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Did your leg pain improve?

PowderBucketPPowderBucket Posts: 1
edited 01/26/2016 - 12:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,

My mother went for L4 - L5 Laminectomy and spinal fusion 9 days ago. Immediately after the operation she started complaining about her right leg being achy and sore. It wasn't crazy sore at first, but she could feel that something was off.

Originally, she had severe left leg pain - this is now completely gone. We seem to have a new problem in the right leg and she says that the pain is almost worse than the left leg pain she had before.

Having read countless horror stories and other things that make me really upset, can anyone say that this leg pain actually goes away after about a year? Has anyone had this kind of operation, gotten the leg pain, and then found the leg pain to gradually get better? I am struggling to find stories where people get post-operative pain, and then recover from it.

She is feeling so despondent and it's difficult to see her like this. She can walk but she says that after about 5 minutes of working, it feels like someone is lowly pushing a hot knife into her back and then her leg starts to ache.

Also, could this be sciatica?


It is early days into recovery, saying that there are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site. Therefore everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. if your mother is worried it is best to discuss it with her doctor as they are the only ones that can provide her with detailed information about her, the patient.

You may find this link helpful Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery for Spinal Stenosis (Open Decompression)

Liz, Spine-health Moderator



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,648
    edited 01/26/2016 - 12:39 AM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 01/26/2016 - 3:19 AM
    What your mother is most likely experiencing is post-op nerve pain which is not that unusual. Sometimes people wake-up from fusion surgery with zero nerve pain and sometimes they wake-up with all the nerve pain and more versus pre-op... there is really no predicting it. In my case I've had 2 fusion surgeries and on the first surgery I woke-up with zero nerve pain and on my second surgery I woke-up like your mother with horrible nerve pain in both legs... and it took four long months for it to go away. Prior to surgery her nerves were badly compressed and inflamed and sometimes it takes weeks or even months for the nerve swelling/pain to subside... but it WILL go away. Her surgeon has resolved the source of the pressure and pain and it just a question of waiting for the nerves to calm down/heal. About the only thing you can do is ask her doctor to prescribe some pain meds that hopefully will reduce the pain/discomfort. Also it's important that she walks through the pain as much as she can reasonably tolerate EVERY DAY even if it's only 5 minutes... as walking is key to rebuilding the back and core muscles which have been compromised in surgery. Walking with her or having a good friend walk with her can also be a good means of socializing and fending off the down emotions. Nine days is still early times for her recovery... 5 minutes is a good walk for such an early stage of recovery... she will do better as time goes on.
    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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