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leg pain after lumbar fusion

I'm so glad I found this forum!! 2 weeks ago, I had a disc replacement and fusion on L4/L5. They initially started in the front, ran into problems, and finished the next day from the back. I have been doing really well up until 2 days ago. I have been having terrible pain down my left leg all the way to my foot. I hadn't been taking any pain meds until 2 days ago. none! Has anyone else experienced this level of pain down the leg 2 weeks post op?? My 2 week checkup is early next week but I don't want to wait if this is something that needs to be looked at. I'm even thinking about calling the dr this morning.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • thank you Liz. I had a similar forum after my hysterectomy a few years ago and found it so helpful. With this new leg pain, i went on line for some type of forum for my back surgery. It is so nice to have support!
  • Welcome I too had L4L5S1 in march and had terrible nerve pain down left leg .The dr put me on Gabapentin and it helped a lot.Im doing good now hardly anymore pain in leg.Its normal but ask your dr for med for nerve pain to help it.Hope you feel better kathy
    Kathy B
  • Yes, leg pain is common after surgery... most of the time its just nerves readjusting... either they had been squished for so long and now are "Free" or they were "injured" (I hate using that term because it sounds like its caused by a bad surgeon and that's not really true, a great surgeon using great techniques can still injure nerves just because the cords do have to be moved around in surgery, and I'm sure just like our bodies are all different, our cells are too) but that's another explanation and usually they will heal/adjust in time. HOWEVER if you think you should call your surgeon... CALL... at least call the surgical nurse and speak with her/him... your surgeon might want to see you tomorrow before the weekend, or have you try another medication before you come in next week. Please, I always say... if your mind is saying you should call and double check your symptoms... then call!
    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.
  • I think mine hit at 3 weeks post op because when I went in for my 1 month checkup I was scared it wasnt normal. It is. My dr gave me a steroid pack that I took for 5 days and it calmed the nerves down. I would call your dr so he can call in a steroid pack for you!
    DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.
  • morphia1957mmorphia1957 Posts: 84
    edited 07/03/2013 - 9:37 AM
    thanks to all of these threads, (and MRI and EMG's ugh) finally realizing (again) i am grateful to know all these weird aches and pains are "normal". i felt like i was bothering my surgeon, making unnecessary trips to other physicians, etc.- although, i had to, blood clot etc.. not 100% i agree with surgeon's POV at all times, surgeon's have this "wizard of oz" thing going on There are so many side effects from this surgery that i did NOT expect, nor was a laundry list given to me, or explained to me.. apparently, it would be 90 pages long... as EACH person is different.. you know what? I would have read the 90 pages. this site scared me to death at first, as it should have, and yet, i have experienced 80% of these symptoms and others.. and thank god for y'alll or i would have been bonkers... the healing progresses.. and is different every day.
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