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Extreme pain, upcoming surgery

ajamiesonaajamieson Posts: 65
I am having a laminectomy with a fusion of the lumbar vertebrae on December 28. I have so much sciatic pain, it is almost unbearable. I hope the surgery is successful. Over the past week though it has even gotten worse. I now have to walk on the side of my foot because there is excruciating pain in the ball of my foot and in the big toe. It almost feels like I am walking on marbles. I haven't been able to put much weight on this leg since September but this is pretty new. Since I can hardly walk I've been unable to do much and am very depressed. I keep telling myself this is temporary but sometimes it seems like it will go on like this forever. Has anyone else been through this?


  • Hi AJ: Yes, I understand your misery re: the sciatca. Mine was sooo terrible b4 the fusion I was at wit's end. I still have some sciatic pain, now chronic, but it was reduced thru both the fusion procedure & the bilateral foramenotomy my NS did @ the same time to "free-up" the L4/5 nerve roots that were causing the worst of the sciatic pain. But they were compressed for so long, they were permanently damaged, hence the on-going stuff I just have to "live with"
    BUT--& this is a big "but"--the leg pain IS less since the fusion. More annoying,less accute. I think if you have a successful outcome & your NS is aware of your current pain, & does the "clean out" of the foraminal openings, you should feel better after your fusion.
    Don't expect complete relief, at least right away, as things will be ticked-off & sore, etc. But after a few months out, you should notice a nice difference.
    I felt really good until about 9 months out, then some stuff started to return, a product of epidural fibrosis (scar tissue) now binding down the same area (L4/5 & some S1) but I had a lot of prior work done....hopefully you have a "virgin back" & will heal better.
    Hang in there! You will get some respite. The foramenotomy will open-up the openings for your nerve roots to pass thru & should help relive some of the tension on them which may be causing your sciatic flare.
    Ask your NS what he/she plans to include in your fusion & lammy procedure. They usually do a number of things (mine did 7 things including a iliac crest bone marrow harvest) I wanted to know exactly what he was going in there to do, you may want to, also.
    Good luck! Keep us posted!
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised w/ the result when everything is over after the 28th.
  • I had extreme sciatica before Laminectomy in 08/06. Immmediately following surgery, when they got me up for that first walk of horror, I could tell a difference in my leg and foot. the Pain was still there but NOTHING like before. I was in surgery pain and cried. My sis was freaking, but they were tears of relief, I wish you the same rapid relief.

  • Do you have pain when you sit?

    Ten days to go till surgery....
  • AJ, I'm with you! A few weeks ago I could hardly put my left foot on the floor when getting out of bed. My doctor suspected that I had done something to my "SI Joint" and gave me a prescription for Naproxen (Aleve) and pain meds (Tylox). It helped but then got worse. This time he suspected a herniated disc and he sent me for the MRI. He was right, but there was also a cyst. They made me an appointment with a neurologist and he prescribed different pain meds and Prednisone (a steroid). He admitted that he didn't really have anything to offer besides pills and they made an appointment for me with a Neurosurgeon. As soon as I had it I called and asked them to work me in or call me if they had a cancelation. They had one then for the next Monday. I saw the neurosugeon that Monday and he told me about all the other stuff they could do but after I told him I was ready to get it fixed he set me up for surgery that Wednesday!

    I tell you all this to say that when I woke up the pain was gone and I once again had strength in my leg. It really made a difference. As the days go on I’m not as excited as I was that first day, but I remain encouraged. I’m hoping and praying you have similar results and get the relief you need!

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