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from numbness to pain!!

Man its 530am here and I just woke up in extreme pain. That numb foot is killing me right now and its not just the foot its my whole left leg! Man these hydrocodones are taking forever to kick in. Any experience this? Its like that numbness decided to waje up and be a throbbing pain.

L5/s1 tlif dec 30 2013


  • Sorry to hear how you are suffering. The best help that I can provide is to tell you of my experience.

    I had surgery in early December so I am out 5 weeks from my decompression laminectomy (L2-L5). The hospital kept my pain manageable for my 3 days there. They also help me transition to the medications that I planned to take on the home treatment side. I kept to a pain management schedule and never let the pain get above a 5. Several of the nurses at the hospital told me that you don't want to play hero and let the pain get to strong once I start using weaker pain drugs. If I did, I may need to go back to stronger pain medications such as morphine on demand.

    I slowly reduced my pain medications over the next 2 weeks to get of the percs. I never let the pain get beyond the management thresholds that I set.

    As far as numbness, I have numbness in my left quadriceps. It does not prevent from doing anything, just feels weird. I also had tingling in my left leg. The tingling has gotten less severe but the numbness continues. The doctor told me to expect these symptoms as my nerves heal. My ability to walk and get around is greatly improved, both from my pre-surgery condition and from my initial condition days after the surgery. So if all I end up with is some numbness, I am happy. I once again have strength returning to my legs and my overall pain level is much less.
  • Kyle

    I'm about 7 weeks post op on l5 l6 (yes l6) posterior fusion / decompression. Prior to surgery left leg was numb on the outside of the leg and could barely feel my left foot big toe. After surgery the leg "lit up" so to speak. I swear I could feel my toenail growing where once i felt nothing. Pain was bad through week 4 and sleeping was rough. Maybe 3 hours before I had to get up and move around. By week 5 I was sleeping through the night with pain slowly (I mean slowly) fading. I still have pain but nothing like the early stages. Imagine a dimmer switch taking 7 weeks to turn a light off two thirds of the way off. That's how my pain went away. Still some pain but progress.

    Everyone is a little different. I was told that when they stretched and decompressed my nerve root everything below would need to adjust. And nerve damage heals pretty slow. I started PT at two weeks to work on the leg. Coffee seems to help me on top of the meds. I hope this helps.


  • Yea im only 10 days post op. Had my surgery last monday. Ive been trying to slowly get off the hydro but I needed it this morning. Tonight im going to set an alarm to wake me for a more meds to stay on the pain instead of letting it get too high before I medicate. Im guessing ur saying coffee helps with meds because of constipation? If so, I understand 100% because that battle is a pain in the butt. Literally. Thanks again guys I needes to vent more then anything.
  • Yes coffee would help with constipation. Also, seemed to take some of the edge off my pain. Perhaps from increased blood flow. I would tell you not to try and tough it out pain wise. The pain goes away when it goes away and the meds will give you some sanity through this healing process. Personally, as I started to feel better, I've dialed down the pain killers. I no longer take Valium. I've gone from 3 or more oxy a day to cutting one in half if needed. But keep in mind we are all a bit different. You are in what was the meat of the hard part for me. So hang in there. I understand the venting and you are not alone.

    Take care
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