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Anyone else have failure to remove discs during ALIF?

Started by 100000108172538... on 03/05/2014 10:04pm

Getting some advice (legal and medical) over the next few days...

I've had significant horrible shock-like pains in my left leg, always the most symptomatic before surgery last September, as well as pain with any pressure (my arm, the remote, sitting, lying back, passenger in car, etc.) on my left hip.

I did one post-op CT in late December, it showed that the discs at L4-5 and L5-S1 were still present. I asked my doc about this in early January, and he said it had to be a transcription/report error, and proceeded to show me the surgical area on the CT slides themselves, where the screws and plates seem to be healing nicely.

Not wanting to get too litigious too soon, I asked my primary doc to prescribe a CT for me, so I could get the test repeated at a radiology facility not associated with the hospital where my surgery was performed (also where the doctor/neurosurgical institute is).

Just picked up the results today...the discs at those levels are absolutely still there, and causing severe foraminal as well as thecal sac problems now. The lower disc is calcifying.

Has anyone else experienced something like this???

What makes it even better is that, prior to having the new CT results (from late December or late February), my surgeon advised that remaining on my opioid pain meds might be interfering with healing process due to possible histamine reaction...so I stopped all opioids in December, even though I was on some of the less-histamine-reaction-inducing ones (lots of Butrans via 7-day patch, Percoset for breakthrough). Now I take a larger dosage of Neurontin, some Celebrex, and they just added Lorzone (skeletal muscle relaxant). This mix helps a bit, but nowhere near as well as the opioids. And now I feel like I've been suffering unnecessarily, since the prime cause of my troubles all along (the severely degenerated discs occluding my sciatic nerve!) are STILL THERE.

Advice and empathy welcomed, thanks.


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2 Responses


I just found out today that I have a twisted disc in my spine. I spend every day in chronic pain. I can't even stand to cook. After just 5 minutes of standing, I am in excruciating pain in my back and my legs. It gets so bad that I walk bent backwards and my legs go off to the side. My doctor told me that it would cause me more harm than good. I could end up paralyzed or an infection in my back. I need help. What can I do?


Hi Carolyn,
Your doctor told you that the disc could cause infection etc., or that having surgery could cause those problems?

Bottom line, if you can't walk upright and you can't stand for more than 5 minutes, you need help. Surgery may be your only real option. I'm assuming you've already tried conservative treatment (PT, injections, Rx).

---pam, hoping you find some relief