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Re: Foot and calf pain following spinal fusion

Re: Foot and calf pain following spinal fusion

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Posted by Diana on August 06, 2000 at 11:30:14:

In Reply to: Re: Foot and calf pain following spinal fusion posted by diane on June 20, 2000 at 22:58:10:

: : I had a redo fusion of my L2-3 on May 15th and since then have been having nerve problems similar to yours. Both of my feet are swelling and I feel like I have low circulation in my right leg. I also get shooting pains down the back of my right leg that are quite unpleasant. My doctor said I either have an infection from the screws they put in, or a nerve got irritated during surgery and is just now making itself known. I do know that nerves only grow 1/16 on an inch per year, so there is a good chance of recovery for anyone with nerve problems. Do try to wait it out if they mention surgically fixing it.

: Hi Denise,

: I am 4 months post op from a lumbar fusion at 4/5 with screws/rods. I still have flare up days from time to time and my doc says that those are to be expected for up to 6 months as they have traumatized those nerve roots in surgery. It only happens about every 2-3 weeks and lasts a day or two. The time in between in really good. I didn't have swelling, however but the flare ups are pain in the thigh, down the calf and on the top of my foot, on the same side as the bone graft and where the disc herniation was most significant. Good luck!
: diane in michigan

Dear Diane & Denise
I know this is long, but bear with me. I have had 2 spine surgeries, L4/L5/S1 with rods/6 screws. After my first surgery I developed a broken screw. In between 2 spine surgeries they told me I had something wrong with my hip. Nine days after my hip surgery they determinied my problem was a broken screw. I have had tremendous problems with nerve irritation and I lost deep reflexs in my left foot with numbing in my legs and feet. My feet don't pick up real well. I had trouble with my bowel and bladder as well. They thought I had RSD starting in my foot from nerve damage and cauda equina syndrome. I still have a bulge above the L-4 pedicle screws with some bone chips and my nerves don't run smoothly. My doctor has told me that what you get after 1 year is usually what you will be stuck with for life. Try to hold on. It is too early still. There is going to be residual pain and swelling for a long time. You can have damage on one side, but it can affect the other. I had fractures on my vertabrae on the left but my right leg/foot were affected more until after my second surgery, then it got me on both sides. Although, my last spine surgery was 3 years ago. I never thought there would be a day when I could do things. I am very careful and cautious. Walking is best for you. My mom is a spine patient as well. Her Doctor told her no matter how bad it hurts, WALK, WALK, WALK! Sometimes you need to walk through the pain to eventually feel better. You don't ever think it will help. You will eventually say, hey look how far I walked today, walk a little longer and you will know how much you can handle. Don't over do it though. I do get that circulation feeling still and swell on occasion. I still get a funny string feeling down my legs or sometimes it feels like there is a bug on my leg, but there isn't. I do still have pain where my bone graphs were taken from. It is nerve root irritation. But it is not as bad at it used to be, it is better. Good days and bad. Someone else wrote once a spine patient, always a spine patient. Its been 3 years for me. I watch what I do everyday. Believe me I know when the pain comes back. It feels like the days before my surgery. Just know that you are not alone. I hope you are both feeling better soon. Take one day at a time. It feels so good be able to talk and trying to help other people who have been through the same. I always felt alone, not many people understand when they haven't experienced it. Good luck! I'll be thinking about you.

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