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8-weeks Post MIS TLIF... still having lots of pain!

Started by 1160710876@facebook on 11/16/2012 7:07am

Hi there,

I'm new to this community and am thankful to have found a group of people who are (or have) gone through something similar.

On 9/14/12 I had MIS TLIF (S1-L5). It was one of the most painful things ever! But at about 5-6 weeks I started to see some improvement in my pre-surgery pain. However, I developed a pretty nasty infection in both incisions and ended up having to have another surgery to clean out one of the incisions and to make sure it hadn't gone into the hardware. This was on 10/30/12.

It seems that ever since I had the second surgery that I've experienced even more pain than before I had the surgery. I don't know if something happened during the surgery, if this is normal, or if I've done something to cause the increased pain.

I'm extremely depressed about all of this. I had such high hopes for this surgery... I was hoping to get my life back. Now, I'm just freaking out about the pain. I called a week ago about the pain and his PA told me the pain was most likely due to muscle spasms. So I was put back on Robaxin. Honestly, it hasn't done much to help anything.

I return in mid-December for my 12-week follow-up. Do I just wait and see or call them again to complain about the pain? I really don't know what to do at this point. I'm still on Norco (10/325), take Lyrica and Cymbalta... I have Lupus and Fibromyalgia on top of all this other lumbar pain stuff.

Has anyone experience anything like this and what was the outcome? Am I just getting impatient or is this amount of pain at 10-weeks post op normal?

Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate it!

Michelle :-)

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1 Response


Michelle, I noticed you said you have Lupus ... are you on any immunosuppression drugs for that? (which could increase your risk of infection). My mother has rheumatoid arthrtis, and from studying up on stuff for her, I've learned that autoimmune disorders can cause lots of other "problems" that seem totally unrelated, yet we've found studies, websites, etc. that "linked" her RA with some of those.

What kind of incision site infection were you diagnosed with? (for instance MRSA?) And has your doctor ruled out the possibility of re-infection? (and maybe that's causing the increased pain?)

Also, I came across this link to an article about "Immune Response to Implants," and it does include any kind of surgical hardware, I believe (in which you have, at the very least, metal screws for yours), It is pretty interesting - maybe you are "sensitive" or "allergic to" the hardware used?

It also says this about "loosening" of the metal hardware: "Metal sensitivity is also correlated with osteolysis and aseptic loosening of implanted metal hardware." Since you feel you are experiencing more pain, maybe have your doctor check this - because if the second surgery was to "debride" the infection/wound site, maybe something accidentally got "knocked loose"?? (or, as the article suggests, could be from "sensitivity" or "allergy" to hardware metal). They may be highly unlikely, but you never know. It's worth looking at, since you can't find answers. Here's the link: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1230696-overview (you may have to copy & paste into your browser).

I am not a "professional" or anything - I just remembered reading this article in Medscape, and thought it could be something else for you to look into. Doctors don't "think" of everything all the time (they are only human, after all), and we have to be our own best "advocate" by researching and putting the puzzle pieces of our health problems together, to solve the mystery!

Please let us know what you find out...