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Left Leg Pain and Numbness After 2 Level Fusion

heavywoodyhheavywoody Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
I had a spinal fusion at two levels, l4, l5, s1 on Sept 27th, 2011. My back pain is gone. However, after surgery my left leg, from the knee to my toes, is numb on the outside, always feels cramped, and is weaker than my right leg. I have done six weeks of physical therapy, I do exercises everyday, and I take 900 mg of Neurontin a day to try to help with the pain. No matter what I do, I cannot get rid of that perpetual feeling that my leg is cramped and it hurts. And I often get sudden shots of pain. And my leg has not gotten better since surgery.

I might add this is a post surgical pain. I never had it before surgery. My doctor has explained a nerve may have been brushed, or with the cages put in, it might take some time to adjust. I am getting a bit worried because it seems to have plateaued. It never gets stronger or the pain goes away. I had an MRI and the doctor said everything looks fine. My concern is since it has been almost six months, I won't get any better and this is permanent.

It has prevented me from going back to work. I am a software developer, so everything is mental. That constant cramp pain is incredibly distracting to me and I cannot concentrate.

Has anyone had this same experience or any suggestions on what might help?


  • and i too have more LEG and FOOT problems than i had before the surgery !! the consultant said this is NORMAL as he has stretched the nerves over an inch so nerve pain will be a problem for about 12 months .
    a question for you .?? do you have any pain in your bladder ..as if you need to pee ..in my case its when i have been swimming ...and my legs and feet flare up too ..i wondered if you have this problem???
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I know just what you mean for I have it too. I did not have any of this before surgery and my surgery (#1) was just a decompression not a fusion. I was told the same thing: a nerve got irritated. Mine was so bad I couldn't lift my leg. What have I learned: I am on Neurotin in a bit higher dosage and that seems to help with the shooting pains. Valium I used to take at bedtime as a muscle relaxer so I could get some sleep. I, too, have done the PT thing and the water exercise. I am still true to both. In PT I even tried a muscle stimulator which didn't help but it does help some. In surgery #3 when some hardware that was added in surgery #2 was removed, the doc freed up the L5 nerve root. That has helped a bit. Walking is still very diffficult. Yea, it is scarey that this may be permament though I know nerves take an awfully long time to heal. Progress has definitely been made but it comes very slowly.
  • My mother recently had the spine fusion with bone from the hip, spine and a cadaver. She is suffering horribly with foot and leg pain. Also she is experiencing a lot of edema in her feet and ankles. Unfortunately her surgeon has just brushed her off telling her that he has never heard of anyone having foot and leg pain after this very extensive surgery. At this point she is horribly discouraged and says that she wishes that she had never gone through with this surgery. Can anyone offer any suggestions to help her? Please and thank you!
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