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Nerve pain from spinal fusion

Started by hoshiel on 09/08/2016 11:10am

I am in desperate need for any tips/advice for dealing with nerve pain post op. My boyfriend had his l4/l5 spinal fusion over 12yrs ago and is so miserable it is hard to watch. I am no stranger to the emotional struggle of watching someone go through the aftermath of this surgery. My ex husband had to have the exact same operation and I was there for it all. It is heart wrenching to watch someone in so much pain 24/7/365 and knowing there is nothing to take it away, physically or emotionally. Like I said he is 12yrs post op and the nerve damage in his legs is so severe that 90% of the time he can't feel them and what seems to help the most is for me to squeeze and massage them as hard as I can. Even then he can barely feel me doing this. Does anyone have ANY advice for us at all? I am open for anything! Are there any kind of devices/equipment you can buy to squeeze legs? I know back braces can help with extra support but is there anything at all that would help with his legs on his weakest days?

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1 Response


I'm so sorry that your boyfriend is going through so much pain. Are you certain these symptoms are from fusion surgery over 12 yrs ago? The reason I ask is that when I had cervical fusion, my surgeon made it very clear that I could expect progression of my degenerative disc disease over the years.

The other thing is that, even though he feels numbness and pain in his legs, it's probably referred pain that comes from damaged or compressed nerves in his spine. The hard pressure and leg massage may "help" just by bringing his attention away from the nerve pain--like pain relief ointments do for sore muscles.

I would deeply encourage him to see his surgeon or get an opinion from another neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon, and ask for an MRI. Although the MRI probably won't show his previous fusion very clearly, it should show any additional issues he is now having.

I hope he finds answers and gets the care he needs. Please let us know how it goes. Best wishes!