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3 weeks post op - Lami and L4-5 fusion - leg weakness and aching

AnonymousUserAnonymousUser Posts: 51,513
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:21 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Although the pain is subsiding in my lower pack from the surgery, I am experiencing (more it seems each day) increasing weakness (more like aching) in my legs. They feel extremely heavy. Is this normal after such surgery? At what point should I phone my doctor? Thanks.
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Comments

  • Hi. You had the same exact surgery I did - full laminectomy and fusion at l4-l5. I'm 5 weeks post surgery. I think I experienced the same "heaviness" in my legs at about 3 weeks, same as you it seems. I thought it was associated with lack of using my muscles (walking 2 miles every day wasn't enough) and sitting around in the recliner all day. It was really noticeable at night and I'd have trouble sleeping - kind of like restless leg syndrome, maybe? Anyway, just this past week, it seems to have subsided, probably because I'm able to do more - fix dinner, light loads of laundry with reacher, driving, etc.
    I'm actually doing extremely well and the Dr. told me a couple of days ago that I was completely fused (and just 5 weeks after surgery). He said it's because I've been walking 2 miles every day. He has a lot of patients that don't do the recommended walking and they want to know why they're not fusing after 6 months! Anyway, give your legs some time - I think you'll see some improvement. It's not easy, just be patient and think of the long term. Good luck! Personally, I am extremely glad I had the surgery. I start PT next week. Good luck!
  • Sadie, thanks. I have been walking a half hour each day for the last two weeks. Medium pace, hard surface, around the neighborhood. Today, it seems my legs don't ache as much as they did yesterday - definitely this is a recovery that has its up's and down's. But judging from your expeience, I am encouraged and will keep on doing what I am doing. Maybe even increase my walking a little. When in the house, I try and be as active as possible.
  • Hi, Tomorrow I'll be 3 weeks postop from an ALIF L4/L5. I came out of surgery with left leg weakness from them pulling over my muscle group that covers my left side and thigh into my groin. I couldn't hardly move it in the hospital. It's gotten better slowly, but is still very weak. I started PT today and the PT said it might take months for it to heal back. She thinks the nerves in the muscles were damaged, but will heal.

    I've noticed when I'm walking, that both legs feel really heavy. They just seem tired. Mine are aching some at night too, especially my left. I've used my tens unit on my hip and thigh.

    Also, call the doctor and at least talk to his nurse or something anytime you have a question. I haven't wore my out, but I have called twice. Heck, they've only saw me once at 11 days postop and will go back in 4 weeks. Even with this website, we're all different and had different surgeries,...our doctors know what they did to us and should have seen most of these postop things.

    Keep walking and stretching. My PT also said that walking will tighten up our hamstrings, so it was important to stretch out the legs after walking.
  • Candle, thanks. It sounds like I am experiencing exactly what you went through. I did call the nurse today and she indicated that the Vicodin is probably causing some of the weakness and that I am still feeling the after-effects of the surgery. She asked if I could walk on my toes and I said yes. I noticed today that the weakness in my legs was not as bad as yesterday.
  • KrizzashKrizzash Posts: 3
    edited 10/24/2015 - 1:48 AM
    Wow !!! I can walk now without pain now :-) 7/31/15 Spinal Fusion 8/14/15 in emergency with BAD BAD INFECTION back in Surgery to wash out took 2 weeks to find out What, what kind of antibiotics tried 3 stayed another week then they had to decide oral antibiotic or pic line. Pic line it was 4hrs on 4hrs off 24/7.stitches bother the MOST... have to wear the black BRACE!!! SOMETIMES I forget to put it on long grueling story in the hospital I kept telling them nerve pain in leg !!!! It was like a vortex OMG so they gave me Dilate 2mg every 3 hrs and and 4 every 4hrs OMG !!!!!!!!, one night at 3 am I asked the male nurse can u just SQUEEZE MY CA.LF WITH ALL UR
    MIGHT he did thats when the dilated got more intense i keep telling Dr. He said its part of the healing Yea Right.. i only took pain meds 2 days after coming home THE NERVE PAIN CONTINUED. Now i have numbness and tingling in calf and foot i have fallen because my leg got weak I go back 10/28 post opp. I also had knee replacement in Jan.same leg I know sitting and just tingling AWAY I take g. 3 times a day. No BLT but I have starting doing all I walk my little dog. How long no BLT and The big black BRACE.
  • I've heard ankle pumps help. Help Me out !!!
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