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laughnsmilellaughnsmile Posts: 60
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Have any of you had this experience and is it part of recovery from surgery or does it indicate a problem?

This has happened 3 times. When I am on my feet for 1 hour
15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, (like shopping where it is not
a steady pace (it has stops) and is slow) I get an excruciating stabbing pain in my left thigh. I can not put weight on it and I automatically cry out and tears roll down my cheeks. I was in a store today when this happened.
My thigh continues to be very sore hours after the severe pain. It is in one specific spot and the soreness radiates
only a few inches. It is much like the pain before surgery
except that was from hip to ankle.

The surgery was on 12-3-09. MI TLIF on L5-S1. The nerve
root was compressed for a year. Dx: Spondylolisthesis.
My spine was curled like the letter J.

Before last MD appointment, I had some sciatic on sides
of legs. Surgeon was not concerned and said I would experience different sensations as nerves "woke up" and I healed". I have my next appointment in 2 wks.

Does this pain seem normal or more indicate a problem. L4
did have issues but surgeon decided to leave it alone because he believed my pain was from L5. I am so concerned
that I may need surgery again!

Any and all input is appreciated!!! Thanks


  • Who knows, really. But my best guess is that it is more likely to be a soft tissue problem. I doubt that since it is as localized as you describe that it is nerve pain. Front of thigh pain usually stems from L3 and is usually a bit more spread out. It can come from the one you are placed on the operating room table, and can be a lateral femoral nerve issue or something with the psoas muscle.

    Also that kind of slow, intermittent walking one does when shopping, visiting a museum or art gallery, etc. is just about the worst thing on the spine. Part of it is that the locations where you walk at that speed always seem to have awful concrete floors.

    I would take your doctor's advice and not worry about it for now. As we have all been told repeatedly, it can take a compressed nerve a LONG time to return to normal functioning...much longer than any of us thinks it should take. Try to be patient and don't imagine the worst every time you have a new ache or pain. Chances are, it is just a part of normal recovery.

    xx Gwennie
  • Are you taking anything for pain? Are you in PT? Any numbness would concern me the most, so hang in there and try to manage those pains and hopefully they will calm down. IF numbness is apparent, I would be on the horn, if you know what I mean.

    You'll make it, hang in there...

  • thanks for both of your comments. I am taking tramadol. This pain is severe and I am unable to walk. Yesterday, it happened while in grocery store.
    I talked with Surgeon's nurse today. she said she thought it was scar tissue on a nerve and suggested
    some stretching exercises. She said this kind of pain is intense and usually goes away over time.
    I've been faithfully doing stretching and other exercises given by surgeon and PT.

    It is scary because I know it will happen if I am on
    my feet more than 1 hour and depressing because I'm
    shying away from some situations.

    I have an MD appointment in 2 wks.

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