Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


pfdppfd Posts: 247
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi All,

I found this site in early May when I was diagnosed with DDD, herniated discs (l4-5), nerve root entrapment, drop foot, Tredlenberg gait after suffering for a month with sciatic pain along with numbness from right hip all the way down to the top of my foot and toes. Primary MD thought I had just another bout of sciatica (generally broght on by overdoing it one way or the other), had a trigger point injection and was told to use NSAIDS, ice and/or heat til sypmtoms resolved. Nine days later, I had no improvement & referred to a podiatrist for possible tarsal tunnel of my foot. Given another trigger point injection in my foot and after two weeks still no improvement. I was finally referred to an orthopedist almost a month later. Had minimally invasive TLIF surgery with instrumentation on July 6th, which was a little more complicated than originally anticipated - had herniations @ l4-l5, l5-s1, one disc totally gone so vertebra was grinding against vertebra. Orthopedic spine specialist placed pedicle screws, 1 artificial disc (told a type of plastic type material was used - Medtronics for all the 'hardware'), had enough of my own bone from the laminectomies to use for the fusions, foramenectomies done to free nerve roots. Had almost immediate relief from the sciatic pain and numbness in leg, I'm coming up to about 8th week post surgery and still have foot numbness/weakness. At my six week checkup, orthopedist was quite pleased with my progress, said no physical therapy needed and I didn't need to come back for a followup for 1 year unless something new symptom wise came up. I'm limited to lifting no more than 20 lbs for now and told to slowly increase as tolerated, have been able to begin exercising again. I'm not able to drive because of the foot numbness, can anyone give me some imput regarding how soon they had improvements to numbness post their surgeries? Also, has anyone been left with permanent numbness post surgery? I want to do everything possible to regain all or most of my prior function so any input would be greatly appreciated.



  • welcome...every person is different. i did not have improvement after surgery however that doesnt mean you wont improve. 8 weeks post surgery is not a long time. try to be patient until your next visit with surgeon...
  • Let me begin by saying you might want to post your question pertaining to numbness on the "Back Surgery and Neck Surgery" section of the "Treatment" board. You problem is not uncommon and you will find more people reading that particular part of the forum.

    Let me assure you that you are very early in your recovery. You had a BIG surgery and you will find that recovery is longer and slower than you were perhaps told.

    It is not my position to second-guess your surgeon, but I personally can't imagine waiting a year for a re-check. I have never heard of that. I did not have an artificial disc so maybe that's the difference, but most surgeons do more follow-ups that your doctor.

    PT preferences vary from surgeon to surgeon. Some order it early, some wait until around 4-6 months and some do not believe in it at all. If you feel you need it down the road, your primary doc can order it for you.

    Try not to worry about the numbness. The nerves heal VERY SLOWLY and the part the farthest out from your spine is the last to regain feeling...so just be patient and give it awhile longer before being concerned!

    In the meantime, if you have questions and concerns, do not be afraid to call your surgeon's office.

    Feel free to post often. You will find a great group here who can offer support and knowledge gained from their own experiences with back pain and recovery.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. glad you stopped by.. =D> i cannot help you with your question but others will drop by! good luck and keep us posted! :D Jenny :)
  • Thank you all for your replies, it's very much appreciated!

    Gwennie, I'll try posting on the treatment board as you suggested.

    When the OS told me my 1st therapy was to be walking, I got myself a pedometer to keep track of how I was doing, now in the neighborhood of 20,000+ steps a day. I was able to ditch my cane at about 10 days post & was off RX pain meds at 2 weeks, have begun to lose some of the weight I put on when I couldn't get around very easily. I was told full recovery was somewhere in the 2-3 year range assuming there is a successful fusion. Can I ask how frequently you saw your doctor post surgery?


  • I'm not a good one to answer your question as I'm sure I saw my surgeon more often than is customary. I think my surgeon sees patients at 3 weeks, again at six weeks and then at six months, if all is going well. Then you are "discharged," which I think means, after this point you will be paying for each office visit!!

  • Gwennie,

    I disagree, I think anyone here is a good one to pose a question to, since we're all dealing w/ back issues. Who better to ask, IMHO, than someone who knows what it feels like and who may have something to share that can help a fellow spiney? I appreciate that there's a site like this - makes it lot easier!
Sign In or Register to comment.