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L5 S1 pain returned after surgery

thomasbtthomasb Posts: 4
edited 01/23/2016 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm a 64-year-old male in relative good health. Prior to surgery, I was having severe sciatica down my left leg. My surgery entailed 1)revision left L5-S1 microlumbar discectomy, 2)partial pediculectomy on the left at L5 to free the L5 nerve root (which was severely compressed according to the doctor), and 3) lysis of scar from a previous surgery. My surgery was on Jan 6 this year. On coming out of surgery, I felt great with numbness and tingling in my left leg, but very little pain. About a week later, pain has returned to my left leg, sometimes at a moderate to moderately severe level. Is this uncommon? My concern is that I was doing so well, and now the pain has returned. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


  • 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
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 719
    It's relatively common for patients to have continued nerve pain after surgery. The inflammation in the nerves sometimes takes some weeks or even months to subside. There is not much you can do about it except be patient and/or take pain meds. In my case on my first fusion surgery I woke-up with zero nerve pain... but on my second fusion surgery I woke-up with all the same pre-op nerve pain and more. It was 4 long horrible and frustrating months before the nerves calmed down and the pain subsided. Nerves heal VERY SLOWLY... and your sciatica and other nerve pains may come and go over the weeks as the nerves find their new normal... hang in there you WILL get better.
    Harry - 62 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • thomasbtthomasb Posts: 4
    edited 01/23/2016 - 1:25 PM
    Thanks very much for your feedback. This information helps ease my mind.
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