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Success stories for leg numbness after Fusion?

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone had problems with numbness in their leg/s after a lumbar fusion and if it eventually went away and if so how long it took? Thanks


  • morphia1957mmorphia1957 Posts: 84
    edited 08/20/2013 - 10:49 AM
    I'd like to know that too... I have more numbness in my left side after surgery.. been 3 months.. neuro says, eventualy, BUT, also, that it will never be 'the same'... I had s1-L5 fusion on april 1. my left leg is numb, down to the bottom of my foot, and toes. making walking so hard... (with cane now.. never had that issue prior.. very upsetting)
  • vgallaghervvgallagher Posts: 11
    edited 08/20/2013 - 4:32 PM
    Hi Kane,
    I had an ALIF and PLIF for L4 L5 S1 (2 cages and 2 rods) for 50% isthmic spondylolisthesis on June 10 of this year.
    My symptoms prior to surgery have gotten 90% better and I waited several years to get the surgery. I had foot drop so bad that I even had a couple of bad falls last year. The pain went down all the way to my toes on both legs but was worse on my left. I could barely walk 50ft and could no longer stand for more than 5-10 minutes without having to lean over while finding a place to sit.

    I'm just past the 2-month mark and I'm doing very well. No more foot drop, I can walk about 1 mile and I've begun water therapy which is wonderful. The leg pain has almost gone away, some residual pain is normal as the nerves have been compressed and it takes time as they uncompress. I do notice that if I push myself too much before my body is ready, it sure lets me know and some of the numbness, tingling and pain returns. In he beginning it was pretty bad, but recovery from these small episodes get better every week.

    I will say that I'm trying my best to be very very good and I don't pick up anything too heavy nor do I bend down or twist. My grabber gets a daily workout. I do have a very high pain threshold and I stopped all pain meds and xrelaxers 2-weeks after surgery. I couldn't stand the side effects.

    I hope everything works out for you!
    Isthmic Spondyliothesis Level II - III
    ALIF/PLIF L4-L5-S1, 2 cages, 2 rods, 6 screws (6/10/2013)
  • I had fusion surgery for L3 - L5, I have no idea what all the abbreviations mean in prior posts.  Anyway, I have numbness on the top of my lower thigh to knee area on both sides; although it is much worse on the right side.  I feels the "strangest" using a wash cloth during a shower.  Does anyone else have this sensation after lower spinal fusion?
  • L5SI surgery 5/31/2016 . All numbness disappeared immediately after surgery. hope you see improvement.
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,130
    edited 07/15/2016 - 2:29 PM

    Welcome to these forums.  Some of the abbreviations can be confusing, but we have a solution, there is a search box at the top right of this page.  So you can search for ALIF and find that it means Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion and find out what that means.

    Also, please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Spine-health Moderator

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 722
    I've had 2 lumbar fusion surgeries and in both cases I've felt some level of numbness down my right leg post op.  After the first surgery the numbness disappeared within a few weeks... but after the second surgery the numbness took months to go away... and today some 18 months post-op I still have numbness accross the bottom surface of my right foot... which my doctor says is permanent nerve damage.    My doctor said is it quite common and that many patients feel some level of numbness after fusion surgery... he said it's the nerves trying to heal themselves as vgallaher mentioned above... and in most cases it will go away with time.  Like gpafford the bottom surface of my right foot in the area of the toes is sometimes sensitive to the touch... I usually keep socks on to help avoid the sensitivity even at night as the bed sheets sometimes tend to aggravate the feeling.
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • chase9401cchase9401 Amarillo, TexasPosts: 7
    I had a discectomy for a L5/S1 herniation that was putting severe pressure on my sciatic nerve.  I had an immediate major improvement after surgery but still had significant numbness in the thigh and foot and weakness from no ankle reflex.  I went from not being able to stand on a tip toe to being able to push up from flat-footed one time at the 6 week mark.  By 3 months I could lift up and down 10 times, but it has flattened out to about 15 times after 7 months.  

    While I did have improvement in strength, at the 7 month mark the numbness is still there and there is still no ankle reflex. I just did another MRI to check and it ends up there is a large herniation  back at the L5/S1.  While this one is bad, the first one was massive, so I mistook the lack of healing as normal time for nerve healing.  While I got improvement, progress has been hampered by the re-hernia.  I probably had it for most the of the recovery time and have no clue when it happened.
  • errbear17eerrbear17 Michigan Posts: 2
    Has leg pain eased after surgery? I also have foot drop and major weakness in my left side, I can barely walk. Large herniation at L5-S1 - I don't think they can salvage any of the disc. 
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