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Horrible Pain! What did I do?

buckeyebackbbuckeyeback Posts: 384
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
As you know, I had a 2 level micro-d to shave the bulging discs and to remove some bone spurs which were entrapping my nerve roots at L3/L4 and L4/L5 on the left side of my spine. Today I am 1 day shy of 7 weeks post-op and I was getting out of the car (moving forward, facing the door after pivoting)after PT and I felt a horrible shooting pain down my left leg after something that seemed like my hip popped. My left foot turned to the right as the muscle contracted heavily when the electrical shock happened!!! I quickly slumped back in the seat then tried again, same thing happened. I took a different approach and finally was able to get out. I know I bend forward a little to get out but only a little. I could walk but my shin, thigh, hip mand lower lumbar all started aching. I immediately took some voltaren, a percocet and iced my lower back while laying down. Of course, I couldn't reach my surgeon or his nurse so I called my physical therapist and he told me, as long as I am not feeling any new numbness or having a bowl/bladder problem, no need to go to ER. He said to take meds and lay down, no exercises for a couple days (ive been level 1 so far because my symptoms were not getting better yet). I called my GP and she said basically the same thing and dismissed it as a "tweak" type episode. I've had tweaks before all over my body and they never felt like that!

I'm feeling better (with meds) and no new numbnesses (which I assume, is good) but my shin muscle is very sore.

Could have just dislocated my hip for a second which is why the shock stopped when I repositioned??? I felt a sort of pop in the hip too. OR did I just screw up my disc at L4/L5?

Could the sciatic nerve could be getting pinched at the hip possibly?

I've never felt an electrical pain like that before from hip down too the foot that would cause a foot muscle spasm!!!

What do you think? I see my surgeon on the 6th and I hope he will order an MRI to make sure everything is okay.

Thanks for reading my long post and for any advice.


  • If i was you i would get to surgeon asap. Pain from hip to foot sounds like satic.AS for the musclespasm in foot i have no idea. When i ruptured l5-s1 i could draw a line from my hip to my ankle that felt like a knife had been pushed in at hip and drug down to to ankle.Maybe your hip poped and the muscles relaxed causeing you nerve to get pinched. I was always toldby surgeon if pain in the legg return contact me asap. I hope its just swelling,get better
  • Yeah, I didn't get that knife pain, more a heavy electrical shock that definitely gave me a horrible spasm. My body is out of wack because I haven't been able to exercise at all for over a year. My hamstrings are so tight that the therapist can't lift my left leg more than about 30 degrees before I can feel the stretch. Maybe just a hip thing. I hope!

    As long as I don't have any new, persistent neurological symptoms like numbnesses I think I will just have to let things calm down and not move very much till I see the surgeon and he can order the MRI.

    It sux not being able to reach anyone at the doctors office. It's business I guess.

    Thanks for your reply!
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  • Seeing your doctor or getting ahold of someone in the office explaining what happened is the best course of action. Not sure if you asked your PT what the possible reaction was that caused your hip to pop and create a muscle cramp in your foot.
    However I can relate to the sore shin, popping hip and cramping foot. For me its a daily thing since my fusion. I might get a sharp pain for just a moment if I move the wrong way (which I assume my body is telling me "no, not that direction try again, a different way". But I always as my physical therapists if I cant reach my Nuero. Luckily they work in the same office and he can track my NS quicker than I can. Seven weeks out as you know is still fresh out of surgery and inflamation can do these things as Im sure we all know a little too well. My foot will actually lock into place, I will feel something high in my hip it skips most of the leg and then locks my foot into place and let me tell you that will make the shin very sore. They have put me on a muscle relaxer as the PT got more aggressive my muscles were knotting up as they tried to get stronger after a lengthy period of atrophy. The relaxer has helped the foot cramp, shin and calf soreness so far. The pop in my hip, is caused by a tendon that runs across the hip bone and makes a popping sound, like two rocks hitting each other its not actually my joint although it sure sounds like it.
    Talk to your doctor, and keep icing it down to keep the inflamation down. Best of wishes and keep us posted on what the doc has to say
  • wouldn't my back be spasming???

    Currently back feels fine. My thigh and shin ache. Hmmm.....
  • I cant say whether or not the lack of spasm in your back means nothing happened in your back and of course I hope its not! I have had similar and the leg cramping has been somewhere between a dull ache to a sharper ache like a shin splint. Mine has been more of the direct result of muscle cramping, and knotting than anything coming from my back. Your surgeon and physical therapists should have better answers and will pray it was just one of those things that happens after surgery thats temporary and non back related

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  • It seems to me, more and more, that it was my hip rather than my back. (fingers crossed) since my lower lumbar feels okay and I don't have any new numbness or tingling from that episode. I'm glad you can empathize with me and confirm my theory a little bit. Ultimately an MRI will be taken and rule out anything else. I'll do anything to avoid that shooting pain again!!! I'll have to try getting in/out of my car a bit differently now.

    I'm scared of my car! How hilarious/rediculious is that!
  • I hope you are right. I'm awful worried though because I am 7 weeks post-op and NOW I get that horrid shooting pain? I'm hoping for the best but in the back of my mind I am preparing for the worst. Ugh!
  • Whenever I was reading your first post my mind started wandering to thoughts of my own experiences-to see if I could help you with yours-and though I've never had spinal surgery I actually did start thinking tendon,and muscle..but mostly tendon--before I read you mention your hamstring.

    You mentioned how tight your hamstring is and that you can't bend beyond a 30* angle-this is in PT.Now THIS is something I have a lot of experience in..wow.I think that you should contact your surgeon of course because of your surgery and all that that implies,but if this were your hamstring it would more than likely be pretty unbearable if it were torn or pulled.Those are just so painful...but still,tendon did pop into my head when first reading your post.Not that that means anything other than now I'm really curious as to what it is exactly that caused this.

    I'm sorry about going on & on here--I just get curious sometimes when I read these sypmtoms.You know-my tendons & muscles are really tight too and I have a lot of issues there.You say that you cannot excercise,but do they have a hot tub or whirlpool at your PT? Whenever I went,the ROM excercises I did in the warm water were great.I can do some for up to 10 minutes after a hot shower too,but then my muscles start to cool down and tighten up..it's like I'm made of cement then..lol.

    I hope everythings ok.
  • He is a colleague of my surgeon who did my surgery. Why aren't you seeing him, you ask? He's out of the office/town until Monday when I had my scheduled appointment. Of course he is,...LOL! Anyway I have to get the ball rolling for an MRI based upon how I am feeling today (calf/shin squeezing, burning pain and heavy slow feeling in my left foot). I have not felt that bad even before my surgery. I hate to think that I did something to ruin the "shaved disks". I can't imagine that it could be anything else at this point and I need to get some medical care and some answers. :(

    Thanks for listening...
  • Is this heaviness in your foot-is this new since you injured yourself? If so it really does sound like..well I should really hush up,I'm no Dr-lol,but what lifts your foot,muscles & tendons right? I mean-it could be.I know the popping I have is a tendon rubbing across my bone-and whenever that happens it's pretty painful.Today I'm having the heaviness and pain in my left arm/shoulder because I have these issues with it frequently.I need surgery on it I imagine in time,but I'm in no hurry.

    Anyway-I hope that this isn't serious & that you keep us posted.Be careful and be safe.
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