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Severe Leg Pain after L5/S1 Fusion

I am two weeks removed from L5/S1 fusion (screws, rods, bone to replace the disc). The hardware is fine, no infection, but I have had unbelievably severe leg pain especially at night. It feels like every muscle to include my calves, hamstrings, quads, groin, etc... are so tight that I can't move. During the day I can walk around and with meds I can get the pain down to a 5, but at night I reach 10+ pain levels. Is this normal? Is it a part of the healing process? How long does this last?


  • yes, i am taking robaxin and valium. my doctor also just prescribed neurotin so hopefully that will help. glad to hear this is rather normal. i have some really good days where i feel like i am healing and making progress. it is literally just the nights and mornings that are complete agony. literally a night and day (no pun intended) difference. can't wait for tis to dissipate so i can get some rest and get off these meds. i rarely sit for more than 10 minutes. i am either standing or walking which may also be contributing to the night/morning pain. we'll see i suppose.
    sandi said:

    are you taking any muscle relaxers or medication for neuropathic pain? there is normally a flare up or exacerbation of nerve pain post op, because the muscles, nerves , ligaments, tendons are all cut and moved around during spine surgery. once the nerves start to recover , they tend to be very angry for some time, but the good news is that it does improve, and eventually dissapate. in the meantime, muscle relaxers may be something to consider and the use of a neuropathic pain medication might ease the symptoms.
    walking as much as you can, limiting your seating time to no more than 15 minutes at a time, is the most beneficial thing you can do.


  • that tends to heal quicker than ALIF but you are still looking at lengthy recovery time and it depends on other factors like was this your first surgery are you fit and healthy do you smoke and so on the variables can affect the outcome a lot ..in my case my fusion was the nasty one ALIF through the abdomen my recovery has been painfully slow and I too am left with permanent nerve pain in the legs and feet ..back to you ..its normal to have leg pain following a fusion it may go it may not only time will tell did you have nerve pain before your fusion ?? because a fusion is a mechanical fix and is only meant to stabilise the spine any pain relief is a bonus ..my surgery and subsequent on going pain will last a lifetime because the nerve pain was there due to previous poor surgery ..
    I know its frustration recovering from an operation but stick with it and don't over do things on the days that you are feeling a little better remember that even long after you fusion has healed you still may have pain and if that's so then you don't have much hope in ever getting rid of it the only thing would be pain killers good luck .don't forget its still early on yet so don't panic
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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