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L5 S1 spinal fusion and decompression Surgery - 1 Week Post OP

kevheadkkevhead Posts: 42
edited 02/08/2015 - 3:10 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello Everyone,

Just found this forum, what a wealth of information! Short background, had an MicroD 3 years ago on L5/S1 after herniating the disc lifting my kids. Had the operation and had immediate relief from the nerve pain in the right leg. Fast forward to December 2014, I came down with a cold and developed a severe cough. After coughing for about 3 days I started to develop pain in the back and started to feel that familiar nerve pain in the right leg. Tried to take it easy for a few weeks but the pain gradually increased and then one night I woke up in extreme pain after falling asleep on my right side. The familiar pain in the right leg was back and I knew immediately I herniated that disc again. I started to lose feeling and had numbness on the rear of my right leg all the way down into the foot and last 3 toes, as well as lost strength in the leg. I got in for an MRI and my Orthopedic Surgeon confirmed what I already knew and he wanted to operate ASAP since I had the numbness and strength loss. Had the fusion on January 27th and spent 3 days in the hospital. The first week was awful, everything hurt. The surgical area no longer hurts but I still have numbness and pain in the right leg. My right foot also seems cold to the touch at times, I'm hoping that since it's still early in the recovery that these issues will go away. I had my first follow up appointment on Thursday and they put me on a steroid to help with the inflammation on the nerve, but has anyone else had a similar experience? Feeling much better over the last couple days but still bothered by the numbness.



  • This is a post from another question. I'll copy it here, read through it, it should help with you too.

    This is common. Asking this I am assuming this is your first fusion. 12 days post op is nothing. At a minimum they cut through your muscles, manipulated your spine and probably adjusted your cord doing this. The procedure causes swelling in the area of the surgery which can inflame around the nerves. Nerves can heal from any injury except seperation. If you had a budge that area has been repaired buy it takes time as your nerves regenerate. If you aren't on a muscle relaxer call your doc. If that isn't enough you may want to try neurotin - it is a drug that helps with the pain of nerve damage. You wouldn't need to be on it long, probably only a couple of months depending on how long the damage was. When I say pain, it isn't a pain medication in any sense of the word, just helps with the specialized discomfort that comes with nerve pain. If your doc has you on an actual pain med this could be some of your problem also. The only real pain you should have is from the surgery itself, any pain from before should be gone even if it doesn't seem like it. The pain meds could be masking part of it making the nerve pain more prevalint. Each day you will get stronger and after fusion it gets a bit worse before it gets better but that will improve each day. I would get the neurontin script from your neurosurgeonor spine surgeon, they will be very familiar with it. A family doc may only hear the pain in nerve pain and think you are drug seeking. You should be able to call the office and they will call it in, you won't need to see them for this. Good luck.
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