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post Op Spinal Fusion - leg & foot numbness



  • Thank you YourAttention. I was told that acupuncture would help. I will see if I can find a reputable one in town. When you say doesn't use smoke, what do you mean? Did you ever get the sensation back in your left leg or do you have per enact nerve damage?
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • My husband is a LEO , so I know all about those gun belt weights........
    Nerves can recover if they are peripheral nerves ( those exitiing between the levels of the vertebra if they are compressed. It can take some weeks or even months, depending on the extent of the compression and how long it is left before relieving it.
    Don't be surprised though if once surgery is done , that the nerve pain flares up post op for a while.
    It happens more often than not. The good news is that it usually disappears as well and you will notice that it changes over the days and weeks post op......this is a good sign meaning that the nerve is firing, and gradually will improve as time goes on.
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  • Did your husband have to have surgery to get the compression off the nerves? Is there any way that you have heard of that can do it without surgery? I am just so tired of getting cut on. And this, I am fused, so does my surgeon have to undo the fusion and take all the screws out fix the disc compression then put everything back in? That's what I am scared about. Then putting that belt on again to only have it cause more problems. I never thought this would happen like this. That's why I got fused I thought this was going to fix the problem and take that disc completely off my nerve, I guess I was wrong.
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • When the nerve is compromised, the only way to relieve the compression is to remove it- ie surgery. Injections, physical therapy, TENS, and even medications only serve to mask the pain but do nothing to relieve it. If the compression is left too long, you can wind up with permanent damage and you don't want that.
    The idea of spine surgery is scary, and it should be......it is no picnic and the recovery is long and difficult. But if you follow the instructions post op, and work at rehab when the time comes, most people wind up wishing that they had done the surgery sooner, and are out living their lives.
    I know that the idea of reherniation is not what we hope will happen but when a disc is already weakened, we need to baby it a bit and protect it.
    Hang in there Shewolf, I know this isn't easy.
  • Ok, had my appointment with my surgeon today and I am more confused and frustrated than I was when I went in there! He comes in and says what's going on as if I was there for a visit. I tell him everything I have been experiencing and that the MRI was ordered by my pain doc and said the disc is herniated again and how is that possible. He says no it's not, and goes on explaining which he could have been speaking Greek as far as I am concerned. Have no idea what he said and was feeling like he was blowing smoke up my but. I said then whet is pushing on my nerve and causing my to not feel my left leg and the pain. Again the foreign language speech. I told him I don't understand the MRI said this. He was so fast to say we are going to order a nerve test and was ushering me out of the room as fast as he could. And was pushing me off to the girl that was going to order the test. I am feeling like he is blowing this off and he either didn't even bother to read and view the MRI report or he if realizing he screwed something up and is trying to back out of it. I don't know. All I know is the numbness is getting worse and the Charlie horses in my calf and the lower area by my ankles are intense. The muscle sparks in my legs are constant. I will be sitting on couch with legs proped up and you can visually see the spasm in my leg. The muscles jumping and they don't stop. Nerve test is on the 12th what's the point I already know their is a nerve impingement. Smh
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
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  • That all sounds horrible. Some drs have no idea about how to speak to patients. Does he send a report of your visit to your local dr or your pain dr?
    My surgeon always sends my local dr a letter & it's usually written in a way we can all understand. I always ask for a copy to keep with my other medical reports/records.
    That said after my second microdiscectomy a radiologist stated I had a reherniation & the surgeon said it hadn't & that it was scar tissue & would settle (turns out it was a herniation & I've since had a fusion!)
    If you see him again after the nerve test take someone with you. That way you've got an extra set of ears.
    I hope you get some answers soon,
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • If you find that you can not communicate with this surgeon, and he does not take the time to explain your findings to you in laymen's terms you can understand, then it might be time to find another surgeon.
    Any surgeon who rushes a patient, pre op or post op through a visit, and doesn't take the time to address the patient's concerns, and symptoms shouldn't be doing what he is doing.
    Did he put the images up and explain them to you? It's obvious he did not explain them so that you could understand them.........
    I might consider finding a new surgeon to consult with, and see what he says to you.
  • You are right Sandi, that's what I am going to do. There is suppose to be a really good surgeon coming to this area in October so I am going to go and talk to him. I am going to do this nerve test then I want my doctor to order a CT scan in the mean time and get a really good look at this area so there is do question. Then I want him to try an explain why everything says there is a disc protrusion and he says there is not. That's another reason I want a CT scan also. If am MRI say it and a CT scan says it then it is. I pray that is is not a botched surgery. There has to be a reason why this happened. I personally think the gun belt is doing it.
    Laminectomy & Discectomy L4 L5 & S1 in 2004.
    Spinal Fusion L5-S1 2012
    Re-herniation of L5-S1 & L4-L5 2014
  • Hi Shewolf16,

    I just joined this group because I too am looking for answers. Here is my history: My herniated disk in L4- L5 happened when we were hiking in the fall of 2012 and after one steroid injection that I reacted to very badly and he hit spinal fluid, so it leaked which gave me a horrific headache for over a week! Tried disk decompression, then re-injured doing P90X3, tried disk decompression again, made it worse so my only alternative was surgery.

    I had a double disk fusion on my neck with a plate and had great success with it in Feb. 2013, so I assumed my L4-L5 would have equally great success. I was wrong and had to use a surgeon I didn't know, I have an insurance that is very limited on who I could use and he was the only one in my area. My other surgeon was brilliant, but I had a different insurance at the time so I was not able to go to him again and have it covered by insurance.

    So went to this other surgeon at a Orthopedic office that was more profit oriented, than customer service oriented. I researched him and he seemed to be pretty good, and my sciatic on my left leg was getting worse and more frequent so I was desperate. First of all when I woke up from surgery I was in the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life! They couldn't get my pain under control the whole time in the hospital. But immediately after surgery the sciatic seemed to have calmed down. That was the first thing he asked at my first visit. Then it came back, he assured me it was normal and the pain in the surgical area was still pretty bad. The pins still hurt and I keep telling him that, but he insists its my muscles! I know the difference between muscle pain and sharp pains from the pins! But what really concerns me is my sciatic down my left leg keeps getting worse for numbness and pain. And I get leg spasms and severe cramps again too! The kind that wakes you from a dead sleep and you have to jump out of bed to make it go away!

    I feel like I am worse off after surgery and I also feel like he is telling me what I want to hear. I asked him on my 3 month visit if the bone was starting to fuse yet and he said no, but that will take awhile. I felt like he was just appeasing me, because my double disk fusion in my neck started fusing within 1 month, so what the heck?! He just kept saying oh good the pins still look good, and I am thinking who cares about the pins, did the fusion work? Am I going to have to go thru this again? The thought of another surgery there scares me! its getting harder to walk on that leg too.
    Judith A Orr
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,764


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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