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Thread: Post Op Sciatic Pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    2

    Question Post Op Sciatic Pain

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    7,126
    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!

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    NJ
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    1,293

    Question sciatica post-op

    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.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    10

    Did you sciatic pain ever subside?

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    2

    Red face No relief yet.

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    10

    No fun huh?

    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.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
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    850
    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

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    new jersey
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    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    115
    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
    Angela
    29 y/o f w/76 degree curve.Surgery done on June 26th, A/P, rods, instumentaion, rib removal- now 18 degrees!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    772
    Angela,

    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.

    Chris

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    115
    Chris,

    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!!
    Angela
    29 y/o f w/76 degree curve.Surgery done on June 26th, A/P, rods, instumentaion, rib removal- now 18 degrees!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bucks County, Pa
    Posts
    274
    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.
    surgery 9/06
    Rothman institute

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    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.
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    10
    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!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Beeston, Notts
    Posts
    8

    Thumbs up Post-op pain.

    Hi!
    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.
    Maggi.

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