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Odd muscle pain from glutes to hamstrings in left leg

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, all. I'm new to the board here. I've been reading through some of the entries and they are quite information and impressive. I just had a spinal fusion of L4-5 and L5-S1 about 4-ish weeks ago. Until today, I've had a debilitating pain shooting down the back of my left leg. It's not nerve pain (that is all gone, thank goodness). It's more of a feeling of a very badly pulled muscle that goes from my glutes to my hamstrings. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Also, I had trouble urinating for a week of so after surgery...anybody experience this unpleasantry?

Thanks all!




  • You are new to the board and also new to the recovery process. If I understand your post correctly, the "new" pain went away today? Would that be correct?

    When anyone has surgery in that lower lumbar region, the surgeon is working very close to the spinal nerve roots that control the nerves to the bladder and bowel, and to the SI joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles that run through the pelvis and buttocks and the sciatic nerve that branches in this area to go into each leg. These nerves get moved during surgery, and the mere action of being touched is enough to set off new sensations of pain, etc.

    Also, and I suspect this may be the cause of your pain, when operated on, the patient is placed in some very "weird" positions so the doctors can place the hardware, etc. They pad as carefully as possible, but patients can emerge from surgery with new pains from this, too. Have you ever fallen asleep with a foot resting on a coffee table, leg extended and you wake up and the leg is asleep? Something like this can happen. As I understand it, the end of the operating table falls away and the patient is left with his/her torso on the table and the legs hanging down -- this opens up the spinal canal so they can access the area better, but it can create other temporary problems in muscles and nerves in the patient. These are just two possibilities...probably of many.

    Sometimes the urination problem (which does happen to some patients) is just a matter of inflammation pressing on a nerve. When the inflammation goes down, the problem goes away. If not, call your surgeon right away.

    I hope you noticed that there are many very informative articles written by various spinal specialists on the other part of this website. The whole site is a great source of information and it is very helpful to be able to ask other spineys questions about their experiences. You'll learn many more useful tips than you'll ever learn from you doctor!

    Again, welcome.
  • One thing I have been dealing with is pain in my left buttock and left outer leg, the skin is very sensitive and almost painfull (tender is a good word) not so much the muscle as the skin. My surgeon said it is from all the nerves being messed with and that it will get better with time. Don't know if this is like yours or not. Hope you feel better soon.
  • I am a week out of surgery and an feeling some of the same things.. I got my staples out today and spoke to my doc in detail about this.. He mentioned pretty much what the above posters have stated. Working around nerves, blood gets near nerves, etc, can really have a temporary affect on the nerves in the lower back and going down the leg. I would give it time. I knwo I am going to!
  • What you described, to me sounds like when I had some scar tissue develop after being hospitalized for several days after surgery. It felt like a stretched rubber band. Found out it was one of my nerves that was developing an adhesion somewhere and in essence "tacking itself down". The doc had me do some simple foot exercises to loosen it up. I would pump my feet from one extreme to the other (to point up all the way, toe point out and down all the way) over and over while in a chair or a bed. It loosened things up and got rid of that tight rubber band feeling.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • (8) (8) (8) I really appreciate the posts...very informative. I'm experiencing -- or have experienced -- pretty much what everybody has stated. The numbness is still present in my left and right rear and lower back. The muscular pain has diminished, but perhaps I misspoke when I said the pain was gone...it's still there but a little better each day. I am doing some stretches and loosening things up. I'm also able to walk much better now and without a cane (most of the time...for now). Thanks again to all!
  • That's great that you are better able to walk these days. I hope that you continue to find that you are improving as time goes on. Welcome to Spine Health.

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