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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 46729
Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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Hi, I am a 65 year old man who during the last 8 years has

Customer Question

Hi,
I am a 65 year old man who during the last 8 years has undergone 5 separate spinal procedures, the first 2 were spinal decompression ops where my surgeon shaved away pieces of bone to allow my nerves more room.
The last 3 were spinal fusion ops, each one progressively complicated with the last one taking almost 16 hours (it had to be split into 2 operations). I suppose you could say that makes a total of 6 procedures.
The last one was in August 2013, I spent a week in Intensive Care and a further 5 weeks recovering from pneumonia (probably spelt wrong) and trying to get rid of a huge amount of excess body fluid and slight damage to one of my lungs which apparently got slightly damaged when it had to be moved.
Anyway I am rabbiting sorry, I have lost around 3inches in height as a result of these operations but the last one has left me with a definite leaning to the left, my shoulder
is lower and my whole upper body curves to the left because I think my left leg is now shorter than my right.
I suffer intense pain radiating from my buttock to my foot and some days it is so bad I can not put my foot to the floor.
Please advise
GW Luedicke
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

I am sorry about your spine.

Dr. David :

it sounds like you have been through more than one person should.

Dr. David :

it sounds like you still have pinched nerves in your sacrum or lower lumbar spine causing pain radiating down into your left foot

Dr. David :

you need a lumbar and sacral MRI scan with contrast to see where the nerve rootlet is being pressured.

Dr. David :

this might be helped with a targetted steroid injection into the area of nerve impingement

Dr. David :

also medications like lyrica (pregabalin) or neurontin (gabapentin) might help your nerve pain radiating down into your leg.

Customer:

Am I allowed any more MRI scans with all the metal work I now have in my spine

Dr. David :

usually the hardware in the spine is titantium and ok for MRI scans.

Dr. David :

you have to ask your surgeons what they put in your spine.

Customer:

I take Gabapentin three times a day

Dr. David :

but your pain starting in your buttock radiating down into your legs sounds like it is coming from your lower lumbar spine and sacral area.

Dr. David :

it sounds very siatic nerve related.

Customer:

It was titanium

Dr. David :

you might need an MRI scan of your pelvis.

Dr. David :

to see where the pressure on the nerve is.

Dr. David :

MRI scans are best to look at nerves.

Dr. David :

CT scans don't see nerves.

Dr. David :

xrays only see bones and not much else.

Customer:

What about my leg length and the body curvature

Dr. David :

those are problematic and an MRI scan won't fix those.

Customer:

It seems to get more noticeable as each month goes by

Dr. David :

best thing is physical therapy

Dr. David :

and to consult with an orthopedic spine surgeon.

Dr. David :

it might be something they can fix or possibly not.

Dr. David :

your surgeries do sound like they keep getting more and more complicated.

Customer:

My surgeon is Mr Chann who is an excellent surgeon

Customer:

He did not want to do the last one to my middle spine after having done lower and upper spine but says he was forced into doing it due to my loss of mobility

Customer:

Is it possible that the physical therapy might help the siatic pain?

Dr. David :

yes, it could

Dr. David :

physical therapy and stretching of your legs and hamstring muscles could help.

Dr. David :

you have to start off slowly and gently of the legs with stretching.

Dr. David :

but over time it could help.

Customer:

I now have a real fear of hospital and hospital procedures after the last op, it was extremely painful but also very frightening, it was touch and go at one point and I never want to revisit that.

Dr. David :

I can understand that.

Customer:

Anyway thank you for your advise, so long as the lower shoulder position and shorter leg are not considered too much to worry about, I will have a word with my GP and ask for some physical therapy.

Dr. David :

give that a try.

Dr. David :

I hope it helps

Dr. David :

get that MRI scan of your lumbar and sacrum if it doesn't help

Dr. David :

good luck to you

Dr. David :

let me know if you have other questions.

Dr. David :

if done for now, please leave positive feedback below the chat box

Customer:

I will, thank you for your time

Dr. David :

we only get credit for helping clients after positive feedback.

Dr. David :

you are welcome

Dr. David :

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Dr. David :

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