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Post Laminectomy Leg Pain

Hello all,

About 4 weeks ago, I had a 2 level lower lumbar laminectomy for a bulging disk and stenosis. The surgeon claimed that the surgery was a success and that the area he decompressed was free and clear of any impediments. Prior to surgery , I would only get sciatic leg pain when I ran or lifted something the wrong way. Now post surgery, my leg pain is nearly constant. It's a dull crampy, pinching pain that is a 3-4 on a 1-10 scale.

Is this normal? Could it be inflammation or irritants from the healing process? is it possible the disk pushed out further. Seems like this shouldn't be happening 4 weeks out, or am I wrong?

Thanks in advance.

Frank
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Comments

  • Doc had decided to give me a 5 day supply of oral steroids. Has anyone had any luck with these post surgery??
  • I had leg pain after my laminectomy and it scared me to death. In the hospital the doctor kept asking me if my leg pain was gone, it wasn't and I worried it would never be gone. It took about six weeks and then slowly just went away. My back continued to degenerate, I recently had a fusion, but my leg pain never went back to how it had been pre-laminectomy.
    Shari
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Stenosis means that there were nerves compressed some, whether it was the foramen where the nerve roots exit the spinal cord or the central canal, and because of that, there is some 'waking up' of the nerves once the compression is released. This can take the form that you describe. It usually settles down again, in a few weeks or months. Sometimes, some of the medications used to treat neuropathic pain are helpful during this time since it can take a bit of time for the nerves to settle down again.
    Sandi
  • Our nerves are affected by the slightest bit of irritation or movement. During surgery it is likely that your nerves were actually moved. They do not like that at all. Then after they button you back up all of your tisseus and stuff swell up and that can put even more pressure on the nerve. The steroids can help to reduce that inflammation & swelling.

    Def keep in touch with your docs office. Do not hesitate to call them to ask questions.
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
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