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suddenly intense sciatic pain after 3 weeks

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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jaydar HB User
suddenly intense sciatic pain after 3 weeks

I'm not sure if it's too soon to be concerned.Had 2 level laminectomy fusion with metal spacer and rods and screws at L4-L5 and discectomy,decompression with Dynesys flexible stabilization at L3-L4 which has flexible cords and pedicle screws.

Each day has seemed to be better than the day before but two days ago I began getting sciatic type pain from the buttock to the ankle on left leg with numbness at the big toe and next toe.

It came on kind of subtly but has been getting really intense.It is mostly the worst when I wake up and get out of bed where the back of the thigh and the calf and the bottom of my left foot is excruciating.

I was given a binder at the hospital which is really just an elastic wrap secured with velcro....and it adds some stability but it always needs adjusting because it scrunches up.

So I had a Boston Brace made 8 years ago in anticipation of fusion surgery back then...that never happened.It was custom fitted...and since that time my body shape has changed...and I think initially it was never correctly fitted anyway.

So I got some heavy duty scizzors and began trimming this brace and finally got it to where It fit better than when it was first made.

It helps with the sciatic pain within minutes.

My question it common to be feeling so good for a couple of weeks right after surgery and then suddenly begin having intense pain like this several weeks later?

Should I be concerned about a problem with the screws...or maybe a piece of disc maybe was missed and is floating inside?

Is this typical? I'm not sure if the procedures I had would have required manipulations of the nerve roots.

I see the doctor again in 2 weeks.Should I just chill and do the best I can to deal with this until then....or should I call and ask to see him....maybe have an xray and a ct? I know I couldn't handle an hour long mri right now.

Last edited by jaydar; 06-24-2011 at 09:30 PM.

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Old 06-24-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: suddenly intense sciatic pain after 3 weeks

There are a couple things that may be going on. When the surgeon is finishing up with the surgery, they dump in a bunch of antibiotics and steroids to minimize the chance of infection and to dull the early surgical pain. This takes about ten days to two weeks to wear off, and often patients will notice an increase in pain at this point.

Also around now, you are probably moving around a little bit more, maybe becoming a bit more active, which can lead to an increase in inflammation.

Are you limiting the amount of time you sit to 15-20 minutes at a time?

I wouldn't say it is common to have an increase in pain at this point, but it is not unusual, either!

I haven't had the Dynesys system so I can't speak from personal experience. With a "usual" fusion, it would be unusual for a screw to be a problem this early in your recovery unless you fell or did something that caused it to move.

If you had an incision on the back, there is a high probability that the surgeon had to move one or more nerves.

I would suggest you take it very easy for the next several days. If the sciatic pain is still intense, I would call your doctor. He may want you to come in just to be sure things are in order....

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jaydar (06-25-2011)
Old 06-25-2011, 05:11 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Banora Point Australia
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angelshelpme HB User
Re: suddenly intense sciatic pain after 3 weeks

Hi, I would contact the surgeon and let him/her know what is going on. It may be nothing serious, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I've had sciatic pain with numbness now for 25 years, so I know how it feels

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