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New and scary pain and numbness 4 weeks post L4/L5 TLIF

NanuqNNanuq Posts: 2
edited 12/30/2015 - 5:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 4 weeks out from an L4/L5 TLIF which so far seems to have been successful. Prior to the surgery I had sciatic pains down both legs and into my feet with resulting pins and needles and leg heaviness. The surgery seemed to have resolved the leg pain issues and the healing has been going well. I have been walking and fairly active generally

I am trying not to do too much around the house, bending, stretching etc and my husband has been cooking and cleaning so that I can avoid standing. Two days ago I tried lying on the floor and stretching my legs up the wall - the stretch felt great but yesterday (and I don't know if this is related) I developed pins and needles down my right leg and into my toes. It feels as though my upper buttock is bruised over what I assume is the right sacro iliac joint although there is no mark and the skin burns if I touch it. When walking, especially up stairs, or standing I get a stabbing pain in the joint as well.

This is different to the type of pre op pain that I experienced and half of me is scared stiff that I have done something to the fusion site and the other half is aware that fusion is major surgery and to just leave it until all the nerves and muscles reknit. The problem is that no painkillers seem to get on top of the pain and I am feeling thoroughly miserable and not able to walk more than a few steps at a time. For the first month after surgery I had no numbness so this is a new development.

Please can anyone tell me if this is 'normal' recovery pain or something I need to watch.
Many thanks for any assistance

Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 497
    Glad to hear you feel your surgery was successful. So hard to read all those in worse pain following surgery.

    As far as you doing all that stretching, was that something your surgeon okay'd? Usually they don't want you doing anything but walking till after your 3 month post op checkup. After that is when most prescribe physical therapy....and those stretches you described sound too early to be doing yet..

  • Thank you Sheri76. I suspect that you have a point and I overdid it I guess because I felt better,

    I thought a simple stretch would be Ok. t hope that there is no permanent damage but I will be more cautious for the next few weeks. Today it feels as though the skin over my hip is being torn apart. I can only assume that this is muscle and nerve pain as it heals. My next checkup is only in March but I will see how this progresses over the next week or so and monitor the numbness.

    Aside from this apparently self inflicted pain, I am positive about the overall progress and am hugely relieved that I had the surgery.
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