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PT help with post surgery residual leg pain, help!!!

lmestonllmeston Posts: 46
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, everyone...it's me the one with a million questions....I had my PLIF surgery on 9/16/08 and am now having post residual leg pain, FIRE.....I mean my leg is killing me. Doctors office upped my neurontin to 400mg X3 daily and 5mg valium at bed time, ha!.....that's it....live with it! Do any of you know if PT has helped with this type of problem? (I feel this will be where they send me next)
Will this go away? I am scared to death this will not go away.....I've made it to the depressed stage after doing so very well for weeks. I wish I had never done this stupid surgery....ANY home remedys, tips, I am at the end of my rope! I have just sat around and cried for the past two days....this is so not me! I see the doctor on the 3rd of Nov. I want to ring his neck, but I'm sure he has no ideal.....not picking on the nurses, but she was the one to brush me off on this.......if the tables were turned, ha! I bet it would be a whole different ball game. Here we go through this....pay a small fortune for the surgery, and then treated like a number/pest...that really bothers me.
Well, thanks for letting me vent....maybe I will have one or two less cries today, thanks dear friends....you guys have been such great support....boy do I need that now....I'm about as down as down can get right now......Still keeping all of you in my prayers, Libby


  • The important thing is you're seeing your doctor - but from my experience and many others here (if not most) - it is still very soon after your surgery and probably not surprising to have leg pain. I know I had excruciating pain that started the second week after my surgery and the doctor put me on a 13 day course of steroid meds that resolved that problem. I can say that I am now 5.5 months after surgery and still have leg pain, but am working with PT and resolved to be patient since everyone, including my doctor(s) say it may take a year for the leg nerves to settle down from the surgery and to heal.
    I hear you on being brushed off - my surgeon literally never returned my calls after 3 months and I have had to go to another surgeon to get the Rx for PT and pain meds! It is just unbelievable. But I have learned you have to just deal with it yourself and if the guy who operated won't give you answers or help, just find another doctor and if they won't, find another! It's pathetic but true. They love their success stories, but if you're not one of them, goodbye and good luck!

    Keep us posted and hang on - it will get better! Rosa
  • You poor dear thing! I am so sorry you are in such pain and wish I was there to hug you! >:D< >:D<

    I had a different surgery from you and did not have the leg pain at all. However, from everything I have been reading on here for the past 4-1/2 months is that it takes time for those nerves to heal. Try ice packs or a heating pad on your back and see if any of that helps calm the nerves down. I think I would keep calling my dr. (every day if need be) to get some answers/relief. In the meantime, try breathing techniques to help you calm yourself down. When we tense up from pain/frustration, etc., it only makes things worse. We are here for you sweetie!
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  • One more thing: I wouldn't even try to do any PT yet...it's way too early.
  • Hi Libby, I am so sorry your leg is still giving you trouble. I have intermittent sciatic pain on the right side and I would say PT has made it worse. I am wondering if you could try cymbalta since the neurontin isn't helping. It is supposed to help nerve pain and depression. Or I have heard others mention Lyrica for nerve pain. Did you already try a steroid pack?

    If you are going to go the PT route I would suggest water PT to start, as it is gentle and soothing. Some thing to ask the surgeon would be when could you try an injection, epidural or such. I know my surgeon said I would have to wait 3 months for any steroid injections should they still be needed. When you see the surgeon, if he is not helpful, I would suggest getting into a PM or even seeing your primary for some different meds to try.

    You are still early out, and time often helps these things, but please be your own advocate and keep after them until they do something to give you some relief. I will pray for you sweetie, that you feel relief soon. :X >:D< Sue
  • Libby, I was just thinking, have you had any xrays to check your hardware and fusion post surgery yet. I mean just to make sure everything is in place and such? Sue
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  • No, I have had no X-Rays yet, but I believe they will do this on Monday.
    Cali-Sue, thanks so much for your advice and great support...I feel so alone right now. I see the Jennifer Hudson family murders on T.V.and feel guilty for crying over this leg! Yesterday....Pain was a 2......today 5:00 am, I knew it was going to be a bad day....pain is probably a good 6 with valium and Tylenol. I will be sure to mention the other medications......as I have said before. I was on neurontin for another nerve issue and it did nothing for it.....I believe it's the wrong meds for me. I am suppose to be up, but have STOPPED!.....only doing what HAS to be done at this point.....scared to death I will make this leg even worse. I really believe my sergeon will listen....it's the nurses....going through them and trying to get across how BAD you feel. Well, I will give it time, but I won't live like this forever......heads will roll! I'm not a mean person either, but there is only so much we can stand!
    Well, I'm going to write down those meds now or I will forget.....again thanks for your loving support, Libby

    P.S. Yes, did the steriods.
  • Joy, what a perfect name for you....you have brought joy into my morning, and thanks for the hugs.
    Yes, looks as if I am going to have to take the bull by the horn if I get no results on Monday. I just can't live like this. I knew going into this that it was a long haul.....NO ONE prepared me for this though....had no ideal that this could happen. I hate being unprepared too. I will let you guys know what happens on Monday.....keep that positive energy going for me....as I will for you.
    Joy, glad to know your out there, thanks, Libby
  • Thanks for your post.....as I noted just below I don't believe my surgeon will brush me off at this point anyway, but it's dealing with the nurses.....not picking on the nuses either.....they deal with so many patients who want DRUGS or call when they get a hang nail, but there are true patients who need there help and support....they get hardened just as the doctors do......I know, I used to work at a doctor's office. You get tired of complaints. I have a wonderful family doctor that I have all the faith in the world in so, if no results from my surgeon.....on word up word. Plus, I worked with a pain mgt. doctor for 7 years before I considered this surgery....I feel I have at least two good places to start.
    Rosa, you are so right on the success stories....pretty full of them selves for sure.....do lot's of surgery's but no time then for the patients post-op seems back word to me?
    You gals have given me the will to keep the good fight up....at least for today ;) I'm sure I will be back with more questions, but for now....thank you so much. I hope your recovery kicks in high gear soon. I'm keeping you in my prayers, Libby
  • Hi Libby,

    So sorry to hear about your leg pain. But you are very early days out - it takes time for everything to settle down. Your nerves are mad at all the moving around they were doing during surgery. I had surgery last December after suffering almost 5 years of leg pain. I still have pain, but not near as bad. I cried for weeks after my surgery as well. I think it is the pain and frustration and the wondering if things will ever change.

    I have recently been posting on this site again and the best advice I have been given is don't think too far ahead. Try keeping a journal of your pain. It may help you to realize things are getting better - even if they take some time.

    You are not alone. I know it feels like it sometimes. But this site and the friends you have here really do care. Keep posting and checking in on all the information other Spineys offer. This site was really a major help for me in my recovery.

    Take care, jaycey
  • I don't say that lightly either......each and everyone of you that have supported me through this most challangiing of times, Bless You!
    I had a better day yesterday and thought wow! I'm finally on the up hill side, but sad to say It's been a pretty painful day with the nerves in my leg. Emotions are a little better.....I'm just trying to cope the best I can with my Tylenol and neurontin.
    Hoping Monday to be released to drive again.....I am beyond stir crazy. I know I won't be able to do much, but a little freedom from the walls of my house.....oh, how wonderful!
    Anyone going through this....hang in there! Like I was advised on this site pre surgery.....there will be MANY good days but also, many, many bad.
    I said, I look in the mirror and this surgery has aged me ten years! I look so drug out, tired, OLD! Just hope some of it goes away???? This has been no easy journey.....and still have many mile yet to go, but as they say. "On word and up word!"
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