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post Op Spinal Fusion - leg & foot numbness

24

Comments

  • Hi all, I had a laminectomy and discectomy L4-S1 in 2004. Then in 2012 had to have L5 and S1 fused due to the disc disintegrating. I had slight numbness in my left leg prior to fusion. After the fusion I started to get intense crazy Charlie horses in my left cafe and then had a massive sciatic attack to the point that I thought the hardware in my back broke free. This all happened two months after surgery. Since then I have had increased numbness in left leg into my left foot affecting the little toe and the toe next to it. I will also experience numbness spread into my upper thigh and groin area after standing or sitting for long periods. Also get the sensation that I spilled a glass of ice water down my leg. I have gotten injections in the pariphormis muscle and trigger point injections to get it to calm down. I stretch my leg muscles to cut down on the cramping, but the loss of sensation in my leg seems to be getting worse. I am being told by doc that the nerves were damaged and most likely it will not improve.
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • 7 weeks ago I developed bad back for few days them went worse on the 4th day was in my buttock keg and foot,, within few hours I had no feeling in foot I went hospital was told looked like I had a slipped disc and would sort mri out,,, waited a week had to ring they referred me to a spine doc my appointment wasn't till 6 weeks after my visit to hospital so I rang and said I needed to be seen sooner so git me seen 2 weeks after the visit was sent fir an mri,,, only got results 10 days ago has I got referred to a spinal surgeon at a different hospital,,,and was told there and then that my foot was now paralysed and can't do anything for it has it was left to long,, if I had an mri that day on my first visit to hospital it could have been saved,, so now he has decided I need a microdiscectomy next month just to relieve pain in leg,, and will have to use a splint for my foot has he said there is no chance of recovery,,,, I'm so annoyed at my local hospital I've had to do the chasing up over mri then to change dates to bring forward also my referral was lost so another week wasted u guessed it I rang them to see why I hadn't heard anything but they hadn't got it so had to wait till they got it after sending it again,,, I'm hoping they are wrong but he said he was 100 % certain it's paralysed I'm just glad I can still stand on it,, so now I have a drop foot they can't do anything for,,,
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  • Very sorry to hear that Debbied67. I just got the results from my MRI from August 26th and it was not good. My disc reherniated and is pushing on my S1 nerve root, which explains why the numbness is getting worse. After hearing your story I am afraid for my leg and foot. I had the fusion to fix this issue and now in 14 months I am back to where I was. I don't understand how I can get a fusion and the disc that was the big problem is now squishing out again. I thought my surgeon removed the disc completely when he fused it, I guess I was wrong. Now I guess I have to look forward to back surgery #3. I really don't understand the way doctors think. If he would of just removed the darn thing I wouldn't be dealing with this again. What was the point in the fusion then!
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • Hi shewolf16,, sorry to hear that you have re herniated esp when you thought the disc had been removed,,, what are they going to do about it, have you got a drop foot like me, I can still walk on it but it flops about so have to lift my leg high enough so I won't trip it's numb on top also big toe and next toe and underneath foot abit is numb,,and my leg on the outside my foot feels like there's something wrapped round it really tight constantly,,,,I'm having a microdiscectomy on Friday I'm sooooo nervous my first operation,,,they say if they operate early enough there better chance of recovery but mines been nearly 2 month now,,,, I'm hoping he's wrong and I get feeling back in my foot when I have the surgery,, but he did say that won't be the case,,, but I have to try and see,,,,
  • Thank you for your concern Debbie. No major drop foot thank goodness, but there is slight. Most of my numbness is in my calf, shin, top and bottom of foot in the pinkie toe and toe next to pinkie. The numbness has progressively gotten worse and that's what got me concerned, because I knew the fusion fixed it and how could I be going numb and getting worse if the impingement was removed? Plus the Charlie horses in the calfs started getting bad again. MRI said it all. What is a micro discectomy? I have heard people refer to it. Is that like a discectomy? What's the difference in the two? In 2004 I had the laminectomy and discectomy on L5, L4 and S1. Then in 2012 my disc herniated so bad he had to do the fusion. I was told that once you have a discectomy on a disc you can't get another that it has to be a fusion, have you heard that. That was the reason why he fused me he couldn't cut the part of the disc out again that was pressing on nerve, which already caused nerve damage. But with this pushing now I am afraid of paralysis. What is your recovery time after your surgery on Friday? Is it done with a large incision. I have about a five inch scar now, I don't want yo think about him cutting on me again. My fusion recovery was brutal. I hope you get sensation back in your foot. Keep me posted. It's nice to talk to someone.
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
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  • I've read a microdiscectomy is just like a discectomy but with micro uses microscopic equipment,, so less of a scar ang you recover quicker,, both either remove the whole disc if part if it depending what the surgeon says,, he told me he was removing it all but would they not have to replace it with an artificial one,, I'm going to have to ask him that, I've read in this site that people have had more than one microdiscetomy,,, I've been off work 2 months already due to my foot drop has well and just git another sick nite today for another 2 months to cover sugery and recovery,,,, but I have to have strong neurorehabiliation in future with my foot not sure when that's gonna start,,, hope my work is going to be ok I work for the nhs so hopefully they be ok,,,,they say my recovery time is 6-8 weeks,,, but then have to sirt my foot out then unless they start in between my recovery time,,,,what are they going todo with you have they said,,,
  • the same procedure, except that one is done with an open surgery, and the other through a smaller incision ( hence the term micro- using tiny instruments).
    In both procedures, they remove a portion of the disc, not the entire disc. They simply remove the part of the disc that has herniated. They do NOT remove the entire disc.
  • Thanks for that sandi,,, was told by the surgeon he was removing the disc,, but obviously not,, but will find out on my pre op tomorrow ,,,,
  • Thanks for the info Debbie and Sandit. Debbie, I have been in a battle with my work comp over this. They keep trying to get out of the responsibility of my back by using preexisting condition. I have a lawyer involved. I am back at work full duty. I am just being very careful. I am a Deputy so I think the gun belt is the culprit this time. Have to see what my doc says, I think he will agree that the 26lb gun belt caused this re-herniation. If he foes I will put the claim in to W/C and see what happens, might turn into another legal battle. My concern is that my doc will say this is too much on my back and medically retire me. Been doing this 16+ years and this is all I know how to do or ever want to do. I love my job. :(
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • Prior to my multiple fusion and multi Laminectomy procedures on August 1, I used crutches for five months because of horrendous leg pain, weakness, numbness in my left foot, and a "drop" right foot. During these five months while waiting for surgery I sought acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation to get me ready for surgery. The acupuncture got feeling back in my feet, slowing the progression of numbness. The acupuncture needles also got me ready for all the poking pre and post-op. Be sure to seek out an experienced acupuncturist who does not use smoke.
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