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Maximummy .... Extreme sciatica ..... Aha e I overdone it (again)

Help .... 11 weeks post op now ... Today I was pretty active and did a small shop with staff packing and loading my car and I only put a few things in several bags, so all bags were very light. I also had a friend for a quick sandwich lunch and then only a short break before my daughter came over with my three small grandchildren. This, of course, all involves a lot of moving around even without any BLT!
I have been getting a little careless with bending though I still am wearing the corset all day as instructed. I find not lifting the easiest thing to avoid, but leaning a bit too far or crouching down a bit if my grabber is in another room is probably harder to ignore if I am honest.
I have been getting some sciatica since the op., but today it became much more severe, all the way down to my foot and with some mild tingling and numbness as well. I have taken some extra amitryptyline and am resting with the heat pad. I see my surgeon for a 12 week follow up and X-rays next week. He said no point going a CT until around six months as he did not expect to see much evidence of fusing until then, so I assume the X-Ray is to make sure all the hardware is where he left it.

I understand that my previously decompressed nerves are playing up and regenerating, but can overdoing the movement over the course of the day make the nerve pain itself so much worse when the pain in my back beneath the surgical area is not too bad?
I am beginning to worry about the bone grafts maybe not taking .... Think I am having a panic day which is odd as I have generally become calmer and less worried about all the different aches and pains ... Mainly because of what I read on the forums I have been less panicked by these things and have accepted them as part of the healing process.

Feb 22nd ..had
TLIF bilateral at L4/L5 with spinal cyst removed and bone graft into left facet joint and laminectomy and decompression
Plus TLIF bilateral at L5/S1 , right facet joint removed, disc removed and cage in

Please reassure me I am unlikely to have done some damage ... Should I ask for an MRI ?


  • Hi maxi mummy
    I'm at 5 weeks post surgery and my sciatica+++ is driving me insane! I also have various a areas of numbness and complete loss of feeling in my left foot. This started in the hospital and has continued while the pain in my spine from the surgery is almost diminished (unless I push it too much) however and unfortunately the,doctor and surgeon told me that it can be 6 - 12 months for the nerves to heal and that they will come and go during healing.
    I have no advice to help the pain, as I'm currently,searching in here for,some advice on the nerve pain ...
    I hope you're feeling better
    Laminectomy of L1-6,S1 and Dynamic Stabilization L2-5 done April 2nd,2014
  • Thanks. Thankfully, today is a lot better. You just have to KEEP learning by your mistakes when you do too much and unfortunately, often we don't know that we have overdone it until after the event!
    I take more Amitriptyline when I need to and pray for the best. Today it was 'there' but much duller and this afternoon I forced myself to take the dog out for a 15 minute walk. I was always better walking that sitting before the fusion and the same applies now.
  • Sorry to hear about your sciatica.
    Ice has always been a saver for me
    I am at 5wks post op Plif. L5-S1
    I am walking every day. About 5x for any where from 8-12min depending on how numb my feet are
    Fell 11ft 2007 numerous fractures broken arm, 4 head bleeds.
    Nerve blocks, tried stimulator, acupuncture, massage, numerous injections, nerve blocks. Ect. Vitamins
    2011 laminectomy, april 4. 2014 Fusion l5-S1. PLIF
  • So you put ice on your spine/surgical are or where the nerve pain is? (Sorry if that seems like a silly question)
    Also, I'm finding walking ok, balance is at times really an issue due to the weakness in my left leg from the nerves, but it find sitting almost unbearable. It's becoming alittle easier but it's definatley an issue. How do you find sitting?
    Thank you, Cheri.
    Laminectomy of L1-6,S1 and Dynamic Stabilization L2-5 done April 2nd,2014
  • Cute name
    Ice on your surgical site. Or down at lower spine where sciatic nerve is or right buttocks. Just to try and calm nerves down 10-15 min. I have also heard people say switch between ice and heat. Hope this helps
    My dr told me not to sit for more than twenty min
    Standing is the worst for me then sitting. Walking helps a little like you i feel off balance every now and again
    Fell 11ft 2007 numerous fractures broken arm, 4 head bleeds.
    Nerve blocks, tried stimulator, acupuncture, massage, numerous injections, nerve blocks. Ect. Vitamins
    2011 laminectomy, april 4. 2014 Fusion l5-S1. PLIF
  • Looking at the date you wrote this and the work you had done , I am not at all surprised about how difficult it is to sit. You are only weeks into recovery after major surgery. I also couldn't sit for long, more up than down and now, 11 weeks post op, sitting is still very varied and wherever I go, every chair is a challenge. Even at home I still find I can start eating a meal sitting down but am up again eating at the counter ... And things are always going yo be worse at the end of the day.
    At night for watching tv I cannot bear sitting so I put a pillow on the settee and lie on it, on my side with a small cushion behind me so I don't roll back. You will find your own way to be comfortable. One thing I can suggest is looking at cushions on websites for disability aids ... Months before my op I bought a cushion to sit on which is made of foam like an egg box construction. It is sold for wheelchair users to minimise pressure sores ... This helped the back of my legs when he sciatica was bad and I still take it with me everywhere ... A bit of a help as it raises you off a hard surface.
    Keep your nerve ... Slow progress for everybody ... I had a major panic the other day and it has passed.
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