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Numbness and burning in foot after back surgery

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Comments

  • Hi all I'm sorry to hear about all of your troubles I know exactly what it feels like. I've had 3 surgeries the last of which was a fusion. I'll walk through my experience in hopes you can relate. My first surgery went great but numbness continued them Pain came back and the same disk reherniated. The second surgery was the worst "recovery." Burning, Pain, and numbness continued for about a year and a half. I took gabapentin (older generation and generic of lyrica) and although it didn't stop the pain or numbness, it definitely made it a lot more bearable. It turns out the same disk herniated a third time and I got the fusion. I'm about 35 days post ok and completely pain free. With your different issues there may be a few options. The steroid injections may decrease swelling and relieve pressure against the nerve. If that doesn't work it may be nerve damage it could take 10-13 months for a nerve to heal. If it doesn't heal by then you may have permanent damage and I don't know what options there are maybe a nerve block or an internal pain pump. Nerves take the longest to heal and it sucks. Try to stay active (i know it's hard) try walking as much as possible that's promotes healing. Best of luck!
  • Spiny_MaloneSSpiny_Malone Posts: 225
    edited 11/18/2014 - 9:27 AM
    The feeling of acupuncture on my foot was enough to make me cry like a baby. I didn't pursue it further. I've also had a nerve pinch from a massive disc herniation. See my picture? That's one disc herniating to the lower level. Ugh.
    Will the drop foot ever get better? Maybe. This cold weather turn makes me wonder.
    Will it still be numb?
    Why does it feel like i have it in a snowbank? I have found wool socks save my sanity.
    I'm afraid to take lyrica. I wonder if the side effects are worse than this feeling of nerves.
    Please keep telling your stories of recovery. It's hard doing this alone.
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  • The feeling of acupuncture on my foot was enough to make me cry like a baby. I didn't pursue it further. I've also had a nerve pinch from a massive disc herniation. See my picture? That's one disc herniating to the lower level. Ugh.
    Will the drop foot ever get better? Maybe. This cold weather turn makes me wonder.
    Will it still be numb?
    Why does it feel like i have it in a snowbank? I have found wool socks save my sanity.
    I'm afraid to take lyrica. I wonder if the side effects are worse than this feeling of nerves.
    Please keep telling your stories of recovery. It's hard doing this alone.
  • I'm trying to stay active as much as possible, but unfortunately walking is what causes me the most pain. In the past few days, I also now have some pain in my toes on the right foot that I had not had prior. I'm not even sure this has anything to do with my surgery, but it doesn't feel right. I'm just hoping that this 2nd spine injection gives some relief, but it seems that they do not work for most people. Believe you me, if I get through this whole thing, I will be one happy person!!!!
  • 41 year old male here, previously very healthy and athletic. I'm 3+ months post opp from a L4/L5 laminotomy and trying to stay sane while managing searing nerve pain into my right foot. It's much more consistent and intense than before surgery, which I understood to be highly unlikely at this stage. The pain does not follow a continuous radicular path from my back, but rather seems to start in the ankle and spread to my toes. The classic nerve pain numb/burning/pins symptoms even sound similar to tarsal tunnel syndrome, but it seems illogical for the generator to be anything other than my spine given the surgery there made things significantly and substantially worse. I also have pain in my glute/hamstring area, but that feels more muscular than nerve and is much more manageable. Walking and standing aggravate my foot pain; sitting aggravates my glute/ham pain... I lay down and ice a lot! Over the past few weeks, I've been swimming, which seems to be helping some. I can feel tingling in my foot while swimming, but it's not bad and I keep going because I feel that the increased activity/exercise just has to be a net gain. I also perceive some relief from Mckenzie extensions.

    My next step is likely a L4-L5 + L5-S1 transforaminal steroid injection or three. If those don't help, I will explore another surgery, spinal stimulation, and radio frequency ablation. Anyway, your stories and pain patterns sound familiar - I'm in this darn boat too. Nerves are tough to treat, and time is clearly the best medicine available. It doesn't always work, but nerves usually settle down in time, I'm told. Yesterday, I met a guy at the pool who had lumbar decompression surgery 13 years ago. He said he is now skiing bumps with his kids and is basically pain free! I asked how long his recovery took and he said "years." While this would have been bad news to me until recently, I fear living with this pain forever, and it was good to hear a story with a happy ending. There aren't many on sites like this because those lucky souls are out skiing and doing other fun stuff, but they're out there...no doubt about it. Good luck all, keep fighting and stay patient with those weird and complicated nerves.
    TR
    August 2014: L4/L5 Laminotomy; L4/L5 + L5/S1 Foraminotomies
    Steroid Injections: L4/L5, SI Joint, Piriformis, Ischial Tunnel; Botox Injection: Piriformis
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  • Spiny_Malone said:
    The feeling of acupuncture on my foot was enough to make me cry like a baby. I didn't pursue it further. I've also had a nerve pinch from a massive disc herniation. See my picture? That's one disc herniating to the lower level. Ugh.
    Will the drop foot ever get better? Maybe. This cold weather turn makes me wonder.
    Will it still be numb?
    Why does it feel like i have it in a snowbank? I have found wool socks save my sanity.
    I'm afraid to take lyrica. I wonder if the side effects are worse than this feeling of nerves.
    Please keep telling your stories of recovery. It's hard doing this alone.
    Spiny,

    I have major nerve pain in my left foot still a full 2 months after my fusion surgery. I switched from the highest dose of Gabapentin to a relatively low dose of Lyrica and am much happier with fewer side effects than from the Gabapentin. I had to slowly wean off the Gabapentin while building up the Lyrica, but I now take 225 mg of Lyrica a day and it seems to be working better for me. So don't be afraid to try it...it might work!
    Christina
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • Hazeleyes75HHazeleyes75 Posts: 1
    edited 11/22/2014 - 2:28 PM
    Hi, I'm hoping that you guys might be able to shed some light on what I'm going through. I had spinal fusion and decompression surgery on my L4, L5, S1 in May 2014, and everything went great until about July 2014. My right foot started to get a burning and numbing type feeling starting off in the heel and spreading towards my toes. At first I thought maybe it was my heel spur reoccurring but now my left foot is following right behind my right one. Along with this, the last two weeks I've been having pain in my left buttock area going down my leg, front and back, just as it had before I had my surgery, not to mention I have severe numbing in my three middle toes on my right foot. I went to the ER on Wednesday night because after being on my feet at work, I was barely able to walk without holding my breath. It's been getting worse the last few months and at times is to the point I can't walk without wanting to leap off of each foot to the next. I finally get to see a specialist on Dec. 12 hoping he will have some answers, and was advised by the ER doctor to call my surgeon and let him know what's going on and see what he says also. I'm worried because of the extent this has gotten making my daily life unbearable, so if anyone can give me some advice or if your going through somewhat of the same issues, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.
  • I had nerve pain in my left foot and loss of function of nerve to large calf muscle before having spinal fusion done. My surgeon told me that I should regain nerve function to the calf and so far I have better return than anticipated. He told me upfront that I would not regain nerve function to the foot but that over time I would get used to it and it would bother me less. Thus far he appears correct. I have had no improvement and it still drives me nuts especially at night. I herniated in March and had surgery mid August. Sorry not to have encouraging news.
    LindaMac
  • MasterofsparksMMasterofsparks Posts: 1
    edited 12/22/2014 - 12:23 AM
    I had this surgery in July of 2012. As of today, I still have severe pain and tingling in my left foot. It also swells up my ankle. Dr tries to tell me the swelling has nothing to do with surgery. Funny how I never had this prior to surgery. Walking without support is about impossible. It feels like you have a balloon for a foot and hurts like hell after a while. This is really depressing. The Dr. downplays the pain and numbness and finally my GP admitted that it may never come back and does this to some patients.
    Masterofsparks
    L5 bulged disc, 1 1/2 yrs later, still sever pain and tingling in left foot
  • On my way to work (not driving) and I am so glad I have found you all. I am a 50 year old female that has been healthy up until this past two years with my spine. I have to say reading Rod's entry hit home. I've had the collapsed disc L5/s1 fusion and lower lumbar stenosis surgery and have had nothing but problems. The pain of the bone in my left leg went away but it seems I have additional problems now. Swelling in the legs and feet that I never had before for which my general doctor had to order an ultrasound to ensure I didn't have blood clots. Because my neurosurgeon said that the swelling after surgery had nothing to do with him I would have to see my regular doctor. My feet and ankles are still swelling not as bad but now if I sit or lay for a few minutes it is a terrible pain for me to stand up and walk on them., my tailbone is killing me, my legs are starting to go numb again, my left foot the toes have been numb ever since the surgery. I still hurt when I bend down, my pelvic area hurts to walk and my back right side feels like the hip area is coming apart, my left rib cage hurts and the muscles are sore...I guess that is from tensing up from the pain. .I went to see my neurosurgeon yesterday and he told me that my feet hurting had nothing to do with the back or spine, I most likely have arthritis in my feet, my back and tail bone pain was normal and that the swelling in my feet and ankles had nothing to do with my back or the surgery - could be arthritis. Now neurosurgeon is to make an appointment with a pain management doctor. I had the fusion on the c5/6 (march 2013) and am dealing with continual pain in my neck & shoulders, my right are is starting to go numb again and also front of neck stays numb approx. 75 - 80% of the time now and to boot I am the lucky winner of a permanent Voice change. I had no choice because all was up against my spinal cord so surgery it was.... I thought about acupuncture until I read the above comment... Now I guess I will just stick with the pain management doctor. I was hoping to be better and not have to control pain or have more operations. I've tried no pain medication and it is impossible., my husband thought he was going to have to take me to the hospital because I took so many ibuprofen, over the counter back pain medicine, rubbed horse liniment because of the strength (did pretty good I might add but still had pain) then I took night time cold knock you out meds just to try and sleep because I couldn't get relaxed Enough to sleep because of the pain..... I still didn't get enough sleep.. I am searching for the miracle as well please.
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