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leg and buttock pain after laminectomy

Hello everyone I had an laminectomy L4 and L5 ten days ago, from the moment i came out of surgery the pain in my legs and buttocks has been unbearable. I asked the surgeon while i was in the hospital and he said it was from the stimulation they use during surgery. I know that is not the case, I can barely walk. I was wondering if anyone else has or had the same pain. My surgeon went on vacation the day after my surgery and I was unable to get anyone to see me until the 14th which is 8 days from now, it is incredible to me that they would have such a horrible policy for a patient in pain. I have tried massage,bengay,ice you name it and there is no relief, I spend a lot of time crying. I have even been taking apple cider vinegar for the leg cramps,works some times. My family doesn't understand with the exception of my husband and he travels so much I have only seen him 5 times in 11 days, my grown children refuse to help me and I have to rely on my sister and father, that alone is causing horrible stress. I feel so alone right now in constant pain and unable to help myself, someone please tell me this will improve. Thanks
kathy petrilli


  • Hi Kathy, I am so sorry that you are in so much pain and feel so alone. I wish I could advise you but really you need to seek understanding from your surgeon and I understand you can't do that right now. I'm wondering what your pain protocol is? It sounds like it's not adequate. The health system in the US is confusing to me (I'm assuming you're from the US). Could you contact your General Practitioner to access more adequate medication? Please tell us a little bit more about your medical history.
  • Hi back1 I am 53 years old and have been through spinal ablations,epidurals,facetts aqua therapy and standard PT for over 5 years with no relief, earlier this year I decided to opt for surgery since my ability to get around was becoming more and more limited. I also have fibro, asthma, high blood pressure and diabetis, I am trying to grab hold of some positive ways to make my quality of life better. I know I now have a few pieces of metal in my back, and am hoping it will make a big difference. I also have sciatica which is crippling at times, Today I have been getting the chills my incisions look fine so I am a bit perplexed. My primary physician will not help me with the pain management :( I will however call my neurologist on Monday and ask for her help. Yes I am from the US, New York .
    kathy petrilli
  • Sometimes it's normal to have increased pain/numbness post surgery. During the procedure muscle, tissue etc is moved around in order to get the area that needs worked on and it can cause irritation. Also if you had nerve compression the nerves can begin "waking up" which can cause increased nerve pain through the healing process. I would still seek advice as soon as possible because it's better to be safe. I had increased pain post operatively and I developed numbness and weakness in my left leg ( loss of reflexes, muscle atrophy etc). I also had a lot of muscle problems. I had severe spasms and muscle swelling around my incision. I used my heating pad a lot and was restarted on Valium which helped. Regarding the chills, I would definItely keep a close eye on your incision and check your temperature frequently. If there is any sign of infection you want to seek medical assistance Immediately. I hope your pain begins to improve. I know how difficult it can be to deal with those issues.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Kathy I agree with Lcochran in all aspects. Most concerning to me is your "chills" as Lcochran stated. You are only 10 days post surgery and infection unchecked can cause sepsis and numerous complications. As Lcochran mentioned, pay close attention to your wound site and monitor your temperature. If febrile with an unknown illness - ie influenza etc, seek medical assistance.
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