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L5-S1 Discectomy

Hello everyone,

this is the first time ive ever signed up to a forum before but after searching about post op problems after my discectomy I found this site to be very supportive.

Basically I'm looking for some reassurance as I can't find a lot of information that sounds like what I'm going through. 

Im only 2 days post op but I'm a bit worried already. The pain I had that led me to having this surgery was sciatic pain in by buttock/hamstring/calf and sometimes foot. I also had a numb patch on the back of my thigh. I never had any numbness or weakness in my leg that I was aware of.  

Following the op, the whole left side of my foot is numb (little toe and two next to it) including my heel. I can't stand on my tip toes at all on this leg now. Literally can't get it to move one little bit. I have full mobility from what I can see but just a complete lack of any strength. 

Has anyone else had this? I remember be surgeon said the numbness may never go away which is a bit of a bummer as I never had any before the op. The muscle weakness is also very annoying


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,720
    edited 03/20/2016 - 7:03 AM
    welcome nelmsteen
    welcome to spine-health please click on the link for useful information


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 996


    The numbness you are experiencing in your foot is quite common after lumbar surgery and is due to nerve damage... as your doctor said it may or may not go away over time depending on how badly your nerves were damaged by your messed up spine.  In my case I have permanent 24/7 numbness across the bottom surface of my right foot due to excessive nerve damage that didn't heal.  Hopefully in your case the numbness willl subside and go away over time.  The muscle weakness will improve as you further recover... 2 days post-op is still early days.  I'm sure your doctor told you to walk and walk and walk... as much as you can reasaonbly tolerate... as it's the best thing you can do for your overall recovery... and recovering your muscle strength.

    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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  • No_No_No_YesNNo_No_No_Yes Sacramento Ca.Posts: 24
    What hvills said. From what I can recall it was about the 2 week point all the glitchy stuff started to subside. Now I had numbness in both feet but that was more a result of having had to wait 3 years between injury and surgery. But even that went away around the 1 year point. My discectomy was an absolute success in every way, just coming to without the leg pain was a miracle so far as I was concerned. I think you'll find as the swelling goes down things will get markedly better. The big thing once you are ready.. core strengthening. The up side.. outside of 4 months I had six pack abs and buns of steel lol.  As I got stronger I started weight training, the result was pain free living for more than a decade despite DDD, spondylosis and stenosis. Be hopeful, let your body heal - this was no tonsillectomy.  
  • I had L4/L5 discectomy exactly 2 years ago today.    I was in such relief for the significant pain I had been in that it was tough to notice what to me was minor stuff.    I had tingling/numbness in one foot and I had read in advance that it was normal but I mentioned it to my doctor at my one month checkup just to be sure and he said it would go away....and it did.   

    March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy
  • kat129kkat129 MissouriPosts: 3
    I could just cry.  Had back surgery the beginning of this March.  Four and a half hours.  Fusion of L4 & 5.  My back feels better but my left leg feels numb with an aching pressure mostly the lef foot.  Hard to explain the pain but I wasn't expecting this post surgery.  Anyone else feel my pain and have any answers ?
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    hello kat129!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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