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new symptom post surgery

wwlady41wwwlady41 Posts: 131
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Lower Back Pain
hi all, not sure if I am posting this on the right board, please re-direct me if you think another may be better.
I had a TLIF on 5/17 for L4-5. I still have pain and numbness but I have developed a new pain.
I have burning and stinging from my low back thru my buttocks (not all the way across, mostly in the center) running between my legs toward the front. It gets much worse sitting or standing too long. the pain does go away at times with ice packs and my meds.
I had my first re visit with the nurse practitioner post op and told her about the symptom. She said it was most likely because of the surgery and having things been "moved around" so much. I was told like most of the nerve damage it would just take time to heal and that I shouldn't worry.
Today the pain is really severe and I have called to doc's office to update. Haven't heard back yet, but wanted to ask all of you if anyone has had similar symptoms and their thoughts.



  • I also had a TLIF at L4/5 and can tell you that I experienced close to the same thing. You are really early out from surgery and there will be a lot going on for the first 3+ months. The nerves get very angry - I had nerve pain that was much worse than pre-surgery during recovery, but my doc told me to expect that and severe muscle spasms in my back as the muscles grew back together.

    A TLIF is very invasive and it sounds like you have some nerves that are waking up and angry at the work the surgeon did.

    The only suggestion I have is to take it day by day, but to measure your recovery in weeks, not days. Just get through each day the best you can, walk as much as possible, but not too much yet, and increase the length of your walks as time goes by.

    Believe in your surgeon and practitioner and what they tell you. TLIF recovery is very rough and for me, I didn't start to feel better until six months out. It took an entire year for me to feel almost back to normal, although with my new job I have some new mechanical pain, but that's a whole other story.

    Anyway, try not to worry too much. I'm very glad to hear that the icing is helping as well as the meds. Try to keep ahead of the pain by taking your meds on schedule for the first couple of months so that you're not chasing your pain and trying to get it under control.

    Take care of yourself and, again, you're really early in your recovery so you can expect strange things to happen for a while yet. But one day you'll realize that your pain is nothing but surgery recovery pain, not pre-surgical pain, and that will be a good day. That's when we really feel like we're making progress.


    PS Calling your practitioner or surgeon when you're worried is fine - that's what they're there for and it can calm you down. Just believe in them, at least for now.
  • thanks so much Cath! I am glad to hear from someone else who has had a similar experience. It is great to have this site!
    I am trying not to worry too much, but it is hard. I also worry if I will be able to return to what I have done before, but my job requires me to be out in the field 80% of my time, that means a lot of driving and sitting. I am trying to not think about it and see how things progress.
    what do you think?
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