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I'm so Miserable

I'm two weeks from having L5S1 fusion. I am having such bad sciatica pain in right leg for 5 days now. Doc says it is from inflammation and will go away. My question is when?  How long?  I would be in pretty good shape except for this incredible nerve pain. 


  • I'm sorry you're feeling so lousy.  I went through the same thing, and my doctor put me on a prednisone taper.  It didn't help at the outset, but when I called the office to let them know the prednisone wasn't working, they told me to give it a few days after the regimen was done to see if I still had the same amount of pain.  Guess it took a little extra time, but it did help in the end.  For me, the pain started about a week or so after my surgery (1/8/16), and was still bothering me at my first post-op check up (1/21/16-when I received the prescription for the prednisone).
    I was told the same thing--that it was inflammation from a combination of things being moved around during the operation plus the "waking up" of nerves that had been compressed.  I had fusion from L4-S1, so we're partners in a way in terms of where our problems are located. 
    If it's any consolation, I am SOOO much better now.  The doctors were right, and although I'm kinda having an off day today, the terrible sciatic pain has not returned THANK GOODNESS.  Perhaps (barring any medical conditions that may prevent you from taking prednisone) you could ask your doctor if that might be an option for you? 
    I sympathize with you--it can be scary to feel that much pain after going through surgery to get pain relief!  Hang in there, ok?
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Thank you Kimmy. The gave me gabapentin and hydrocodone which I take at 8am 2pm and 8pm. And I tell you I long for those times to come around so I can get relief which I do get. I'm praying this is all worth it in the end. I never had sciatica b4 surgery so this is my first experience with it. Incredibly painful 
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  • I do understand how being in pain can turn you into a bit of a clock watcher!  I'm glad to hear you do get some relief from your medications.  I'm hoping this phase passes as quickly as possible for you!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Me too :-)
  • i slso had this bad leg pain immediately post surgery. medicine didnt help. walking helps. keep trying to walk. took me 1 month.
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  • carlafcarlaf Labadie,MOPosts: 27
    Hi all

    Kimmy, Jericho...
    glad to keep seeing posts on the time of how long the sciatica goes on.... I've had one round of medrol... And got two to three really good days that were pretty pain free on the medrol and it just finished. A minor version of the sciatica returned today with numb foot on right side. But it is much better Linda than prior to surgery.

    They are actually going to re MRI me this week. I honestly think they (the neurosurgeoon's office) are doing it because I've had so many weird bilateral pains that I didn't expect (burning knees and hips included). I asked them to do a post surgical MRI, and they called me today and scheduled it. So...maybe they are concerned, too. 

    The weather has recently improved here, so I can get outside and walk. What a nice change! 

    I wanted the surgery as soon as I could! And with spring on the horizon, it will be very nice to walk again! 

    Linda, it's so good you are on this site NOW before surgery. I wish I had educated myself better prior to surgery because the pain post surgery was a shock to me. My doctor and his office are great but they did not give me enough info on what to expect after surgery. Every little and big pain I had/have on "what's normal?" 

    This site has been immensely helpful at debunking the mystery of it all. 
  • carlafcarlaf Labadie,MOPosts: 27
    Whoops sorry for typos! Typing from phone! 
  • dont eat too much of those steriods... bad for fusion i think... but if doctor says ok for short dose then ok? ha
  • Carlaf I am two weeks past surgery. Was done on 4th. 
  • Jericho what stetoids?  Is gabapentin considered a steroid?  I am taking muscle relaxer the gabapentin and hydrocodone. I didn't think any of them were steroids. I am amazed at how long this sciatica pain might last as I never had sciatica pain problem b4 surgery. And I was not well informed as to what to expect after surgery. I hope it is a temporary thing because if having this surgery results in constant sciatica pain I'm going to be pretty upset with my surgeon as he never mentioned this as a possibility from having the fusion done
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