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Six weeks post-op from ALIF surgery - nerve pain down right leg

I had L5-S1 ALIF (cage) surgery 1/26/2015. It went very well. I did not need narcotics after the 3rd day. L5-S1 lower back pain was gone after surgery. The only slight pain I had was the incision. After arriving home after 3 nights in hospital I did very well and did not need any assistance at home with the exception of lifting things. I followed the doctors orders and walked as much as I could every day. At my 1 week post-op appointment my surgeon said I was doing very well and could start driving again. Two weeks post-op I started to get nerve pain down my right leg. I have been told it is normal to have that after this type of surgery. The pain starts at my upper thigh and goes down to my calf where it hurts the most. I tried to jog today but the nerve pain was significantly worse so I went back to a fast walk. Does anyone else have any experience with this type of nerve pain after ALIF surgery and have any idea how long it will last?


  • hi

    I had a different surgery 6 weeks ago which was a laminectomy fusion of t12 / l1 and a hemi-lami of l2//3. I have had burning nerve pain in both feet and in my left calf and thigh ever since surgery. I did not have this pain prior to surgery. The nerve pain has gotten a little better from the day after surgery but the pain is constant. My doctor and PA has told me to give it time, and that nerves take time to "heal". My concern is that there may still be compression going on in that area as the dermatomes match up to my pain and where I had surgery.

    I am not sure how you are feeling now with the nerve pain, but it is the most aggravating thing to deal with as no medication really addresses it, and it causes leg weakness. I hope the doctor is correct and that time will take care of it. I have my 6 week follow up apt tomorrow. I have many questions and concerns about this nerve pain. The pain also is worse at night which makes it hard to sleep. I never thought I would be in this situation. I am trying to stay positive and look for answers or ways to correct this if the surgery was not successful.

    I hope your situation improves but nerves are strange, and do not behave the same in each person.

  • catlover359ccatlover359 Posts: 10
    edited 08/10/2015 - 8:08 PM
    I had a hemi-laminectomy in June 2014. About a week post surgery I noticed I still had the horrible pain in my right hip and down my leg. They told me to give it time. Two huge bone spurs were removed that were clearly compressing my L5 nerve. So, here it is a year later and I still have that same pain. I am not any worse from the surgery, but I am not better. I am wondering, since it took me so long to find a surgeon willing to do the surgery, if I have permanent nerve damage. I even tried injections after the surgery with no relief. The surgery itself was easy. I just wish it worked because walking, standing and sitting are painful just like before. I hope you do improve. I know that nerves can take a long time.

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  • Mzeller said:
    I tried to jog today but the nerve pain was significantly worse so I went back to a fast walk.
    You jogged? That's something I enjoyed but gave up after the fear monster started reupholstering my insides. I have this goofy half-jog I do on occasion (usually across parking lots) that my wife calls the "old man shuffle."
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