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2 months post TLIF L5-S1, Sciatic pain, MD NS not concerned?

Hi to everyone recovering,
I am just around 2 months post-op a minimally invasive TLIF, one level fusion L5-S1 area. I started physical therapy 3 weeks ago, 2x per week. This past month I have had my good and bad days. I am currently off all my pain medications, but have been contact my Neuro service this past 3 weeks about a bad sciatic pain, starting from my left buttock down to my mid thigh which is most exacerbated at night time, to the point where everyother night I am getting 4-5 hours of sleep. I am health professional myself and have tried all the natural remedies to aid In sleeping better My service (e.g. PA and RN) have told me to continue with PT focusing on deep tissue, they don't want to give me anything for pain besides Robaxin and a 1 wk steroid prescription which I didn't feel much relief from. I am literally so frustrated, I go back to work in 1 week and definitely can't be sleeping like this. I never was on any pain medication prior to my surgery, I dealt with the pain through stretching and occasion a NSAID or Tylenol. I feel like my service is ignoring my issues. My next visit with them to review my second Xray is at the end of September.
I am concerned about my pain and lack of sleep, should I schedule a Primary care doctor appointment? I don't want to rely on narcotics and/or relaxants but I am currently taking 3 Tylenol PM to help me sleep which is inconsistent with helping me sleep through the sciatic pain. I have all sorts of pillows to help, I stretch prior to sleeping and still feel bothered.
Any advice would be helpful. I start work in a week and I am concerned about the my service avoiding this issue. I am not sure how to go about this issue. Any feedback would be great ;/


  • Is quite common, if you read the back surgery or surgery recovery forums. When nerves are irritated ,compressed prior to surgery, and them moved during surgery to avoid further injury, and surgery is done to relieve that compression, nerve pain can return days or weeks post op. It typically settles down again on its own given some time, but it can take several weeks or even months in some cases.
    As blood flow is restored, and the nerve starts functioning again, it can cause the nerve pain to flare.
    There are medications used to treat/ease nerve pain such as Lyrica or gabapentin, cymbalta and topamax are just a few of them. Mild stretching can help, and ice,or heat can also.

  • I used to only have back pain from ddd and after tlif, I immediately had sciatica from l5 and s1 nerve dermatomes.
    The sciatica is quite bad. I feel like my old back pain is gone and being replaced by this sciatica and its related back pain. So Jclaire did your issues settle down eventually?
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