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Left Foot Pain, post l5/s1 disc fusion

Hawk_DCHHawk_DC Posts: 1
My L5/S1 disc fusion was complete on Dec 11. Due to the disc being dead and calcified the nerve was placed under much stress during surgery and was left aggravated and inflamed. So post op I had some radiating pain down my left leg. It first travelled down through my hip, thigh and calf but now (some 4 weeks post op) a large majority of the pain is only in my left foot. That pain is a mixture of tingling, a little numbness but also a deep burning sensation (like the arch and toes have been burned) as well as the same area being overly sensitive to touch.

My doc is honestly at his 'whits' end. He thinks is the natural progression of the nerve, waking up. I'm taking 400 mg of Lyrica (up until yesterday I was taking 200). Has anyone experience anything like this and can speak to this?



  • I feel your pain. I had an L4/5 posterior fusion on 12/15 and 3 days after started getting the severe radiating pain from my hip to the toes. This especially flares up at night. The first 10 days were the worst with no sleep! My Doc says same thing that the nerve was suppressed for so long and now being freed up it doesn't know what to do, combined with inflammation from surgery/swelling. He prescribed gabapentin which has helped a bit with a few hours sleep. Yesterday he upped my dose to 300mg's twice a day and combined it with advil/motrin. slept 5 hours last night and hoping for more relief. Nervous damage was done during surgery but doc claims it will get better...can't give timeline though! pain moves up and down leg sometimes settling in foot!
  • HI,
    Sorry to hear about the nerve pain...hopefully it will go away,but nerves can take a loong time to heal especially if it was compressed. I get burning then numbness in my left thigh, and sometimes the foot, but the weirdest thing, is sometimes the toes spread out like a spasm and I can't move them...I look like a damn duck!!
    Then, if I move around, and massage my lower spine, it will subside. Had 20% damage on left side from 1st lumbar surgery in "94", so for me, it's here to stay, but I know what aggravates it and try not to sit too long, walk too far, or bend too much.It's a balancing act, for sure...
    Hope you feel better soon!
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  • Hi Hawk DC,Penguin,Frannie Page,

    Looks like a popular topic today,I to have same problem,I had L5/S1 decompression and fusion on 17th Nov 2011,I find my lower spine is better than before although I get twitching/tingling in the buttock and down my leg but my left leg has muscle spasms especially around the outside of my lower leg and ankle,it goes over the top of ankle and into my big toe,I have also had a pain under my foot like a dull ache that comes and goes,I can sympathise with Frannie my toes curl up towards the sky and I can't stop them,the strange thing is I have foot drop so have little use of my foot movement and can not move my toes at all unless i get cramps,wierd.

    I see my surgeon on 17th Jan so will speak to him then,I know the nerves were compressed badly as he had to remove bone to make more space for the nerves,so they will be trying to recover from constantly being squashed.I was given Baclofen for the spasms/cramps and it does help.

    wishing you all a speedy recovery

    Des :))) :-)))
  • Yep, I got it too though it is in the right side. Mine came about during surgery when the nerve was stressed big time. I have had subsequent surgeries for other problems and this right side nerve pain has continued. I have repeatedly been told that nerves take a long time to heal. The tingling really bothers me at night. I do take Neurotin which has stoppped the shooting pains up the leg. Walking is hard for the lower leg and foot just tighten up. It has gotten better over time and the pain radiating through my butt and thigh is almost gone. My doc just recommended a cortisone injection to help calm the nerve down for I recently had surgery to remove two screws and the S1 nerve was freed up so he is hopeful that maybe this will help. Keep moving. Good luck.
  • My L5/S1 disc fusion was complete on Feb 3rd 2014. Was optimistic after talking to surgeon and to other patients that had this surgery their pain went away instantly. Mine is the same if not worse then before going into surgery. My Dr. says it takes the nerve 1cm per day to heal its self. but from reading on here it doesn't sound to optimistic. Mine happened on a inversion table hanging upside down. 2 hrs later I was in the ER with so much pain. So post op now a large majority of the pain is only in my left foot. That pain is a mixture of tingling, a little numbness. I'm a very active man and was told that I could lose the use of my foot due to paralyses setting in?


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