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Leg Pain after ALIF and Neurontin

I had surgery last week and for the past few days I have had terrible leg pain from my butt to my calfs. It is way worse than the leg pain before the surgery. I hear it's fairly common so I'm not too worried yet. They prescribed me Neurontin and I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this. Did the drug work for you? How long did you have to stay on it? One of my goals with the surgery was to not have to take any more meds. I really hope this isn't the start of something new.


  • What surgery did you have? I had ALIFL4L5S1 6 wks ago and I still have real bad nerve pain in both legs.I go see dr may 7th. I hope it will end soon. Hope yours gets better soon kathy
    Kathy B
  • karenikkareni Posts: 58
    edited 04/27/2013 - 12:02 PM
    I had ALIF L5-S1 last Tuesday and this leg pain is terrible. I hope this pain isn't a permenant side effect of my surgery. I think it would be almost impossible to keep my job and keep up with my 3 young children with the amount of pain I'm in. I hope your pain gets better too Kathy good luck!
  • You just had surgery give it time. You should call your dr and ask for something else for the nerve pain. Im on Gabapentin for the nerve pain and I ice a lot too. I have ice packs in freezer all the time and switch off. Ice helps a lot.Im 6 wks out and I hope it gets better. Its only bad at night!!!!Stay strong it will get better!!!!kathy
    Kathy B
  • Did you take anything the morning of your surgery? My surgeon has had me take 3 different scripts before each surgery. The first is the nasal stuff for MRSA even though I always test negative.... the second two I do NOT take regulary.... I had to take two celebrex and one lyrica the morning of.... supposedly it has been shown to drasticaly reduce leg pain after surgery. I DO/DID have leg pain after surgery, but it was more part of the healing process. I do take gabapentin, I found it was worth the side effects.... It did take 3 months to really see a different, but after 6 months my nerve pain was down I'd say...70%.... Nerves take a long time to heal.... plus remember you can slowly adjust the amoung of gabapentin you need. It isn't an opioid... so keep that in mind. Just stay in close touch with your surgical nurse so he/she knows if you need to increase the dose or come in to see the doc. Also, I think I've now said this like 4 times today on here.... but sometimes the nerve pain can cause secondary issues like muscle cramps, so sometimes you have to have a"combination" of drugs... if your pain stays severe, you need to discuss a possible "combination" of pain killers/muscle relaxers/nerve meds. I know most of us had surgery in hopes we wouldn't need meds forever. I'm happy to say that I truly believe that will be the case. I had come off all spine related meds (was on just blood pressure meds) about 7 months after my major spinal revission. Unforunately I've had to have two additional surgeries in the last month on my spine so I'm back on "the drugs". I feel confident though that I'll come off of them again. Doctors and nurses are a GREAT resource for getting the right combination of drugs you need for healing and then titrating those down till they are gone. Hang in there and above all try to stay POSITIVE. Positive that your doctos will give you great care, Positive that you ARE strong enough to heal and Positive that you will have a wonderful life, even if its slightly different than you were expecting.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • karenikkareni Posts: 58
    edited 04/29/2013 - 3:35 PM
    I wasn't given anything to take prior to the surgery. I tested negative for the staff infection so they didn't give me any of the nasal stuff. I'm a very impatient person so it's kinda rough waiting for the pain to go away and not knowing what kind of result I'm gonna have. I've always been pretty terrible about communicating with my doc the amount of pain I'm in I would give her the pain level and then be like well I only need 1 to 2 hydrocodone 7.5 a day so I always would end up making myself miserable. Which among many other reasons I would like to not have to take them. I'm 34 so I've always felt real uncomfortable asking for pain meds mainly from a bad experience at a pain management place that I went to prior to meeting my current surgeon. This whole ordeal has been completely physically and emotionally draining. I'm just ready for it to over with. Thanks for all the encouragment!!!
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 04/29/2013 - 7:44 PM
    I'm 33. I've been very fortunate to have great doctors involved in my care. I've rarely had to "ask" for medicine. They have been excellent and prescribing what I needed and decreasing it appropriately. Do you have a family member who can go with you to your next appointment? Perhaps they could communicate better with the doctor about what you are experiencing. Plus remember spine issues are complex and there are medicines that aren't "pain killers" that can greatly help, especially when taken in combination. I know so many people on here are going to pain managment clinics. I have no experience with these. It seems to be evenly split between great experiences/horrible experiences. I do hope you can find some relief. You are right... healing the spine is truly just as emotional as physical. All of us here understand that. Hang in there.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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