Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Pain in buttock, numbness, and muscle twitches

patgibson93ppatgibson93 Posts: 67
Need some help or feedback! I had an ALIF L5-S1 on 22 Feb 11. I've had a slow recovery but a positive one. After surgery my constant L leg pain and weakness was gone. It was such a blessed relief following 18 months of constant pain and numbness following my injury. The nerve pain only returned if I sat for too long. Lying down offered immediate relief.
I saw my surgeon on 16 May and he was really pleased with my healing. X-rays show all hardware in place and bone growth. On the whole everything looks good. I told him about the nerve pain, but he seemed to think it was nothing to be concerned about as it was probably just due to it healing. He also decided it was time to start a slow PT program, which I began on Monday. I did fine with the first appointment, I was sore the next day and very fatigued. My sciatic nerve let me know it was not happy. My pain meds helped, but it was definitely uncomfortable. Yesterday morning I awoke with a horrible L-sided headache (not migraine). These headaches happen only when my sciatic nerve is inflammed. They occured in hospital post-op and my surgeon had no explantion. He finds them very puzzling. My pain meds had worn off during the night, so once meds were on-board my headache went away. Then I went to PT. By the time I got home my headache was back in spades and my legs were tingling. The pain in my left buttock was back - both calves were twitchy and threatening to cramp. The tingling is worse than it was prior to surgery and now goes down the backs of both legs and the bottoms of both feet. Pain meds haven't helped. Lying down has not eased it. Last night I had an extremely uncomfortable time. Fortunately the headache did go away. Today I have spent most of the day lying down which has helped a bit. However once I did get up the tingling returned with a vengence.
Tomorrow morning I go back to PT. Obviously I'm going to discuss with my therapist, but this is really worrying me. How do I know if this is just a usual aspect of recovery, or if I am causing damage? I ended up having my fusion because workers comp did not approve timely treatment of an annular tear. What should have been a simple course of treatment ended up as a complicated ordeal. I'm so ready for this to be over. Prior to the injury I had never experienced any back issues. Fusion was the only recourse and I went into it understanding what the potential outcome could be. I was so optimistic when the nerve pain seemed to be resolving afterwards. Now, I'm worried that instead of letting the nerve heal - swelling and inflammation to subside - I am now aggravating it all over again.
Is this just part of the healing process? Is it going to get better? Do I need to call my surgeon or do I just keep going on hoping this is just a hiccup? I don't want to be such a Nervous Nelly about everything, but I don't know what to expect.

Thanks for any guidance you can offer.
Pat Gibson
L5S1 ALIF 2-22-11
Now L4 Retrolisthisis


  • Hi there,your situation is very similar to mine.I had my surgery on the 20th Jan 2011.This was a revision fusion of L4-5,& L-5/s1 which didnt fuse after my initial operation in 2010.
    I am still experiencing serious discomfort in butt,& lower back.But seems to be over the position of the screws,so I am hopeing the pain is being caused by the hardware which will be removed once the fusion has had sufficent time to become hard enough.
    I'm still taking 40 mg of oxycontin,gabapentim,& paracode to give me some level of comfort.
    I am hopeing that as it is only 4 months since the op,that it is a matter of more time for things to settle down.I also think that if the metal ware is causing the bulk of the pain,it may be unrealistic to expect it to go away,untill the metal ware is removed,& hence will rely on the medication to get me through untill it can be removed all together.
    This is my experience,but yours could be totally different,as everyone heals in thier own way.
    Please keep letting us all know how you get on,& feel free to message me to discuss any issues you want to.Happy to chat-Mike.
  • Mike -
    My hardware & screws are not going to be removed. My surgeon does not remove them. My back feels so much better where the disc was replaced, it is this awful nerve pain in my left buttock & hip. My legs feel very twitchy tonight,, & they feel as if they could give way. Really don't like this!
    Thanks for replying. I certainly hope you get along well.

    Pat Gibson
    L5S1 ALIF 2-22-11
    Now L4 Retrolisthisis
  • if i remember, we had our alif l5/s1 around same time, well i was a month behind.

    ive just come on here looking for the exact same info as you are. i too have started over the last 3 weeks with major butt pain which radiates down my left leg and have tingles in toes on both feet and soles of the left foot.

    my physio has put me on hold and wont allow me to exercise other than short walks again. he thinks its my SI joint as apparently si pain after fusion is "common" (only what my physio has said). So, im back to see the surgeon next week, they've rushed me through which does make me worry that has the hardware moved?? or just si?

    i dunno, my advice would be go back to your surgeon, as it seems the way my care has forced me with this pain, plus i need some peace of mind that this may resolve.

    im gutted like you as i was progressing really well, and now ive ended up with a limp again as it hurts to weightbear too much on the left leg.

    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
Sign In or Register to comment.