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L4 L5 Fusion

16 months ago I had a L4 L5 Fusion. The pain in my left leg has deminished quit a bit, but I still have numbness tingling and some burning in left leg down to knee. Other symptoms arising is, the bottoms of my feet are killing me. Has anybody got any clues if this is related to lower back problems?


  • Hi Comfortman. Welcome here.

    As you know, the nerve is often disturbed during this major surgery.

    I too have numbness and pain in the sole of the left foot at 9 mths. Surgeons often quote that the nerve regrows at 1 mm per day approx. So it can take quite some time to grow from the spine to the foot. Also, that it may take up to 2 years to regrow.

    Hope yours does by then, and mine too!

    The burning and tingling is regeneration or healing pain. I have been told this by many in the medical field, so I hope this is true.

    Good luck.
  • Messing with the nerves in your back can really affect the nerves in your legs and feet. I awoke from surgery thinking that my foot was jammed up against the bed rail, as my foot felt as though it was asleep. Well, long story short, there was no bed rail and the foot is still mostly numb on the outside. I fell in a divot at the dog park a few weeks ago, nearly three years after my back surgery, and knew something was wrong when I could actually feel pain on the outside of my foot. I had it x-rayed, no bones broken, but there is enough soft tissue damage to cause swelling and a whole new set of sensations (mostly very unpleasant) in my foot.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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  • nellymossernnellymosser Posts: 10
    edited 11/02/2012 - 8:47 PM
    Hi all, I agree it sucks, after plif surgery in September I've had the same trouble with my right foot, it has been numb and the surgery left me with foot drop, it was numb from knee to tip of toes burin pleased to say the numbness has recovered slightly and it's just my right foot now, it takes a lot of getting used to doesn't it?
  • WonderboytwiceWWonderboytwice Posts: 149
    edited 11/03/2012 - 11:36 AM
    I am sorry to say that I had the above surgery in December 2008 and still have numbness in my feet also I get pain in my left knee which was replaced in 2006. I find it difficult walking as my toes are numb so now I walk with 2 sticks for safety. Have had numerous Caudal Epidurals to lumbar region but they never helped get rid of the numbness although for a few weeks they did relieve the pain I have been getting from scar tissue. I live in UK so all my treatment is free under the NHS! I have had both knees replaced also ACDF C2/3/4 and Posterior CDF C5/6/7 plus plating of facet joints.
  • Hi wonderboy

    I to live in the uk and had my surgery on the nhs. I wear a splint on my right foot, this stops me from falling over my foot when I walk, this last week as I have been getting out of bed or up from the sofa I have been having what I think is muscle spasms in my back, I'm now frightened to walk anywhere in case I have a spasm and it makes me fall, have you had anything like this?
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  • I am sorry to hear you are still having difficulties pos-op. I had my first fusion/fixation at L4-L5 in August 2008. I awoke with the entire outside of my left thigh numb. I was told this "should" improve over time. Long story short, it's November 2012 and numbness is still present. Mostly in one spot about 8" at the middle of my thigh; that weird numbness that makes it feel really odd and uncomfortable if touched. I should add that I've had a second surgery at level L5-S1 with a frontal approach in Feb 2010 and I am still in terrible pain with numbness down to my foot now. I truly hope you do not follow in my path. I am still on 50mcg Fentanyl patch, Norco, Soma, Cymbalta for my pain and it helps some as long as I don't overdo it. I tell you this because I have spent the last few years feeling sorry for myself and wondering when I will feel better, when can I get off these meds, will I need more surgeries? I finally saw a pain psychologist who told me what none of my other doctors would; "you will never be pain free". It was a shock at first but once I accepted this I no longer feel sorry for myself. I have decided that if things aren't going to change, I will make the best of what I have and learn my limits and live the best life I can with what I've got. Hopefully you will end up pain free, but in the meantime, don't waste time like I did. Live with what you have and do what you can as best you can.
  • I liked, 'if its not going to change', "live with what you have and do the best we can".

    Glad you are able to help us with the experience you had.
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