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Frustrated- Advice on questions for surgeon

anjuanaanjuan Posts: 236
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a minimally invasive TLIF fusion of L4-S1 on December 3. The past 6 weeks I have been doing PT 3 days a week as prescribed by my surgeon. However, I have been having much more nerve pain than I had prior to the surgery. My right thigh is constantly either numb or burning/tingling. Then my left thigh every so often has tingling/burning but is more constant at night, and I also have nerve issues on and off in my lower legs and feet. It gets worse in the evenings so it has been really hard to get a good nights sleep.

Today my PT agreed that I am not progressing like I should be and I have some kind of nerve root issue. I have my follow-up appointment with my surgeon on Wednesday afternoon, and I have gotten x-rays in preparation for the appointment. My PT is going to talk to my surgeon and give him a heads up on my problems (they are in the same suite and work very closely together). Do you have any advice about what questions to ask my PT? I think I am going to try to push to get an MRI if the x-rays don't show anything.

I just feel like I have done everything in my power to try to improve. I haven't been able to return to work yet, and I am just so sick of being at home. I am just so frustrated right now!!

I would love any advice.



  • You might have some scar tissue around or near a nerve root. If this is the cae there are some treatment options.
  • Two levels and my Dr wont let me start therapy for at least a couple more months. I have nerve and leg pain and spasms like never before. I talked to Dr and he said that this is normal. That you have had a major surgery and it takes a long time to recover. Dont get to impaintient. I did not have nerve pain or leg before. But I know with all they did, they moved and cut alot. After a breast biopsy I woke up with a numbness on front of my thigh., Never could figure out why but it eventually went away. Just discuss with Dr. and see what he says. I am not able to work yet, and was explained prior to surgery that I wouldnt be able to for quite a while. Good Luck.
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  • I appreciate your input. I am starting to get really down and having a hard time. Why I am getting concerned is that I did have the minimally-invasive procedure and the Dr. said I should be back to work in 6-8 weeks, which have come and gone. Also, the PT soley deals with patients in this practice, so he knows what is usual, and what is not normal.

    Iowarobin, I hope you are right and I am just being impatient.

    Right now every day I don't work is a financial burden on my family. Thankfully, I can work from home, but I am even having a hard time putting in a full day at home. Also, I am so tired of not being able to do things with my daughter. (Not that I expect to be doing a lot with her at this point).

    Sorry for the wining. I really am trying to stay positive, but I don't know how some of you do it sometimes.

    Thanks again for reading.

  • I hope I am right also. But trust me, I know the frustrations. I have been hurting for 2 1/2 years so this is my hope of getting some normallcy back in my life. I havnt been able to work either, and know how you feel. I have a new grandaughter, My first that is six months old. It is so hard not being able to pick her up. I am just glad that hopefully in six months or so I can and will be alot better to be able to enjoy her. I did get help with depression about a year and half ago. Back problems are the biggest cause of depression. Hang in there. Just think about when you are better and dont have to ask for help all the time and feel better, It is something that keeps me going. Good Luck and PM me anythime you need a boost. My children are grown, so some days all I have to talk to are my furry ones, =))
  • I thought I would follow up on my original post with information about my appointment with my surgeon in case it helps someone else.

    I was very happy with the time that my surgeon took to answer all of my questions. My x-rays looked fine. He believes that there is no anotomical reason for my nerve pain, which means that he thinks that it will eventually go away on its own. However, he is having me get an MRI just to make sure. He is putting me on a new med to help with my nerve pain which also has a side effect of sleepiness, which is good for me since I have been having problems sleeping at night. He is also having me do 4 more weeks of PT and continue to just work from home during this time period. Overall he thinks that I am ahead of the curve, and that I need to have patience with the healing process since it is still early. I go back to see him in a month.

    Iowarobin, I really want to thank you for your sweet comments. They really helped. Oh, and by the way, I grew up in Iowa and still have a lot of family there.

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