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Recent back Surgery

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone. I'm new here but been reading comments for awhile. I just had back surgery 2 weeks ago. I had a lot of pain--mostly a 9 or 10. I suspect some criminal behavior on the part of one nurse who didn't follow doctors orders regarding pain relievers. I will follow up on this.
Right now I'm healing nicely and not in too much pain. I'm 66 and in good shape otherwise. I took the advice of many of you out there and it really helped me. The main problem I have now is I'm having trouble sleeping (in any position). For some reason my left buttock and left leg hurts (didn't before surgery) and wakes me up every 1 or 2 hrs.. I HAVE to get up and walk and take 2 percocet to get rid of pain. 2 hrs later the samething happens and I HAVE to get up and walk and take maybe one pill. I left a message about this today to my surgeon (hope he replies) but could use any suggestions. I have less pain when walking.
Thanks to you all!
Laminectory and #1 level fusion, L4, L5, S1 Taking Percocet


  • It sounds like nerve pain. Sometimes when the nerves are decompressed, they wake up screaming. Takes some time for the inflammation to settle. I would ask your doctor for nerve pain medication.

    Best wishes,

  • I agree with Marianne It does sound like nerve problem. Tell your Dr see what he may think.

  • Glad you switched from a reader to a participant.

    For now, have you tried using an ice pack? Sometimes we use ice at the beginning and then forget about it. It is often as useful as drugs if used often and consistently.

    Another option to nerve pain could be something like piriformis or psoas muscle tightness. The piriformis is a large muscle in the buttock. The sciatic nerve runs right underneath it. If the piriformis becomes irritated, as it can during surgery, it can push on the sciatic nerve, causing pain. There are stretches you can do for this -- but not yet!! Too early in recovery for that!! Again, you could try icing to see if it provides any relief.

    I've not watched a lumbar spine surgery, but I have been told that in order to get to the surgical area, sometimes the body is put in some rather "awkward" positions. This can result in some post-surgery muscle and soft tissue pain, or a nerve such as the lateral femoral nerve can get a bit "squished." I came out of a PLIF at L4-5 with femoral nerve damage. It is usually temporary, but it does cause pain and discomfort as it returns to normal.

    If you try an ice pack, try not to lay it directly on the incision...just to either side of it.

    Hope this clears up soon. It does get easier to sleep as the days go on. Be sure you are taking your prescribed meds around the clock, if that is how they were prescribed to you.
  • Gwennie has great suggestions. I recently started having almost the same nerve pain in my left buttocks and leg that I had before surgery. I have been walking more, slowly building up more each week, and figure I am just now experiencing the dreaded after surgery nerve awakening symptoms and muscle soreness from being more active. I just started using ice and it has helped alot more then I ever expected. It's tough when anything interferes with your sleep as I have found that a good night's sleep has been very helpful in the way I feel.

    Hopefully your surgeon will have some suggestions for you. Wishing you well on your recovery.
  • Thanks to you all for your info--I agree that it is some kind of nerve imflamation pain. Only my, "physician assistant" who happenned to be on vacation at time of my surgery replied that he will give me a, "medrol dose pack" (???) that should calm it down. Also an X-ray to check on the screws and rods. But he didn't say when on his email response. Talking to some friends who had similar condition said they found a huge difference between advice from the doctor vs a physician assistant or nurse. I'm going to demand to talk to my surgeon. I don't want to wait with this pain untill my next appointment with, "physician assistant".
    Last, I slept a little better last night. I really turn into a vegetable if I don't get at least 7 or 8 hrs. of sleep. Thanks again for your thoughts because I've learned that sometimes just one thought or sentence you make can turn the light on the situation or problem. Thanks to you ALL!

    2 weeks ago surgery for a Laminectory and one level fusion--L4,L5, S1.----GERRY
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