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Sciatica 4 weeks post of L4-S1 Fusion

I had a lumbar fusion at my L4-S1, 4 weeks ago. Everything was great for 2.5 weeks. I left the hospital after two days, was walking 1-1.5 miles a day after a week, wasn't taking any pain medicine 3 days post op. On the third week post op my sister had a baby, I was in a car, at the hospital, sitting up for 1-2 hours at a time, holding the baby, helping change her...I did this for nearly the whole third week. Going into the fourth week I started feeling my old sciatic pain in my right leg return. It's a little above my knee , behind my knee, and into my calf and ankle.

Do you think I simply over did it and now things are inflamed? Is it normal to feel the same nerve pain I had before surgery? I see my doctor in a week and will talk to him then. At my two week appt he did an X-ray and said things look great. I'm just nervous this sciatica won't go away.

Thanks for your input and help!!


  • Only on the opposite side...it surprised the hell out of me, as I had NONE of the old sciatic pain I'd had before the surgery during my walking exercises while at the hospital! About a week or so after I came home, the sciatic pain returned with a vengeance! Worse than before the surgery!! Naturally, my heart sank--and there WERE many moments I questioned whether or not I'd done the right thing by having the fusion.
    Doc gave me a prednisone regimen, and between that and the pain meds, the sciatic pain has begun to calm down. I've since learned (from both my doctors AND through others on this forum who've dealt with the sciatic issue) that this can be a part of recovery.
    I'm definitely not ashamed to admit that my nerves got a bit jangled when that pain came back! Educating myself about what TRUE recovery (no, NOT the doc's sugarcoated version of it LOL) is has really helped to put my mind at ease.
    One caveat--don't hesitate for one second to call your care team about anything you're going through. ..I'm certainly no doctor, but just wanted to share what I went through as it sounded similar to your situation.
    Good luck with everything! !
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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