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Laminectomy and Foraminotomy at L5 S1 5 months ago

Sweetpotatoe57SSweetpotatoe57 Posts: 97
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have posted before, but really starting to worry. I just can't seem to get a straight answer from the Dr. or PT. I have really increased my activity, and now my leg pins and needles are back, as is the cramping in the left leg. I had my surgery for stenosis 5 months ago, no hardware, but did have severe nerve compression for quite a while. Dr. said 6 to 9 months for things to resolve. SHOULD I BE WORRIED? If I stand in one place it is worse, but movement helps. Please, has anyone had this happen? sweetpotatoe57


  • Yes, many people have had this happen, but it is impossible to say what is going on with you. Sometimes when you are pain-free for a month to two months and then the old pain returns, it can be a result of scar tissue (epidural fibrosis, which, in my experience, doctors do not want to talk about or even acknowledge). When it forms, it does not lay down tissue in an orderly fashion. Because of this, it can push up against a nerve root, or even entangle a nerve root, resulting, once again, with a compressed nerve.

    It can also just be a flare caused by increased activity. As you said, the nerve was compressed for awhile prior to surgery...and it takes awhile for it to restore and begin to function normally.

    Your doctor and PT are not trying to give you the run around. They truly are not able to tell you the exact reason for the return of your neurological symptoms.

    Sorry to not be more helpful, but this is what we all face after surgery.
  • Thanks Gwennie, it is good to hear that this is common. I think just the stress of being worried about everything does not help. My PT does not think it is scar tissue, as I have been doing nerve gliding since 5 weeks after my surgery, and the Dr. said they didn't see any on the MRI. This just gets so scary. I was disabled for 1 year, and feel like my recovery is just within my grasp, then this starts back up. Do you think 6 to 9 months is the norm? sweetpotatoe57


  • I agree with Gwennie there are so many reasons it just takes time to know for sure. Even with your surgery my dr. told me it could take a year because my nerves were so bad. Now after the fusion it is the same thing, the more I do the more the nerves start up, but he stands by his answer, "It takes along time for the nerves to heal." We can only hope they do! I'll bet you will be fine in the 6-9 month time frame! Just continue to do what the dr and pt tell you and don't over do it!
  • I just get stressed out over everything. I know that you can get lots of new pains as you heal, and also the new exercises can cause different pains, but this was just so sudden. Someone else told me that everytime they got a new pain, they panicked, and thought, "WHAT NOW"! The Dr. told me that I can't pay attention to every pain, but the cramping, and pins and needles, and muscle tightening up do scare me. I am hoping that it is just muscle fatigue! I just heard back from my PT, and she feels that everything looks good, and we are pushing me harder, so hensce, more pain and muscle fatigue. I hope she is right! I don't know what I would do without this forum! Thanks for all the help! sweetpotatoe57
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