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Permanent nerve damage....

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:39 AM in Spinal Stenosis
As I posted some time ago, my NS said that I had waited too long to have lumbar decompression surgery and subsequently,
my nerve damage was permanent. He told me this when my symptoms (leg pain, weakness, mobility issues) had not improved 4 1/2 months after surgery.

It is now 7 1/2 months post-surgery and the situation is the same. What are the implications of permanent nerve damage? Some days the pain seems worse than ever and I don't even know if continuing with gabapentin will be of any help.

Another question: I have great difficulty getting up from chairs and climbing steps (I can't go up even one step without a railing and the use of a cane). I've had 4 emg's, a muscle biopsy, and many consults. Can this be a symptom of spinal stenosis?

Meanwhile, I have been searching for 5 weeks for a no-steps condo so I can manage with a rollator. True no-steps condos are quite scarce, it turns out.

Thank you.


  • What were your symptoms before surgery? And how long did you wait?

    I can't offer advice but I have heard that nerve damage can heal up to a year or even 18 months after surgery.

    Waiting too long, and getting permanent nerve damage is something I worry about.

    I do hope that you do get improvement and healing to your nerves.
  • I had anterior cervical fusion with instrumentation at c-5, c-6 and c-7 on Oct. 20.

    Before surgery my symptoms were weakness and uncoordination of both legs with the left slightly worse than the right. I also had shocky feelings throughout my body when i moved my head quickly or when i coughed or sneezed. I didn't have any pre-op pain, and that is probably why it took so long for them to diagnose my neck problem. They did a cervical MRI and I was immediately referred a surgeon who wanted to do surgery on me right away due to spinal cord compression, but it took weeks for my insurance to authorize it.

    Although my surgeon says I am healing well from the surgery my legs seem to be worse and I have numbness in my back and butt. He says I waited too long to have the surgery, that frustrates me to no end because it wasn't my delay, it was misdiagnosis and bureaucracy. My primary doc has sent me to a neurologist and he ordered MRI's of my lumbar and thoracic spine as well. I had those scans done yesterday and I will know more tomorrow.

    I don't know if the weakness in my legs is due to some other undiagnosed problem or because of the damage already done in my neck. All sorts of ugly thoughts have run through my head. I have all the new MRI films sitting in my living room and keep arguing with myself about whether or not to look at them.

    Trying to be patient...
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  • I have sciatica in both legs from my lower back, through my buttocks, down my legs into my toes. I get a very painful stabbing type pain in my second toe on my right foot and tingling and pins and needles in my big toe and arch and also pain on the top of my foot in my right foot. I have always assumed that was due to the problems in my lower back.
    I haven't had an MRI of my neck, but do wonder what is going on there as I get slight pins and needles in both hands (especially left), burning in my right wrist and slightly up that arm, and aching in both arms. I also get pain in my neck and right shoulder and pain in my chest on the left side when I do some exercises.
    I am waiting for a hospital appointment, when I was going to ask about these symptoms, but have found out that I have to wait until March next year for the appointment (UK NHS!)
    Perhaps I should go and talk to my doctor.

    Your story makes me think that I should get medical advice and not wait too long.

    Do let us know how you get on tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you.
  • Thanks jellyhall for writing. Seems to me they should check you cervical area with all the issues you have in the rest of your spine. Don't wait for a hospital appointment if you can see your doctor sooner.

    I was surprised they didn't check my lumbar and thoracic before this just based on the DDD, bore spurs and stenosis they found in my neck, but hey, what do I know?

    I'll let you know what my neuro says tomorrow.
  • It's been a long day.... with the Thanksgiving holiday everyone is backed up. I finally spoke to a woman in my neuro's office but all she said was "possible stenosis in the lumbar region" hmm. okay. that's most definitely better than "see the surgeon tomorrow" (hooray!) which is what happened with my neck, but she didn't have anything to say about the thoracic scan, "I'll ask and call you back". Still haven't heard.

    Am tired today and won't sit here long but wanted to check in.

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