Multiple Spinal Fusions Made My Back Worse

At the age of 24, I was struck by a car inside my place of employment. 2 years later, I had an anterior/posterior fusion at L5-S1 in 2010. I felt relief for a few years, but then began to have a gradual onset of pain in the lumbar spine and right lower extremity.

MRI 2013 demonstrated an extrusion at L4-5 and a small disc bulge at L3-4. Orthopedic diagnosis was "adjacent segment breakdown." The surgeon went through preventative treatment including physical therapy, injections, anti-inflamatory and muscle relaxer medications. I eventually decided to have XLIF at L4-5 performed January 9th, 2014. Upon recovery I felt worse with increased back pain and lower right extremity symptoms.

After months of pleading, I underwent EMG/NCS, MRI & CT. MRI could not see the right neuroforamina due to hardware. CT showed possible fluid infection and now indentation of  the thecal sac. My orthopedic surgeon scheduled surgery 1 week after the new findings.

May 15th, 2014, I had another surgery to correct thecal sac indentation. Once I awake from surgery, lying on my left side, as the right side still very tender from the XLIF in January, I abruptly flip to my right as the left becomes unbelievably painful.

For the first time, I suffer the onset of leg tremors. I have uncontrollable painful violent shaking in both legs.  EMG/NCS postop confirms permanent nerve damage in both lower extremities. EMG/NCS also finds nerve damage related to L5-S1, in addition to above lumbar levels. I am not sure of the potential causes.

I undergo more imaging, and find out that I still have a bulge at L3-4 and decreased height in L2-3 and now a small annular tear in T-11/12. In addition, I am experiencing high heart beat. A neurologist was called in by my orthopedic surgeon and orders an MRI of the brain and an ultrasound of both legs, which showed extremely high heart beat in these limbs. Since the last surgical attempt, I have chronic radiating pain in both feet, calves and thighs. The pain is more debilitating in the right leg.  Could I possibly have a spinal epidural hematoma?

- Brandan

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