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I had a spine fusion L5 S1 in June. After several weeks my sciatic nerve kept flaring up on the left side. That lasted on and off for a few weeks. Surgeon said if it continues or gets worse we will do a CT on it to see whats going on.

Just about 2 weeks ago, I had no more sciatic pain on the left side but I started having it on the right side and sometimes is seems to slightly travel down to my thigh. Does this sound strange or has anyone else had these symptoms after fusion surgery?

I don't see my surgeon again until December at which time I will bring him a new set of x-rays


  • Hello!

    I had an L5/S1 fusion on May 1st and was good for a few weeks (no sciatic pain) and then it slowly started to return, not nearly as bad as before surgery, but down my left leg like before. I mentioned it to my surgeon at my 3 month post-op and he said, try to take it easy and go back to no bending, lifting or twisting and see me in 6 weeks. I did and then saw him again still with the nerve pain. He put me on 75mg Lyrica 2x a day and ordered a CT scan to be done and I see him this Friday-- which will be my 6 month. He thinks that I just have significant nerve damage (which he did note in his surgical report) and this is going to take awhile. I've had sciatic pain down both of my legs, yes, but predominately in my left leg.

    The Lyrica seems to be helping but I am still in pain and will see what the CT scan says on Friday.
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • odouglass, thanks for responding. I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong but I've followed directions to a T..Doc said I could stop using the back brace but I only use it when I'm in the car. I feel very good except for that sciatic pain. Like you, I had the pain mostly down the left side but now its reallybothering me on the right. I've decided to just take it easy and wait and see how it progresses or if it goes away. Seeing surgeon again in December.

    I will look for your comments after you see your doctor. I'm curious to see what he tells you . Good Luck
  • Well, I just got home from my Dr. Appointment and after reviewing my CT Scan he said that there the hardware is in perfect position, bone graft hasn't moved and I am 100% fused at 6 months out! He was surprised to see that but said that it is because I've taken great care of the fusion so he kind of wasn't surprised. As I still have nerve pain, he is concerned but said that doubling the Lyrica should take care of it, and he isn't seeing me for 6 months. However, he said that if I have increased pain between now and my next appointment call and let him know so he can see me immediately and determine what to do next :).
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 11/02/2013 - 6:04 AM
    All my symptoms where on my left side before my fusions. Now I have pain radiating down my right leg. The NS can't figure out why I am having pain in my right leg, since the MRIs I have had don't show anything. He did recommend a spinal cord stimulator for relief of the pain. I have tried everything else to get rid of it. I am having the SCS trial next month.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • I had L4/5 and S1 done in December 2008 and recently have been getting very bad pain radiating down both legs. I have had this pain on and off ever since the operation. They have over the past few years given me pain block injections to right and left areas which have worked for several months. My MRIs didn't show anything wrong only some inflammation .

    Rt knee replacement in 1998 which unfortunately had to be revised in early 2000. Lt knee replacement in 2006. ACDF C3/4/5 in 2010. Posterior CDF C5/6/7 in 2011 which had to be done twice in 3 days as screws became loose. Now awaiting on 4th December 2013 a MAJOR 6 hours operation from C2 to T3. Pain in my spine recently has been most severe. I live in UK so fortunately do not have to pay for my operation! Good luck to all of you who are undergoing operations in November and December.
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