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I can't find my thread relating to this,but basically, I had lower lumbar fusion, L3-5, pinched sciatic nerve,, right leg pain, cage and pins/screws put in, etc.
This is the 3rd surgery on my back, the first two were 7 years ago, but were only lamectomy and not too severe. I'm in the computer business and in the last year I've started to do some lifting and I think that set it off.
Anyway, after surgery my right leg was fine, but started to notice pain in my left leg which I had no issues with. Surgeon said it was because of all the "stuff" they had to move around to get to my spin, and the nerves were "pissed off" .. They came in from the front with a vascular surgeon, and 3 incisions on the back.
To make a long story short, my left leg is numb from the knee down, and no strength in my foot.. drop foot cannot lift up.
Now, also getting pain back in my right leg.
I had more MRI's CT Scan, and they all showed no pinched nerves, and the holes in the spin were all open.
I then went to a neurologist and had the EMG done... Great doctor, spent a lot of time with me and he and the technician both performed the tests. It seems that I have severe neuropothy on both legs!.
Oh, by the way, the surgeon wanted to operate again to check the area.. I said, NO,,, I want more opinions.. These surgeons want to cut right away.. I guess that's the only way they make any money,,, don't make any on office visits.
So, I am getting this week a MRI on my left knee as the neurologist thinks there may be some problem with a nerve that goes down the knee t the foot.
He also seems to think that basically I have severe nerve damage and hopefully most of it will heal after some time, but he wants to check out the MRI first.
I had a brace made for my left foot so it does help me walk a little better without dragging my foot.
I have to go back to work in a couple weeks as my Medical leave is running out and my disability insurance runs out too.. My employer want me back bad, ( I guess I should be grateful that), and will try to put me on limited walking duty.
I am also going to try acupuncture this week too, as my insurance does pay for that so might as well give it a try.
So, hopefully I won't loose this thread and can add to it as time goes on.
thanks for the replies..
I had the surgery Jan 31st this year,, about 2 1/2 months ago.
As far as the Nut is concerned, he wanted to go back in and tighten it back up. I cannot right now stay out of work for 2 more months of recovery and still not know if that's the problem. I will get it done in the near future though, unless one of the Doc's can tell me that is the problem.
My medical leave is done the end of this month, and my disability pay also runs out. I have to go back to work for about a month and half to re qualify for them, or I will have to start to pay my own insurance.
My right leg, which was what I went in for, was fine for about a month or more after surgery, my left leg started having pain right after the surgery while I was still in the hospital. The nut didn't' start coming loose for about a month after the surgery.
The Neurologist thinks the numb leg/foot deal is possibly being caused by the Peroneal nerve in the left leg/knee. Getting an MRI of the knee tomorrow to and will see him Wednesday to see if that's it.
The Neurologist has looked over the MRI's from after the surgery and he said that the surgery all looks good.
The Irritated nerves issue is what keeps coming up and I guess 2 1/2 months after major surgery may not be long enough to wait.
I think I answered all your questions, and thanks again to all for commenting.
It's really comforting to have a support group like this.

I will update you pro ably later in the week after all the visits...
Thanks
Paul
OK, well went to both the surgeon and the neurologist this week.
I had to get a release from the surgeon so I can go back to work for a while.
He looked over the EMG and agreed with the neurologist that it looks like some bad nerve damage, but can't figure out how it happened or why the left leg is numb.
I went to the neurologist today, and he looked over the EMG and the MRI from the leg. He doesn't see any restrictions, although he kept the MRI and wanted to study it some more after I left. He also seems to feel that there is sever nerve damage and it just might take time to heal. He is now taking some blood tests for the nerves to see if it is something chemical in the nerves.
As I said before, I have to get back to work for at least 30days so I can qualify for the full FMLA leave with job protection. I will just have to hobble around and take some meds for the pain and try to kept it going until the Doc's can figure out what the heck it going on.
The MRI's don't show that the nut that is a little loose is touching anything and they both agree that that is not the cause.
The neurologist says that I actually have multiple issues, The nerves, a specific nerve in the leg, and hip and back pain from the way I am walking due to the left leg being numb.
So, it will be a couple weeks for these tests to come back, as they have to be sent out to a special lab to do as Quest can't do them here locally.
Oh, my surgeon gave me some morphine pills to take when I go back to work in case the leg pain is too much at work.
Have any of had experience with morphine dose of 15mg?
Thanks
Paul
I'm glad your surgeon acknowledges that there is indeed some nerve issue after surgery. That is not always the case.

Did either of them indicate that there is still nerve compression? I don't recall how long you had the leg pain prior to surgery. Sometimes a situation can develop where the nerve itself is scarred, and it prevents the signal from getting back up to the brain. This is a different scenario from scar tissue in the back that puts pressure on a spinal nerve....
I had a lamanectomy about 7 years ago for a similar problem. At that time just the sciatic nerve was pinched and they relieved it. Was ok for some time with minor pain when I overdid and activity.

Then I started having sever leg pain about 4 to 6 months prior to this surgery. (surgery jan 31st this year)I was doing some heavy lifting that I know I shouldn't have.
From all the MRI's and CT scans both the surgeon and the neurologist don't see any pinching on any nerves. The popular opinion is that some nerves were damaged and we are now looking on what to do.
I am going to an acupuncturist today to try that to see if she can help with the leg pain in the mean time...I have heard of some success with them.
Will advise when I see if it works.
Paul
The foot drop happened about a month or so after surgery. The odd part is that I had no issues with my left foot before surgery, and the right leg was the problem. The left leg started to have some pain a week after, then developed into the numbness.
The left leg is numb from the knee down with the drop foot.
The neurologist is looking at the peranoral (?) nerve in the left leg.
I do have sever nerve damage in both legs but not sure how that happened AFTER surgery.
I think the left leg nerve pain is just really odd...and I find it hard to believe that your surgeon cannot tell you what is going on...or at least give you some possibilities. What does he say if you ask him why you'd have foot drop now, after having surgery to decompress the nerves? Was the nerve damaged during surgery?

The peroneal nerve is a continuation of the sciatic nerve, taking on this name where it wraps around the knee and it continues down the calf and into the foot. It can become injured by something as simple as repeatedly sitting with the leg crossed. It can become injured along with a knee injury, or there are the issues connected to the spine: sciatic nerve injury, a herniated disc compressing the L5 nerve root, and lumbosacral nerve root injury (SI joint dislocations and fractures)to name the things I'm aware of....

It just seems odd to me that it would occur some time after surgery....you didn't wake up from surgery with foot drop, right? Does the neurologist have any suggestions??
IT's now a little over 3 months, and still have the numbness and foot drop in the left leg. I am on Prednisone , 60MG day, and that seems to help the right leg pain. Also on morphine, 30mg daily slow release.
I've been to a few doctors to get 2nd and 3rd opionions, but they are not sure why the left leg became numb. the Neurologist feel it's one of two things, severe nerve damage, not sure how it happened, and possible Gastritis?
I went in for the sciatica in my right leg, and lower lumbar fusion on L3-5.
I wake up and the right leg is fine, but start to get pain in the left leg in a couple days.
Then the pain comes back in the right leg in about 3 weeks. Not as bad as was before, but still inflamed nerves.
I am going to a specialist now who took some blood tests to determine if it's inflamed vascular system too. I ware a leg brace on my left leg which helps me get around at work, but it is uncomfortable.
My surgeon has pretty much said that this condition is beyond his expertise and that's why he set me to the neurologist.
Oh, well, they common thread seems to be "it will take time"...
Thanks doc!!!

Paul





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