out~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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smalj replied to bj1208's response:
I have not seen a Neurologist. I think because the fusion surgery was only done 3 months ago that I am still considered "healing" In the ER the dr said he would contact the surgeon only if the headache could not be managed. Since I was 3 months out when the headache occured he didnt seem worried that the Thecal sac was snipped in the process. He would only be conceasticrened if the headache did not go away or if it reoccured. I have not had a reoccurance thank God.
My physical therapists are fantastic and very knowledgable in their field. I have been placed on a diet of high potasium, low carb and topped with lots of electrolyte drinks. He feels this treatment will aide me in the terrible muscle cramps I suffer from. Surgeon visit is schedualed for the 13th. I will give you an update from him and a report on how the new "diet" works for me.
 
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bj1208 replied to smalj's response:
Hi again -

Have you seen your surgeon since the surgery? I'm just really shocked that you are doing physical therapy this soon after fusion.

My surgeon would not release me until the 7-8 month post op, even though I had fused 100% by my 6th week post op visit. I had to go in about every 4-5 weeks with x-rays so he could follow the bone growth process and to make sure the fusion took and not re-herniated.

I would discuss with your surgeon and/or pain management physician about having an EMG and Nerve Conduction Test - these tests can check to see if you have nerve damage which sometimes happens with bulging discs that press on nerve roots - I have nerve damage in both legs because my disc blew out and splintered where part was pressing on the right nerve root and the other on the left nerve root. I too wear a leg brace on my left leg as it is worse than my right and I have drop foot.

please let us know what you find out~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~


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I also have had surgery for L5S1,protruding disc for sciatic pain. Everything was fine for a year. Then the pain came back and the doctor ... More
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