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My legs hurt sooo bad..Help..!

Started by 1499487258@facebook on 03/03/2012 12:02am

My legs hurt so bad even when lying down and they are starting to spasm again...Iv been back at work standing all day for atleast 7 hrs..I had 2 sets of injections and one more scheduled for march 21...i dont think theyre working...I feel like ever since I started working more....(standing)..I'm going backwards...I herniated L3 L4 L5 and have spondolysthesis...Can it be the spondy causing all this pain or the discs..I also have spinal stenosis and ddd...along with osteo arthritis....I'm not sure what exactly is causing all this pain..I dont know what to do anymore...very depressing!

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Hi Lorine,

Do you know what type of spondylolisthesis you have and also what grade of slippage? Herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis are all known pain stressors, though, your increasing leg spasms are more than likely caused by irritation to your sciatic nerves. No doubt you are also experiencing very tight and aching hamstring muscles?..stretching and hydrotherapy sessions can assist in minimizing some of the referred neuropathic pain.

You may need to talk to your doctor about some pain medication if it’s becoming unbearable?....Oxycodone was quite effective for me when I was experiencing intense daily pain, however, it is only masking the root cause of the problem. I recommend that you arrange a consultation with a neurosurgeon to properly assess your individual circumstances and potential treatment options.

For your reference, I previously had Isthmic Spondylolisthesis Grade 1 at the L5/S1 vertebral level. I experienced daily mechanical pain for which I am sure that you can also attest too!. I was told by a chiropractor that it was more than likely that my spondylolisthesis would not deteriorate any further and that conservative treatment ( I.e. physiotherapy, chiropractory, and topical formulas) would suffice. However, 8 months after being diagnosed, my pain levels had substantially increased and I was having intermittent flair up's which involved multiple disc bulges (this is the domino affect from a destabilized spine - spondylolisthesis was the stressor). Despite continued efforts to mitigate my evolving daily pain, conservative treatment was not helping and I was then starting to experience neurologic issues which involved intense sharp stabbing and burning neuropathic pain down my right leg (sciatica).

After persistent pain and obvious neural problems which were associated with the isthmic spondylolisthesis domino affect, I had undertaken extensive research for a prospective neurosurgeon before my first consultation in February, 2011. Upon my consultation with my neurosurgeon, he arranged an MRI for me and the results confirmed significant further deterioration involving Neuroforaminal stenosis (nerve impingement from narrowed foramina nerve canal) at L5/S1 level; disc bulge with annular tear and facet joint degeneration at L3/L4; and disc degeneration, broad based disc herniation, and facet joint degeneration at L4/L5 level. Upon seeing the evidence, my neurosurgeon arranged for me to have a Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumber Interbody Fusion (TLIF) with hardware at L5/S1 level.

Furthermore, I had my surgery on the 11th July 2011; and I am now at 8 months post surgery. I must say that, I am feeling absolutely wonderful and my pain levels are 95% better than they were before surgery! Without surgery intervention, the reality is that I would have continued having long term crippling pain not to mention more serious neurologic deficits (I.e. loss of muscle function; incontinence; decreased leg sensations; leg weakness; abnormal reflexes; paralysis; and further deterioration of my lumber spine area) Therefore, not being able to work and maintain any quality of life.

If coupled with a suitably experienced/qualified spinal surgeon, the TLIF procedure has a low incidence of complications and in fact, many clinical studies and surveys indicate that the majority of TLIF patient's report substantial pain reduction as well a successful fusion rate (i.e. 90%>).

As with any surgery, you need to weigh up the risks verses the benefits (in my case, the benefits clearly outweighed the risks). When considering spinal surgery, you also need to make sure that you select a suitably qualified and experienced orthopedic or neurosurgeon who has demonstrated expertise in successfully performing spinal surgery procedures as such careful selection will heavily influence the surgery outcome. Yes, there can be potential issues that may arise from surgery implications, though, having an experienced and well recognized surgeon can mitigate such risks.

All the best and feel free to ask me any further questions.

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I guess I know that I will be facing the inevitable. I think I'm trying yo buy time so I'm mentally ready for the surgery. I am going to try to cut back my hours and see if that helps a little because when this first happened, the symptoms were a little more at bay. What I'm worried about is that the ortho will only fix the worse disc..L3..and forget about the rest.. She said something about a disectomy and a laminectomy. This is a work comp case and sometimes it's like pulling teeth. My pain management doc said he wants to refer me to a neurosurgeon which I am happy about..But also my right leg has been bothering me ever since I had the injection. When I woke up, I couldnt feel or move my right leg for a little while so I have been having trouble since..Or maybe its working thats doing it. All I know that this stinks and noone understands unless they have been through it..Couldnt sleep last night for anything. And I'm worried that when I tell my supervisor that I have to cut my hours, shes not going to like that because I am the manager of the salon I work at.
I am happy the surgery helped for you...How long was your recovery and how long before you went back to work?

Thanks...:)

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By the way ...I'm not sure what type of spondy...she did say It happened when i was young..But it is grade 2. Also my toes are going numb and I feel like there are balls on the bottom of my feet by my toes. My calves and legs are always cold and they swell up..could the swelling be water retention or is it all back related?

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Hi Lorine,

Because I had a Transforaminal Lumber Interbody Fusion (which is different to a laminectomy), any indicative comparisions relating to recovery time would only provide you with distorted timeframes.

Following my TLIF surgery, I was off work for approx 11 weeks. With this type of surgery, it is typically a long recovery process as bone has to grow over my L5/S1 vertebral bodies in order to achieve a solid bone fusion. In July this year, I am scheduled for my 1 year post-op review with my neurosurgeon which will also involve having a CT scan to determine the progress and integrity of any bone growth.

When I had my surgery, there was a lady in my hospital room who had a laminectomy and furthermore her initial return to her usual tasks and functions was approx 6-7 weeks. It should be known that, age, existing health, and the effectiveness of rehabilitation are all key factors which dictate a person's actual recovery time.

All of the other leg symptoms that you have described are more than likely to be associated with your lumber spine issues. Keep in touch and let me know how you progress?

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Also, based on your grade 2 spondylolisthesis and associated neurologic deficits, the TLIF surgery procedure may also be suitable for you?

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Thank you for answering Robert...this is a work comp case and I'm worried that they will just focus on the disc injury and not the spondy.. I am hoping that once i decide to get the surgery and they get in there that they would have to fix the spondy if it will help the repair and the healing. Ever since I've been back at work standing, my legs are acting up big time. Last night I was with a bunch a friends and had to stand in a circle around a flag and sing Proud to be an American..everyone had to hold hands and parts of the songs everyone had to raise their arms..Well....soon as they raised my arms..which i didn't know was gonna happen..OUCH...all the pain went shooting down my legs..And I think the last back injection did some damage to my right leg cos that hurts more.. I'm due for my last injcections on the 21st but now I'm scared it might due more harm than good...I dont know..What do you think?

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Without not knowing the respective workers compensation laws applicable to the USA, I am therefore unable to provide you with any comments. Though, over here in Australia, you would certainly be legally entitled to claim for associated medical expenses if your workplace injury has caused further deterioration of your spine.

You mentioned that you are scheduled to have another pain management injection, what type of injection is it? (i.e. Transforaminal epidural or caudel epidural; etc)..is Cortisone or Prednisone being used? If the injection is CT scan guided, then, the unwanted risks of aggravating anything is greatly reduced when a suitably qualified medical professional is administering the injection.

As I had previously pointed out, your potential treatment options would be much clearer if you could arrange to see a suitably qualified and experienced neurosurgeon regarding your lumber spine issues. Also, I recommend that you obtain the Medifocus guide on Spondylolisthesis...It was a great reference resource for me.

Sorry to hear that you are now experiencing the knife like stabbing pains.....bring on the meds :)

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