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Hello. My name is Dan and I am a 42yr old male in the military. For several years I struggled with lower back pain (wasn't from any real injury). I tried everything I could think of: yoga, chiro etc. I was having pain on the right side of my sacrum and I could feel the pain run down my right leg. Some days I could feel it in my thigh and some days it went all the way to my foot. I was finally given an MRI and within two months, I had an L5/S1 ALIF. Its now 2.5 weeks after surgery. Some things are good and some are not. My back feels great and the pain in my abdomen from the incision has even gone. I'm already very flexible (more than I thought I would be for 2.5 weeks) and I can walk, drive with no real problems. I don't feel any pain at all in my right leg. Now for the bad. Starting in my left thigh, i'm losing sensation and it runs all the way to my foot. The further down it goes, the more painful and burning it feels. Walking is painful. The top of my foot, ankle, insole, and big toe are very painful and it feels as If I've been burnt. The skin is uncomfortable to the touch in those areas. My surgeon has prescribed gabapentin, steroids, and more oxycodone (which I only use at night). I'm scheduled for an MRI to see what's going on. I'm just worried that this is permanent. Any experience with this? Does this pain go away?


  • idleideeiidleidee Posts: 12
    edited 07/27/2014 - 3:26 PM
    Can't answer your question.. Had a PLIF 02/06/14 .. not so long ago, so no experience on the long run. I do still have nerveburns running down butt and leggs.. Between toes.. . Then here, then there.. scary. They say it is normal, body has to adapt.. I also had lots of scartissue around dura and nerves. This has to heal. Have had hamstringproblems ( partially tendontear) due to backissues and these are still a real problem.

    Hope you find some answers soon. 2.5 weeks is still very early. Even if you were fit and are already doing great it still needs time. Body needs to adapt.
    Although it is good you will have a CT or MRI to be sure nothing serious is going on.
  • When I had my fusion last year, I promised myself that I would not freak out about any new symptoms for 90 days. I kept getting new symptoms, one thing would start and then resolve and another thing would pop up. By the 3 month point I was mostly feeling good and resuming my life. Granted, I did not have anything as serious as what you're experiencing, but I would think (hope) it's just your body adjusting to the major trauma it just experienced not even three weeks ago. You're so freshly out of surgery, be careful to not overdo it. This is your opportunity to take care of yourself and slow it down while allowing your body and your mind to heal from all the pain you have experienced both pre and post operatively. Let us know how it turns out.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • ChelleBelleATXCChelleBelleATX Posts: 67
    edited 07/28/2014 - 12:44 PM
    Now I however am only a few weeks out from a 360 alif/plif l4-s1and even doing the lightest of things throws me into a vicious pain cycle. I've stopped all that now..only doing necessary things such as bathroom trips and coffee refills... I now know to just quit trying to be so helpful because I'm the one who pays for it! I've been experiencing extreme hamstring/calf pain spams and put the decompression socks right back on!!!! My TENS unit (which is now been banned by my surgeon (sad face) had become my best friend for the leg pain along with the med cocktail I'm currently on. Be kind to yourself! For eveything you do will affect your mobility for life!

    I now have been having SEVERE hamstring and calf pains. Also developing masses behind both knees. Pains got so bad I was taken to the ER the other night. They did an ultrasound of my legs luckily no clots but lots of buildup and definitely suspecting nerve issues. I'm being scheduled for a CT myelogram either tomorrow or next day so we will get the problem resolved. Sending healing energies your way! Keep us posted!

    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
  • I had very similar issues and the nerve that was pinched is now adjusting to the freedom it now has anew. It could take up to two years to see where your new normal is.
  • You aren't even close to being healed! You have along way to go, so chill out and let your body heal. Iwas in bed for 4 months after mine, and spent another 10 months in a lot of pain. Now, after finding the right med (Butrans patch), I am pretty much back to normal.
  • you should not be driving check with your insurance I think you will find its 6 weeks until your cleared fit to drive .as for the neuropathic damage your mention there are two options .one .if it was there before the ALIF it will more than likely always be there number two .if the damage has happened during surgery if may go if its just pressure /swelling of the tissue surrounding the nerve bundles .however ,if its still there after 9 months I am pretty sure it won't go .having an ALIF is a major operation and many structures are moved during surgery even though you may feel on and look heeled you're far from it yet think in months even years rather than weeks .so slow down take it easy your body need to rest if you experience any problems in the bowel of bladder or sexual function disorder please seek medical advice there is a phenomenon called retrograde ejaculation this can happen with ALIF if you want more information on that please google it or see if this site has any reliable information on it other than that again slow down
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