I had a single-level lumbar fusion (TLIF) almost 6 weeks ago. I had fairly serious nerve pain in my left foot prior to surgery, but nothing in my right foot. When I woke up from surgery, my right foot was completely numb, so they immediately did a CT scan and the only thing noted (my surgeon told me about this himself) was that one of the screws placed was very close to a nerve, so he was a bit concerned that that could be causing new problems.
Thankfully the right foot numbness disappeared within 24 hours and my foot felt totally normal. I still had left foot nerve pain and was on 3600mg/day of gabapentin. That wasn't helping enough to let me sleep, so I transitioned to Lyrica, slowly weaning off the gabapentin while beginning to take Lyrica.
I am taking my last gabapentin dose with the Lyrica (75mg/day) tomorrow. Beginning yesterday, I noticed that it feels like there is some minor nerve pain in my right foot now, which is completely out of the blue. It's possible it's something else, but there is some burning on the outside edge of my right foot and I don't see any kind of injury to it. I don't know what else to think it could be.
My question is, can Lyrica cause new or worsening nerve pain? (I'm also getting a lot of new shooting/stabbing pains in my left foot, although the burning pain does seem better in that foot). Is the Lyrica just not strong enough (it's been more than 2 weeks since I started taking it)? Do you think the Gabapentin was covering the nerve pain in the other foot and now that I'm on a low dose of Lyrica, it's suddenly broken through, so to speak?
I will ask all of these questions of my neurosurgeon (I go back in about 2 weeks) but I wondered if anyone had any similar experiences to relate. I also started PT about 2 weeks ago, so I guess that's another factor here...would that cause new/worsening nerve pain on the opposite side of the original problems?
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