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Nerve probs 3 years post fusion

I had a L4-S1 fusion three years ago. Prior to it I had never had leg pain and the fusion went really well. I was working out again after 6 months, fully fused at 8 months and all my back pain had gone. 

January this year I started getting leg pain. Initially just back of my thigh in one area. Since then it's progressed to my entire leg and I get pins and needles and numbness in my foot. Sitting is very bad but it's 24x7 agonising pain that I can't get away from.  I've got weakness in my leg, can't walk far and I'm in the worst pain I've ever been in. 

My surgeon did an MRI 3 months ago and said my back looks great. He prescribed me gapupentin which really doesn't help much and helps even less since my PCP cut my dose to one a day. 

I asked for a referral to pain management and really liked the doctor. I had a very long appointment and he's convinced it's my back. He couldn't find a reflex in my foot and wants me to go for an EMG.  

It seems odd that this started so long after my fusion. 

Has anyone got any experience of nerve issues after such a long post op period?


  • Did your surgeon say your back looked great, or the "hardware" looked great???? 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 10/07/2016 - 6:22 PM


    I would have someone else look at your MRI... the pain is there for a reason and your doctor just hasn't figured it out yet.  I also had an L4-S1 fusion almost 2 years ago and now my L3-L4 and L2-L3 discs are starting to bulge... and are giving me some discomfort.  Maybe you have the same/similiar issue but worse...

    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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  • He said back and hardware look great and the disc at the levels above as well. 

    I did get a copy of the report but it was really just a couple of lines saying it looked typical for a post fusion. 

    I'm guessing that nerves just wouldn't show up. My back always felt tighter post surgery on the side where I have the leg pain. 

    I was doing so well. I was back to running, working out and moee
    active than I'd been in years. Now I have days on end where I can't leave the house. 
  • LeroyTLLeroyT Las VegasPosts: 2
    It has been seven years for me and nothing has worked other than learning to work around the nerve damage and disk situation. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello leroyt !
    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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