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Leg nerve pain after spinal fusion

Started by Becca.rm on 04/29/2018 12:36pm


I am new to this site but have read many discussions. Quick history, I had a large ruptured disc L5-S1 in Feb 2015 with painful sciatica on the left. I had decompressive laminectomy July 2015. Never recovered from leg and back pain. As the pain progressed, they found I was basically bone on bone with no disc space, 2 herniations, neuroforminal stenosis and my facet joints were shot. I am now 2 weeks out from spinal fusion L5-S1, cage in my disc space, revision of laminectomy and removed my facet joints. My incisional pain is doing well, however I have had horrible leg nerve pain in both legs. I did have pain prior to surgery but I thought it would be gone. I talked with hospital PA, he put me on steroids. Please someone tell me they have experienced this and it has gone away. I have been dealing with this pain for 3 years and I can’t take it anymore. I am a healthy 48 y/o with no ther health conditions

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I feel your pain. 8 months ago I had L3/4 through S1 operated on. My symptoms were acute sciatica in left side. I have a 6th lumbar vertebrae as well. Surgery was for mild spondyolenthesis at the L 5/6 - S1. Once in, other discs proved to need work. 8 screws, 4 rods, 2 cages and plates.
When I woke from surgery, my left foot and leg were swollen and numb. I never really had much complaints of the post op pain but but the BP cuff too tight feeling was awful. I saw my NS many times since always with the same complaint of foot, ankle and now growing up my leg. Burning stabs and the feeling of my toes being ripped off of my left foot. My GP finally ordered an EMG which showed acute radiculopathy stemming from S1. CT's and MRI's show scar tissue but that was not there when I had the surgery. For 8 months now nobody believed me, even when I show them my foot which is often reddish purple with toes out of natural formation.
My left foot is 4 1/2 ° celcius cooler than the right side.
Finally I asked to have the screws and hardware removed. I have read many articles where the body is rejecting the metal which releases ions into the spine....even titanium. Before we do that, I will be seeing a neurologist to confirm this is a case of RSD with Tarsal Tunnel complications. Very rare I hear from a spinal surgery but I fit all the criteria. There is no cure for RSD but pain management with injections that I cannot endure due to steroid intolerance in the spine. One previous injection caused 3 days of memory loss along with violent behaviour.
It sounds like you are experiencing something similar with your pain description. RSD is not something they look for and hard to diagnose. Perhaps reading through some material on the disease will enable you to determine if this might be the cause. Apparently our brain sends signals to a body part to protect it from foreign invasion ( surgery) or just an injury. Once fixed, the brain doesn't turn off the signal and continues it's defense.
Please let me know how you make out. I wish us both healing and understanding of what is happening to our bodies. It is maddening and difficult to consider a life of torment with these symptoms.
Many blessings