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Advice from those who've had lumbar fusion(s)...

texastigerttexastiger Posts: 48
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have a question for anyone who has had a lumbar fusion. Did you have nerve pain in your legs? also did anyone have numbness and weakness? If so, what was it like and when did it get better and did you do anything to help?

I know, so many questions, but immediately when I awoke in recovery from my multi-level fusion I had severe nerve pain in the tops of my legs, complete numbness and was unable to move my legs at all. This was all new and unexpected.

Things are slowly improving but I have been unable to find many answers and I thought this community would be a valuable source of info. My surgery was June 11--so today is my 2 month mark!

The nerve pain feels like burning acid pouring on your legs or a severe sunburn that is being scraped all the while the legs are numb and so weak that its hard to move them...

Thanks in advance,


  • I know you don't want to hear this but you are still so early in your recovery....

    I had a lot of leg pain and still do, but not as much or as frequent.

    Initially, I didn't have numbness. After about 2 1/2 months, I had a new onset on numbness in my right thigh with pain. Unfortunately, I herniated above my fusion....

    Neurontin really helps my nerve pain, without it, it feels like hot acid is poured on my bum and legs.

    I still have frequent bone graph pain, but I know it takes a long time for that to stop, 1+ years.

    I hope this is helpful! You definately are not alone. This is a long, long journey, but we are here to support you while you are traveling this road! :)

    Hang in there! Wishing you the very best! Shari
  • Becca,

    I had similar pains prior to surgery. After surgery while in the hospital, the pain was gone altogether. Since I have been home, the pain has returned only intermittently. I think a lot has to do with how much damage was done to the nerves prior to the surgery. As you relieve pressure, things shift and change from my understanding. Everyone is different.

    I've had days where I felt discouraged because other people were not the same. Best advice, keep your doctor informed.
  • I'm almost 9 month post PLIF, and still have radicular pain and intermittent numbness in my feet. I did have some of the same symptoms before surgery, but they have worsened since surgery. I have not fused yet, and that may be partially the cause of my pain.

    Lyrica did help to decrease(not eliminate) the pain, but I had significant swelling in my legs and stomach, so I only take it when I'm dying in pain.

    I am going to a PM doc. for the first time next week, and am very excited at the possibility of having better management of my symptoms.

    Hope this information helps, and just know...every back is different, and hopefully in time your symptoms will improve. You are still very early in your recovery...heck, from everything I've been told, I'm still early in my recovery... :-)

    Take care,

  • I woke from my surgery on July 16th with my right thigh 70% numb. 2 days later it started to hurt, to the point of tears. Felt like burning needles. They said that was signs of "healing" and put me on Neurotin 100mg 3x day. Was still giving me a problem a week later so they increased the Neurotin to 200mg 3x day. The pain has stopped but the numbness is still there.

    Wish you the best of luck!
  • I had a lot of nerve pain in my thighs after surgery. I also get numbness in my left leg and foot more than before surgery. My leg feels like it's swollen which, from what I'm told, is numbness. The nerve pain has definitely subsided a lot since surgery (I'm 11 months post PLIF) but still have the nerve pain. I have tried neurontin, but it makes the pain worse and I can't tolerate Lyrica so I just have to ride out the pain.

    Best of luck in your recovery!

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