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Sciatica back, after L5S1 fusion surgery???

cookiechrisccookiechris Posts: 3
Hi Everyone
I suffered a slipped disc playing basketball 7 years ago, and after chiropractic care and some acupuncture it got better.

Then I suffered by re-injuring it about a year ago, and in the last 6 months have 'tweaked' my back several times.

Long story short, I had my L5 S1 spine fusion surgery 4 days ago. I was told by my surgeon that it was a success, and have been recovering well in hospital. However, last night I started to have sciatic pain in my right leg (the reason why I opted for surgery in the first place). It was in my butt and my lower leg (calf). I was score it at around 3 on a scale of 1-10. I comforted it a warm compress.

This morning I was up and about and went to the bathroom without any problems. I then walked around a little, and when I got back into bed, the pain came back in the right leg. This time a score of around 5. I asked for a pain killer and got one. Then I asked for a visit from my surgeon. He came to see me an hour or so later.

After discussing things a little, he said it might be required that we 're-open you and explore what might be causing the pain'. My worst nightmare. The idea of going through all of this again is brutal. I simply broke down and cried with my wife, who has stood by me all the way.

Do I really need to do this second operation? Or can I get over this myself with a good diet (I'm not overweight), exercise program and a strong mindset?
I initial thought I'd have to do it. But, since reading the posts in this forum it seems like there are other options.

Can someone, anyone, give me any advice? I'm seeing my surgeon again tomorrow and want to come across as being well informed.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
PS. As I write this, I have been sitting with virtually n pain at all for around 30mins.


  • so sorry you are having concerns.
    we are not experts of course but i would ask to do a mri with and without contrast, before any sort of more surgery this early. it also could be from swelling. the mri will tell them if the nerve is still pinched(leg) and if there are hardware screws and rods hitting something.

    if the mri comes back ok then most docs say give it time with a nerve pain med. some stay sometimes it goes away. everyone i have read always has some thing or another that is different.

    the fact you can sit so long may be a good sign that it's not permanent, that said it's still very frustrating i know.
    i hope it helped a little,
    take care
  • I wouldn't go for another surgery after just 4 days to recover...I would question why this surgeon doesn't recommend more time to heal. I had minimally invasive surgery 5 weeks ago to repair an injury similar to yours. I have the same type of pain you do (butt and lower leg) but I am hopeful it will diminish over time.
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    Two weeks post surgery and at home for the last week, continuing with recover.

    I did NOT go back into the operating room.

    My pain comes and goes, all below the knee on my right leg. Today its been pretty bad, but yesterday not so bad...

    Starting PT tomorrow, and I am hoping that getting active again is going to help things out. Based on what I've read here - it certainly seems like physical activity is going to help.

    Anyone tried acupuncture for sciatica pain...? Curious to know the results...

    Thanks for the support.

  • I had L5 S1 fused in 2009 and the pain in my lower back all the way down my right leg, on the outside, to my foot has only got worst. I tried acupuncture and it worked for a few days. I only did it one time, since my insurance will not pay for it. I don't know if it would help if you took more treatemnts. I will be going to a Pain management clinic this Friday. I hope they can help.
    Good Luck on finding help. Like a few other ones said, it is still early in your recovery, so hopefully it will get better.
  • Saw my pain mgt doctor yesterday, and he recommended I see the surgeon sooner rather than a month from now. Appt. is in 2 days. I got the impression that he thinks my lack of progress may indicate a problem, but he didn't want to speculate. We'll see what happens Thursday. The PM doc did give me some samples of Cymbalta which he thinks may help with pain and my mood.
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  • i having the same issues after tlif. hows everyone now
  • How painful is it to have a Nerve Block to stop pain at L5-S1, A pinched nerve. I am in much pain, but scared to have the injection. It will also have to be repeated ever so often, correct?

    I have been going to a Pain Center for 12 years for this and other issues as well.
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