Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published, your email address is available to anyone on the internet, including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Numbness and burning in foot after back surgery



  • Hello,
    I am in a similar boat. I had a spinal fusion/bone graft on Halloween. My back is doing ok for the short time of healing, I still have pain and off and on a feeling of separation on the right side of my spine, but my main issue is the nerve damage in my left foot. It is excrutiating, so bad to where I can barely sleep because of the shooting pins and needles feeling along with fire-like burning. The top of my foot is so hypersensitive that I cant even wear slippers for too long because it feels like the top layer of skin is slowly being rubbed off. A week after my surgery I developed a pinched sciatic nerve which hurt beyond belief. They gave me a medrol pack which helped slowly to clear it up, I then got the sharp pins and needle feeling in two of my toes with minor burning feeling and over time it has developed in to what it is currently. Gabapentin is not helping and neither does pain meds. I am waiting on my surgeons office again to get back to me and let me know what can be done. I can't go a day at work without having to remove my shoe and ice my foot under my desk. This is terrible and we are supposed to be fixed with surgery, not replace one issue with another. I hope there is something that can be done to fix us all. I often cry because of the pain, and I am no crier until recently.
  • Hi Maggie here, I've read every single post in this thread and see a common issue of where post laminectomy and fusion, people are recovering well for between 2-4 weeks and then all of a sudden "BAM" everything turns bad and the foot numbness/ burning/ pins and needles arrive. This is my situation at 8 weeks post L4-L5 fusion. Can anybody explain WHY???

  • advertisement
  • Hi All. I have much of the same issues as you. I had a 3 level spinal fusion (L3-S1) done on 11/21/17. I had moderate numbness and leg pain in my right thigh, knee,calf and into my foot, as well as toe numbness in my left with slight calf numbness prior to surgery. I didn’t have too much back pain, however I had tremendous right side pain that wrapped around my torso to my stomach area. Post surgery all I can say is that the numbness and/or pain has changed. It has increased in my right foot, however abated in other places. My right foot numbness/sensory tenderness is fairly extreme. Of course, since I’m only 5 days post surgery I still have back pain where the incision was. As to why we all have this pain I know the answer. I had herniated pretty badly at L4/L5 and L5/S1. This went untreated or shall I say I tried “alternative” therapies for some time before I opted for the surgery. During surgery they have to do a lot of work around the nerves, decompressing them and moving them around and nerves do not like any of those scenarios, being compressed or moved. Hence, they react by becoming swollen or irritated and possibly damaged. That’s the reason for the numbness, burning, cold and whatever else we experience. Also the body swells where work was done and possibly scar tissue may develop that adds to the problem. But I’ll tell you this. I know I needed the surgery. One of my discs was calcified (hardened) and eventually may have severed my sciatic nerve leading to permanent paralysis. So I’m glad o did the surgery. I know I’ll get better as each and every one of you will. It will take time and effort. Eat right. Take your vitamins. Walk. Exercise when you can. We will beat this! We may not ever get back to 100%, but we will get better! Keep your head up!

  • I was hoping I would not have to ever comment on this post again, but here I am... About 3 weeks ago I was at my daughter's soccer game and I started to experience significant foot pain. I still had bouts with pain in my foot but it would go back to a manageable level in a day or two. I have been taking 1800mg of Gabapentin for the last 3 years to keep it at bay. I have now had this constant pain along with a burning sensation like I had after my surgery. Nothing had changed other than my back pain has increased over the past 6 months which I have had a recent MRI showing I now have facet joint syndrome. I have had nerve blocks and a facet joint injection that only game me 24 hours of relief. Dr has mentioned a 2 level fusion but only being 43 I'm scared to do that considering I already have permanent S1 nerve damage that is now back. I'm going in for yet another MRI to see if any thing has changed since my last one 4 months ago. If he doesn't see anything that would explain my recent nerve pain I may consider a SCS. I'm hoping that may help with both my nerve pain in foot and help with the facet joint pain and put off a 2 level fusion. This back thing is definitely getting the best of me.

  • Hi Rod. I am sorry to hear you’re back on here as well. Your story was very similar to mine and that’s why I commented on this post. We are also close in age. I am 44. I sure hope this is a minor setback for you. Like I stated in my previous post, I had a 3 level fusion done. Not what I ever imagined I’d be doing but was definitely needed, so I’m glad I went for it. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long as now whether the nerves will heal is a guessing and waiting game. I’m the meantime keep your head up. You will get better! If it requires more procedures for you, I’m sorry. I’d never want to go through this again. But it’s the hand we’re dealt and unfortunately we have to play it. Take care of yourself and don’t play with it. I’ll keep checking in here to see how you are.

  • advertisement
  • Having read most of the responses to this thread I am in the same place as most. I am week 11 post L5/S1 and currently working thru the issues of foot pain etc.. I can say that the pain started about a week after surgery and was horrendous at best. It was from my tail down the back of my leg to my big toe. It felt like someone was tearing my foot off at the ankle. Now it is mostly in the bottom of my foot and have 3 numb toes. The burning in the top is only when I touch it and for the most part I can wear a tennis shoe and get around most of the day. The stretching and PT take a toll on me but seem to be slowly helping. Honestly the acupuncture has helped the most as he combed the nerve down leg and relived a lot of the pain. He is working on my pain in my foot currently and has made it so I can function for a few hrs a day. I absolutely cannot take the nerve med buffet as they make me mental and do not relieve any pain. I take my oxy at night to get my 4 hrs of sleep. I am still handing gabapentin withdrawals and that BS. For the most part I am hopeful of foot relief but the more I read the more I worry that it will never resolve itself. I don’t have anything more to add as it is the same ole story. The accupuncture works for me but it is a bit painful at times. Make sure you have conversations with however you choose and make sure they have a history of spine patients.

  • My husband is 7months outfrom endoscopic surgery L5/S1 had a total of 5 things done. He says the pain is the same, like his feet are on fire beneath the two outer toes back to his heel. They keep saying be patient. But it is SO difficult.

Sign In or Register to comment.