L5/S1 laminectomy, fusion, with instrumentation. Confused!
In September 2009, I had surgery at L5/S1, which included laminectomy, fusion, decompression, instrumentation (4 screws, 2 plates and a peek cage). I'm very petite 5'1" and I can see the ends of the screws coming out of the bone into the soft tissue. It looks like a lot to me. I keep hearing "don't worry about it." However, several weeks ago, I had a fall (both legs are weak but mainly the left), and my tailbone hit the edge of the brick fireplace (I lost my balance while trying to plug something in). Since that time, my bowel movements have not been as solid, and I feel like there's pressure from the buttocks all the way through to the front vaginal area. Also, it hurts to have a BM and it's very difficult to get my urine flow started. The tops of my legs feel like an ice cube and the whole left leg is intermittently tingling. Other times, both (or one) legs hurt as bad as my back. I'm not a professional at reading CT's or X-rays, but I looked at a CT myelogram and the flat ends of the screws seem to align with the front where I feel the vaginal pressure with the back pain. I get stabbing and radiating pain in the back side too. I've heard everything from "I didn't fuse" to "arachnoiditis" to "inflammation." I don't have a clue what's really wrong. I've been denied meds, another medical opinion and on and on. Work comp is denying any other opinions since a doctor found me P&S (22%) but I'm getting worse. I had an 80 mile RT drive to one of the Dr's that the attorney picked (I had a driver), and I literally couldn't get out of bed the next day because of the pain. A spinal cord stimulator is being recommended, but I feel like there is something wrong that needs to be addressed. I can't seem to get my attorney to call me back. Any thoughts? Thanks to all and I feel for all of you who are in this boat with me. For me, I know I have to keep the faith and try to get back to my old positive, happy go lucky self.