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Leg pain after decompression surgery on 05/21/2014

sherbear3737ssherbear3737 Posts: 2
edited 05/26/2014 - 6:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Is it normal to have pain down my left side to my knee after having decompression surgery on L3/L4 & L4/L5 for spinal stenosis. I can't take pain meds because they all make me sick.

The leg pain went away for a day but now is back....Is this normal after having back surgery.


  • Welcome........the short answer is yes.......since this was a decompression, it means that the nerve was pinched or compressed prior to the surgery and now the compression is relieved so the nerve is a bit mad.........it should settle down, but it can.take a few weeks to a few months, depending on how long it was compressed

  • And I am sadly still waiting for the nerves to calm down
    My nerves must be very very "mad"LOL
    have hope and faith
  • PGCalGalPPGCalGal Posts: 1
    edited 06/01/2014 - 4:48 AM
    Hi Sherbear. I came on-line here to ask about the same question. I too had lumbar surgery recently - mine was on 5/20. I had L 3/4 4/5 laminectomies and L 3/4 discectomy - all micro. My surgeon said he decompressed 6 nerves? So after reading operation report I am assuming he released bilateral nerves at L3, L4 & L5. My 2 week follow up is one day early, tomorrow. I'm anxious to hear what is next. I was very good/careful first 5 days. Slowly started adding more "up time" - kind of walking/puttering. I became aware that I was up a lot, but since not "walking" wasn't really counting it as walk time? So started a recording/journaling better. One small pad for meds, one larger pad for activity. Activity being anything from timed sitting, to standing/puttering, to actual walking. The last 3 days I've been going out into the neighborhood for my walks. Yesterday I walked 21 minutes in the morning and 20 more in the evening. I find I do my best walking in the morning when I'm my most rested. Walking doesn't always feel good. First day I walked 5 minutes out with husband and dogs and turned around. Thought, wow, only 10 minutes? Then rethought that and said "10 minutes is good!". I am consistently encourage myself - ha. So with longer walks, first 5 minutes feel fine - not painless, but okay, then different pains start in. I am always assessing the pain. I find myself trying to walk a little larger step to mix it up and see if that helps? And I count my steps sometimes... 1-10, 1-20, etc to keep my mind off the pain. Each of us is different. Trying to know good pain from bad/overdoing it pain is the thing. Hard to tell sometimes. I find if next day I'm hurting, then probably overdid it. ; / It's a day by day learning process. And some days I'm stronger, some days weaker/or tired. These nerves that have been decompressed are sometimes inflamed, irritated, weak. Muscles were weak too. I'm thinking that the length of time they were pinched/compressed might be the same amount of time they will require to heal/regenerate? So, yeah...I re-injured my back in July 2013. I was an active 55 year old, overweight and had just lost 21 pounds (was working out at gym 3-4 days per week, doing lots of yard work/gardening, enjoyed being busy and home projects). Had MRI right away and did PT until about 2 months before surgery. Used inversion table, massages and one steroid injection. Legs started getting heavy/weak in November. So I think my nerves were compressed for about 6 months. How about you?
  • I am in the same boat, I have had a L5/S1 discectomy and im 4 months post op and my leg is still hurting, its so dam frustrating! I just want it better, I just hope the nerve settles down soon cos its driving me absolutely nuts!!
  • depending on how long the nerve(s) were compressed, and how extensive the damage is. Nerves regrow at a rate of about 1-2mm per month, so for some of us, it can take a very long time before we see the nerve pain subside. That doesn't mean that it won't get better over the months, but it can take a long time. I am still seeing some improvement and my first surgery was 8 years ago........yes I had extensive nerve damage.
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