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Leg pain from nerve healing

Natalie320NNatalie320 Posts: 6
edited 08/05/2018 - 10:10 PM in Recovering from Surgery

I had a micro discectomy at L5/S1 almost 7 weeks ago. At week 5 I developed swelling in both legs (was doing PT and walking 20 min 3 x a day). All tests cleared me of dangerous issues but the swelling still comes and goes and I have ‘growing pain’ type dull pains in my right leg as well as sharp stabbing in targeted areas that mainly affect me just when I lay down to sleep. Nurse suggests this is my nerve healing and waking up (which was found massively compressed in my surgery) ? Makes it very difficult to sleep. Anyone have this issue? 



  • I had severe lower leg nerve pain forever after surgery #1 on 2/16.  The opiate and nerve meds got that under control by week 6 of surgery #1..(under control=I could finally sleep a little each night. ) I then started home health / PT but have been unable to dump pills due to various pains  

    Swelling started week 16, both feet to knees, and has done and gone since...it just ended.  Week 24.  Hoping to just sleep enough to heal enough and keep my sense of humor long enough to heal enough...

    Good luck natalie320

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • Natalie -- I have had some weird little pains in the area where my nerve root had been pinched for so long.  I hope that it is only the nerve "waking up" from being pinched.  Had my surgery on July 16th.  This started happening about a week ago.  

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  • Joel -- dump those pain pills as soon as you can, and be careful to know what you are taking and how to taper off of them.  I dropped hydrocodone almost "cold turkey" and I actually experienced some withdrawal symptoms which were horrible.  I did not know that I should have "weaned" myself off of them, and that there is a process for doing that safely.  This is something I would think your doctor could help you with.  I just got tired of being in a "brain fog" taking such high-powered pain meds.  My pain had subsided enough that I decided to dump them.  I just didn't do it correctly.  Do your research on whatever you are taking.  Talk to your doctor about how to wean yourself off of them.  I am doing fine now just taking naproxen.  No more hard-core narcotics.  It doesn't take long for you to become addicted to some of them.  Be careful.  Don't get too reliant on them. 

  • I will BBJ, thank you for the encouraging words. I see my PM doc tomorrow.

    Sorry, I’ve been in a bit of a fog lately lmao.
    I’m on the max dosages of hydrocodone and mscontin , that I was supposedly given in the hospital and max of gabepentin since post my second surgery and it’s still been a painful frustrating ride getting pain relief and maintaining it with a huge array of symptoms.

    I’m tired of missing what I’m missing because I’m tired. Hopefully the tiredness is opiates related lol It’s way worse than previous battles with opiates after knee surgery, I am used to the wall I’d hit at 3pm. But I’m not used to being so exhausted that If someone else says “you don’t even know what level 10 is,” I’m going to have to be held back from my response —“I know what a level 10 pain is FOR ME after I’ve been counting from 0 to 10 over the past few months prior to surgery and the last 5 months since surgery, I’m pretty in tune with my body, are you in tune with MY PAIN?”— ah yes a side effect is irritability...but seriously

    I’m a little afraid I’ll wean down so low the pain (a pain, old or new) will come back and the CDC guidelines will mean I can’t go back up in dosage. (Based on my situation and read of the ‘guidelines ‘). I’m happy with alternative options, and combinations of low dose opiates and some other alternative treatment would be my guess where I’ll end up sometime next year...and hopefully back playing golf, as promised by my surgeon, without pain...

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • memeremmemere Posts: 2
    edited 08/22/2018 - 3:15 PM

    my experience in the past is there is a rebound effect with continued reliance on opiods causing the pain to continue unabated .even if the original cause has somewhat resolved.  So my advice is to start to reduce your pain meds.  No one need know except you until you are comfortable with the dosage that you take. And then continue until you can discontinue completely

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  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 332
    edited 08/23/2018 - 12:57 AM

    Thanks for the response memere.  

    I am already weaning and trying to get there - to no pain meds - is my goal. At 10% / month it’s a slow process, but now at an slightly expedited schedule I’m at a 25% reduction of Oxy30. Every 6 hours instead of every 4, pretty simple and even with my brain fog I understand that a 25% reduction of this med was a significant reduction.  I feel it.  My Brain actually feels 25% clearer.  I can actually remember answers on 25% more Jeopardy questions (ok I don’t measure my jeopardy question answers...but my wife did say that I was on a roll and I was on fire a couple different times this week).  

    Unfortunately I can also feel some very sharp electronic fence-like pains start to return, unbearably excruciating pains I felt during my first 3 weeks of post op surgery pain (mis) management.  I personally, and I would guess quite a few of the other newer folks that come through these forums, am deathly afraid of each electric pain shock we feel... afraid of further pain and damage to the limb, other internal organ, not to mention issues and symptoms/failure with gastric pain, nauseous, aches pains and sweats (but NO FEVER), , the psychological ramifications of all this etc etc    

    Wow overwhelming. Thank God for good support systems and maintenance of a positive approach to each breath of each day. 

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,419
    First, do not even think of reducing your pain medications without first discussing this with your doctor and coming up with a plan. It can be very dangerous for anyone to take this type of action into their own hands without medical approval.

    Please read Recovery, the most important phase - Patience

    You are really still pretty fresh out of surgery. You are bound to have some ups/downs, new and different pains, etc. Many surgeons look at the 3 month post surgery time frame when things may start to all come back to normal. The exception generally deals with nerve pain.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 332
    edited 08/24/2018 - 12:16 AM

    Thanks Ron. The 10% / month reduction of Oxy30 is at the direction of my PM Dr.  I am halfway through month two and have tracked my med intake meticulously with an iOS app which was very helpful when on so many different meds at the start.  The app gives me my weekly reduction % really nice to have.  I am staying about 2 weeks ahead of my weaning schedule in order to try and stay on top and ahead of this pain, which is where I’m at 25% reduced.   I can go into my PM Dr in two weeks and let him know my reaction, and maybe we can adjust something else.  Like Gabapentin.  Not sure if there is a correlation, but when I take 1800mg of this stuff per day, every six hours I’m put into a 4 hour slumber.        Can’t work or do much else but sleep, But at least I don’t scream in pain for a few hours straight a couple times a night/or day.

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

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