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post Op Spinal Fusion - leg & foot numbness

I have previously posted about my L4 L5 spinal fusion & cage insertion as I was concerned immediately post operatively. I am now 6 weeks on and the symptoms remain unchanged! I did not have any leg or foot pain pre-op so my surgeon requested that I had a post op MRI & CT and have had the CT results which were normal and am seeing the Consultant on Tuesday at which point I am hoping he will give me the MRI results.
I am pretty sure that I have nere damage from the surgery and clearly at this point do not know if it is permanent or not. Although the symptoms, numbness from bum to toes of right leg, have got no better in 6 weeks. My concerns are that my employer will not allow me back to work and that I can't drive! I am British and work for the NHS in healthcare and live 50km from my work and can only get their by driving. I know that no one can tell me at this point if it is likely to be permanent but I wonder if anyone has a similar story, regardless of the outcome.
Thanks all!!!
Jackie
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134

Comments

  • Could be nerve irritation. When we have a back surgery the nerves have to be moved in order to get to the damaged disc. This can make the nerves a little cranky. It could take several months for the nerves to heal from this. My left leg was greatly affected before my fusions and I cannot feel my left foot at all. I have had a two level fusion and I am having another level added to it next month. My right leg is totally numb and I have severe nerve pain.

    Jennifer
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Jennifer
    That sounds so awful!!! How do you cope? I can't seem to get my head around the possibility of being like this short term let alone permanently. My fusion followed a discetomy last Feb that I managed to get 3 months relief from. I couldn't bare the thought of more surgery it would frighten me too much. It is just so awful being worse now than I was before.
    I wish you all the best for next month
    Jacks
    Jackie
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  • Hello, Jacks,
    You remind me when I had Carpal Tunnel surgery on both of my wrists, my fingers were numb for about 3 months, and could not go back to work for 3 months because of the weight limit, I was told that nerves take a long time to heal. The extensive surgery that you had may just take some more time to heal. Also am into 4 weeks now of extensive surgery on my neck 2nd time again, hang in there, and keep me posted.

  • Jacks: hi.

    Discus your concerns re driving and nerve damage, numbness with the surgeon. As RTgirl said, numbness and tingling is common and can take awhile to slowly improve. Nerves are normally quite resilient, thank goodness.

    Take care.
  • jacks said:
    I have previously posted about my L4 L5 spinal fusion & cage insertion as I was concerned immediately post operatively. I am now 6 weeks on and the symptoms remain unchanged! I did not have any leg or foot pain pre-op so my surgeon requested that I had a post op MRI & CT and have had the CT results which were normal and am seeing the Consultant on Tuesday at which point I am hoping he will give me the MRI results.
    I am pretty sure that I have nere damage from the surgery and clearly at this point do not know if it is permanent or not. Although the symptoms, numbness from bum to toes of right leg, have got no better in 6 weeks. My concerns are that my employer will not allow me back to work and that I can't drive! I am British and work for the NHS in healthcare and live 50km from my work and can only get their by driving. I know that no one can tell me at this point if it is likely to be permanent but I wonder if anyone has a similar story, regardless of the outcome.
    Thanks all!!!
    I had the same surgery back in Sept. 2008. Unfortunately for me, the symptoms got worse. I now have severe sciatica leg pain and numbness all the time. Very difficult to walk. Wished I'd never had major back surgery now. They tell me it's post laminectomy syndrome, whick is another name for failed back surgery. Don't think they got the diagnosis right to begin with. I feel your pain brother, and hope you're getting better. It can take up to a year after surgery, for symptoms to abate.
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  • jacksjjacks Posts: 24
    edited 01/14/2013 - 8:31 AM
    God that is awful since 2008! You are going through what I fear the most & that is that these symptoms are permanent. Roll on tomorrow where I may get some news
    Jackie
  • Hi,

    I've had numbness in my right foot (whole foot apart from my big toe) and patches in my right leg since suffering cauda equina in 2005. It has taken some getting used to, and I do drive myself a little mad touching my leg or toes to try and see if I can feel it!!

    I had spinal fusion surgery 4 weeks ago and woke up with further numbness in my groin, I was very concerned so thryvdid a CT which revealed nothing.

    Basically what I am saying is don't panic - anything can change and even if it doesn't you CAN learn to cope

    Best of luck
    Keewee
    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
  • I have seen the Consultant and he has said that it should get better but I have to be patient. There is some evidence of swelling around S1 nerve root but they cant give anti inflammatories because of the bone graft. I have been told to cut back on walking sitting in car etc in order to give the nerve root a chance to settle. SO I will be relying on my husband to do everything in the house and I will do as I am told.
    Jackie
  • hurtingandpainhhurtingandpain Posts: 3
    edited 01/18/2013 - 10:54 AM
    I
  • 6 days ago I had L4-5 fusion and laminectomy. Starting on day one I am having Numbness & Tinkling on both feet. If this stays I will way worse off having had the surgery. Have any of you that gave a similar report in 2013 have an update I would love to hear it.
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