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calf pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
hi , had L5/S1 microdiscectomy 12 days ago and am plagued with calf pain, espessially through the night and when lying on my back. Any suggestions? better while walking,pain meds arent helping nand appears to be getting worse,
thanks fellow spineys!


  • I haven't had surgery yet, but I know this pain all too well. My herniation is at L5-S1 too. :''( I have pain down the back of both legs due to "mass-impact" on the nerve roots. Is it possible that they damaged that nerve? The tiniest wrong move can be disastrous. Was your pain this bad in your calf before? This is definitely cause for concern. They might initially tell you that the nerve hurts when it starts to heal. Make sure you specify that this pain is getting worse. Definitely call your surgeon. As for what relieves this pain, if you find anything, please tell me! I lose sleep regularly because of the sensations and burning in my legs. Lyrica and ice over my spine help, but not enough. I'm not sure if this is ok to do after surgery, but I lay on my back and bring my knees up to my chest. It's a great way to stretch out my nerve without putting added pressure on my discs. I sincerely hope this is just some side effect of the surgery and that it begins to subside fast! Please let us know what your doctor says!

    Much love and understanding,
  • Hi...
    I do not have pain in just my calf but in both legs below my knees. I have had a fusion at L4 & L5. The pain in both legs and feet is savage.
    I found laying on my back with both legs elevated helps a lot. I fold up quilts and have my legs supported from my hips down and a pillow added to the pile so my legs are slightly bent at the knees. My bed looks like crap but I do not care coz it works for me and does ease the pain.
    You can buy foam rubber leg wedges but I have not bought one yet coz I am having a SCS implant and will not be able to sleep on my back for sometime due to the implant.
    Hope this helps you too. Believe me I understand your pain.
    May the sun always shine on you.
    Sending along a hug... >:D<
    Patsy W
  • thanks so much for replying. My calf pain seems to be getting worse ( driving me nuts!lol).Also getting pain elsewhere in legs, but thats minor compaired to calfs .Feels like I have a rubber band around just above my knee, cutting off my circulation! Tried elevation, but it doesnt seem to help (walking eases it slightly, but cant do too much of that quite yet after op).Will see my surgeon again on july 10th - will I last till then? Who knows! Perhaps, because the bulge was nearly the full width of the disc, some 'bits' escaped.
    love to all,
  • I dont want to scare you, it may be just nerve related but I would get it checked out. My friend had a fusion of lower spine and started with leg pain and it ended up being a blood clot in her legs. It may be just nerve damage but I would definately talk to your dr about it. Hope everything gets better. Keep us posted..And a speedy recovery to you
  • thank you. I made an appointment and am seeing my doctor at 5pm today. I was reading through other archives about clots and noticed people had to wear these stockings for two weeks after surgery.They took mine off when I left the hospital 4 days post op and I had the injection in my tummy the last three nights in hospital. I dont know how serious this is as I havent been able to move about much because of pain(though apart from the calfs, it has improved alot with meds),
  • Yes, the calf pain is the worst. Before my L5-S1 microdiscectomy I had horrible calf pain, along with hip and hamstring pain. I rated it at a 9 out of 10. Immediately after my surgery the calf, hip, and hamstring pain was down to about a 2. The calf pain had subsided more to a tightness than a pain. It remained there for about 6 weeks, when it spiked to a 5 almost overnight. I was terrified that I had reruptured the disc somehow. I got a new MRI done which showed significant scar tissue around the S1 nerve. FYI, when they tell you that you have no more options except surgery, they don't tell you how common the scar tissue is, or how bad it can be. Anyway, they told me that scar tissue schrinks fairly easily with a shot of cortizone right up on the S1 nerve. This shot was perhaps the worst 10 minutes of my life. I actually had tears in my eyes when I got back out to my car following the shot, but 3 days later it started to work. It has been 4 months since the shot and my pain level is between 1 and 1.5. If it stays where it is I can lead a fairly normal life and haven't taken a single pain pill for 4 months. I am now walking 55 minutes a day and just gained the reluctent approval from my surgeon to start a little elliptical and very light jogging. So, I guess the moral of my rambling is "don't give up it can get better!". And nerves are funny, especially the S1 nerve. We are all affected differently when they are squished and we all heal differently.
  • oooh!! that cortisone injection right into the nerve sounds in one word 'HELLISH'! sorry you had to go through that experience and I think I'd rather have 'wimp' tattooed on my forehead!But then again I do know that when you're in that pain you'll let them do anything to you!
    much respect, Karen
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