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will it ever go away?

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Old 04-17-2005, 08:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
mkf HB User
will it ever go away?

I had laminectomy and facetectomy in late February and have been back to work part time for 1 week now.

I still have the same numbness in my left leg from the knee down to the toes that I had upon waking up after surgery. My back pain is pretty much gone, but this numbness is not subsiding or lessening. The neuro's pa told me that they may order another mri when I go back in a couple of weeks.

Is this common after almost 8 weeks? Shouldn't it have lessened some? I'm taking neurontin - only 600 mg per day because I couldn't tolerate any more than that, and vicodin when I need it. By the end of the day it seems worse and I've just recently started having shooting pains in my thigh on the same leg - only occasionally. Is it possible my surgery didn't help?

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Old 04-17-2005, 08:31 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ft. Worth
Posts: 521
myspine HB User
Re: will it ever go away?

Hi there
8 weeks is still early, but keep your eye on everything. I do hope you get better. Nerves take time to heal. I know how frustrating it is but keep your chin up things should start getting better soon.

Old 04-17-2005, 12:52 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
mkf HB User
Re: will it ever go away?

thanks for your response. I have a horrible fear of having to have fusion - which is what my neuro said in a letter to my gp and wc. What he actually said was that there was a strong probability the surgery could fail and I would require fusion in the future. I guess that's been in the back of my mind all along, and I thought recuperation from this surgery was difficult. After reading posts from folks here who've had fusion, I'm scared to go there!

The numbness is so pronounced and I just thought it would subside some by now. It's weird that by the end of the day it feels like I'm limping a bit and sometimes it's uncomfortable to lie on that side - it seems to make it more numb. I was hoping the shooting pains could actually be the nerves getting better and that it's maybe a good sign - but still the numbness persists.

Thanks again - there's so much knowledge and support here on this board - I'm so glad I found it before my surgery.

Old 04-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: will it ever go away?

You also should keep in mind that the longer a nerve is compressed and in pain or numb, the less chance of it fully recovering. The guideline my spine specialist gave me before my first fusion surgery was 6 mo or less can usually give you a full recovery, but it drops to 75 percent at 9 months and 50 percent at a year. Unfortunately before I found him I had already gone more than 9 months in severe leg pain/and some numbness in toes and was stuck in a bent over position. Got rid of the pain, can walk upright but the toes will forever be numb.

Eight weeks may be early, depending on how severe your nerve was compressed. May I suggest however, that if fusion is pushed, that you see a spine specialist, whether neuro or ortho. Look for one in your state's licensing database. They may not be listed as spine specialist, but as ortho or neuro. You will just have to look to see which ones have spine fellowships and in the search you also see where some list their speciality as spines.

Best wishes for a full recovery and no fusion in your future. Hope you will let us know how you are doing.

Old 04-17-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
mkf HB User
Re: will it ever go away?

thanks, quietcook, for responding. I fell in October and sustained the injury, and had the surgery 4 months later. The numbness is new since surgery. What I had before surgery was foot and leg pain - same leg that has the numbness now. I'll keep you posted as to my progress. I see the neuro's pa on the 26th of this month.

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