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leg pain after L4 & L5 surgery

Had surgery on L4 & L5 (foraminotomy) 4 months ago, I am still having chronic right leg, knee and foot pain after 4 months. I take Gabapentin 3 times a day and limit myself to 1 vicodine a day. The pain varies from strong numb pain in my foot along w/ a sharp pain in my knee and right butt cheek. My lower back pain comes and goes (between pain and a sharp ach) How much longer do I live with this or should I see my surgeon again and get an MRI?


  • SpinelineSSpineline Posts: 2
    edited 07/25/2014 - 6:01 AM
    5.12 You agree that any information, opinions or other content provided by doctors or patients on Spine-health.com forums is for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical diagnoses or treatment. Always consult with a physician for any health problem or medical condition.

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  • I had L4/L5 lamanectomy Feb 2013 to relieve dull achy foot pain. My pain level pre-op was about 8 daily, when to about 3 daily after surger. However, about 9 months after surgery the pain in my feet shot through the roof and I now live with worse pain then I did before surgery. Apparently this is very common, people see good results after surgery during the "honeymoon phase" of about 6-8 months, then the scar tissue starts to set in from the surgery and you end up in worse condition. It's called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS). Look it up on the internet...it's very very common. Not sure if this is what you are experiencing but you can take a look. I hope you find some relief because I know what it's like to live with daily foot pain.
  • Yes, like BamaBoy100 said, FBSS is a very real condition (albeit, not an actual "syndrome"). You can read up a little here: http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/failed-back-surgery-syndrome-fbss-what-it-and-how-avoid-pain-after-surgery

    Bottom line is FBSS occurs mainly either because of the scar tissue formed after surgery, or because the lesion worked on during the surgery may not have been the real cause of the pain to begin with. Have you talked to your doctor/surgeon about this? There are surgeons out there who are actually very good at tending to FBSS.
  • JosephJoseph Posts: 1
    edited 07/30/2014 - 8:23 PM
    It will take time to heal. Dont put too much pressure on leg. Use crutches for precaution for few days it will help to heal fast.
  • pinkfloydpinkfloyd Posts: 70
    edited 07/31/2014 - 8:42 AM
    what you have described it typical nerve damage this can happen during surgery or can be the reason why you had the decompression if the first place a fresh MRI at this stage would probably be a waste of money you would do better consulting your surgeon and let him decide what to do .they symptoms that you have described are sadly all too familiar and you may find that you are left with the problem for a very long time
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