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Foot pain returns w/a vengeance 5w post-op

tigger68ttigger68 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm about 5 weeks post-op, level L5-S1 TLIF. Prior to surgery I had been experiencing frequent and sometimes severe pain along with numbness and tingling in my left foot and side. I was told the pain was occurring because the nerve was severely pinged when my disc herniated and a large piece broke off and was lodged tightly up against that nerve. This was discovered during the laminectomy I had in 2009. The Dr. told me it could take some time for feeling to return and numbness to subside. After six months it was the same, but the Dr. was still optimistic. After 1 full year post-lam, there was still no change. At that time the Dr. said the nerve was permanently damaged and there wasn't anything that could be done to change that. He said the fusion may help with some of the pain as with that area fused, it would no longer be creating friction up against that damaged nerve.
After my TLIF I was hopeful and I was surprised there was little to no foot pain anymore.
About a week ago, the pain in my foot returned. It was not pleasant but it was not severe and could be managed with the pain meds. I shrugged it off and didn't think much of it.
Fast forward to this morning at 5am. I awoke with some discomfort as I was 4 hours overdue on pain meds. I laid back down and just as I was settling in, I got some of the most severe pain ever in that foot. I screamed into my pillow, the pain was horrific. It continues to hurt, but that's not the worst. As I try to rest, every few minutes this pain elevates through the ceiling in a brief but agonizing way. It is the kind of pain you think ER visit may be necessary. I had been winding down on my pain meds but with this I had to load up to the level when I left the hospital. 2 Percs & an OxyContin - 1 hour later, the pain spasms continue every few minutes, only a full hour later the pain has lessened just slightly.
Anyone else experience anything like this? It's the weekend and I don't know if I should wait until next week when I see the doc or try calling today. I was not able to stay in my bed, I was way too disruptive to my husband. The pain was so bad I sat on the edge of my bed crying and trying to catch my breath.
I don't understand this. I thought this foot pain thing was a thing of the past - boy was I wrong, just when you least expect it the pain returns. I hope this doesn't mean something is wrong with my fusion or the hardware, whatever. If anyone has any thoughts I'd like to hear them. Meantime I just had a mother of another spasm that sucked the breath out of me. I don't know what is happening to me. Thanks for listening.


  • I have had and still have foot pain. Mine is nerve damage that happened during surgery.
    Has your doctor recommended either Neurotin or Lyrica? Both of them are recognized for treating nerve pain. The OxyContin and Percocet help with pain all right but when it is nerve pain they don't do much for me except knock me out. I'm on Neurotin and it really helps settle the foot down for sleeping. It also helps with the shooting pains that go up the leg.
    If I position my foot in a certain way, I can bring on really great pain. Sometimes this happens when I am sleeping and I change positions. The pain wakes me up but once I quickly change position, it subsides. There are just some positions my foot just doesn't like.
  • I've had ongoing right-sided back/leg/foot pain for years. After trying loads of conservative treatments first I had my PLIF 2-level fusion in July 2010. On 22 December 2011 I had revision back surgery. I was waiting for all the pain, everywhere, to disappear. Unfortunately it hasn't, but that's another story.

    Since the revision surgery I have been advised to walk as much as possible to help me recover, but I've had awful left foot pain (it was always in the right before) and at night, both my feet hurt so much.

    On one of my MANY trips back/forth to my local GP I happened to tell him about his horrible foot pain. He took one look at my feet and immediately said "you've got a collapsed arch". Well I never saw that coming. He said it's probably been caused over the years by me walking with a different and protected 'gait' to counteract my back pain.

    I'm going to see a Biomechanical Podiatrist next week to see if there's anything simple that can be done because obviously I need to be able to walk.

    I just thought I'd mention this. I know it's very random and probably not related in any way to the pain you're experiencing, but I never thought for a moment that my foot pain could be mechanical - I always assumed it was associated with back and nerve pain. Oh well, you learn something new every day. When I think about it - if I'd bothered to look more closely I might have seen the protruding bone growth on my foot, it looks like a third ankle. It's horrid and looks deformed!

    I hope you can find out soon what exactly is causing your pain and get it all sorted out. Will you let us all know how you get on please?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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