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Numbness and Electric pain post lumbar fusion

Started by MsAries on 06/06/2018 10:55am

Hi all!

I am hoping someone may have some guidance for me here. I am 38yo who suffered with severe low back pain for many years due to severe spinal stenosis and degenerative discs and facet joints. After over two years of injections, epidurals, etc. I finally elected to have an L4-L5 fusion (with no bone graft) in November 2017. Surgery went well and after a few weeks I was in less pain than before surgery, however, I noticed that most of my right outer thigh was numb. A few weeks later I began having this electric shock pain all over the numb area in my right outer thigh whenever bending to get into the car, brush my teeth, etc. It was so intense it would stop me in my tracks. My Dr. said that it was just my body healing and it would get better in time. I am now over 6 months out from surgery. The numb area and shocking pain has decreased in size, but it is still unbearable the majority of the time. I have a constant pain in my right butt-cheek and when I lean over in a chair, reach the wrong way when sitting, walk up the stairs I have this severe electric shock pain that stems from my lower buttcheek radiating around my hip. My DR ordered a CT scan but said that everything looks fine with the fusion and ordered more PT for me with dry needling. I did three sessions of dry needling at it made the pain even worse. I have since continued PT without the needling but I am not any better.

I go back to my DR next week and I am really hoping for some advice. I am a very active person. I usually workout 3-5 times a week (however I cannot do the workouts I used to do!), I dance in a New Orleans parade group and love to be out and about. I was hoping to get my life back after surgery, but I am starting to feel so hopeless. Anyone experience anything like this or have any suggestions?

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2 Responses


Typically, after surgery, and nerve compression is relieved, there is an extended period of time when the nerve pain increases as the nerve returns to function. As if it was sleeping. Numbness, increased electric zaps, pain, burning all can occur. It usually fades as the nerve heals and functions again. Nerves only regenerate at about 1-2 mm. Per MONTH, so it can take up to two years before it disappears. How intense or how long it lasts is dependent on the severity of the compression prior to surgery, and the damage done before its relieved.


Thanks for this information on the length of healing time, cause I thought my nerves were numbness was going away after about7 months after my surgery, but this month (10mos), it seems the numbness got a little worse.