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Being paralyzed after L-3/L-4 discectemy?
9/26 9:48:01

My husband is a heart patient-he's 49 years old. He's had a quad by-pass, 2 ablations for flutter, both carotids opened, he has an ICD, 19 angiograms, with 3 stints placed, he's diabetic and has severe neuropathy (feet). This doesn't slow him down much and to look at him you would never know how sick he is.

A little over a month ago-he took a hard fall, after much pain and many test, it was discovered he had a ruptured disc between L-3 & L-4. The surgeon said it was the worst he had ever seen and surgery needed to be performed immediately.

My husband had been off of his coumadin for 11 days to perform the milogram and other invasive test, they kept him off of it until after the surgery was performed.

10 hours after the discectemy-horrid back and leg spasms began. No amount of medication seemed to touch his pain! The next morning another milogram was performed and the Dr informed me the disc had re-ruptured and a blood clot had formed. They immediately took him back into surgery.

It is now 14 days post-op and he still has no feeling in his pelvic region or from the ankles down. His legs have 70% feeling, no change since the day of the 2nd surgery. He's been in re-hab since 3 days post-op.

His surgeon is still smiling, telling him all the feeling will come back and he'll walk again.  The re-hab is telling us that's not true-what he has, is all he'll ever have. Due to the prior neuropathy, he'll never feel his feet again and it's doubtful he'll ever have feeling in his pelvic region again. We can't get a straight answer from anyone.

Is it possible there is still alot of swelling at the surgical site? This is causing pressure against the nerves and preventing him from feeling these numb areas?

Also, following the 2nd surgery-I said something to his nurse about the blood clot and her response to me was "What blood clot? I was informed it was the glue from the first surgery causing all the pain and problems."

I'm assuming a blood clot formed around the glue-from his blood being so thick after being off his coumadin for 11 days-I just don't know what to think!

I've been reading for 3 days and finally came upon your site-thank goodness!

It is quite possible that there is swelling in the surgical area, even after a few weeks. You are correct in thinking that it can cause pressure against the nerves and result in pain. The severity of the injury may also be adding to the lack of sensation through an injury to the spinal cord. The surgeon will have the best information regarding the extent of the damage that he saw while performing the discectomy.

The diabetic neuropathy will definitely remain in the feet. However, the feeling and movement in the pelvic area can take a while to return post-operatively. Most rehab units say that a person will continue to regain feeling and function for up to 18 months after the initial injury.

Thank you for your question, Patti. I hope that the answer was helpful.

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