Hi everyone, I'm new to this board. I wanted to know if anyone experienced any of these problems. I have alot going on, alot worse after L4-L5 TLIF. My symptoms are numbness in the groin, buttocks,extreme pain under left buttock, a form of foot drop with severe calf pain and cannot heel walk at all. I just had botox injections in my calf with no relief. I had every injection you could get. I went to another neurosurgeon and he said I have permanent nerve damage. He wants me to be optmistic for in the future I may get some sensation back. Dave was talking about numbness with sex. I too get no sensation anymore I feel like my sex life is over and I am only 47. Please let me know if anyone else experience these symptoms, I woke up from surgery like this. This was nothing of what had prior to surgery. Like I said my surgery was January 29,2004 a whole year. I take alot of pain medication.such as 50mcg fentenayal patches, neurontin, elavil, zanaflex, zoloft,skeleaxin, and xanax
Hi Kay and welcome to the board,
we have alot in common i could have wrote most of your post word for word.
the words that struck me most where "i woke up from surgery like this". my first words in the recovery room where why is my leg numb?. i had some sciatic symptoms pre-op but nothing like this. post-op at first was like this, mild numbness in right buttock, groin and upper right leg, severe numbness in right lower leg,ankle and foot, severe muscle pain(tightness) in right calf and foot. 7 months post-op 2 level lumbar fusion and leg symptoms have changed to no groin numbness but still mild right buttock and upper leg numbness, somewhat less right lower leg numbness but still severe ankle and foot numbness, calf muscle pain has disappeared but foot muscle pain is still severe. the worst part of all this hearing the doc always just say give it more time but it could be premanent. i feel someday i will have to pressure him to try and find out what is going on or try and find a new doc and get some answers.
have your symtoms gotten any better since surgery? did you ever talk to either doc about any way to tell if there is a reason for this? like something still pressing on the nerve. all i get is the standard answer that its just nerve regeneration and it takes time. also do you have any problems driving? when i drive for more than 30 minutes or so my foot goes wacky, numbness intensifies and starts moving up lower leg. are you fused solid?
sorry for the long post but there are not many posts about this and i've been dying to talk with someone in a similar situation. there have been a few recent fusion surgery posts over the last 2-3 months and they don't mention nerve damage problems. they don't know how lucky they are.
thanks for listening and don't hesitate to write back if you feel like answering my questions or if you have more questions to ask me.
Bob, thanks for answering my post. Right after surgery my surgeon said I had a possiable hematoma which the ct scan found, but he never did take me back into surgery. The possiable hematoma was at the L5-S1 level not the level my injury and deffinatly not the pain or numbness. I also had urinary retention for 6 weeks. Like you, said the surgeon said give it time. Well he was wrong the numbness in my buttocks is so numb you could stick a pin in it and I would not feel it. The fusion fused with no difficulty. My most resent surgeon appointment said nerve compression was done at the time of surgery causing nerve damage. I had a emg in july which was now positive for a L5-S1 radiculopathy. Then I had a myelogram in august and was told surgery can not help me and to stay in pain management. Well talk to me any time. Like you said most people are lucky that they don't have nerve damage. Write to me again, I too find it interesting to talk to someone who knows what is going on. Kay
Just a note to let you guys know that you are not alone, although probably not to the same degree that you are talking about Kay, I too have numbness and weakness in my right buttock and lower leg. My doctor also has said it is more than likely permanent. What a happy thought. It wasnít this bad pre-surgery, no guarantees with surgery they told me, but I still signed on the dotted line. I still have no regrets for having my surgery. I too just made my one-year anniversary, Feb 20, 04 for me. At least I am considerably more mobile than before my surgery, but I certainly can relate to your story, but once again, I do not think that my situation comes close to being as painful and serious as yours or Bobís, and I wish you both the best.
P.S. Welcome to the board!
3level laminectomy,discectomy&PLIF L3-S1 02/20/04
6cages 8screws 2rods (oh my!) w/local bone graft
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i had a decotomy at L5,s1 and now 3 months after i have pain at the front and rear of my right ankle that radiates to my toes and up to my shin in front and base of my calf in the rear the longer i walk the worse it is. up to the point i must stop i can go about 10-15ft before my pain level is through the roof.is this wat any of you get and if so wat is it????i dont have a regular nerve doctor just a surgen he said maybe nerve damage hes not sure
Hello my name is Stephanie and our symptoms sound familiar. I was diagnosed with Cauda Equina syndrome theres alot of info on the internet. I fell a year ago in my kitchen and a few hours later I was numb in saddle area, back of left leg all the way down to my foot. And a year later still numb and most likely wont be getting any better. I had a laminectomy a year ago and was told i was a cm of being paralyzed. And just had a fusion with 4 pedicle screws and two rods and BMP on March 8th of this year. So i was thinking that maybe it could be some damage to the Cauda Equina sac perhaps....It can take up to a year for the nerves to repair and you may have better luck if it didnt happen until surgery as far as the nerves rejuvinating.....Best of luck...
Kayann, I am most concerned about the numbness in the groin and buttocks that you describe. Your dr should have been very concerned about that, too.
I would urge you to get another opinion. You have symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and that is very dangerous. It needs to be checked right away, so don't put it off. Anytime you wake up from surgery and are worse than you were, something is not right! Your dr. mentioned a possible hematoma but did nothing to verify or rule it out. These 2 things would have me running to find a new specialist. Please don't wait until the damage is permanent or until you need emergency surgery.
Tracer, Hi I have severe pain in the ball of my left foot and the pain goes into my calf. I have pain throughout the whole leg but in these areas are the most severe. My sacral nerves were damaged too. Talk to your doctor or get a second opinion. that is what I did and no other surgeon said surgery. Thanks for your post Kay
Unfortunately the medications you take all have severe sexual side effects. This would account for your sex life felling like it is over that is. I had l5 s1 disc surgery in 1996 and also woke up with severe muscle weakness in my left leg. My calf muscle has completely atrophied and I have pain in my left leg and foot, severe cramping particularly at night when lying down. After many years of not much of a sex life at all, I slowly weened myself off all pain medicatins and have found that although I am in pain everyday I can now perform sexualy. Pain can be managed without the drugs. It is tough, but I used to think there was no way I could function without pain meds and now I am completely off all medications.
I would like to find a way to get muscle function back in my leg though. If any of you have had severe atrophie and found a way to regeneration I would be most interested. I am 51 years old and am very motivated to find non invasive ways to try and regenerate my left leg muscles.