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L2-S1 Fusion , foot drop, leg cramps, pain control HELP!!!

martyjommartyjo Posts: 64
edited 07/29/2013 - 5:24 PM in Lower Back Pain
I haven't been posting here for awhile. I had a L3-S1 fusion and hardware for spinal stenosis in 2008. Recovery from that was a nightmare. I continued to have a lot of back, hip, and leg pain. It took me over a year to completely Get around. I did PT but it hurt more afterwards so I stopped that. I used Norco 5/325 2 tablet every 6 hours and Skelaxin. I managed to get by every day but it was like a new set of pains and how to deal with that.

I fell in May 2012 and herniated L2-3. I was in a world of pain. Herniated l2-3 .So I had another surgery. This time a L2-3 fusion ( screws, plates..etc) and at the same time they removed the hardware from the previous surgery. My Morphine pump worked great and my hospital stay was great. My recovery was so much easier. I had a roller thingy with a seat for walks and to steady myself and got out a lot for walks. I never rid myself of pain by no stretch of the imagination. Norco 7.5/325 2-4 tablets a day now for two years plus the Skelaxin twice a day. My doctor says I will never have a "normal" back and will always deal with pain. I don't believe I am using a lot of pain medication but my family does and wants me off of it all.

. Has anyone used acupuncture for pain after back fusion surgery?

I thought I would give it a try. I have not gone yet because I wanted to use this forum to see if it helps.

I also want to ask anyone out there if they know of a good, cushioned walking shoe for women. I have pounding pain in my low back whenever I take my walks. With every step I feel it on both sides of the low back. My heels feel like they pound the ground.
On long walks I have throbbing pain afterwards so it's not really worth it.Plus, my right leg goes numb on the outer side and the foot is numb again. I would love to be somewhat free of the major back pain but how? Any help on other pain medications would be appreciated as well as pain reduction therapies.

Lastly I have right foot problems. The leg and foot feel asleep and I cannot point my toes down or pull the foot up. Plus I get massive leg cramps at night that are so painful they make the calf so sore the next day. I believe I have foot drop ? Not Seen my ortho doc yet. I am just waiting to see what happens. Has anyone had this problem? IF so, what did you do?
Well, it's a lot of questions. Maybe there are some out there who can help?


  • I PMed you about the shoes.... As far as foot drop you certain want to discuss that with the ortho. I suffered this after my surgeries last summer, had to do extensive PT and wear an AFO brace, but I did recover! Best of luck
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Hi, Everyone I haven't posted since last year. I had a laminectomy/spinal fusion L4 & L5 & S1, June 2013, as result I have foot drop with my left foot. I have been wearing AFO brace since July and using a tens machine, done physical therapy and had decompression surgery to release the entrapped nerve, I still have the foot drop the only thing I can do is slightly move the end of my big toe, I just recently was sent for another EMG by my neurosurgeon, the same Dr. did this one and the one August of 2013 and he said he see slight improvement where the nerves are no longer entrapped and they are transmitting but when they reach my muscles they are not communicating. So I go back to the neurosurgeon tomorrow to see what he wants to do possibly talking a tendon transfer surgery the Dr. who did my EMG said it is an option and it is only an option for so long, not sure if my dr will wait or not, I am walking everyday and still doing all my extra exercises given to me by PT and also tens machine it is so frustrating, anyone ever had a full recovery from this?
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  • A foot drop may or may not recover, depending on the severity of it......if you are getting your big toe moving, you may see improvement over time, slowly as the damage to the nerve recovers. A total foot drop such as I have, bilaterally is not necessarily going to improve so it really depends on how badly the nerve was damaged.
    A tendon transfer is a big move, so you may want to give it more time to see if there is continued improvement before contemplating that type of surgery. You may still see improvement in another year or so , so it might be wise to wait.
  • Thanks Sandi, I had my appointment my neurologist was actually happy that the nerves are working he said when they dont communicate with the muscles that is called non union and he said it could take up to 2yrs, not sure if I will make a full recovery but should be able to get out of the AFO brace eventually. He said the tendon transfer is not an option now he wants to give it more time to see what function returns, He said the nerves was damaged serve but the surgery seems to have worked just taking longer. I am sorry you have total foot drop what did yours come from? Do you do regular PT or is walking your therapy as well. I am told it s a Dr. preference on PT and how often. Good luck and thanks for the advice
  • I had a partial foot drop in my left foot prior to my first surgery.......when I woke up, it went from partial to a total bilateral foot drop.......I have afo's on both feet, and will for the rest of my life..At least I am no longer using my wheelchair with any regularity........that , for me is a huge bonus
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  • I apologize to you here I am complaining and your dealing with way more complex foot drop then myself. I didn't realize and I should always remember there are plenty of people dealing with way more difficult issues than my own. Please keep me informed and take care, you are an inspiration to me.
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