Constant pain left thigh calf and feet, burning pinching paim

Hi all

I'm from USA; my daughter loves everything England especially London and wants to love there. I warned her about the weather case we live in South Florida but she still does. She loves the accent and so many people there are great you tubers and mine craft expert. She is only 11. At the very to want to take her there to visit. I've been there but it was so long ago like 1987 I think back when I had hair and no pain.

I really want to take her to London but I'm only 48 and I had back surgery 7 months ago and i have pain after the surgery. Mt surgery was necessary cause I was getting leg weakness and my mri showed a large disk bulge at T12 L1 and advanced canal stenosis at L2 L3. Do i had a posterior laminectomy disectomy with interbody fusion and instrumentation ay T12-L1 and a hemi laminectomy on the left side at L2 L3. I awoke from surgery with burning pain in the sole of my left foot. Afterwards the pain became in my calf and left outer thigh. The pain in a burning type and although i think it's getting better albeit very slowly it's still unacceptable as it really slows me down and makes me tired. I don't know why I have it. I'm still seeing doctors to show reports and imaging. I think the surgeon could have dinged my cord doing the disectomy and interbody fusion at T12-L1 as he had to come in from the left side. I also see disk bulge still impacting my cord as he could not remove all the annulus using a posterior lateral approach. Maybe there is scar tissscary L2-L3 as well. I see a new specialist tomorrow which I hope will shed light on my issues and what I can do next. Everyone and my own surgeon whom I'm kind of disappointed with says I will get better in time. But I'm scared. I have no guarantees. I do my physical therapy at home and working part time which helps keep my mind from thinking of the pain.

I'm taking 3 to 4 percocet a day. Mainly in the morning and at night. I take 3 75 mg lyrica a day. And I take 0.5 mg clonazepam at night. I do take 50 mg tramadol sometimes twice daily. I know people will say that's alot but I'm pretty tolerent to the opiates now. Also opiates only help nerve pain a little.

So my question are what meds should I try. What other things should I do? If another surgeon suggests further surgery to remove the annulus from the pressing on my cord at T12-L1 using a side approach or anterior approach, what should I do? I hear some many negative things about second spinal surgeries. Any thoughts, advice or experiences would help me. I want to get better. I never had this pain prior to surgery and feel very sad and mad at times because maybe something went wrong or my surgeon used the wrong approach. Maybe i should of just avoided the surgery altogether as I had the disk bulge at T12 L1 for many years and I think it could of been inflamed by a badly chosen chiropractic treatment I had days before my legs got weak. Maybe I was going to need this surgery sooner or later too. Please help. I want my life back.

Thanks and cheers

Jerry

9 Replies

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  • Sorry for my typos. I'm typing from my iPhone and it's early in the morning for me.

  • Jerry, it's a waiting game. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that surgery will stop or lessen pain. This should have been explained to you before surgery.

    There's no point wondering what ifs either. You are here now with this problem, and need to find a solution to make your life easier. Being in the now (in simple terms focusing on yourself and your needs right now, is part of mindfulness) which takes quite a bit of learning, keeps you focused, stops negative thinking and helps you find solutions. Mindfulness can be applied to spany situation and is a good tool to have.

    Remember Tom and Jerry cartoons? When Tom whacked Jerry with a frying pan and he became flat as a pancake? That 's what happened to your nerve when the disc was pressing on it. Unlike in the cartoon, your nerve does not suddenly become whole again. It's a long process waiting for it to reform, and sometimes if it's been compressed for a long time, it does not.

    Burning pain does mean damage or inflamation to the nerve. It may be that now it's been released it has space to become inflamed, and it may be a short term thing, of it may be that the surgeon nicked it during surgery.

    I have had spinal and disc trauma for 14 years and refused meds. I use meditation, pilates, yoga, aromatherapy, sports physio to keep the pain away.

    Meditation, once learnt acts directly on the brain and retunes the pain pathways. There are plenty to choose from on you tube, start with simple short guided ones, where a voice is taking you through the process, and work up to the heavier multi brainwave ones.

    Like anything, it takes a while to learn to do it properly, and you will need time to sit or lie and relax afterwards too. I sometimes feel hung over after a meditation, depending on how deep it is. But the pain has gone and I can enjoy that sensation for a while before it wears off. You can meditate a few times a day, and you will find different ones help at different times.

    Really avoiding any more meds is a good thing, and reducing the ones you are on would be a bonus as well. Seeing another dr for a second opinion may help too. And if thinking about surgery again, ask about worst case senarios, ask about what happened to tge people who were failed by surgery. We know what happened to those who had successful surgery. Talk about the ones who failed, and what their lives are like.

    What ever you do, learn up about it and make informed decisions. Take control of your pain.

  • Hi zanna

    Thanks for the information and advice. My pain started after my surgery. I had started getting leg weakness prior to surgery and the mri showed a large broad based disc protrusion at T12 L1 and advanced canal stenosis at L2 L3. So the surgeon suggested surgery to decompress those areas. In hindsight I wish I would of held off cause the pain I have now is neuropathic in my leg and feet especially bad on left side which is the side the surgeon goes into to remove the disk and put in the Interbody fusion. I have pedicle rods and screws at T12-L1 too to hold it all in place as it fuses. I realize I don't get a do over. And I did not ask all the right questions. I made a decision based on fear and the recommendation of this surgeon. I didn't understand all the different options either. The surgeon made it seem that every thing would be okay. I did not expect this pain. So I am pain management. I would like to get off the meds but that will take a little more time. I am doing some home exercises based on physical therapy sessions and plan to find a new physical therapist here in the Philadelphia area where I am living. I am back to work if you can believe it. Starting slow. It is hard to work in pain but I'm trying. Every one says it will get better. I hope they are right. I will see some top notch neurosurgeon here who I hope will shed light on my issues. I realize once you go down the road of surgey anything bad can happen which can lead to more surgery. I will ask about the failed cases. I really want to avoid more surgey and would rather wait more time. It's okay been about 7 months post op. I'm very concerned but have to manage this pain. I never imagined being like this. I had a bad back but never any back pain. Just got thigh in left leg pain due to L2-L3 and then the disc bulge at T12 L1 starting acting up. Maybe my body would of healed itself without the surgery. Maybe I just need more time for things to settle down. It could take up to 2 years I am told. I have had post op MRIs. I'm afraid one of the new neurosurgeon will ask for a ct myelogram due to my hardware causing interference with mri. I know the cord area appears tight despite the posterior laminectomy at T12-L1 and maybe a side approach should of been taken to remove the protruding disk (annulus). Not sure why my surgeon did that approach? I would only do more surgery after 18 months and with consensus from top doctors and with good outcome chance. Of course I am hoping my body can adjust to the tight space and the nerve pain subsides. I'll try mediation although I never tried it before. I wish I had used these natural techniques prior to surgery. Thanks Jerry

  • Jerry,

    I am no expert and you do not list all of your medications but those you do mention are not the usual/best ones for nerve pain which it sounds like you have. I know things are very different in the USA but do you have access to a pain specialist? Here we would see a pain specialist as well as a surgeon - there are drugs that were not designed for nerve pain but can be very effective which a pain specialist should be able to prescribe for you and s/he can also give treatments that may help such as nerve blocks, sympathectomies, infusions of anaesthetic such as lidocaine or ketamine etc. Anyway, just a suggestion.

    Take care.

    Jo

  • Hi

    I'm taking 3x per day lyrica 75 mg, 3x per day percocet 10 mg:325 mg, 0.5 clonazepam. I had a transforminal epidural injection of a steroid which did not help. Why meds are better? Thanks

  • Hi,

    Drugs used often used for nerve pain are the"pentin" family and "triptyline" family. Gabapentin did not work well for me (side effects) but there is another similar drug pregabapentin (something like that) which is meant to be better. Many people take amitriptyline but nortriptyline works for me (it takes the edge off the pain meaning I can do more and for longer). I don't think a surgeon would prescribe these drugs, you really need a pain specialist or failing that maybe a neurologist.

    I hope you find something that works for you soon.

    Take care

    Jo

  • Jerry - re burning pain in calf and foot. I have had that for years and was told it is because I needed to take B 12 vitamin pills daily as loss of this in the body shows up as a burning pain - mainly in the night in bed which drives you out of it to sit in a chair to get some sleep as it eases when walked upon foot in particular Mine is heel mainly but also bit on ball of left foot.

    Now find it has gone most of the time but does rear its ugly head now and then. Why - beats me. All I can say is it works for me and I read it on a forum like this.

    Tried it and no one will stop me taking it as most nights get a full 7 hours in bed - with loo trips due to being senior. Before out of bed some nights 3 or 4 am as burning pain stopped when I walked on it. Or was bearable. Varied.

    Nowadays I do get it some nights but rare - and then I take 2 B 12 next day.

    Wont kill me chemist said when I told him as we lose this natural on our body makes as we age and can start to lose it in 40 but all dwindles once we reach our 50's. Like other vitamins the body needs to renew cells daily. CO Q 10 a tab of 150 mg daily and D3 - well American sites say up to 10,000 IU a day but here in Oz they are still on 1000. I took the 1x1000 iu to start with and felt heaps better in myself and now take 5000 x 1000 iu or 5 caps a day. We all need D3 now the docs agree where once they frowned upon us taking supplements saying only need food eat a healthy diet and all vitamins in there. Not so as depleted soils these days.

    As for pain meds I've taken all you name, and more besides over time and hated side effects so off the lot and only taking Codeine and a transdermal patch which is keeping pain tolerable and my mind clear - and not side effects like Lyrica gave me vertigo, and tramadol fuzzy head all give you constipation but less with codeine than the others.

    I did try Oxycontin but its time release and as I am a fast metabolizer* no good as lasted only around 5 out of the 12 hours its supposed to work for. But it was good and similar to what you take now. *I suffer from being unable to be anesthetized easily. a 2 hour local for dentist lasts 20 minutes so I have to say inject and drill no waiting or else worn off. General for surgery - same keep dripping it or wake up and no recovery time needed whereas others still out or sleepy for hours. Curse in that meds work differently too.

    Am facing surgery myself in the future - hip replacement as well as knee all left leg which is pain area but muscles diagnosed as Arthritis since 2005. Joints now worn seemingly but in 2011 were fair wear and tear! Doesn't make me feel I am diagnosed re muscle pain which now has me almost unable to walk to end of the road and thin never get back and we are second house in from corner!

    Anyway good luck Jerry.

  • Hi marsbar

    Thanks for sharing. I'm going to look into your suggestions and try them. I have a few appointments with top notch neurosurgeon soon. I will post my experiences with them to this site.

    Thanks!!!

    Jerry

  • See an Alexander Teacher post haste.

    alexandertechnique.co.uk/

    should explain a little about the technique and give you the addresses of teachers in your area.

    Weak legs could be tight muscles in the legs which are pulling the lower vertabrea onto the root nerves. A possible treatment is to stretch the muscles in the legs. A local massage therapist should be able to do this.

    The above two possibilities will enable you to have another opinion as what steps to take.

    Overtight muscles reduce the space for nerves. By engaging in something that reduces muscle tightness will give more space for nerves.

    Google "erythromycin anti inflammatory" . Discuss the possibility of taking erythromycin for a week with your doctor. Try it and see if it helps.

    Hope this helps

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