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Post Op Foraminotomy (Day 12)

12 days ago I had a foraminotomy of my L4/L5/S1 for relief of severe nerve pain shooting down my right leg. Epidurals didn't help, so surgery was the next step. My doctor initially wanted to do a fusion, which of course is a more extensive procedure. Due to an existing heart condition, I opted for the doctor's "Plan B", the foraminotomy. He said that the foraminotomy would most likely only provide temporary relief, but that there was also a chance that it would provide long-term relief. Well, around day 6 post-op, I began feeling the shooting nerve pain down my right leg again. Every day it seems to get worse; it's almost back to the level of pain I had prior to surgery. Pain so severe that walking, sitting, even laying down causes severe, debilitating pain shooting down my right leg. Has anyone else experienced no pain relief from a foraminotomy? I know it's only been just short of 2 weeks, but the nerve pain is so severe that it seems as if I had the surgery for naught.
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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello,backn4th!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
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    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Hey Ramon

    The forminotomy likely relieved the crushing pressure on your nerves but it DIDN'T heal your nerves.  Nerve healing is a VERY slow process that will take many weeks or even months... and in the mean time your nerves are still firing and inflammed from both the surgery and the pre-op crushing/damaging that took place due to your messed up back. To be on the safe side you should probably call your doctor and/or go and see him and get an MRI... this will let your doctor know what's going on with your back.

    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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  • hvills said:

    Hey Ramon

    The forminotomy likely relieved the crushing pressure on your nerves but it DIDN'T heal your nerves.  Nerve healing is a VERY slow process that will take many weeks or even months... and in the mean time your nerves are still firing and inflammed from both the surgery and the pre-op crushing/damaging that took place due to your messed up back. To be on the safe side you should probably call your doctor and/or go and see him and get an MRI... this will let your doctor know what's going on with your back.


    Thanks hvills, that's very encouraging information. I have an appointment with the surgeon next week to have my stitches removed. I will ask him then.
  • DarrinbDDarrinb Posts: 12
    edited 03/19/2016 - 1:30 PM
    I had the same surgery. I had pain going down my left leg. I can tell you that 12 days is not enough time to see the difference. I was told by my doctor that it can take up to a year. 

    I hope you get well soon
  • Well, I saw my doctor and he suspected that I possibly had a disc re-herniation. An MRI revealed the horrible reality: my L4/L5 and L5/S1 were still herniated and severely pressing into the nerve. In fact, it appears to be worse than prior to the foraminotomy.
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