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The Big File All issues not easily categorized in the above forums are here. Comments on general health, diet, "getting comfortable," and more are here.


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  #1  
Old 10-21-2005, 01:23 PM
Juli Juli is offline
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I am just over 4 weeks since my surgery and my legs are still killing me. My muscles ache and when I lay down the groin area on my left side goes numb. I am walking about 3/4 of a mile 3 times a day and trying to do some light stretching but it is still pretty bad. I didn't start having the leg pain until about 6 days after surgery. Then it was really bad and my legs would cramp up. While I am not cramping up and it is tolerable if I move around a lot during the day, at night I can't stand it. I have been taking percocet and vicodin, but neither one really seems to be workng amymore. I am lucky to get 3 - 4 hours sleep a night.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to deal with this besides whining and taking it out on my significant other?

Thanks,
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Juli
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Surgery 9/26/05 with Dr. Bitan in NYC to complete partial congenital fusion of L5-S1 and ADR at L3-L4 and L4-5.

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  #2  
Old 10-21-2005, 01:49 PM
bmills bmills is offline
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Juli, I did not have as much work done to me as you did. I just had a one level l5/s1 ADR but I had significant leg pain for about 3 or 4 weeks. It was not like a sharp nerve kind of pain but more of a bad aching pain for a few weeks and real bad at night. This may or may not be similar to what you're having.

What helped me: Stayed on the pain meds. Put pillows under my legs or between my legs at night and also massaged them with a heavy vibrating massage device. That would usually help at night. Other than that it just took time.

Is your leg pain nerve issues or aching?

Brady
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2005, 03:00 PM
Juli Juli is offline
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Thanks Brady, I might see about getting a massaging device! It does feel good when I massage them myself or con sommeone else into it. But it does not last much beyond the actual massage.

It is mostly an ache in the muscles but the top of my left foot also feels like it has 3rd degree burns on top of it and when I lay down flat on my back, I guess a nerve is not happy and then my groin area starts to go numb. The pain is not soo bad when I move around during the day but nights suck, I am tired and crabby all the time.
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Juli
DDD L3-L4 on down since 1990
Surgery 9/26/05 with Dr. Bitan in NYC to complete partial congenital fusion of L5-S1 and ADR at L3-L4 and L4-5.

Feeling great!
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2005, 10:46 PM
luvmysibe luvmysibe is offline
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Have you tried soaking and stretching with epsom salts or dead sea salts? Also, applying a topical analgesic like Bio Freeze helped me tremendously. Beginning gentle massage therapy makes a huge difference as well. Best wishes.
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2005, 08:16 AM
Alastair Alastair is offline
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Hi Juli,
first let me say it sounds as if you're just doing too much especially on the walking front. At this point I would have thought two or three X one quarter mile walks daily would have been more than enough as it is only four weeks since your surgery.

Try heat or cold for the pain - -- - when you are in pain muscles tend to contract hence your cramps.Try drinking 250 Mills(one Glass) of Indian Tonic water at night(it contains Quinnine) which helps cramp situations

Things that might help you are a thigh pillow, which fits between your knees and stabilises your pelvis at night-time I think they are about $8. You can always just use an ordinary pillow for this if you wish, but three years after my surgery I still use a thigh pillow at night.

Also when resting on your back have a pillow behind your knees, that will help.

If you have a member of the family who can massage your gently then there is no problem with that.

I'm not sure what you're doing on these "stretching exercise" front, but the only ones at this point in time I would suggest you are the ones in the FAQs for your hamstrings and Achilles tendons.

We all want to get better quickly, but after the amount of surgery that you have had its going to take quite a bit of time say three months before you feel a big benefit, and certainly 12 months before you're totally pain-free I would think maybe.?

You know my old saying"Slow and steady wins this race"
Best wishes,
Alastair
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2005, 07:01 PM
Juli Juli is offline
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Gosh, I thought I WAS taking it easy. Well, my doctor recommended 30 minutes of walking a day for the first 6 weeks, broken up in any way I wanted to. So, I am doing 15-20 minutes about 3 times a day (so comes out to 45 - 60 mins) and at the time, it feels fine. In fact, I feel better moving around than I do if I sit around too much. As far as stretching, I am just doing some really light calf and hamstring stretches, no pain on the back at all, just trying to loosen up my legs. This also feels fine, in fact, good when I do it. Basically, it is bending one knee and crossing the over leg over it and kind of pushing down on the crossed leg to stretch the hammy and the just flexing my feet back and forth like pushing down on an accelerator and then pulling my toes back toward me.

I have tried the pillow thing with no real help. I haven't tried soaking because I have been hesitant to sit in water with my incisions but they are healing pretty good so I might try that too and see.

I will report back in a couple of days and let you guys know how the soaking and cutting back a bit on the walking.

Thanks for all the ideas!
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Juli
DDD L3-L4 on down since 1990
Surgery 9/26/05 with Dr. Bitan in NYC to complete partial congenital fusion of L5-S1 and ADR at L3-L4 and L4-5.

Feeling great!
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2005, 11:48 PM
Justin Justin is offline
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Juli,

I used an electric massaging device like Brady mentioned for my distraction pain--it was a life saver. My wife really helped with light massage work. Cutting back on the walking might be a good idea (you are only a month out of surgery).

Take it easy for a couple of days--> the life-saving massager looks like this (I hope they still sell them... I borrowed mine from my mother-in-law and she purchased it awhile back).



I hope you start to feel better!

Justin
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2005, 11:08 AM
SenecaGirl SenecaGirl is offline
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Hi! I had the same pain as you after my surgery. For the first 3 weeks, it was the leg cramp. Then, POOF! Overnight, the pain went away. A week later it came back full force, except this time as a burning, needle sticking pain in my foot. Ouch!

For the leg cramp, I used stretching, massage, pillows, whatever could give me relief, I used it.

The nerve pain in the foot is a totally different matter -- considering that I couldn't even touch it without extreme pain, my Dr. put me on Nuerontin (sp?) to calm the nerves and Oxycotin for the pain. Took 3 weeks to get back to "normal" and I still have a pain in my toe every once in a while.

So, ask your Dr. if there are any nerve calming drugs he can give you, and keep doing whatever makes you feel good (walking, massaging, etc).

Let us know how you progress! SG
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2005, 11:10 AM
SenecaGirl SenecaGirl is offline
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Also, considering you are one month post-op, your incision should be fine to soak in a nice, hot bubble-bath...don't forget the good book and candles! Might take your mind off it for a few moments...

(If you're worried, just put bandages to cover it)
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