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Old 02-07-2012, 01:11 AM   #1
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sciatica pain back again

so here i am 1 month post opp from plif and my sciatica pain is back..prior to surgury i had it mostly down my left leg.and on occasion in the right leg..and also if you would look at my calf it would appear that something was living in my leg!you could see the nerves moving around..after surgury the sciatica pain in both legs along with the movment of the nerves in the calf were gone..but now the pain has returned along with the movment in the calf..hopefully nothing has gone wrong? i will have to call the dr today and maybe he will have an answer..has anyone else experianced this before?

 
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: sciatica pain back again

What activity are you doing? It is VERY easy to irritate the sciatic nerve after lower lumbar surgery.

 
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: sciatica pain back again

Ha -- I had the crazy twitching too! One of my friends said it looks like there's a baby in your leg. I even took video of it. The doctors said that the twitching could be an indication of improvement. I suppose he was hoping that the nerves were letting go and the muscles were relaxing, then contracting.

As to the return of the nerve pain post-op, mine came back after 6 weeks (one-level ALIF), but switched from right leg to left leg. The pain was worse than pre-op. (Post-op I was on stronger pain meds and the pain was keeping me up for hours on end, which was not a problem pre-op.) I told my surgeon and he said that it was part of the normal ups and downs of recovery. It has since abated somewhat, but is still a problem.

Some of the things I did to ease the pain were nerve glides, calf stretches, massage, and Lidoderm patches. I have been in PT since about 3 weeks post-op, and we changed some of my exercises (no more bridges, but tabletop planks instead). My PT also worked on my calves, which helped a lot.

I hope you can identify an activity that caused your pain and eliminate/modify it. In the meantime, the patches are super-expensive ($2.00 each/$65 per box out of pocket with good insurance), but have saved my sanity.

 
Old 02-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: sciatica pain back again

Do follow-up with your doc (esp with the calf stuff) but don't count yourself "out" yet. It is normal to still be healing...and I think it can be esp tough as you get a LITTlE better, push, and get rebound pain. Take it easy (do walk a bit but otherwise let yourself rest) and try to stay positive.....it may just be recovery and you may still have a success story in the end

 
Old 02-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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Re: sciatica pain back again

thanks for the reply..i have done nothing that would cause me any type of pain since my surgury..alot of sitting and laying down..some walking..i have not done any excersizing though..i cant beleive your in pt ..3 weeks post opp..i guess it just bothers me that for about a month the legs and hips were great now ..all of the pain i felt before the surgury is back and im taking pain pills and muscle relaxers but they dont help..the pain seems to be worse when i sit or lay down..if i walk a little it seems to get better but once i sit it's right back again..i made an appointment with the dr so i will go thursday becasue they wanna take a look at it..thanks again everyone for your responses....

 
Old 02-08-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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Re: sciatica pain back again

Sitting is not the harmless activity that most people assume it to be. Many surgeons restrict their patients to a 15-20 minute limit after lumbar surgery. Some even limit it further to just 3 times per day when eating meals....

Sitting puts 30% more stress on the discs than either standing/walking or lying down.

While it is extremely disappointing to have any nerve pain return after being more-or-less pain-free for a period of time following surgery, it is not unusual.

I'm glad you will be seeing your doctor tomorrow. Hopefully the visit will ease your mind. He/she may want to give you a medrol pack to ease the inflammation....that too is a fairly common response to nerve pain post surgery, or he might suggest an ESI to settle things down if inflammation is thought to be the problem.

Good luck...and let us know what you find out tomorrow.

 
Old 02-08-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: sciatica pain back again

The PT was very mild, mostly stretching and massage, then pool work for the first couple of weeks. I get how frustrating it is -- you're incredibly relieved; everything worked as expected; then the [expletive] comes back.

Let us know how your dr's appt goes!

 
Old 02-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: sciatica pain back again

Hi..I am 7 weeks post op. I was great 3 weeks after surgery but then sciatic pain came back...they gave me neurontin for nerve pain which has really heelped! I would think that with time, we will both get better....we just need to be patient which is hard for me. Dr. Also told me to walk until I heal.,good luck to you!

 
Old 02-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: sciatica pain back again

well i got to see the dr..he said what im feeling in my legs was pretty normal considering it's only been a month..he took xray's but of course it;s still to soon to see anything..so all of you were correct he said walk,walk,and walk..showed me some leg excersices to do..and he said sitting was bad for me..and he said thats it's just gonna take time..so he ordered me a bone stimulator..and refilled my pain patch and told me to keep walking till i see him next month...so once agin thank you everyone for the reply's i guess i was just worried for no reason...

 
Old 02-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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Re: sciatica pain back again

Always better to ask. Glad that your doctor's appointment went well. Such a bummer when the pain comes back, especially after it has gone away for a while.

 
Old 02-10-2012, 09:58 AM   #11
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Re: sciatica pain back again

yes thats for sure i still having a hard time walking alot. but it's just going to take time thats all..it was just funny that the dr said don't sit to long becasue sitting is the worst thing for my back..ESPESICALLY after i have had a 3 level fusion total..so i reminded him that my job was a truck driver.lol i sit anywhere from 8-11 hours a day...

 
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