SebolaoMParticipantJanuary 4, 2020 at 2:11 amPost count: 3
Good Day Dr
I’m turning 35 in 2020. I finally did an MRI scan and the neurosurgen found that I have an infection on my lumbar spine. Prior to the surgery I was walking with a crutch because my left leg was numb with pains also that radiated on my back down the legs.
We agreed that I’ll go for a discectomy and clean out the infection.
He didn’t do a spinal fusion. Said I’ll fuse naturally.
I did the surgery on the 16 Sep 2019 and I have recovered very well from the surgery. I have concerns about a hip/leg pain that persists now. Before the surgery, the left leg was numb and painful. Now its fine but the right leg has the numbness and pain. I find relief when lying down and it gets painful when walking for long or standing for long.
OH and one more thing, during surgery the infection was scraped out and sent to the lab for testing. The result came back stating that it’s TB of the spine. So the Neuro put me on TB treatment for 9 months.
Please advise about the leg pains that I’m still experiencing. Am I rushing my recovery or is it normal cause I’m going through a natural fusion?Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 4, 2020 at 4:25 amPost count: 8455
TB is a distinctly unusual post-operative infection. What part of the world do you live in?
If this really is TB, as long as the infection is in it’s early phases and not drug resistant, you should be able to eradicate it with oral TB medications and nothing else. However, if TB was present much before the surgery and has a sequestrum (an island of dead bone), then surgery would be appropriate and fusion can be required.
Dr. CorenmanSebolaoMParticipantJanuary 4, 2020 at 12:41 pmPost count: 3
I live in South Africa. The infection was detected prior to surgery which is part of the reason the Neurosurgeon recommended surgery to scrape it off? I believe it is not drug resistant. It was located on the L5S1 right around the disc making the nerve to be pushed out causing pressure. The infection was indeed present before surgery, we just don’t don’t know how long it was there for.
The Neurosurgen suggested we wait atleast 3 months post surgery to order another MRI so as to see better result further into my recovery. Is it at all possible that the persisting leg pains could have anything to do with the TB? The neurosurgen was confident that the infection had not spread to other areas of the spine therefore had a better chance of me successfully treating and clearing it.
What would advise about my recovery and hip/leg pains?Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 5, 2020 at 5:33 amPost count: 8455
I have not treated spine cases involved with TB (Pott’s disease) for about 20 years so newer treatment guidelines certainly can prevail. I think there is about a 50% chance of auto fusion at L5-S1 with disc involvement. Since the disc affected normally does not become only “unilaterally” infected, and the opposite side was not operated on, you probably have some mild disorder on the opposite side. I think as long as you don’t have progressive symptoms, a wait and see approach is probably a good idea.
Dr. CorenmanSebolaoMParticipantJanuary 7, 2020 at 12:30 amPost count: 3
I will wait and watch and hope no permanent disorder prevails. I will see the Neuro at the end of Jan. I will come back here with feedback.
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