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  • Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

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    Old 04-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
    chicago75
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    Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    Hi,

    I had a microdiscectomy from a very reputable surgeon in Chicago two weeks ago for a large herniation of an L5-S1 disc. I could tell the sciatic pain was gone when I began walking around the hospital. I began walking a couple days after surgery. I went back to the office a week later (worked from home 3 other days before that). I quickly cut back on pain meds and found myself forgetting that I had had surgery or the pain before. I would have some pain in the morning but I would walk through it and was taking Alleve once or twice a day. And I have not been bending or twisting or lifting things over 4 pounds, now 10 pounds. I have walked at least a total of an hour every day -sometimes 2. I feel like i have followed my doctor's instructions exactly.

    Just when I thought everything had been resolved, yesterday I started having a tingling in my left leg going down to the foot. Before surgery I had pain that started at the waist and went down the left buttocks to the back of the left knee. I never had a tingling sensation before surgery.

    Has anyone else all of a sudden experienced tingling when you didn't have it before surgery? If so, how long did it take to go away and did your doctor explain why this was happening? I am worried I may have reherniated the disc despite my efforts to comply with the doctor's orders.

     
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    Old 04-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
    pasko52
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    If you have just had surgery two weeks ago then you are either mislead, disallousioned, super fit or crazy! How can you go back to work so soon and walk for two hours, lift weights and act like you have followed the post op instructions? No offence but I am four months post the same surgery and I still have to take it easy. No combat sport just riding a bike, running on grass but mostly in water and exercises for my back and legs. As for the tingling feeling then that might be the nerves recovering or worse that you have re-herniated, for me it takes a minimum of four months to even hope that the internal areas and discs have healed. Please take it easy and understand that unless you calm down a bit then you WILL be back to square one if not already, sorry to be so hostile but unless you are doing an April fool joke then you should see your doctor and get some better advice and/or tablets!

     
    Old 04-01-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    It is possible that you are being a little too active and it has caused some additional inflammation that is now pressing on the nerve. Is the pain running down your leg into the foot, or is it just in the foot? Is it the same leg as before surgery?

    Also, how much are you sitting? Most surgeons limit their patients to about 15-20 minutes sitting at one time for a number of weeks post lumbar surgery. Sitting too long can ruin a surgery just as quickly as engaging in too much activity in the early weeks post surgery.

    It doesn't sound like the tingling is too bad. It may be that the nerve is just responding to the effects of surgery...but my best guess is post-surgical inflammation caused by too much walking and/or sitting.

    If it continues, call your surgeon. He may want to put you on some oral steroids to bring down any inflammation.

     
    Old 04-02-2013, 05:10 AM   #4
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    Great response. I think I did overdo it a little this weekend. Thanks for the great advice.

     
    Old 04-02-2013, 05:48 AM   #5
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    One of the biggest problems spine surgeons have is with their discectomy patients because it is the one surgery that often (not always) provides immediate relief from pain. As a result, the patient is so eager to go out and do all the things he hasn't been able to do while suffering that it is hard to get the patient to behave in a very "moderate" way!

    What is really important to remember is that the restrictions last for a short time in the grand scheme of things. If you can just be patient for some weeks longer and allow yourself to heal completely, hopefully that will be the end of the problems. Also keep in mind that healing tends to take a bit longer than most spine surgeons' optimistic timetable.

    It is best if you can make slow, steady progress rather than pushing a bit too hard, causing some nerve flare...then having to take a step or two backward while the nerve recovers so that you can then move forward again. This latter way can end up with the result of chronic nerve pain....so I've found it best in the long run to err on the side of caution.

     
    Old 04-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    Thank you again for the wisdom. I'm calling my doctor today to ask what would be a reasonable fitness level at this point.

     
    Old 04-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    My doctor said the tingling is a sign of nerve regeneration. Also said to watch the exercise level to see what I'm comfortable with. An hour of walking was too much. Said that could take 6 months to a yr to heal.

     
    Old 04-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    Oh good. I'm glad he concurs with my suggestions.

    I might add though that one reason the leg has begun tingling when it wasn't before is probably due to the increased activity which can in and of itself be irritating to the sciatic nerve.

    It can be aggravated by walking on an incline or hilly terraine, talking strides that are too long or trying to walk too quickly. The nerves have been through a trauma -- and can get very easily "ticked off" if further irritated post surgery.

    I learned after my third lumbar surgery that in the early days, it is best to take frequent short walks rather than one or two longer walks. The whole point of walking at this early stage is to stretch out the spinal nerves. Walking is the best, safest, most gentle way to do this. And this helps to prevent scar tissue from attaching to the nerve/nerves as it forms and fills in during the first twelve weeks post surgery.

    Scar tissue is one of the main reasons why surgeries are not ultimately successful so it is important to do what one can to try to limit it as much as possible.

    Last edited by teteri66; 04-02-2013 at 04:38 PM.

     
    Old 04-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
    chicago75
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    Re: Out of the blue tingling in leg/foot post-Microdiscectomy

    I agree. I think also on Saturday I walked on terrain that was not as flat as the other days. I do get plenty of walking. I walk a total of 2.2 miles during my commute to work and back. Usually 20 minutes walking after dinner. And a few days 20 mins before I leave the house in the morning. I hadn't done a really long walk until Saturday, though. I better not have much scar tissue after all this walking!

     
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