Still In pain 16 Months after Coflex Implants

///Still In pain 16 Months after Coflex Implants
Still In pain 16 Months after Coflex Implants
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  • Congaman71
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Thank You for having this forum. I’m desperate to get some answers that could tell me if the problems I’m having are related to my Colfex surgery or something else.

    On December 28th, 2017 I had nerve decompression on L2-L3, L3-L4 and L4-L5 and Coflex implants placed between L2-L3 and L3-L4. The original plan was to also place one between L4-L5, but the surgeon said the bone was too thin and would have shattered. This was done to relieve severe nerve pain down my legs and alleviate constant back pain.

    I was told after the surgery the recovery and turnaround time was 3-4 months and I would be good as new. However, I’ve never fully recovered from the surgery. Every time I would go into therapy it would hurt so bad that I couldn’t do all the exercises and the pain, tightness and muscle spasms in my back would be so bad I would have to wait a week before I could go back and try again. Every time I try to be active (cleaning house, cutting grass, going hiking, etc.), my back gets so tight I can barely move and there is significant pain to deal with. The surgeon told me, “Your X-Rays are normal and everything has healed up the way it’s supposed to. There’s nothing else I can do for you”. I continued following up with him until a few weeks ago. After that visit I decided I need help from someone else.

    Also, there has been an new development over the last 3 months. It started with just a mild tingling/stinging sensation around the surgery area that would come and go whenever I would perform an activity that activated my back muscles. At first I thought is was because I had been less active and the tingling/stinging sensation was my skin getting used to sweating again. Unfortunately, the pain and discomfort from this has increased dramatically in frequency and intensity. I can walk the dogs and when I do something that activates the muscles in my back it leads to a sensation that can only be described as being bitten by a thousand ants all over my upper body. I have taken my shirt off multiple times and asked my finance to make sure there were no insects on me. Usually it is when I sweep/mop or bend over to try and pick something up just try to generally be active. It literally drives me crazy. Also, the affected area can vary from as small as the surgery site up to my shoulder blades, to as large as my entire torso (front and back). It isn’t just limited to being up and moving though. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with the sensation of being bitten all over my upper body.

    I’m truly desperate for any help you might could give me.
    Thank You for Your Help
    Matt C.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6661

    I just wrote a lecture regarding implants with Coflex as part of the lecture. I am not a fan of the Coflex device as it causes the two adjacent vertebra to be forced into kyphosis (bent forward) and with two adjacent levels, causes severe kyphosis which can overload the degenerative discs present. This kyphosis or “forced bent forward position” increases the need to “bend backwards” above this level which causes muscle overload pain above. The pain is generally described as a burning fatigue type pain with standing or sitting upright but I would guess could also be described as “ant bites”.

    I would hope that your leg pain has been handled by the decompressions performed prior to the application of the Coflex device but I have seen plenty of cases that the decompression was incomplete and the Coflex device was wrongly thought to create enough flexion to allow nerve pain relief through flexion.

    I am going to assume that you need to have these devices removed and a formal decompression completed. I cannot comment on any fusion needed as there is not enough information for me to comment.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE 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.
    Congaman71
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Thank You for getting back to me so soon. It did for the most part take care of all my leg pain. I have experienced the sharp, burning pain going from the middle of my back out to the sides, but the “biting ants” feeling goes up my back and wraps around my torso. This has given me information to move forward. Would there happen to be link to your lecture regarding Coflex implants? I would like to read it if possible.

    Thanks again,
    Matt C.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6661

    That talk is incorporated into my new “Lumbar spine A-Z” lecture series that will be associated with my new educational website “StudySpine.Com”. That website is not up yet but it should be up within 4 weeks.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE 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.
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