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Positive Straight Leg Raise Test after surgery ???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Can anyone say what this could mean? (Just your ideas, I won't take it as medical advice!)

I had my 7 week follow up on Monday, and the surgeon did the straight leg test on me, and the left leg got a zap of sciatica down to my calf. He didn't comment. Now I am wondering if it meant anything. It sounds like it could mean that there is compression on the nerve again. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks, I have been getting increasing leg symptoms again. Not as bad as before surgery, but they are definately familiar sensations. I have also been getting the same muscle twitching and cramps in my toes, top of my foot and even under my foot last night.

I hope that this is all normal and not a sign that I have scar tissue growing!!

My next appointment with the surgeon is in a month's time.


  • I am sortry I have no answers and I never do as I only know things from my own experiences, but I just wanted to wish you well and pray for you that it is not the return of sciatic symptoms, you have been through enough!

    Take care and good luck,
  • sorry to hear about your new pains, Are you taking any muscle relaxers, ill take a wag at maybe muscle spasms. just something to consider. my best to you.
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  • At the beginning of my PT sessions, my PT will have me lay on my back and one at a time raise my leg up, I generally can raise it about 70 degrees. Often it will produce pain in my lower back and thigh. She also look at the aleignment of my pelvis by finding my hip bones. I am often out of aleignment. She does her magic, reassessed, and I can then raise my leg higher and with much less/or no pain.

    I know that your hamstrings could and probably are (just my assumption) tight, which will produce pain with a straight leg raise.

    My PT mentioned that later if my hamstrings are still tight we will work on that (but I'm not ready for that yet).

    I know you haven't started PT yet, but try not to give this too much of your energy. When you meet your therapist, I would definately talk to her/him about spinal skeletal aleignment and SI joint function/disfuntion. If you don't have a good match , (in terms of your needs), to the therapist assigned, be sure to ask for another.

    These are just my ideas and I thought I'd share in hopes to give you a place to start! Wishing you the best! xxxxx

  • I will talk to the physio about my various symptoms and we'll see what she suggests.

    This is certainly an interesting ride #:S
    It takes a lot of my attention. I wish I could just get on with the recovery without so many distractions!

    I can do this!! :-)
  • during the times I have been out of aleignment I get significant increases in pain, which mimics presurgery pain. Often with the zings of nerve pain. I've gotten to the point I can tell (based on pain)that I am out of aleignment, but can't realign myself...

    The good thing with therapy starting, you can now begin to strengthen your trunk/core muscles, which will really help!

    Just FYI, it may take a few sessions for your therapist to fully answer your questions as she gets to know you and your functional abilities!

    You may need/want to take something for spasms and pain once your therapy starts as they will be "waking Up" lots of muscles that haven't been activated lately. Mine were definately hibernating, but I've started doing crunches for abs/obliques and working on my quads! :-)
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  • jelly just a wag but maybe you are trying to do too much with cleaning at home and you woke some muscles up and they are mad at you. go back to a few weeks ago and relax a little more and hopefully that helps muscles might be stretching out and pressing on nerves, just a wag.(wild a** quess) my best.
  • Hi Jelly,
    I have had similar pains to you. I definately have pain with straight leg raises in PT. My PT told me my tight hamstrings are to blame..and also that if I have back pain during PT it is because my core abd. muscles are not strong enough. My PT is very good at watching my posture during exercises and once he corrects me the pain is gone. I think I have always had bad posture so it is hard to change that.
    I have been having on and off nerve pain..in my rt hip and leg then it goes away. My left leg too, but that one has always been worse.
    I just got done cleaning the kitchen..emptying dishwasher...rinsing and reloading...even though I was squatting instead of bending my back hurts like heck right now...
    Frustrating to only get 1 chore done and be done for the day...arggggg...lol
    Like I have told you before my friend you are not alone in this..we are going through the same thing...
    Every once in a while if I try and walk too much I start getting numb toes..all kinds of different nerve stuff going on during this recovery.

  • Blazer, as I have been doing more lately, and that is when these symptoms started to increase.
    My husband thinks it is because I am doing more too.
    I should listen to him!!! Lol!

  • That's reassuring Shari, that you also get these zings of nerve pain.
    I am really looking forward to seeing the physio now. I hope I don't change my mind about that! :O

    I'll make sure that I have pain killers in the house, but I don't have any muscle relaxers.

  • Sounds like I am only experiencing what lots before me have experienced. I'm in very good company.

    I find when I get pain from doing too much, if I stop and go and lie down, it generally goes away but if I try to keep going, then the pain tends to last for the rest of the day.
    There is a good lesson there!
    Prize for the first one to spot it! =D>
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