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Thread: Sciatic pain - scar tissue?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Sciatica Pain

    Hi Pam,

    Can't you talk to Dr. Lenke directly? There has to be an explanation for this especially from a doctor with his expertise. I would demand that he talk to you considering the miles you traveled to have surgery with him and then to be left with so many unanswered questions. Good luck finding some answers. Hold onto hope......the hope that this is not permanent and that something can be done to help this. I am praying for you.
    Pat
    1963 Fusion T4-L2 for congenital scoliosis. It was a bone graft and not instrumentation
    1989 to Present....Have had chronic pain. MRI's show severe neural foraminal stenosis L2-S1, rotational scoliosis lumbar spine over 40 degrees, compression of nerve roots L5-S1, Broad Based Herniations L4-L5, L5-S
    Surgery scheduled with Dr. Bridwell on December 11, 2012
    December 11, 2012 Had surgery with Dr. Bridwell. He fused L4-L5 with rods and screws.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    129

    prayer

    Evelyn, Is this the Pam that you shared my prayer with? I don't know why it took me so long to piece it together...
    Scheduled for surgery with Dr. Lenke Oct. 2012
    53*T 71*L
    Surgery 10/05/2012 T4-pelvis
    Correction: looks perfect! Will find out how perfect at future appointments

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Northern Jersey
    Posts
    34

    Thank you for posting

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinmomTN View Post
    I have tried to hold off posting of my situation for as long as possible hoping it would improve and I hate to be such a downer. I have been suffering from debilitating sciatic pain since approximately 7 weeks post-op. My surgery was April 20th so I am not quite 5 months post-op. My question is how do you know if scar tissue is causing sciatic pain? And IF scar tissue is the cause is it a hopeless case?? I have read about cases of this internet stating that nothing can be done and you are dealing with a lifetime of pain management. I have had a CT myleogram which looked "normal", a piriformus injection that provided no relief, and recently a L-5 nerve root block. I am currently on Gabapentin and Percocet but am still unable to function. Anytime upright exceeding 30-45 minutes always causes excruciating pain. Most days I struggle to try to walk 2 miles but some days not even that much. The only relief comes from lying down. Any insight into sciatic pain relating to scar tissue or any other possible causes would be greatly appreciated!
    Twinmom - First thank you for posting. I am guilty of being one of those who never wanted to post anything that might be discouraging to the rest of the group while going through my hard recovery. But the truth is it helps create a healthy balance and realistic expectations for those going ahead with surgery even with the best of the best. The awesome ladies my surgeons office put me in touch with before surgery had no issues during their recovery so I really had no reference point and felt I would be a downer sharing any negative experience.

    Anyways in response to your post, I developed debilitating sciatic pain as well in my right lower extremity immediately after surgery. Infact a few days after surgery my mum noticed that my right hip and upper thigh was visibly swollen and I could barely stand to be touched there. The intensity continued to be very bad through my sixth month and like you anytime sitting for any decent amount of time caused pain. I tend to be very determined so I continued to push through the pain to get my walks in (typically 3-5 miles , 3- 4 times a week) to aid the fusion. However at my 6 month appt I was in sooo much pain and couldn't go back to work so I cut back on the walking drastically and literally took a month off from walking. I still took leisurely walks but it probably was nothing more than 1 mile a day. I can't say if that was what did it but by my 7 month I was in soooo much less pain and it has continued to taper downwards since then. So my point is don't feel too bad about not being able to walk more than 2 miles. I know we are all very strong individuals having dealt with scoliosis for sooo long and want to walk quite a bit since they say it helps with the fusion but I don't think the goal is to set off sooo much pain that we can't function. Maybe taper down your activity some and see if the pain subsides. Dr Boachie seemed to think that mine was caused by stretched nerves and he said that would not show up any studies (xrays/cts) so I pretty much had to hope and pray it would go away. He put me on gabapentin as well for the nerves so seems like our situations might be similar. I still have some pain but like I said earlier it has continued to taper down slowly so I am praying I'll wake up one day and realize its completely gone. I hope this provides some encouragement and hope to you that this pain could go away. Hang in there. You are in my thoughts.
    Last edited by GOE; 09-10-2012 at 09:37 AM. Reason: error
    Diagnosed as a teenager
    Surgery 06/21/2011 Dr Boachie HSS
    Age 34 at time of surgery
    Pre Op : Thoracic 87; Lumbar 85
    Post Op: Thoracic 36; Lumbar 21
    Gained almost 2 inches in height !

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Thank you GOE for responding to my post and sharing your situation. It is comforting to know that someone else has been there and the pain did eventually diminish. I have also wondered in addition to scar tissue if the pelvic screw is irritating the nerve, since I am fused to the sacrum. It looks like this would show up on an x-ray. I am currently backing off on the walking in hopes that this might help.

    Heidi, yes I am the one that Evelyn shared the wonderful prayer with which brought tears when I read it. Thank you for sharing the prayer. Evelyn has been such a wonderful supportive friend throughout these past 5 months. I met her at my pre-op day which was her 5 week follow up and we have been in contact since comparing notes, etc.

    Evelyn, thanks once again for your encouraging words. At this point, I don't really feel inflammation is the main issue since I have had several steroids (medrol dose pack, piriformus injection,nerve block) none of which seem to have had a significant impact on my pain.
    Last edited by TwinmomTN; 09-10-2012 at 10:29 AM.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Northern Jersey
    Posts
    34

    Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinmomTN View Post
    Thank you GOE for responding to my post and sharing your situation. It is comforting to know that someone else has been there and the pain did eventually diminish. I have also wondered in addition to scar tissue if the pelvic screw is irritating the nerve, since I am fused to the sacrum. It looks like this would show up on an x-ray. I am currently backing off on the walking in hopes that this might help.

    Heidi, yes I am the one that Evelyn shared the wonderful prayer with which brought tears when I read it. Thank you for sharing the prayer. Evelyn has been such a wonderful supportive friend throughout these past 5 months. I met her at my pre-op day which was her 5 week follow up and we have been in contact since comparing notes, etc.

    Evelyn, thanks once again for your encouraging words. At this point, I don't really feel inflammation is the main issue since I have had several steroids (medrol dose pack, piriformus injection,nerve block) none of which seem to have had a significant impact on my pain.
    I agree since I am not fused to the sacrum, yours might have to do with the screw as well so definitely have that checked out. FYI I also had the medrol dose pack twice (immediately after surgery) and at around 8 weeks and like you I did not feel like it helped the pain. I must confess that I have still not tried taking NSAIDS even though Dr Boachie gave me the go ahead at around 3 months. Just being overly cautious about my fusion but might be worth asking Dr Lenke and see what he says about that like Evelyn said.
    Diagnosed as a teenager
    Surgery 06/21/2011 Dr Boachie HSS
    Age 34 at time of surgery
    Pre Op : Thoracic 87; Lumbar 85
    Post Op: Thoracic 36; Lumbar 21
    Gained almost 2 inches in height !

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    Many continued prayers for you, Pam.

    Warmly,
    Doreen
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

    http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    I have never met Karen, but I agree with Evelyn, that you should ask to have Kelly return your call. Tell her exactly how bad it is and insist that something be recommended by Dr. Lenke. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know you'll get through this, but the sooner the better.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Karen at Dr. Lenke's office, said he recommended the trigger point injection and
    nerve root block. Both of which I have had but have not helped the pain. When I
    did ask Kelly to return my call she never did but had Karen to instead.
    Last edited by TwinmomTN; 09-10-2012 at 03:29 PM.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Pam,
    Do you still have Kelly's new number? I wouldn't hesitate to badger her a little bit. Tell her all the different things you've tried and how you're still feeling. Leave that on her VM, and I bet she'll call back. If not, tell Naomi and ask her to put you in touch with Kelly. One time they actually paged her for me (when my insurance wasn't going through). They can't just leave you hanging!!! If necessary, I'll flag Kelly down for you when I'm there next week.

    Thanks for your kind words earlier, too. Heidi, you made me cry with that prayer, as well, and I'm not a cryer.

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Oh, one more thing. I was talking to my mom about you, and she suggested you ask for a resident to call back. That's another way to go if you can't get Kelly. One did call me after my five-week appointment. My mom is keeping her fingers crossed for you, too!!

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    Physical Therapy

    How many of you had physical therapy and at what point in your recovery? I am 5 months post-op and
    was told by Dr. Lenke's office that I need to do p.t. I realize others have been told NOT to do p.t. so I guess this is supposed to help with the pain? I don't really understand how p. t. would reduce nerve pain
    it seems to me that it would actually aggravate it. Can any of you nurses or other health professionals
    please chime in?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    PT in some cases can help with nerve pain. For me PT helped with muscular pain and helped strengthen muscles but didn't help with my nerve pain. I would say though since we are all different, it is definitely worth a try.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Lightbulb Sciatic pain is not always from the spine.

    The sciatic nerve runs through each buttock down the leg. Anything which can irritate that nerve along its path can cause sciatica. If a buttock injection is not given in the right spot (right upper outer quadrant) an injection can indeed be given into the sciatic nerve causing sciatica. In my case if I lay flat on a hard surface my sciatic nerves get pressed and they complain. Over stretching the leg in certain ways, before it is flexible enough, can irritate the nerve.
    With surgery many nerves were stretched from former positions. After surgery, as they awaken, they will complain and cause pain. All these problems abated over time- 18 months in my case.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    If I only knew the pain would get better, it would make it more bearable at this point. But to not know
    what is causing it and to only be able to be up for no longer than 30 minutes without excruciating pain makes this so difficult to say the least. Was anyone else out there in this much pain while recuperating?
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Pam,
    Look at the revisions board. Definitely some people on there were in massive pain post-op. Also some on first time, but harder to find. You are not alone.

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

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