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Foot Pain and Leg Weakness Post Microdiscectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hello everyone,

I've been suffering from a rutured disc at L5/S1 since late April 08. I was told to pursue PT before I started to think about surgery. I went through 20 PT visits, and continued with the exercises at home. I started to feel better but not great, and reached a point where I just couldn't get any better (roughly 7 months after the rupture).

In late Dec. 08, I got to the point where my leg started feeling weak and the nerve pain in my foot and calf made me want to crawl out of my skin. I also started feeling cold sensitivity in the top sides of my thighs and numbness in my knees. This change in my condition, made me pursue microdiscectomy surgery. The surgeon said that everything went well, but it's been 2.5 weeks since surgery, and my leg is sarting to feel weak and numb again. The cold sensitivity has never gone away either.

I'm in good physical condition (6ft. 175lbs.), and not carrying extra weight. Is it posible that I've reherniated the disc... or is this just the post op neuropathy?

Since my condition seems a little different from others I've seen on this site, I was wondering if anyone else has had this same feeling?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  • It is not unusual to feel some relief from previous symptoms for the first week or so after surgery, only to have some or all symptoms "return". Before they close you up, they put in a heavy dosage of steroids which help with inflammation and pain. It apparently takes about a week, or a little longer, to "wear off."

    For about the first month after surgery, your nerve is still being bombarded with the residual chemical effects of the surgical procedure.Some of these chemical reactions actually cause the nerve to become more irritated.

    You have about a six week window of opportunity when you should be walking as often as possible. This is the main exercise that will help to stretch out that nerve that was previously compressed, and, it helps with the build up of scar tissue.

    Just keep following your surgeon's instructions and walking, walking, walking. When you are a bit further in your recovery, you can reevaluate and see where you are. For now, I would try not to worry. Depending on how badly the nerve was being squished, it can take a LONG time to recover.
  • Smitty,

    I had my L4-L5 worked on in September. I felt pain relief at first, however, a few days later the burning started in the skin again. I used pain as my guide to figure out how much to walk. Then I placed ice on the back after the walk. I got better as time went by. Walking more and more. You may want look up some post op excersises on this site and run it by your surgeon.

    Keep on working,

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