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

Burning Sensation in thigh and leg pain after ALIF L4

Renee23RRenee23 Posts: 21
Hi all! I am new to this board but have been reading posts for the last year. I had an ALIF l4 done on 12/17/09. I woke up in ICU with excrutiating pain in my left leg and a burning sensation below the incision line and down my left thigh. Its now 3 weeks and the burning is still there as is the pain. I felt a little better yday and over did it so the pain is worse today. Learned my lesson quickly. Has anyone experienced this burning and pain afterwards? I did not have this prior??? Please let me know?? My neuro did a Ct after but said it was fine. I do not see him until 2/18. I am taking percocet and riboxin now about every 6-7 hours.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
thank you


  • I'm so sorry to hear of the pain you are having post op. Have you called the surgeon to let him know that you are still having this pain. I would recommend you do that.

    I'm sorry I couldnt' be more helpful. Please keep us posted on your outcome and how you are doing post op. Also feel free to PM if you need someone to chat with. I can offer support and understanding.

    Welcome to Spine-Health!

  • I forgot to mention but you may notice from my signature that I also had ALIF although mine was L5/S1. I may be able to offer you some help or advice to any other questions you may have regarding your healing process.
  • I would suggest you call your doctor and ask for a medication for nerve pain. They will usually prescribe Lyrica or neurontin (generic--gabapentin). Unfortunately it is not all that uncommon to awaken or develop shortly after surgery a new pain that you did not have prior to surgery. As far as I can figure out, there are two basic things that happen.

    One comes from the surgery itself when the nerves are touched and/or moved during the procedure. Nerves are very sensitive and do not like to be messed with. The result can be a variety of pain sensations and/or numbness running down the leg, in the hip, buttocks, foot, etc. It can also result in numbness.

    The other thing that happens at times is a temporary injury that results from the way the patient is placed on the operating table. As careful as they try to be and as much as they pad the patient to prevent injury, lying in one position without any movement for a period of time sometimes results in an injury -- numbness, pain, etc. Usually this is temporary, but it can take a long time to go away.

    I can't say if either of these things happened to you...I am just mentioning a couple possibilities that have happened to others. Also your surgeon's reaction is typical. I have lost count of how many people's similar posts I have read on here in the past two years...and the poster always says something to the effect of "my surgeon has no idea what has happened...or he said he's NEVER heard of this before, etc." How amazing that it seems to happen often and yet the surgeon cannot ever remember hearing something similar...yeah, right. Sorry to be cynical....

    You are very early in your recovery....there is tons of time for these new pains to resolve. Keep a positive attitude, walk several times each day so you keep the spinal nerves stretched to help prevent scar tissue from attaching, pay attention to your surgeon's instructions and limitations...and don't try to push your healing. Doing too much will only result in a set-back and more pain.

    If the pain is more than you can handle, call your surgeon to ask about medications for nerve pain...and, be patient...that's about all you can do, for now!!

  • I'm probably a bit off topic here and I don't want to step on any toes. However, I'm a 27 yr. old single Mom of 2 (5 and 21 mo.) and my surgeon is pushing for me to have an ALIF, infact he won't give me any meds unless I agree to it. I have herniations with tears at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1, scoliosis, athritus and a fractured tailbone. The surgeon only wants to fix the bottom 2. I was wondering how the ALIF has helped and how much flexability you lost after the surgery. Thanx!
  • Sorry its been so long. I had the Alif on 12/17/09. I really cant say it has eliminated my pain. back pain is better but not gone. I won't lie....I am having a lot of pain in my left leg and foot. my left hand goes numb n tingly also. not sure if that is/can be related? I amonly 7 weeks out but i will keep you posted!

    Good luck
  • Just wanted to let you know my experience....I had an ALIF for L4/5, with a vertical incision about 6 inches long about 2 inches to the left from my belly button. After waking up, my left leg was almost numb feeling and when I tried to walk, I had trouble getting it to support me. The surgeon that did all the opening up and vein work told me that he had to move over the muscles that attach my leg to the trunk of the body...so it rebels for being pulled over so long and tightens up horribly. I had trouble with burning and pain for about 2 months. They had me sitting with my leg crossed over (like you tie your shoe) and pressing the knee down...also sitting indian style. I went to PT after about 8 weeks and they had me standing up on my toes...my calf muscle wouldn't harden up for a while. As far as I know, now a year later, both my legs are back in order.

    So on top of the disc and fusion work, which can irritate the leg nerves, there's the ligments and tendons that they move over and clamp over.
Sign In or Register to comment.