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3 Weeks Post Op.. bottom of feet tingling/numb..

scmgurusscmguru Posts: 103
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This is new.. started around Thursday.

Up to this point, most of my pain has involved the whole leg..

I started walking more this week and now..

I feel a new dull throbbing type pain at the bottom of both feet.

On Friday, I started feeling more of this tingling and what feels like someone running hot/cold water on the bottom of both feet.

Today, both my feet hurt (a dull throbbing pain) like I hurt my heels and more of the tingling/hot/cold feeling..

Should I worry?



  • Nerve pain after surgery is common. If the nerves were compressed, they were inflammed and take time to heal. Are you on any nerve pain meds such as Lyrica? That may help until the nerves quiet down. It wouldn't hurt to call your surgeon just to be on the safe side.

    Best wishes,

  • I was thinking call the doctor and let him know.
    It could be nerve pain/irritation but not necessarily bad. My doctor offered Neurontin or Lyrica if it got bad but my pain was burning...and hasn't gotten worse.

    I would call the doctor Monday.
    Until then...does icing help? Have you cut back your walking to see if that helps.

    The other thing...are you walking outside? If yes, make sure you extended route doesn't include hills. Hills can have you leaning which might inflame the area which could be causing some new pain.

    I noticed in week 3, I'm walking more and am actually feeling more stiff in my back by nighttime but then a 5 min walk helps just as much as meds. I'm trying to hold off on Lyrica or the other drug mainly b/c I want to feel new pains to know if I have to worry.
  • Thanks for the notes. I've been on neurontin since aug of 09.

    Ice seems to make one foot sensation turn into a different kind.

    I find it odd that my right leg felt great up until about a week ago and now is
    so twisted up.

    Walking does help it, but if I stop.. It's back.

    I've got to travel cross country for work next week..

    Needless to say, I'm REALLY nervous..
  • Im not feeling good about this.. Sitting for even short periods hurt and
    waking causes pain and more numbness.

    My calf muscle is floppy.. It's normally really firm and tight..

    Pretty discouraging
  • Had the pains also since surgery, feels like icey fire in my thigh. :S Whats better Neurotin or Lyrica? As in not a lot of side effects. I tried Lyrica one time and it was bad, too dizzy.
    I'm seeing my doc this week. I know I wont have a choice but I would like to see anybodys opinion.

    Thanks ;)
  • Hi SCMGuru - any chance to send someone else OR do this meeting remotely? If not, call the doctor to see what he could recommend. I'd say try to switch flights so there's a connection but to be honest, that's probably not going to help...try for direct flight. As for bulk head seat (see if you can bring any proof of surgery) which will help you get up (if there's no turbulence) and stand near the rest rooms.

    Eric P - I opted out of the nerve medication but my doctor said that lyrica makes people more dizzy/drunk like than Neurontin (?sp) but not sure. I've not been on either. He said if the burning is really bad it does help though. Hopefully others can comment.
  • Thanks for the note.. I've got a connection so one leg is 3 hr
    and the 2nd is 2.

    I've got exit row aisle seats and started up on Medrol earlier today.

    Haven't been in this Much pain for a while.

    I'm going to be in meetings for 6+ hours a day,
    I'll have to make it a point to stand regularly.

    I feel the worst I can remember in a long while..

    Hopefully the medrol kicks in soon and I don't wreck
    myself next week.

    I'd cancel, but in this economy.. I can't afford to jeopardize my employment.

    Bummer :(
  • Ps.. Walking for under 20 minutes or so does help..

    Not sure what that means here but..
  • Yes, walking under 20 mins or 20 mins I found is more helpful than longer walks.

    Safe travels.
    I hear ya on economy. Unsure of your situation but do remember FMLA will protect your job federally for 12 weeks (there are some restrictions like needing to have worked continuoulsy for a certain period of time, etc). Some states are even higher.

    I would recommend letting folks at the meeting know you are 3 weeks out of back surgery so you'll need to stand.

    I went to training 5 weeks post op with 8+ hour days. I had to be in the back, stand, sway. I let instructors know and ended up letting my classmates know....funny how people just assume "I was bored or rude" until I told them what happened.

    Sounds like you are all geared up to make sure you have a relatively good week.
  • Made it to my destination.. Back on Medrol (day 2)
    feel pretty miserable.

    First couple of flight hours were ok, but it went downhill from there..

    I feel like i'm back to square one..

    Pain with sitting, leg pain alternates sides like before.

    Neurontin doesn't seem to do much.. Even heavy duty stuff like oxy which I had stopped for almost 2 weeks, just takes the edge off a bit.

    It's SO frustrating.. I feel like the last 6 months of my life have been dictated by my back and I'm getting really depressed about this..

    I'm just so tired of being in pain..

    I felt almost normal a week ago after taking just one day of medrol (which my dr had me stop)

    I'll give it another couple of weeks, but something doesn't feel right.

  • Made it to my destination.. Back on Medrol (day 2)
    feel pretty miserable.

    First couple of flight hours were ok, but it went downhill from there..

    I feel like i'm back to square one..

    Pain with sitting, leg pain alternates sides like before.

    Neurontin doesn't seem to do much.. Even heavy duty stuff like oxy which I had stopped for almost 2 weeks, just takes the edge off a bit.

    It's SO frustrating.. I feel like the last 6 months of my life have been dictated by my back and I'm getting really depressed about this..

    I'm just so tired of being in pain..

    I felt almost normal a week ago after taking just one day of medrol (which my dr had me stop)

    I'll give it another couple of weeks, but something doesn't feel right.

  • Hey - listen, don't beat yourself up for being back on pain meds. My doctor (the first time) told me that I would have set backs. When I had to go to training an hour drive away and then 'sit' in class all day 8+ hours and then 'network' at night...I was back on meds and felt down.

    Just stay positive. Is there a treadmill at the hotel? If yes, do yourself a favor and walk for 15 mins in the morning and at night.

    Do not feel bad about standing through your meetings and walking around or just getting up. If need be let people know in the beginning that you may need to stand up.

    It does stink that your life is being dictated by your back but you are tough! I can tell from your posts that you know and listen to your body. This is temporary.

    Take care of yourself this week - eat healthy, drink water, sleep with pillow between your legs, take your meds, ice, walk.

    I'm glad you arrived ok. Keep us posted on how you are doing. I still think you are doing well. The sitting on the plane and the stress of having to travel with your recent surgery is enough to give you a temporary set back...but I'm sure it's just temporary!

    Hang in there! We'll be here for you all week.
  • DNice- Thanks so much for your uplifting note.

    I'm feeling a bit better today.. Walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes.

    I discovered something I wanted to run by you.. I noticed that if I sit for a while or don't move around, my leg/hip area will burn and get worse and worse.

    But, if I stretch my hamstrings a bit, it feels different/better.

    So, if I'm able to walk for a few minutes, especially at a really minimal incline, this will help things.

    If I'm able to lay down and just bring my knees to my chest, this helps even more.

    Now here's the trade-off.. When I walk and especially when I do light hamstring stretches on my back, the pain goes from a burning down the whole leg to a tingling at the bottom of my foot.

    I'd definitely rather have the latter... but thought it was a bit strange.

    I've got meetings shortly, but will keep you all up to date on how I make it through this.


  • Yes, sitting for long periods (anything more than 30 mins) will burn your entire leg...and if you don't move, you'll find that your back will be tense too.

    I am not sure how you are hamstring stretching but I suspect you are being careful about not bending. I was doing calf stretches which helped before I went to PT and then found at PT it was safe. I also find if my back or legs hurt...if I lie on my side with pillow between my legs...it helps.

    You might also want to try a trick I learned from gwennie. The hotel is not going to be a good place b/c the floor is concrete. But at home, if you can get help lying on the floor and put knees/feet on the couch and take deep breaths, it helps 'unload' the disc and relieve some pressure.

    Treadmill is key. I found that no only is the walking just helpful per doctor's orders, it keeps my stress down which is a big thing in healing.

    Even during the day, take a 5 min walk every hour. Just tell your colleagues it's necessary.

    Glad to hear you are a little better.
  • I hope you made it home and can relax and catch up on rest that your body needs.

    I'm sure it was a tough week for you but hopefully being home, you can start on the upswing again.
  • Thanks for your kind thoughts..

    I'm back and just passed the 4 week mark.. felt a bit better towards the end of the week.. Finished my Medrol pack on Thursday, and caught a cold at the same time.

    Called the Dr. Wed because I was feeling really rough..they said I need to give it more time.

    When I asked how long I should expect, they couldn't give me an answer.

    It's Sunday and the Medrol must be wearing off, because my symptoms seem to be coming back..

    Burning and tingling in one leg or the other and my mid back..

    Not super happy about how I'm feeling right now, but I'm doing my best to keep positive ;).

  • A couple points for your consideration: I think you'd be much happier if you didn't walk for 45 minutes at a time, this early in your recovery, particularly if you are having leg/foot pain.

    Something is causing some irritation to the nerve. It could be inflammation or something else. Once something becomes irritated or inflamed, it can be VERY difficult to calm it down again. While it is necessary to walk to try to keep scar tissue from attaching, to keep the spinal nerves stretched out and to bring fresh blood to the surgical site, you do not want to do it to the point that you are putting more stress on the area. It will be nearly impossible to get the inflammation to go down, if that is the case.

    I think you'd be better off to take several smaller walks, spaced out over the course of the day...and try to ice as much as you are able. You should be walking on a flat, even surface...no incline, decline or uneven surface. A treadmill may be OK as long as you don't overdo it. The repetition of the movement on a treadmill can cause unwanted stress on the soft tissue and muscles, which results in stress on the discs.

    I hope you don't have any more travel in your plans for awhile. Now that you are home, spend some time on the floor. You can do this several times per day/only takes 5 minutes...and is a natural form of traction. Lie flat on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Keep pelvis in a neutral position and be sure your body is aligned properly. Arms should be close to your sides, palms facing up. Relax and breathe deeply from the belly. Just concentrate on your breathing, keeping it slow and even and feel you stomach rise up and down. That's all you have to do. It is a position that will allow your discs to unload and all the soft tissue can let go and relax...and stop guarding the surgically repaired area.

    Try to relax for a couple weeks and really give it a chance to calm down. Your doctor won't be able to do much or tell you much at this point anyway...so try to keep a positive attitude...hard as it may be!
  • Small walks do help but better to do smaller 10-15 min walks then big long ones. I found 20 mins is the max to avoid overdoing it.

    I've also been mixing up treadmill with outdoor walking. Luckily weather has warmed up a bit. So i do a good chunk of walking inside on treadmill but just started doing 2 10 min walks/day outside.

    I would ice. I would also ask if ibuprofin is ok to take. My doctor wanted me to avoid it for 2 weeks and then said if I could avoid it for the full 6, better. So I'm icing just 10 mins/day (or every other day) and found it helps too. Not immediate but just in general.

    I'm also on work restriction so I'm fortunate.
    I'm working remote for 4 hours/day and taking it seriously at least today my first day 'back'.

    Matter of fact, planning on a short nap now.
    I hope your doctor can see you.

    Keep the faith! You are still early in the recovery.
  • Saw my op report today.. Looks like a lot more got done than I had thought..

    L5S1 Laminectomy w/ bilateral facetectomies, foraminotomies and a bilateral discectomy.

    Not sure if that's normally all part of an L5S1 MicroD, but I thought I'd share..
  • No travel for a while.. I'll be working this week but will do my best to stand as much as I can.

    I'll also see if shorter walks help.. I've never felt pain during a walk or even a couple of hours after.

    In fact, if I'm in pain.. Walking seems to be the only thing that will help.

    Drove to dr this am.. I got 30 minutes before pain started in the middle of my left gleut (that's new) and then my leg pain followed shortly.

    Discussed where I'm at and he said that I shouldn't plan on feeling normal until at least 90 days out.

    Suggested I try Lyrica instead of Neurontin.

    Also, gave me a script for PT.. thinks it may help.

    Said to come back in 3-4 weeks.

    I think he's doing his best, I'm sure a patient like me is a handful..

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