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Hey everyone, I'm almost 3 weeks post level 1 fusion and have irritating leg pain. The first 10 days after surgery My leg pain was really minimal and now it's nagging me again. I know that others have said nerves can cause pain when they are healing but I would love the reassurance now. Otherwise I think I'm doing well, my back does'nt hurt and I'm walking a lot (despite the leg pain) But, I wonder if I'm overdoing it..I'm not bending, twisting and I never take my brace off unless it's in the shower but everyone around me thinks I'm not resting enough because I'm always on my feet. Could this cause irritated nerves while they are healing? I don't get my first x-rays until the end of the month. I guess I would hate to think I went threw a fusion with no improvement on my leg pain. Any comments would be appreciated. ;) I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.
[I][COLOR=Indigo][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]jettsmom, quite often after surgery, if you had nerves pinched before surgery, you will have a recurrance of that pain. It is normal and caused from the nerves "waking up". They sometimes do that with a vengeance and it can be both painful and scarey. Let your doctor know if it gets really bad, but do not take any can interfere with the fusion process. Are you still on any pain meds? Do they help it at all? It sounds great that your back pain is gone. I'm really pulling for a successful surgery for you and an uneventful recovery!

Hey Jettsmom,

Leg PAIN! I am two weeks post op from my level 1 fusion and yes I still have leg pain if I sit for too long. It will take a while for the nerve to calm down. I also have been active. I walk a mile a day and try to go to sams club and walk around. I just wish I could sit for longer periods of time.

I would give it a few weeks, I had to give it two month after my last surgery. It should work it self out over time.

Try moving your foot back and forth when you lay down on the side it hurts that may stretch the nerve to heal faster. Not to much though. Also, only get out of bed on your good side that will put less strain on the muscel that is pushing on the nerve.

Good luck,

Take Care,

TAZ :cool:
Hi Jettsmom-

I am 4 weeks post op TLIF and I am still having leg pain. My back pain is very minimal, but does hurt (like a deep down bone hurt) when it rains. I talked to my doctor about the leg pain and he said that during surgery, he took some fat from under my skin and put a ball of morphine in it and put it around those nerves. I had no leg pain for the first 2 weeks, but it has now made itself known. He says that it is the morphine wearing off and that's where the pain is but that it is normal. He also said that it could hurt for up to 3 months!! That I'm not happy about, but what can you do? He prescribed me Neurontin. I highly, highly recommend against this drug. It has made me literally crazy. I am currently trying to ween myself of it (since if you don't you can have a seizure) because last night I had a horrible anxiety attack. Anyway, just to let you know, leg pain is normal. It sucks, but it is. Makes you wonder why had surgery, huh? Take care!

Have a great day

Heelsgal :wave:
[COLOR=RoyalBlue][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Jettsmom:

I am now 7 weeks post-op and feel like I have gone through every possible emotion. First I was elated .. because immediately post-op I could wiggle my toes again. Then at about 2-3 weeks post-op are started experiencing pain in the left hip and leg again. My Doctor assured me that it was still part of the normal healing of the nerves (he said he had to stretch a nerve and I continue to notice unusual sensations). Basically, I was told unless I experience unusual weakness in my left leg .. the pain is part of normal healing.

And then a couple of weeks I started getting a strange popping sensation and this time the pain was on the right side of my spine and into my right hip. I rested for a couple of days and that to passed. And then I woke up one morning and the pain was so bad in my left buttock region and radiating into my left hip that I couldn't put any weight on my leg at all. I called my Doctor again and he informed me again .. normal healing. That I probably strained it on one of my walks and it most likely bone graft pain.

Anyway, I am sorry being so longwinded, the good news is that the last few days I have had the most pain free time since I reinjured myself in January. We had a little neighborhood party yesterday for the 4th and my neighbor couldn't believe how well I was walking! She commented that for a while there (prior to surgery) I was walking like I was 100 years old! Which believe me is how I felt.

The fusion procedure is very involved (as we are all aware), so it makes sense that we will be experiencing a lot of healing pains. I am of the belief though, if it is unusual -- call your Doctor. I know it has helped me just get that reassurance. We are all in this together --- it has helped me so much to have all of you to talk to when I am experiencing something that I'm not sure of. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. You are in my thoughts. :angel:

Jo :p [/FONT] [/COLOR]
[COLOR=Purple]Aloha All, :wave:

I am now 19 weeks post-op and though it is not near as intense as before surgery, I am also feeling some leg pains. About 1 1/2 months post-op I started feeling some left buttock and upper leg pains. My doctor upped my Neurontin dosage and they disappeared (I have been taking this crap, Neurontin, for almost 1 year now, and I also believe that it is the root of my anxiety and panic problems, but it seems to help with my nerve pain, what's a person to do? (can’t wait to get off of it)).

After being ruffed up by my PT on 6/11 I have developed some nerve pain in my right leg and foot, along with some popping in my lower back and hip area. This sucks, but is still manageable and is no where near pre-op pain, but it still sucks, my surgeon was pretty upset at this, as was I, it set me back about a month, now I have to climb back up to that plateau I was on before 6/11.

With scare tissue, nerves “waking” back up, hardware, walking, unavoidable twisting, getting up out of bed, stretching, sneezing, coughing….well you get the jist (sneezing is the worst!), it’s very difficult to pinpoint where the cause might be, but I have also been told by my doctor that it is part of the normal healing process ( ya right doc, you're not the one with 70 grand worth of hardware in you're spine :rolleyes: ).

Good Luck all,

Heelsgal, Taz, Carol, Jo, and Onthemendnow-
Thanks so much for your support, my leg pain is'nt worse then before surgery, more like a nuissance! I'm not taking any pain killers because my back feels fine and I know how they don't help with nerve pain anyways and I'm not interested in nerontin because I already have anxiety issues and that would interfere with it for sure. So basically I'm left with right hip pain (bone site) and leg pain, but the bone site is getting much better. I will try to stay positive and remember that I'm healing, it's just that last week I had no leg pain and now I'm sore again! Aggghhh! frusterating! I swear we all have to be the bravest people to endure so much with pain, it's hard for others to understand. Although I can't complain I'm surrounded by support here(in the boards) and in my home. Thanks again, it helps so much to hear all of your own situations and how you all deal with it. ;)
I'm 6 weeks post-op PLIF and am having the same, if not worse, pain in my legs than before surgery. But the strange thing is, before surgery, the pain was worse in my right leg. Now after surgery it's worse in my left leg. Neuro just said he had to mess with the nerves a lot and that it could happen.

I'm also having excruciating pain in my tailbone when I try to stand up or try to sit down. Once I get up or down, it seems to get better. Anyone else have this problem?

Lori, I have noticed that a lot of the people who have had fusion, move onto the pain management boards after awhile. They have had the surgery and are now looking for others who are trying to manage their pain.

I was just watching a lecture on our public tv channel, given by one of the only Neurosurgeons in our area. He was outlining a new procedure where instead on bone paste or bone cadaver, or even ADR, they are pulling out the discs and shooting acrylics into the space in order to have good purchase for the screws. But that is beside the point, he was making a point that, any back candidate should go in realizing that their pain relief can only be lessened up to 60%. Disheartening, but I think that if a person goes into surgery knowing that they are not going to be 100%, they they can move on to manage their pain.

They do have to move around a lot of nerves and it takes time for those nerves to settle down. If it goes too long though, I would consult a different doc.
Your are probably right about some of the older fusion people, either they are at the pain management area or not around because they are feeling better. As for myself, I was told the best I could hope for was 80%. I think I might actually make it that far. I would have to say I am at least 60% better than pre surgery and I am only 2.5 mo. I have been told that it could take a yr. or so before I get to the maximum recovery. I am looking forward to that. I have been able to start back at work, which is great...I just have to watch how much I sit, before I get up and move around. I hope things are going well for you and your husband. I know you both have had it rough.

God Bless,
Lorie :angel:
I am about six months post-surgery and I really don't have any leg pain at all anymore. I do tend to have pain in my lower back and into by hip if I sit too long.

Jo :wave:
Hi all: Thanks for your reply's I have another question for you.... Did or do any of you have any numbess in the feet before you had surgery? I have had numbness in the feet for a long time prior to fusion surgery and after.....I was told it would take along time to go away..

Hi, I had fusion L1&L2, S1&S2 in jan it is now almost 11 months post op and I am still not in any relief. I did just have deep shooting pains down the right leg and across my back and hips. But these last month the pain has started to go down the left leg as well and the pain in my back is as bad now as what it was before surgery. I don't know that I did anything to the hardwear and the drs don't know what has happened because i have only done what they told me i was back to work 4-5hrs with pt 3x's a week but they have taken me off from work and pt because of the pain. There is also a pop click in my back if i walk over a certain distance or move the right way. i don't know what they are going to do but they have to do something I can't live like this. I am only 30 and married with 5 kids under 11. I am unable to any thing with them like go to ball games and the kid things they have during school and it isn't fair to my husband as well and it has been this way for over a year in my houshold since 10/03.

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