Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Less strength after surgery

CicchellasCCicchellas Posts: 6
edited 10/27/2014 - 5:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I had an herniated disc at L4-L5. My symptoms were bilateral weakness and extreme burning in the left leg. From the knee to anckle I was numb. I had no problems walking on my toes or heals. Just had the surgery and since I came out of the surgery my foot is now numb and I can not lift my toes off the ground to balance on my heals. Is this just temporary from the surgery? I'm panicking.


  • How long ago was your surgery and what kind was it? Nerve symptoms can increase post op for a few weeks, as the nerves recover from the effects of any nerve compression prior to surgery, as well as the trauma of the surgery itself.
    If it recently that you had the surgery, and these symptoms just started, it would be wise to give it a week or so, then when you see your surgeon, discuss it with him, but to answer your question, yes it is quite common and expected to some extent.
  • Disectomy with an inter body fusion. He said that he had to do a lot of cleaning up to do. Bone spurs, disc matter and cartilage in the spinal column. He also said that the compression of the nerves was severe.
  • It may take a few weeks to see improvement. Nerves recover at a rate of about 1-2mm per month, so depending on how much of the nerve was damaged, it may take a bit of time......but you should see some improvement along the way.
  • Well, I'm in a very similar place. I've had three surgeries on my L5/S1 between May 30th and Sept. 24th of this year. To say that my back has taken a beating (and the nerve!) is an understatement. My last surgery was a single-level fusion. I could walk normally (just with a lot of pain) prior to surgery...ever since, I've had a lot of weakness in my left leg/foot. I cannot stand on my toes or use them to push off. I also can't bend them down. There are certain ways that I cannot lift my left leg (like if I lay on my right side with legs bent and I want to put a pillow between my knees, I have to use my hands to physically lift my left leg up. I found several other ways I couldn't move my left leg when I began physical therapy last week. It was really discouraging because no one can tell me if this is permanent or not. It's scary, but I'm doing my best to do what I can to strengthen the muscles and do my stretching and exercises.

    The surgeon did tell me that of all the patients he'd ever had with this type of injury, my nerve was the worst he'd ever seen. It was so incredibly irritated and red and angry. I have a lot of residual nerve pain in my left foot that I am currently trying Lyrica to address (just started that two weeks ago, while weaning off the highest dose of Gabapentin). I walk with a cane for the time being and fatigue pretty quickly, but I'm trying hard to stay positive and be patient. It's extra hard some days though, not to despair and wonder if this is as good as it will get.

    I hope you regain the strength in your leg/foot soon!
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • Hi.....this is my first post on a forum. But I feel that the people on here understand what I'm feeling, mentally and physically. My name is Amber and I just had, yet another, spinal fusion. My first was of my L3-L4. This was of my L4-L5. After the first fusion, I swore I would NEVER have another back surgery. I would say this over and over for the first year. It seemed that, exactly on the 12th month the pain was gone. I could do what I wanted again. I started having new pain in my back about a year ago. It was after I exercised my self to death, losing 72 lbs. I'm pretty sure that with the previous fusion surgery and jogging, it caused this disc to deteriorate. I had to have this surgery because I couldn't stand to walk anymore. Knowing that it would get better helped in the decision. Anyway, I am very frustrated because I walked the night of my surgery. And now I hurt and just feel horrible. I had a XLIF. It was suppose to be a minimally invasive surgery. I can't tell. My leg is weak and numb as can be. It wasn't like this with the first surgery. But that was done through my stomach. I didn't have these symptoms. The weakness, burning, and numbness are crazy, aggravating! So I understand exactly what you guys are going through. Also my digestive track is bothering me so bad. I was wondering has anyone had any luck taking a muscle relaxer for the pain instead of the narcotic. I think that helped last night. Oh I took it along with Gabepentin too. I just need someone to talk to that will be positive. I know it's kind of hard to be positive right after surgery but I want to stay on that track, as most of you probably do too. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Have a good day
  • As I said earlier in this thread, nerve pain can flare up post op for some days, or weeks, and in some cases months, after spine surgery, depending on the extent of the damage to the nerves prior to surgery, the surgery itself, and the release of the compression of the nerves. Gabapentin is a good medication to help ease nerve pain, but it can take a bit of time to get to the proper dose for the medication. Whatever you do, do not suddenly stop taking it.........if it isn't helping enough, talk to your doctor about increasing the dosage.

Sign In or Register to comment.