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Post op numbness

YakmikeYYakmike Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I was diagnosed two years ago with severe Spondylolisthesis in my lumbar region specifically L3, 4 and 5. After a great deal of trying to manage the pain I had surgery on Oct. 12th and it was quite successful. My MD did a Laminectomy and fused 3,4 and 5.I am now three months out and back to work and doing an aggressive PT program. I have virtually NO Stenosis pain in my back but my left leg still remains very weak and seems to go numb for no apparent reason. I am thinking this is a nerve related issue and will recover over time. Has anyone had a similar problem and how long did the nerves take to regenerate?


  • Not to be discouraging, but I would suggest that calling your surgery successful at three months out is a bit optimistic.

    You indicate you had severe spondylolisthesis. I don't know what grade that translates to, but if you had severe nerve compression, it is possible that one or more of the nerves will never completely recover.

    If you are feeling numbness at this point, it is sometimes a sign of either nerve compression or some problem with the nerve. The nerve itself may be scarred or damaged from being compressed for a long period of time. Or there may be scar tissue that has formed and attached to a spinal nerve that is causing the problems. At this point, all you can do is continue with your recovery, with whatever therapy you are doing and hope for the best.

    Your doctor might suggest having a steroid injection to see if that will calm down the nerve. Unfortunately they cannot tell you with any certainty whether a nerve can fully recover.

    I speak from experience. I had a one level PLIF at L4-5 for spondylolisthesis and stenosis two years ago. I still have nerve pain/radiculopathy in my right leg, and I am still working to resolve it.

    You are still early in your recovery, so do not be discouraged by my comments. Nerves heal very slowly -- some doctors say up to a year, and some say even longer before you start thinking the damage may be permanent. If I can help with any questions, let me know.

  • Optimism has been my mantra with this entire process. Thanks for your comment and I know that recovery time is still very early and realize it could take up to a full year. Hopefully that will not be the case. I appreciate your insight and wish you all the best with your L4-5 issues.
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