View Full Version : Post Op Sciatic Pain

07-20-2006, 02:23 PM
Hi everyone, This is my first time posting in a forum, so I hope I can get some help. I am 3 weeks post op for a L5 S1 anterior and posterior fusion with a bone graft from my left posterior pelvis. My problem pre op was spondylolothesis at L5 S1, with rt posterior sciatic pain along the outside of my leg as far as the knee. Post op the pain was gone. :) However, after 10 days of walking 1.5 miles per day I developed severe sciatic pain on the inside of my rt leg going down as far as my big toe. Went back to the surgeon, had a ct to make sure the hardware was still in place. Results were good. Now 2 weeks after the pain began, it is worse than ever. I spent last night in the ER. Was giver morphine, torodol, and ativan. Was able to sleep for a few hours, but when the drugs wore off, it was as bad as it was when i got there. I am taking lortab 10mg, 2 every 4-6 hrs. with little relief, neurontin 300 mg 3 times a day and flexeril 3 times a day. I am at the point where i can't really stand the pain anymore, physically or emotionally. Someone please help with advice. Thanks so much, Peace.

07-20-2006, 02:49 PM
Yikes... that must be pretty depressing.

The only thing I can offer is that I started having sciatica about 6 weeks post-op. My surgeon asked me to back off on sitting for any length of time. I did that, and the sciatica went away.

I hope you find a non-surgical solution!


Karen Ocker
07-20-2006, 06:27 PM
I had that --especially early on in the healing process. The nerves have been moved around(including the sciatic nerves) when the spinal curves were reduced.

Don't panic. There are all sorts of pains during healing which will pass including: numbness in feet, hot torso/legs, jabs anywhere, aches, shocks etc.

If you pay attention to each of these you will go nuts for no reason-- ;) especially when your surgeon says all is OK.

08-20-2006, 08:20 PM
Justfortoday....did you ever get relief from your sciatic pain after surgery? I just had surgery a week ago...and after the surgery I have sciatic sensitivity down my right leg (which wasn't there prior to surgery). Infact, it hurt so much when I woke up from my first surgery...that they had to go back in 3 days after and try to fix the problem "loosen screws, open up nerve canals, etc.". Now I'm better...but still have sensitivity all the way from my right butt down to my toes.

08-20-2006, 11:22 PM
Surgery was on 6/28, still no relief. Dr. tried to do myelogram but was unsuccesful due to swelling post-op.(They hit the nerve root 3 times and I told him no more.)
Went on to have another MRI which showed a new herniation laterally at l5-s1. This is pushing on the nerve which explains the amount of pain I am still having. I am scheduled for another steroid inj. on the 28th, and have an app. with a neurosurgeon on this Tuesday for a second opinion. The original surgeon says in order to remove the herniation at l5-s1, he would have to take down the fusion at that level, which could cause even more scar tissue to develop. He and I both don't want to take that risk. So as of now, I get to :) and bear it. Thanks for your concern, and best of luck to you, you'll be in my prayers.

08-21-2006, 08:35 PM
Well, I still have the tingly uncomfortable sciatic feeling in my right leg. I will be praying for you also...that you get some relief eventually. It kind of sux to have an operation and come out with something hurting that wasn't hurting prior to going in. My follow up appointment is next Monday...and I am sure when I tell him that I have this issue with my right leg still...he will probably say he doesn't know why I do...and that it will eventually go away. But....I would have thought it would have gone away by now. My illiac crest bone graft incision is red and oozing a little too. I wonder if they need to call in an antibiotic for me. I guess I should call them tomorrow to tell them it's still oozing.

08-21-2006, 09:07 PM
karen ocker-----------thks for your input... I do have some leg pains & small amt of numbness & weird feelings in legs but nothing too major.... sitting abosolutely kills me to death(low back aches) so I don't overdo it except in the backyard --I'm good in a outdoor chair that leans me back a bit/with a pillow.......Ly

08-21-2006, 09:07 PM
karen ocker-----------thks for your input... I do have some leg pains & small amt of numbness & weird feelings in legs but nothing too major.... sitting abosolutely kills me to death(low back aches) so I don't overdo it except in the backyard --I'm good in a outdoor chair that leans me back a bit/with a pillow.......Ly

08-21-2006, 10:46 PM
I had sciatic pain probs before surgery and prayed it would stop after surgery, but it got worse. I used to only take 400 mg of Neurontin at bedtime before surgery, now i take 800 mg 2 hrs before bedtime just so I can sleep. My surgeon has hope that it will get better as time goes on, but as he said many times before this surgery- there was no guarantee only hope that it would help it. The surgery definitely did help alot of other things tho- so I am very greatful! I no longer seem to have IBS- hey- thats a plus :D

08-22-2006, 10:34 AM

It's interesting that you bring up your pre-surgery problem with IBS. I have been experiencing ongoing IBS symptoms for the past year and have often wondered if it might be connected to my scoliosis. With a severe lumbar curve, I'm wondering if my intestines are being squished. I'm going to bring it up when I go for my next consultation.


08-22-2006, 10:03 PM

I have read past posts on this as well (IBS). When I asked my surgeon if my IBS could be caused by my scoli he said absolutely. There are a whole host of probs that could be caused by when you have any type of spine prob. Although, I must be honest- my diet has changed some now since I no longer work- I no longer eat fast food, and drink Boost every morning for the added vitamins, etc. but I more importantly learned that it would "coat" my stomache when i was taking the more "hard core" pain meds (I would wake up so queasy every morning). Hopefully the IBS w/constipation I dealt with for the past 10 plus years will not come back!!

08-22-2006, 11:25 PM
I have intense sciatic pain from right butt cheek all the way down to my foot. Sometimes tingling. I am hoping the surgery will correct that. I have a stand up job so the pain is unbearable at times even with pain meds. Two weeks till surgery.

08-23-2006, 02:10 PM
About two weeks post-op I began having pain in my left leg and on the inside of my left ankle. The skin around that spot was also very sensitive to the touch. It drove me crazy! I couldn't even stand for the sheets or any clothing to touch that spot. Around this time, I also noticed that my left leg and foot were red in color whereas my right leg was normal. I brought this to my surgeon's attention and he sent me for a doppler scan to check for blood clots. The scan was negative and he said these kinds of random aches and pains are somewhat common after surgery (something having to do with the lymphatic system). This pain disappeared at around 1 1/2 months post-op although the redness persists.

08-23-2006, 05:45 PM
I hope I have the same luck as you...with the pain eventually going away. It's kind of scary, because I've had this sciatic pain ever since the surgery. I wish I didn't have to wait until Monday to see the doctor. I sure don't want to live with this the rest of my life!

Maggi C-B
08-06-2008, 12:28 PM
I'm Maggi and I've just registered with the forum.
I read your story with dismay because I have an appointment at the hospital on 26th this month, to discuss the posibility of surgery to repair my spondylolothesis.
I can't tell you the number of the affected vertebra - no-one's told me - but it's the lowest one at the left of my spine.
The problem was diagnosed in 1997, but it's only since the beginning of this year that the pain has become permenant and disabling.
My GP thinks the time has to come to consider surgery and friends, who don't really understand the problem, are urging me to go for it.
I've had serious doubts, though, having heard other patients say that they had less mobility and more pain.
Having read your post, I'm really considering refusing surgery, even though the ongoing pain is affecting so much of my life and none of the medications I've been prescribed have helped.
My heart goes out to you.
Please let me know how you get on - especially if you're offered any advice.

08-06-2008, 04:19 PM

First off... Welcome to the forum! :)

Sorry to hear about your pain though. It definately is not fun. As for advice... If the pain is disabling, its time to consider how to fix it. Yes if you get fused movement will be restricted, but better that than having to live with pain for the rest of your life. I'm 25 years post op and am having problems, and one of the things I am looking at are more fusion below my rods, basically fusing the rest of my spine. Movement will be more restricted, but better that than pain. There is life after fusing. It may not seem like it, but there is.

Basically get all the information you can from your doctors and go from there. I hope things work out for you and let us know how things are going.