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Nerve pain after multi-level lumbar fusion

edited 12/20/2012 - 5:52 PM in Lower Back Pain
Prior to surgery i had drop foot and hip pain extending down right leg across shin and top of foot to big toe. I had surgery on Nov 5th, fused L4-L5-S1. Had total protrusion, nerve was dying.

Recovery went well and was amazed at success, was almost off pain meds.

About 5 weeks post op I am getting "electrocuted" in my lower back and then stabbed. No pain in legs and I have been getting feeling back in right leg, big toe is getting less numb and more tingling.

I would be thrilled with recovery if I wasn't getting these stabs. They are crippling. Sometime I need a walker to get up and it takes FOREVER to get out of bed.

Also NS started me on bone growth stimulator around same time as pain started.

NS has been very supportive with neurotin, Valium, and Percocet. Low doses A lot of the posts I saw encouraged me that this nerve regeneration but the ones I saw we're old.

The fact that I am having no pain in my legs, the numbness is going away and my foot that was originally numb is now tingling I am hopeful. I'm suppose to go back to work soon and I'm scared with these stabs crippling me now.

I'm also starting to get depressed.

Any advice

Multi-level fusion L4-s1 Nov 5th 2012
Disc surgery Aug 2002


  • Nortoh9NNortoh9 Posts: 6
    edited 12/22/2012 - 6:43 PM
    I also had multi level fusion on 10/22/12. S1/L5/L4 anterior interbody fusion with posterior instrumentation. I have 8 screws, two plates (in front) and rods. I also had sharp knife stabbing around week 5. It did go away. I was also electrocuted along my shin on the same side. That is also gone.
    I am feeling very good about my recovery but those stabs and shocks shake my confidence as well. I am at week 9 and feel like a new person. I have energy and only minor nerve pain on my left shin and big toe. Keep your chin up. Do something fun with a person you love. I also suddenly do not need the aid of my walker. Hang in there.
    I will not return to work until 16 weeks post-op and only if the bone growth is good at my 3 month appointment.
  • Davey16DDavey16 Posts: 31
    edited 12/23/2012 - 9:15 AM
    Had 2 level fusion with decompressions Lumbar L4/L5/S1, Had nerve pain from buttocks /hips/down right and left leg. The nerve pain is only minimal now, had the electric shocks but they have gone., I can now walk for miles and stand, whereas before these two mentioned were almost impossible to do, Feeling good however 2 weeks ago got muscle spasms in back and this was debilitating and course of muscle relaxers and anti inflammatorys, seems to have done the trick, I am hoping to go back to work in January after being off from September, You cannot rush things because set backs can and will happen, I have found my limitations, and think twice about doing anything that even will remotely cause my back any grief, I am lucky in a way as I only have just over a year to work before retirement,.Hoping you and everyone who reads this every success in your journey to recovery.
  • My surgery was Nov 5th. I'm still having a lot of nerve pain. I'm suppose to go back to work in a few days. I'm just wondering how long it took for someone to feel good enough to return to work? I have a desk job.
    Multi-level fusion L4-s1 Nov 5th 2012
    Disc surgery Aug 2002
  • with end plates and screws and god knows what ?? and i have got awful nerve pain and swollen feet and mechanical back pain WORSE that before the operation .i also went through hell post surgery ..i am still on loads of meds and i don't think that there will be much they can do for me now ...
    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
  • Hi, I had a 2 level fusion of l4 to s1 and a disc replacement of L3/4 done as a '360 approach'
    I had my 2 surgeries 5 days apart due to complications and was in hospital for 11 days.
    I had awful electric shocks on my back and legs but these have started to go.

    I feel that I have really turned a corner now, I've reduced my oxynorm right down and hope to have stopped in less than a week. I will be returning to work on the 9th of Jan which will be 4 weeks post op from my anterior approach and 3 weeks post op from my posterial approach.

    Please nite everyone is different. Do not return until you feel fully fit to do so.

    My office is 4 miles walk from home and I have regular breaks and am adjustable desk, I would not consider taking public transport to get to work for fear of being knocked!

    I am 30, average weight and was previously very fit before surgery.

    Gosh I hope nothing hinders me and that this recovery for me is real.

    Good luck!

    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
  • Hi

    Are you on Nerve pain meds, I was put on Lyrica 6 week appointment with my neuro and the electric shocks/burning subsided . I never renewed them as with time and when the swelling goes down your body will adjust, I no longer have the electric shocks just the odd burning in the thighs, and only when I have done too much. Do not go back to work if you feel you are not ready,talk with your doctor/surgeon. I did with mine and both are firmly in my corner.

    regards Davey
  • Luckily my son was home and called 911. It was horrible, I was taken out by ambulance screaming of non stop spasm and crying. They had to give me narcotics to move me which barely took the edge off.

    MRI showed inflammation and Cat scan showed almost 100% growth. I am no longer using bone growth stimulator, on ton of meds. I am praying this works. Go for follow up on Wednesday.
    Multi-level fusion L4-s1 Nov 5th 2012
    Disc surgery Aug 2002
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