Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement

Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

    Forum-Tutorial-Screenshot
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.
advertisement

Pain after Surgery

I could just cry.  After pain management and patience, l finally told my doctor I was ready for surgery.  Back fusion on L4 - 5 the beginning of this month.  Things seemed to go good, side from a bad reaction to the anesthesia.  So now I'm 2 weeks out of the hospital.  My left leg really hurts from the chin to the foot.  It just aches, feels numb.  It's really painful.

Any advise ?
advertisement

Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 03/23/2016 - 9:57 AM

    Kathleen

    It's very common to have leg/foot pain/numbness after lumbar fusion surgery.  Your nerves were badly crushed by your messed up spine and even though your surgeon fixed the mechanics of your back... it will take many weeks or months for your nerves to heal.  Until the inflammation of the nerves subsides they will still fire and cause lots of pain and discomfort... maybe even more than before surgery.  After my second fusion it took 4 long horrible months for the nerves in my right leg to calm down... hopefully yours will calm down faster.   About the only thing you can do is ask your doctor for strong pain meds.   Hang in there... 2 weeks post op is still early days for lumbar fusion.

    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
  • bugslybbugsly MinnesotaPosts: 31
    I also just had a fusion from L3 to S1.  I'm 4 weeds post op. and my left leg aches when I'm laying down.  Muscle relaxers do not help.  It sure keeps me from sleeping.  Last night I found out if I let the leg hang over the bed side it goes away. Also I do not take pain medicine any more, I tried one and it didn't help. It does take time to get back to normal.  Patiently waiting.
  • advertisement
  • JatcoJJatco CanadaPosts: 22
    I concur with the comments above, as I too am in a similar situation. I'm 6 weeks post op after laminectomy and fusion at L4-5. Thought I'd be pain free after the surgery, but Not. I too have some pain, ( it has decreased since, slowly) on my right leg, now, below the knee, thru the shin and calf to my toes along with numbness. After stopping the morphine pills (2mg) and T3 (tylenol 3 with codine), my surgeon recommended Lyrica. It has helped, but the pain is still there. The only thing is to bear with it, try the meds ( non-narcotics) if needed. It will get better, but as Kathleen mentioned, 2 weeks post op is still early.. It was for me too, but now 6 weeks post, things are improving..every so slowly.
    Do hang in there...!!
  • I'm about 4 months post l4-l5 spinal fusion surgery. Let me go ahead and say that from my research, I've found it can take up to a year for your nerves and everything else to fully heal. I'm in pain every single day, but it does continuously improve, little by little. I still have swelling at the incision site as well, that worsens with excessive activity. I'm a fitness instructor, and my best friend through all of this has most definitely been the gym.

     As soon as I was able, I would take my dogs on a mile walk, then two miles, increasing activity week by week. I finally got in the gym by the second month. I stretched several times a week, noticing that my flexibility was what took the biggest hit after the surgery. I took everything super slow and easy, and I forced myself through more pain than I can explain.  Force yourself off the meds as soon as possible after the surgery, and put your body through as much activity as you can, as soon as you can. Forcing blood to the incision site accelerates the healing process. Stretching keeps excess scar tissue at bay and is the only way to maintain your range of motion. 

     Attaining a moderate amount of strength, and flexibility after surgery is the best way to prevent future surgeries. A fusion is not something you can have done, and expect results without working for them. It sucked, a lot, but it was absolutely worth it. I'm dancing again, I'm working out 4-5 days a week, and doing so many things research told me was highly improbable at this point in my recovery. The best thing you can do, is go into this knowing what to expect, and knowing how hard it's going to be to attain the quality of life you're used to. It will be painful. More so than you can probably imagine, but in my case, it was so, so worth it. All the best. 
  • HautemessHautemess San DiegoPosts: 24
    So leg cramping is normal? I had L4-5 fusion two days ago and my thighs and hips ache constantly. The morphine, oxy, and Valium are not providing relief. I'm extremely frustrated; my surgeons are frustrated with me. I just want t get the pain under control before I'm discharged. 
  • advertisement
  • Ever since my back problems started and after surgeries I have had leg issues. Some nerve issues but mostly aches in thighs, hamstrings and calves. I think doing lots of stretching once your healed from surgery is very helpful. I just can't seem to make myself do them but I do catch myself stretching out my calves. For me the calves have always been the most affected area. Some symptoms I think we will just have to coop with the rest of our life.
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    I've been having massive problems with muscle spasms post surgery--my surgery was cervical, so it's to the point where people can just look at me and see that my left side is visibly spasmed. I'm also only two weeks out, and my surgeon said that this is common, particularly if you're younger and already had tighter muscles/ligaments that would have been cut or streteched during surgery. 

    I've been freaking out a bit too--my main pain symptom pre-surgery was deep right forearm pain. I woke up from surgery with that pain totally gone, and I had new left-sided arm pain, most likely caused by some severe muscle spasms on that side that I can't get rid of. I'm two weeks post-surgery now, and a week later I my right arm pain started creeping back. It's not as severe as it was post-surgery, but it's definitely back, and it's making me really worried. I hope it's not here to stay, because that was one of the things I really hoped would resolve with the surgery still. I know it's early still, but it's just odd that it was gone and then suddenly came back again a week later. I asked my surgeon about it, and he thinks it's still just my spinal cord recovering because I had a significant dent in the cord that is probably still resolving. I had a really hard time accepting the ACDF so I'm hoping that this right arm pain isn't one of those symptoms that won't ever go away! 
  • WhitedragonWhitedragon Missoula, MTPosts: 1


    I'm about 4 months post l4-l5 spinal fusion surgery. Let me go ahead and say that from my research, I've found it can take up to a year for your nerves and everything else to fully heal. I'm in pain every single day, but it does continuously improve, little by little. I still have swelling at the incision site as well, that worsens with excessive activity. I'm a fitness instructor, and my best friend through all of this has most definitely been the gym.

     As soon as I was able, I would take my dogs on a mile walk, then two miles, increasing activity week by week. I finally got in the gym by the second month. I stretched several times a week, noticing that my flexibility was what took the biggest hit after the surgery. I took everything super slow and easy, and I forced myself through more pain than I can explain.  Force yourself off the meds as soon as possible after the surgery, and put your body through as much activity as you can, as soon as you can. Forcing blood to the incision site accelerates the healing process. Stretching keeps excess scar tissue at bay and is the only way to maintain your range of motion. 

     Attaining a moderate amount of strength, and flexibility after surgery is the best way to prevent future surgeries. A fusion is not something you can have done, and expect results without working for them. It sucked, a lot, but it was absolutely worth it. I'm dancing again, I'm working out 4-5 days a week, and doing so many things research told me was highly improbable at this point in my recovery. The best thing you can do, is go into this knowing what to expect, and knowing how hard it's going to be to attain the quality of life you're used to. It will be painful. More so than you can probably imagine, but in my case, it was so, so worth it. All the best. 

    Youth is in your favor.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Whitedragon!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.