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left foot/leg weakness on same side as graft

inforalonghauliinforalonghaul Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My husband had an anterior / posterior (360) fusion with bone graft taken from left hip. ( 5 weeks ago )

My question is:

While walking today his left foot stumbled if that makes sense. He was unbalanced for a moment. Since the surgery his left leg has a numb spot (inner/outer) thigh area.. this week he has a numb area (new) around the area where his groin meets his leg and the outer area below the graft site is now numb (new as well). Dr. said there is not much they can do about it. The left leg is very weak. Before surgery, it was the right leg that he had problems with- which is now subsiding. Now his left leg has issues and weakness down to foot. Has anyone else experienced this?

Also.. today he has been emotional~crying. We have been married for 18 years- and in that time I can count on one hand how many times I have seen him cry. It has been on and off today. Frustration about surgery..loss of job which in turn causes loss of insurance... loss of control with leg.. fear of future (this is what he is able to talk to me about). Did any of you find that emotions were harder after surgery? any advise?

I have read some of your posts and admire all your courage to face all that you have endured with your backs as well.



  • After major spine surgery, it takes quite a while for things to settle down. The recovery period is long and frustrating, and as the spine is repositioning, you can feel pain in other areas.

    Most of my pain was in the left leg, but in the early part of recovery, I had pain in the right one, but it gradually settled. My left leg is still weaker than the right and the numbness down the front of the leg has never gone away. I don't think about it much now, and only notice it when I'm doing some exercises.

    Some people are left with permanent nerve damage from the nerve being compressed for a long time.

    Is your husband on Lyrica or Gabapentin for the nerve pain? I was on Gabapentin for a couple of months post-surgery.

    Is your husband due for a check-up with the NS soon? It would be worth discussing this with him.

    Encourage your husband to take things very easy during the early part of his recovery, resting lots and regular smaller walks. I wouldn't be in a hurry to walk longer distances yet.

    I hope his pain/numbness settles down soon.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • He is weaning off of oxycontin now.. and percocet within a week after. Tuesday will be the 6 week- post op. They want him med free as of 7 weeks post op.

    He does take tizanidine (muscle relaxer).
    stool softeners and mirolax as well.

    He only sees he back surgeon (orthopedic) and does not see him again until beginning December.
    He will start PT in January.

    He is a mess.. and my heart hurts for him. I am with him 24/7 and it is very exhausting for me, so I can only imagine how it is for him (and all of you here) doing this with pain as well.
    His incision are healing OK.. in the bright red stage. The incision in the front is about 11 inches long vertical- and a small 3 inch horizontal incision on left hip. His incision in his back is smaller than the front- maybe 7 inches?..
    Anyway, thank you for your support. Its hard when no one really understands what your family is going through. It seems all of you here "get it"...

    excuse my spelling errors..
  • Trish is dead on with her advice. My spine surgeries have been cervical - lumbar coming within a year. When your spine is fused your whole spine is affected in one way or another. There is a change in the loading and dynamics of how your back will respond now that a part is "fixed", and too the muscles and ligaments also respond, many times in spasms and such.

    The nerves. The ones that were entrapped sometimes are very sensitive, and as they heal more nerve pain may be felt as "they come back to life" or better stated, try to regenerate their function of sending signals to the appropriate areas. It can take for some almost instant gratification, for others years. Spine surgery is a serious surgery, and ones body is introduced to significant trauma by the surgery. So the whole body and emotions at time may waver and change as the healing is occurring. Patience is the key in these cases.

    As a thought, maybe your husband might want to read on here, or even become a member. The support alone might give him back some of his inner strength and belief in himself. Plus too, men at times aren't as open to us wives, but maybe on here, he can be - which can help. This site has tons of great people. Oh, and I applaud you for coming here to find help for him! That is super super neat! *HUGZ* for you and your healing hubby. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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