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L4 S1 TLIF Feb 22/Nerve Pain

candleladyccandlelady Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am new to the forum as far as posting but not as far as reading =) I find this to be an awesome place for information and today I decided I needed some support/information.

I am 33yrs old and had grade 3 spondy with DDD. The nerves on each side were severely compressed causing lots of pain, numbness and tingling.
I had a TLIF L4-S1 TLIF on Feb 22. I spent 5 days in the hospital due to uncontrollable pain. I came home and was doing very well up until this past week. I have been having HORRIBLE nerve pain in my legs. My right leg is the worst even though when I went into surgery my left leg was going numb and having tingling. Both legs are on fire, have varying degrees of numbness and I cannot get comfortable at all as they are driving me crazy with the horrible feelings. Today I am just in tears and struggling with the pain in my legs. It is the worst it has been.

I had been to my neurosurgeon a little over a week ago and all the xrays look great and the incision besides a stitch(which was fine at that time) poking out. At that time I was having some nerve issues so he increase my Gabapentin.

I am currently on taking MS Contin (just reduced to PM only last week) Oxycondone 5mg/4x's a day, valium 5mg/3x's a day, zanaflex 4mg/3x's a day, 900mg of Gabapentin/2 x's a day and 1000mg Tylenol/3x's a day. I know I am on a ton of medication but that nerve pain is making me crazy. Neurosurgeon had just raised the Gabapentin to the new dose two days ago but I feel nothing more from that.

Anyone experience this? Please tell me this goes away? Is there ANYTHING you can recommend to stop this horrible, horrible nerve pain? I can't take a bath yet due to a stitch that is poking out and the incision is not closed yet.

I ended up taking an extra Oxycondone this afternoon and an extra dose of tylenol. I don't know what else to do. Please offer any suggestions of anything that might work for you.

Sorry for the long first post =)


  • I don't know if it would help or not, but maybe switching your gabapentin to Lyrica? I had an L5/S1 TLIF on Feb 23rd, but was only on Percoset and Oxycontin, and only Percoset once I left the hospital. No nerve medication at all. Before the surgery, I had lost most sensation in my left leg. Since surgery, my left thigh and calf are slowly regaining sensation, but still nothing in most of my left foot. I am thinking about asking for Neurontin or Lyrica because even though my heel and ankle are numb, they still hurt if anything slightly touches it (and only people who have had this feeling know what I'm talking about). Nerves are very strange. Your pain may be them coming back, but that doesn't make you feel any better right now. Short of trying a different med such as Lyrica, I don't have any other ideas. Hope this helps some.
  • I am so surprised that is all the meds they gave you coming. Makes me feel like I am on pharmacy compared to you=) Even on all those meds I am still having trouble. I may ask about that with my neurosurgeon and see if that change might help. I woke up last night having what my hubby called a muscle spasm earthquake. It was so bad it shook the whole bed and scared me. Ugh. THanks for your response, just that makes me feel better and happy that people are out there and care. It is such a hard recovery and those around me are beginning to tire of me talking about it.

    I get totally do get the sensation about anything touching your leg is awful. That is how yesterday was. I took my pants off and laid still on my bed so there so no further sensations on my leg. Awful feeling. I hope your recovery gets better and better and thanks for responding=)
  • Hiya... I had ALIF surgey 4 weeks ago. From the moment I woke up life had changed for me. I now had one after 6 1/2 years.... yay.....

    Noone told me about post op nerve pain. Noone could prepare you for it. In hospital your dosed up enough not to know exactly whats what.

    Any way cutting to the chase. I took all the drugs they have you on for chronic pain pre surgey. Most had side effects for that outwayed any benefits. Found out I was allergic to morphine during this time. Tramadol was the one that worked for me.

    Now those were all pre surgery for chronic pain.

    Post surgery - for nerve pain after going home I had dexmethsone. This I took for days to get it under control and now I have Lyrica to keep it under control and can take a dex if it breaks through.

    Working beautifully for me....

    This is my experience. The pain medication navigation is just part of the experience.

    Have a chat to your Doc about these ones and good luck.... It aint no fun..... ~X(
  • Tramadol worked for me pre surgery so I am wondering if maybe I should go back to that. I am growing very frustrated with the nerve pain especially in my feet and lower legs. I knew from all the reading that I did presurgery that there would be nerve pain post op but there I had no idea it was like this. Wow.

    I started PT two weeks ago and I feel like some days it helps and other days I could just scream. The TENS/heat therapy at PT is something that I could marry. LOL. I LOOOVEEEE when that is on and the most I feel relaxed and with no pain while it is on. After PT sometimes I struggle driving home as I my legs/feet hurt so bad.

    My neurologist is gone for a month (we are military and see military docs) and the replacement docs don't want to change my meds so I am working with my physical therapist to do non medication stuff to make it better. Just using heat and ice is helping a litle bit and doing the exercises she showed me.
  • I still take maximun tramal with the Lyrica... Thats a big improvement for me.

    Lyrica not on PBS scheme over her so thank you once again to health insurance.

    Pain medication is for people in pain. Get back to your doc and find the one for you.

    There are alternatives spoken about throughout this site. Checkout the alternatives from the people who know.

    I was injured in a service too. Not military. So we have that in common too.....

    Again good luck
  • I may be seeing the resident/on call doc sooner rather than later. My impatient self couldn't relax and cleaned out of my car. Well when I did, I slipped in the stone driveway and fell funny into the car.. I had a physical therapy appointment soon after and she said the I might have ruined the screws for the amount of pain I am in. I am so sad and praying I didn't do anything. Ugh.

    I will definitely have a conversation regarding pain management with either my doc or the on call doc=)
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