SusanGMemberJuly 18, 2012 at 1:32 amPost count: 2
Hi Dr. Corenman — I am a 56-year-old female with scoliosis. I had posterior fusion from T3-S1 in December and made a steady recovery. In April I had anterior fusion with BMP and cages for L4-5 and L5-S1. Three days after the surgery I developed a bad sciatica-like pain down my left leg. I was told that most likely the BMP leaked out and irritated a nerve, and most likely it would go away in 4-6 weeks. I was advised to take Neurontin for the pain, which I have taken till this day, 3 months later. I wanted to take anti-inflammatories (herbal) and was advised that anti-inflammatoires interfere with bone fusion. Would it be okay to take anti-inflammatories (now 3 months postop) as bone fusion would be achieved by now? I read at your website that this kind of pain could last as long as 3 months but in some cases it is permanent. That is my constant worry now, that this is permanent. Any insight you can give me would be much appreciated. I am not scheduled to see my doctor till November. Thanks so much.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJuly 19, 2012 at 1:29 pmPost count: 8611
New onset leg pain after surgery in my practice warrants a new MRI. Yes, BMP is irritative to a nerve root and can cause this pain but mechanical compression has to be ruled out. This includes cage displacement, hardware malposition, hematoma formation as well as BMP irritation.
BMP irritation seems to be successfully treated with a steroid injection or two but only after the cause of the irritation is diagnosed.
I allow my patients to use NSAIDs after three months for any fusion but I cannot comment on your surgeon’s protocol.
Dr. CorenmanPLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.SusanGMemberJuly 19, 2012 at 11:14 pmPost count: 2
Thanks so much for your response. I did have a CT-myelogram with MRI and it showed everything was fine. So I think it is the BMP irritating a nerve. I am still hopeful it will go away on its own but will bring up the steroid injection at my next visit if I still have the problem. Thanks again!
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