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Complications post-surgery

Hello Everybody,

I'm new to the forum, but I know that a lot of people are in the same situation as me so I want to wish everyone luck.

My pain has been relatively new, only for the past 2 years or so. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease just after the birth of my daughter around 2 years ago, but my condition really spiralled downward very quickly. Basically during that time, what was just a bit of pain in the back became pain so excruciating I couldn't even find relief sitting or lying down. Pain meds became stronger and stronger until no meds helped. My mri showed severe compression of my spinal cord by a herniated disc as well as a vertebra at the L4/L5 level. Two doctors told me that surgery was the only treatment so I got spinal fusion surgery 6 weeks ago. Everything was good immediately after the surgery, except for initial ache in my right leg, no pain at all!!!

However, during the past 2 days, I started getting tingling in my toes, and today, my whole foot is numb with intermittent numbness and weakness in my legs and even my groin, which I had never had before. Has anyone experienced this?

Thanx in advance. Take care.

Caroline

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Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,454
    You are so fresh in terms of post surgical timeframe.
    Please read Recovery, the most important phase - Patience!
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Several doctors have told me the spinal cord terminates at L1 or L2 in adults. Therefore I would be suspicious if a doctor told me I had cord compression as low as L4/L5. That doesn’t sound right.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,454

    L4_L5 is correct.  The Spinal cord starts at the base of the skull and runs down to the lower part of the thoracic discs.  The spinal cord does not run through the lumbar spine.  Instead in branches out into the lumbar and sacral area as nerve roots in a horsetail shape , called the Cauda Equina

    Perhaps your doctor said you have nerve compression at the L4/L5  but not of the spinal cord.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Thanx Ron for your correction!  I'm sure I got the terminology wrong. I was diagnosed first in France and then in Japan, so I wasn't sure what the English term was. I was told to call the docto when a new pain or numbness or tingling appeared, but I haven't been able to get a hold of my doctor cos he is super busy!  I'm just worried that there's some neuropathy for some reason....

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 996

    Caroline

    Ron is right... you are still early in the healing process... for which there will be lots of ups and downs.   However experiencing post surgery neuropathy does happen...   In my case after my second fusion surgery I suffered severe numbness and tingling across the bottom of my right foot.  My doctor says that it's due to permanent nerve damage and there is nothing he can do about it.   Like you... it wasn't really present or an issue before surgery.  After 3 plus years I've learned to live with it for the most part... but the first year was pretty tough.  However every case is different and hopefully yours will go away as you heal further.  It could just be the nerves acting up as part of the healing process.   Hang in there...

    Harry - 65 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
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