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9 mos post ALIF surgery leg/calf cramps and sciatica

I have entered my 9th month post L5S1 alif fusion surgery. Back feels great, but leg pains/calf cramps developed 3 weeks post surgery and continues. I'm presently unable to sit more than 10 minutes, before the periformis muscles tightens and the sciatic nerves begans burning. I can walk up to 12 minutes, before I get sharp pains in my hips and legs. I spend most of my days lying on my right side in a fetal position. I'm presently in my 8 th session of physical therapy, which is helping me to stretch and strengthen my muscle as they have weakened down to the core muscles. Even in the therapy, I leave burning and feeling worst than when entered. The sergeant seems to only come up with a guessed conclusion that, due to the stretching of nerves to replace disc, they are irritated and it takes time to heal. I get it!, but how long?! I am a Type A independent woman, who now have to miss out socially and depend on others for the little stuff.
I am experiencing depression, frustration, and discouragement as I am unable to some of the simple activities such as going to the theatre, restaurants, church, etc. as I am unable to drive or sit. I try to walk on the track in order to get fresh air and exercise, but I'm always seem to only be able to do 5 limping off the track vs. 8, the ideal goal. I'm on 600mg Gabapentin and 50mcg Fentanyl Patch, which only last 2 days (1 very strong/drowsy and 1 pain tolerable day). I seem to be drowsy, fatigue, nodding, and irritable all the time. I try to have a more positive attitude, ans I'm grateful as things could be worst, but it's the "Time" that makes it difficult to Pre-plan any event or activities as each day is unpredictable and unsure.
I don't know anyone else personally who has endure the same. I feel isolated and lonely. I'm married, but my husband don't get it or even can begin to understand. I need help!


  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 09/02/2012 - 3:59 AM
    i had the same operation about the same time as you {dec last year] and i too have leg and foot problems .it will be the sympathetic nerves that were disturbed during your operation {they run down the front of your spine and would have been temporary removed during your operation } .i asked my consultant and he has told me to stop worrying ! the only difference between you and i is my back is still hurting like hell !!
    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
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