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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, Nerve Damage Questions

Started by 755385405@facebook on 02/25/2012 9:23am

Hi all, long time lurker. Here is my story and a couple of questions for you...

I have had 3 surgeries in the last 15 months. My last was in December of 2011.

On my diagnosis on the operative report from December, my surgeon put:
1. failed back surgery
2. grade 2 spondylolisthesis
3. lumbar spinal instability
4. foraminal stenosis
5. sciatica l5-s1

I have been medically retired from my job as a classroom teacher.

With my last surgery, I had a removal of perineural fibrosis and scar tissue, a gill laminectomy, complete facetectomies and foraminotamies bilaterally, and in the area of a psuedoarthrosis, a posterolateral fusion with pedicle screws. (interbody fusion was done a year previous).

Here is the kicker, I am still in tremendous back, butt, and leg pain. My feet just throb even after I lie down.

I know that I was at higher risk, but once you are diagnosed with FBSS, is it a diagnosis that stays with you and just comes to managing symptoms?

I had high hopes for this surgery as it was done by the best surgeon in the southeast. He offered me no promises, but I was still hopeful.

My second question is this, in September, I was diagnosed with chronic nerve damage via emg on the left leg and acute damage on the right (both at the l5/s1 level) and nothing was done to address this until December. Could I now be experiencing permanent nerve damage?

Thanks in advance!

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3 Responses


Most Likly some nerve damage.
Depends on how long you have had the complication of after post op.
I have it as well but im being treated with meds that stop all leg problems.
My damage was from waiting to long to have the surgery.
So for years I kept pinching the nerves in my back.
Sounds as tho your surgan should have stabilized your spondy with the vertabra above.
Mine was L5 fusion with a L4 stabilization. And he also stabled it all to my pelvis. So 6 screws 2 rods.
He said if he didn't stabilize to the L4 I would be back under the knife in a year.
I had the PTILF and was very sucsess full.
Scare tissue can be a big problem getting around the nerves in your back.
And that's what could be causing you so much complication.
Scare tissue grows back. It's just a matter of when.
Look into a new surgan.
See if they can prescribe you meds for the nerve issues in your legs an feet.
I will pray for you.


hi kris I had spine surgery on nov 28th 2011, they have done a fusion and screws 2 rods. i now have a bone stimulater, it has 294 treatments before its done thats some where around 9 months. I wouildnt lose faith yet takes time for healing, my surgeon told me it will take around a year. it really depends on your body, I have to get up from setting every half hour. I have spells when im laying in bed and i will twist and make my muscles sore. and it gets betr after a while . when i just had my surgery i sneezed one morning . thought i was going to die from the pain i had pain for a good week before it stoped. they also changed the curve in my spine i set up straight now. also my back was broken when i was 19 they also repaired it. i feel betr i enjoy walking i couldnt do to much cause my legs would bother me. i walk now and it feels good. Im also in a brace, if im up its on. good luck take care and good luck. ps i use to be on vicoden since my back pain is gone havnt had any since i came home.


I am a 42 yr old that fell at work 8 years ago. I too have FBSS from my Laminectomy/Discectomy 7 1/2 years ago. I have been fighting work comp for the proposed fusion surgery (L5-S1) that my dr requested over 2 years ago. I FINALLY got it approved 2 days ago and am scheduled for April 24th. Sadly I have endured this for so long that they think the nerve damage may be permanent. The outside of my left leg from the knee down has been numb for 2 years and I have been told that I may never get that back. I look forward to just being able to move again at some point without excruciating pain. I have gotten to a point that it doesn't take much to lay me up for days anymore. I ventured out the other day and went to a friends for lunch, we then went to a hockey game (he won tickets for a suite), I made him leave not even halfway through the game because I was so uncomfortable. All I wanted was my couch. I want to be able to go out for dinner without cringing from the pain of sitting too long, go for walks.....I miss the beach!! I have heard that the recovery is long, but does anyone know how long it is before I will be able to start PT? I am going to follow dr orders to the letter, but it will be hard once I feel better. I am a stubborn person and want my life back. I also need to have a clue as to when I will be up to flying across the country, I have a grandson I havent seen in 2 years and a brand new granddaughter that I desperately need time with!!! Also......any advice on supplements? Would it be a good idea to start calcium with Magnesium and Vit D now?