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L4L5 Fusion on June 2 and no improvement on sciatic pain

phurrballepphurrballe Posts: 57
I was told by my surgeon that unpinching the nerves surgically that were causing my sciatic pain down my left butt and thigh would have 90% to 95% success to be pain free. First few days after surgery I was feeling pretty good and I was encourages. A week or so after the surgery a new Hell took over - a nerve tear. Pain from this was like no other I have ever experienced. Long story short, on 6/24 I had to have the left back incision reoperned to repair the nerve tear.

So now I am sitting almost 6 full weeks from the fusion surgery and almost 4 fulll weeks from the nerve tear surgery and I still have considerable sciatic pain that requires the same level of pain meds as I needed before any surgery, The pain is actually a little worse at times.

Am I being tooo impatient? My surgeon tendes to sugar coat things and told me he would have me running on a track within 3 mos. Well, after almost 2 I can just about walk and I cannot sit for more than 10 minutes. Running probably will never happen.

Also, I had anterioir and posterior incisions. The anterior incision has caused my stimach to srick out like I am bloated. Will that go down? I feel bloated and uncomfortable and the scar looks like it is pulling as if he pulled the string too tight. The two back incisions look healed but their is puffiness over on of them as if it also was pulled to tight. I am very thin so it is not like a lot of fat was there to be in the way. Will these go down over time?

Thank you

Lee Ellen


  • Recovery from spine surgery and especially from nerve injury and repair is a very long process. Not to discourage you, but sometimes it can take approximately a year. Please be patient and take it slow.

    Wishing you the very best....

  • Thank you Marianne. So I guess then there is hope this will get better? As I memtioned, my surgeon will tell me the best scenario and I am only wanting to hear the actual probablility this will improve or not.
    Lee Ellen
  • I have a somewhat similar situation. After a minimally invasive TLIF fusion, I had to have a 2nd surgery 2 weeks later when a CT Scan revealed one of the screws breached the bone and was apparently rubbing the nerve. 3 weeks after the 2nd surgery, I am in tremendous pain still where the incision was done twice, and the bone was invaded twice. I also wonder when this will get better, as I see no improvement (although my original sciatica is in fact gone).
    Anyone know when, after such a double surgery, we should feel some improvement? I can't take these meds for much longer.

  • This is very common that people dont get relief after surgery...i dont understand how you cant? I have to have fusion surgery because i can no longer bare the pain..
  • I am sorry that you have had so much pain after your surgery. We all go in with that blind faith with high hopes of relief. Thankfully my L4-L5 fusion that I had in Sept has brought me relief after 3 yrs. My first surgery left me like yourself, in worse pain than originally and it only got worse. Now I am not in constant pain. I am not 100% but this is better than what it was. I still have days that when I over do it I pay. Sometimes my nerves do weird stuff still but again not in constant pain. So I am one of the lucky ones that surgery finally helped. I do have a stubborn streak realizing that I am still healing and that I also have been told that it can take a year to heal completely. Patience is a virtue. LOL Hang in there, don't give up yet.
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