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Sciatic pain after lumbar laminectomy surgery

trikeguyttrikeguy Posts: 12
I had lumbar laminectomy surgery last October to eliminate or reduce severe sciatic pain. The results have been nowhere what I had hoped for! I had some relief for the first 2 months and then seemed to go backward. I went back to my surgeon and he recommneded PT. I have been doing the PT exercises daily since March. The last few weeks I have been experiencing more pain than I had before surgery. Laying down and standing or walking increases the pain. I go to bed at night, fall asleep only to awake 2 -3 hours later with severe leg pain. I never experienced the leg pain while laying down before. The pain starts to build as soon as I lay down in bed. The only thing that seems to help is to lay on the floor on an ice pack with my legs and feet lying on a chair or the couch. I called my surgeons office for an appointment and can not get in until a month from now. My surgery was done by an ortopedic surgeon, should I have gone to a neurologic surgeon instead?
I am getting to the point where I need to get help soon, one can not go on day after day with 3 - 4 hours of sleep each night!


  • Saw my orthopedic surgeon this week. New MRI shows nerve encroachment. It is back to the pain Doctor for more nerve root injections and then probable fusion surgery at the S1-L5 level.
    Apparently the conservative surgical approach did not work. Hope this time is more sucessful!
  • Welcome to spine health. Sorry that your laminectomy started off okay and then went backwards. Do you know when you will be having your fusion surgery?

    Hope that the nerve root injections give you some relief in the meantime.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I have the injection on Sept.8th and I suppose it will be about 4 weeks before I have recheck with the pain Dr. then back to the surgeon. Last year it took from April until late October before I had surgery. This time I am considering a second opinion before I proceeding. I just want it fixed!
  • 2nd opinion is smart idea. Even 3rd opinion if posible. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Had bilateral never root injections at level S1 on 9-8-2011. Left side went like a breeze but not the Right side. Dr. had a hard time getting into the correct location because the area is so compressed and tight. I almost passed out from the pain! Didn't sleep at all that night. After about 4 days I started to notice some relief from the leg pain. At about one week I was down to a 1-2 pain level in my legs. That lasted about another week and then the pain level started to rise again. I am back to sleeping for about 2 hours and then waking up due to leg pain. I get up walk around and then lay back down, get another 2 hours sleep and then back up again. Driving is beginning to be a problem again! I can only drive for about 20 minutes before the pain is at level 6-8.
    I go back to the pain clinic on 9-30-11. Not sure if more injections are coming or what.
  • Today I had an appointment at the pain clinic. The Dr. said that the injections he did earlier in the month were for diagnostic purposes and possibly some short term pain relief. It was short term, lasted about 1 week. Because I did have some relief it indicates that the nerve damage is repairable and S1 decompression should help the pain situation. No more nerve root injections at this time, now it is back to the surgeons office on Oct 28th. That was the soonest I could get an appointment. I hope to schedule surgery at that time. Meanwhile just try to endure the most painfull times!
  • Well I have seen the pain Dr. and he sent me back to the surgeon.I will be having ALIF surgery at levels L4-L5 & L5 -S1 some time in early December.
  • Ouch. Sorry. Trikeguy,,, Best of luck with the surgery, Its never anything simple eh?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I am finding my chronic nerve pain STILL ongoing. I have had TWO laminectomy surgeries, followed by SI injections, and enough PT to become a physical therapist myself. I was disappointed in finding that having the nerve endings lasered off to my sciatic is only a temporary fix. I do not want to get on narcotic pain medication again, and have been told by MAYO clinic that unless I'm pissing or pooping my pants they won't operate. My first surgery was at L4/L5 then the second they redid L4, L5 and S1. Im at a complete loss, trying to "live" but I have not quality of any life and I'm not even 40 yet. I truly hope your situation has a different outcome than mine....and can't even remember what is what like to live without pain....pretty sad.
  • Well, just 3 weeks to go until my fusion surgery! Went to a spinal fusion class at the hospital this week. Very Informative! Got alot of good tips on how to set up the house and arrange things for the weeks after sugery My wife was kind of overwhelmed when the nurse went through the proceedure step by step. She was freaked out when she saw the screws and rods that will be used to keep the spine in place.

    I am getting a little nervous as the day gets closer!
    I am a very active guy and don't like to be cooped up. I guess I will have to learn patients. There is alot riding on this surgery and it is my last best shot at a somewhat normal life!

    Every one at my work place is freaking out because I am going to be absent for an extended period of time.
    Seems that I am the go to guy for almost everything!

    Wish me Luck!
  • I had ALIF surgery in March 2009 - my S1/L5 & L5/L4 were fused and I have the rods and screws. They will do a lot of the fusion surgery with you on your back since they go in through the anterior, and then flip you over for the rods and screws in the back (posterior).

    My surgery took close to six hours. I was in the hospital for five day/four nights. Home from work about six weeks, and then back to work (office job) part time for four weeks. Then back full time. Walking is a great exercise to help the fusion complete.

    This surgery took care of my symptoms - left leg and foot numb, painful with drop foot as well. So you should get some relief.

    My only problem now is I have pain/numbness in my right thigh, but not lower. I believe I may have did something in my L4/L3 area to irritae the nerve. Having an MRI next Tuesday to find out what's up.

    In my opinion, the problem with fusing the lower lumbar is that it makes the spine above the fusion site work harder. More chance for additional issues in the future.

    Take Care.
  • Thanks RickC,
    Had my pre-op checkup today and all systems are go for next Thursday! I am really ready to get this over with, the pain as of late has been more than I want to deal with. It has been a long road to get to this point and I am hoping for the best possible results. I have exhausted every other avenue of help so I feel that the time is right.
  • Good luck to u!! MY friend had 2 LEVEL fusion on the l4-5 and l5-s1 and he feels GREAT ! ZEROPAIN and no meds.. i know not everyone is this lucky.. Another co worker had 2 level fusion and its been 12 years and he is still great just stiffness. So there are people who it works for.. anyways Trike i wish u the best luck and thanks for posting on this thread and keeping us up to date!
  • Good luck to u!! MY friend had 2 LEVEL fusion on the l4-5 and l5-s1 and he feels GREAT ! ZEROPAIN and no meds.. i know not everyone is this lucky.. Another co worker had 2 level fusion and its been 12 years and he is still great just stiffness. So there are people who it works for.. anyways Trike i wish u the best luck and thanks for posting on this thread and keeping us up to date!
  • PaulekeanePPaulekeane Posts: 1
    edited 02/16/2014 - 3:38 AM
    Hello- I'm sorry to say that I will sound like a complainer as some pain people are describing seems intense as I had pre-surgery but I had surgery 11 days ago, had my staples out 2 days ago and picked up my daughter yesterday. I have since had slight sciatica in my left buttocks (same side as pre-surgery pain)...not as intense and it comes and goes only for a few seconds but I'm scared. Could I have screwed something up? Or is this quite normal because I just haven't used my back/legs to lift in weeks? Thanks
  • Nerves can take time to heal if they were compressed prior to surgery. I don't know how much your daughter weighs but You may want to avoid lifting until it calms down. And never hesitate to call your Doc if you have concerns. I still have sciatica post surgery but my nerves were very irritated. It's good that your symptoms have improved post surgery. Remember that your body is still recovering. My Doc told me that walking helps, but only as tolerated. If the pain continues, or worsens, call your Doc and see what is recommended. And you do not sound like a complainer, that's what these forums are here for.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Byrd 44BByrd 44 Posts: 1
    edited 07/12/2015 - 9:23 PM
    Newbie here and 10 days ago I had l4-5 dicsectomy and laminectomy. First couple days I was good not much pain but on the 3rd day I woke up with severe pain going down my leg. So much I had to get a cane. I'm now walking again without the cane but it's still excruciating. I know I haven't done to much because I literally have not been doing nothing. Now my back is so stiff. I'm hoping this all gets better. Could the pain in my leg just be my sciatic nerve inflamed from surgery? Pain in my leg is 10x worse now than before surgery. One good thing is I no longer feel like there are hundreds of bees stinging my feet. They are still numb. Please tell me this gets better. I see my surgeon tomorrow.

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  • I woke up this morning with the same issue. My hips and legs are so sore. It doesn't feel like the sciatica I had prior to surgery. Did you ever figure out what was causing it? AND Did it stop??
  • I feel great! I'm back to work. I'm off my pain meds. I finally have my life back and it feels AMAZING!!!!

    Laminectomy/Discectomy L4-5 July 20, 2015
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