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

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
3 weeks post op - Lami and L4-5 fusion - leg weakness and aching

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.

sadie girl (not verified)
Title: Member
Hi. You had the same exact

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!

kraigster414 (not verified)
Title: Member
Sadie, thanks. I have been

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.

Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Title: Member
Joined: 07/03/2008 - 9:27am
Hello...we all need encouragment,huh?

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.

kraigster414 (not verified)
Title: Member
Candle, thanks. It sounds

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.