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umm I never cry but now I seem to be tearing up all the time post op sciatica hurts

natural scientistnnatural scientist Posts: 68
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been reading alot here but this is my first post.
I have felt pretty alone throughout my back troubles.

HISTORY: Had an injury while 9 month pregnant, lifting my 2 year old out of the bath, this was end of 2006. With many episodes of unable to walk and pain ... after heavy lifting in Feb 2008 noticed right big toe was numb. the neurological symptoms got worse with every alternative treatment I tried but accupuncture did initially provide relief from screaming sciatica. MRI showed two disc herniations, central extrusion at L4 L5 (no nerve compression) and a foraminal protrusion L5 S1 compressing both L5 and S1. it has been painful, depressing and really affected my mojo for all the things I do. BUT I am still an optimistic, positive and inspired person. I underwemt a L5 S1 fusion October 2 2008.

Here is my main concern I am experiencing numbness hip to foot from both L5 and S1 dermatomes and I get really upset about it. most people say their neurological symptoms go away pretty soon after the surgery and that was the biggest thing I was hoping for. I know its early dayz. But what i am interested in is other peoples who have had similar symptoms and their recovery stories.
I also dont know if I am going crazy or not but it feels like half of my girl bits are numbiush or tingly (TMI) I have to rush to the toilet to deficate and my other big toe is tingling/sore occasionally.

YOU GUYS are awesome support for everyone, thanks for all the reading and info and support i have had by just being a reader here for the last few months. blessings.



  • Firstly welcome to the posting version of the board and it is nice to see you come out of the cupboard :))(
    I am sorry you are still having numbness and urgency.

    Have you been having this since surgery or is it new?
    It could very well be from the surgery itself and the nerves being moved around and if that is the case it would have peobably been there since surgery.
    If it is new symptons then I would advise you to see or phone the surgeon and let him know.

    The urgency may also be due to the IBS, I know I get this often as well and if I am out search out the closest restroom so I know where it is just in case. Not plesant at all but it did get worse with all the meds after surgery and that thankfully has calmed down.

    I had no numbness after surgery (am now 6 months) but after about 4 months I started to get it again but it is not anywhere as bad as it was pre-surgery. Somethimes then I couldn't feel my feet at all.

    Remember that it is early days for you and you ahve a lot of recovering ahead of you. Dont let your children make you do things you aren't ready to (hardest part of being a mum) no lifting etc they will just have to crawl into your lap for cuddles or lie beside you on the bed.

    I hope things improve for you soon
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • try popping vit E, for the numbness
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  • welcome glad you decided to join us!!we will help you get through the best we can.
    i had some nerve pain after surgery and numbness in my left leg/toes. that went away. im 7 wks post op.

    if it is new and you did not have it to the extreme like you have it now. yes a call to your dr is warrented.
    they may tell you to hang out and let it ride or they may want to do more testing to see if there is nerve damage or a nerve being pinched somewhere.
    thats what my dr offered me.

    also sometimes when we start physical therapy and they start us out on stretching etc. it helps relieve some of that.

    are you doing stretches now?? i was given them at 4wks.
    just laying flat bringing your leg up towards your chest.

    i know the kids are young and need you. but you can teach them how to help out in the house so you don't have to squat down etc to get things. they learn so easy at the younger age. believe me once there old forget about it!! =)) #o

    hang in there, call that dr and let us know how you make out!!!!
    terri O:) >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I have had 4 surgeries this year L5 S1 and I thought maybe I was the only one with numbness in the girly area I cry all the time from my pain and numbness left leg basically dead unless you touch it then needles and when I wipe from going to the bathroom stabbing pain in the bottom of my foot. I have talked to my doctor he says time but he hasn't been out of work for 9 months and miserable and crying all the time from pain and living a sucky life.. Hang in there we now have each other to talk to I am so glad thank you :X
  • I had to expain the same thing to my doctors office last week. What a funny message that must have been to listen to. My entire groin area, including the rectum and bottom of my toes have been tingly for the last 2 weeks. I have very little feeling down there as well since things started up again. Also the quick urge and need to sprint to the bathroom, too. I had this before surgery too but it was relieved immedietely after surgery and for the first 8 weeks I was good. I did call my doctors office and they dont seem concerned, although I am having a difficult time getting information from the PA. She says its just the healing process since the nerves went thru alot and to give it time. Doctors should be forbidden to use that phrase! I know they cant predict how long something will last but how about "give it two weeks and then we will recheck things", that sounds so much more comfortng to me.

    Anyway, I would call the doctor and at least make them aware, they might want to double check placement of your hardware.

    hugs, Shell
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  • #:S
    Thanks for all that. I am having a xray on thursday and seeing the ortho so I will be voicing my self but I do expect to hear 'just give it time...' I love my surgeon but I wonder if their advice would be different if they were experiencing it all.

    Terri, your story is amazing and I hope you are doing well from the latest op, just reading your signature made me more emotional.

    Thanks for the tip on vit E I had not remembered its full potential, I have however been using many other natural supplements multivits, herbs, minerals and tissue salts. I put together a cream with one great herb comfrey and i rub it on lower back and bum, within 2 weeks my graft site was no longer in pain (not too sure if thats just normal though) and I have got a nice healed wound and the tissue under feels pretty free (no adhesions) I am really pleased.

    QUESTION: my eyes are blury and I was testing to see if it was the pain medications tramadol and paradex (in hosp my vision went really crazy and doc removed the antinausea patches which helped) I have only managed to not take the meds for about two days in a row before maybe needing one or two or three. I think it must be the meds. I dont know how people take these things for the long term I only took them when I really was not coping with the pain before surgery but I know I let my self do too much coping for the sake of not being wasted on meds.

    PS I walk about 2km at once now and do some stretches. is the physical activity better for healing nerves. I have not been able to talk to a physio yet to understand what is best and no one really had good advice even before the op. if you stretch a nerve and it hurts is that a healing action for the nerve??

    Have a great day all.
  • Hi Natural, welcome to SH. This is a great site I agree. Are these new symptoms or were they there before surgery? I know nerves take a long time to heal after having been compressed for so long. So if these were pre-existing it may take some time. If they are new I would get back with your surgeon for some testing. I know these surgeons are always like "its normal", but be a self advocate and keep on them if you are not doing better. Fusion recovery is definitely a very slow process. I am 13 weeks out and will return to work in 2 weeks, fast compared to some. Good-luck and keep posting here to let us know how you are doing. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Hi Natural & everyone else w/ post-fusion nerve fall-out..I had a lot of nerve/sciatic pain b4 & most of that is now gone, but at 10 months, I still have the occasional "jolt" or zingers, odd "deadness" in my leg/foot & minor "girl-parts" numbness (which was worse right after my fusion.)

    NS said x-rays & MRI look fine & everything is OK---he said only to watch for anything that woud get SUDDENLY worse; otherwise to "give it all time" (Yes, I hate that phrase also!) & said it takes a full 2 YEARS to recover, or at least know what you have left & what you are probably going to have to "just learn to live with" (his words)

    You are about @ 6 weeks---that's really really early yet, so things are still quite angry! I found the bathroom stuff the most annoying part, but at about 6 months, that dept settled down, altho I still have some sensation loss there....may or may not return, who knows?

    So many variables. Such brutal surgery. It's a miracle, really, that we survive this so well & it sounds like you are a strong & positive person, and you are blessed w/ your precious little children! Just lie around, rest, cuddle w/ them and let time do its healing work. It's a long road, but you'll get "around the bend" at about 6 months, I would predict: that's when I began to feel better, more like myself--I wish the same for you. You are NOT going crazy! This is crazy surgery! Your spine/brain are connected, it's your whole central nervous system that was invaded. And it simply doesn't like it! And I cried a lot the 1st few months, not only from pain & frustration, but also just b/c I'd cry suddenly...NS said that was my central nervous systems' response to the trauma of spine surgery & to just "let it out" --get some soft Kleenex & let go! I still have my days when I just weep on & off, from all that's happened, so just go with it. It's OK! You are intitled to feel any way you want to about this! No one who hasn't had a fusion can even begin to understand the implications, etc. Stay close to the couch & bathroom & grab the tissues! And your sweet children! :)

    Hope you feel better this week. And think in terms of weeks/months, not days. This is not a "day" time-line.

    Stay in touch ! We're all here for you!

  • I had 3 level fusion on March 17th - you just had yours not quite five weeks ago. Today, is the first day I was completely symptom free - nothing hurt and I am ecstatic. I have had a terrible time with the nerve pain - it's gotten better, worse, intolerable, etc. I am not quite 8 months post surgery. People heal at different rates and I think you have to be very patient and do what works for you. Acupuncture has worked very well for me when things have gotten bad. Also, let your surgeon know what is going on. I have also found that standing in the pool relieved a lot of the pain. I don't think I was allowed in the pool until 9 weeks post-op. Take care of yourself and let us know how things are progressing. O:)
  • an up date, life has been crazy. in the day of my 6 week post op we stopped into see a friend (my op was in another city about 1:45min away) and my DD (22months) touched a treadmill that was operating and obtained full thickness burns to her hand the poor thing, I watched it happen but was numb and too slow but of the three adults that were closer to her than I, I was the one that dove to her rescue stiff back and all......my poor baby, so we were back in the hospital then transfered back home to the hospital in our city.....she is doing great the nurse comes every day to change her dressings and she just avoided skin grafts. now the two girls have chicken pox.......KIDS BLOW ME AWAY with the things they endure with out much complaint.

    Any way about me: I atill have mild pains and nerve pain. at last visit the Dr said to try diclofinac for a month which I took for about a week and a half and feel no need to take it now. Just the short burst of NSAID seemed to provide a bit of antiinflammatory action to dull the pain down a few notches. Have not taken any meds for 5 days want to sometimes but just hold out to go to sleep. I can handle the discomfort as long as its not throbbing and strongly electrical. It wa my brithday last week and my wish was to walk around the lake which is about 4.5km and we did...... Many thanks.

    Hope everyone is doing well.
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