Epidural fibrosis L5 nerve

Hello.

I had a discectomy march 2016 and 10 months after I began having nerve pain in right leg and calf when I sat. Sitting causes my pain to become worse. A month of that and then began nerve pain in other leg. Top of thigh hips calf. My feet go numb if I sit 2 long/ walk to long. Both legs have nerve pain in front of thighs calves and hips. Never at once it jumps around. Right foot gets it as well. Is this epidural fibrosis or something else ? My MRI says fibrosis adjacent to the L5 nerve. If it was just on my exciting L5 nerve why am I having nerve pain in both legs and in weird spots? I'm just confused. Any help would be great. FYI my discectomy was far lateral at L5S1 on right said.

6 Replies

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  • Where and who did your surgery? You need to find a good physical therapist to work out and loosen the scar tissue to reduce the pain. Nerve pain can jump all over the place as the nerves are mostly all connected. Get the right treatment including pain management.

  • I had it in Idaho. I got scheduled with PT starting soon. For last 2 months been doing Pool PT and core and stretching. I'm hoping it's not scar tissue but that's only thing showing on MRI. Hopefully it's something to do with my hips ! I'm still in decent shape. Former college basketball player ( until back surgery ) core is strong. Stretching in pool and swimming. Nerve pain is in new areas right side is hips top of thigh ( Lower part ) hamstrings, calf, outside of foot. Left leg is hip inside part of thigh ( lower part ) calf and foot numbness. I would just think if it was scar tissue on my R L5 exciting nerve I would get pain along that nerve not in other nerves. Thanks for your time !

  • Any damage to the L5 S1 area causes referral pain around the hips, buttocks, thighs and feet. You need to disguss this pain and numbness to the person that did your procedure. While your waiting try the pacing method by constantly changing position to get comfortable and try a tens machine on lower back. Also ask to see a physio who can gently massage your back to try and release it or maybe some oltrasound may help. I hope you don't have to wait too long to be seen as I know how hard it is to manage the pain. X

  • Thanks for the reply. I did see my surgeon again and had a MRI. He said all it shows is scar tissue by my L5 exciting nerve root. He said that does not explain the nerve pain in my legs hips thighs. Said it would be localized along my L5 nerve and only be in right leg. But I get nerve pain in both legs. Iv done pool aerobics which causes no nerve pain. But sitting I get bad nerve pain. Walking over 15 minutes both my feet go numb. If I sit for more that 15 min both feet go numb. Nerve twitches electric shock numbness burning. More so in right leg which is where my surgery was performed. Far lateral L5 S1 microdisctomy. Looking at my MRI there is no scar tissue by my s1 nerve just my L5. I'm doing stretching. Core planks. And rehab in the pool. I am now over a year after surgery and delt with this for 2 months. Now looking into piriformis syndrom and others but I think it's related to scar tissue! Just don't understand how I would get pain in opposite leg in thigh knee hip calf. Thanks for your time :)

  • It all sounds confusing but don't give up yet. Do your feet change colour when numb? Do they hurt to the touch even when your shoes/ socks are on? Any little thing like that they need to know about. Keep notes on how it's all going and try and find some trigger points that may help. Tell them how your struggling and that you would like them to do all they can for you. Just be careful with the core planks as this could cause more injury depending on whats wrong. Swimming is good for overall strength. Don't overdo it like I did. X

  • I really appreciate your advice and will do. It sounds like you have had to deal with nerve pain as well, I am sorry and hope it got fixed for you! im confident my doctors will be able to figure it out. I get a EMG test soon and a 2nd opinion from back surgeon. I will be careful with planks ! I do stretching and pull-ups and push-ups all body weight . As far as notes I have been tracking them daily as well as pain scale 1-10. I did bending forward back side to side every stretch I do or activity I do I have been charting with notes and then would chart pain levels. Only thing that brings nerve pain above 5 is sitting or loading spine. Funny that standing doesn't cause any pain! If I walk to long tho both feet go numb. I have not looked into trigger points that might help. So thank you for that advice I will do that asap and see what I can do. I appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts. Trigger points could help me !:)so thanks for the helpful tip ! I am in constant nerve pain around a 4. unless in pool:) which is nice. Yes recently my feet get extremely cold and my toes turn blue purple. I soak them in warm water that helps a little. It's scarry but ik people go through worse than I have it! I had MRI for the quadra syndrom thing and it all was good and I don't have nerve root clumping so I can breath a little. All MRI shows is scar tissue adjacent L5 nerve.

    - Checked for infection via blood test came back all good

    - increased blood pressure. I'm usually 120/60 ish. Now it's like 160/100 last 2 months. Could be cause of the pain tho. I don't take any pain meds other than Advil. Doctor said would give me gabapentin and pain meds but I said I wanted to fight this naturally if I can. But getting to point where it's bad. Just weird it's in both legs !

    - I'm getting selective not root block with numbing agent without cortizone steroid and no sidation and then go sit and see if my pain generates or goes away. That way will we if the scar tissue is Causing pain. Only have. Small window I guess and numbing wears off pretty fast.

    - still eating well for most part. Around 2,500 calories a day and counting macros. I'm 6'1 160lb lost a lot of muscle as this is approaching month 3.

    - going to PT soon to see if hips are cause of problem.

    - went to chiropractor for help but with no reflexes in my s1 nerves in both feet and knee reflex is really bad. Some days I get a little reflex and others none at all. Before I had great reflexes. He would not work on me with my relaxes either completely gone or barely there. Probably smart on his part.

    -- last note I was doing great after microdiscectomy until month 10 I decided to take batting practice and swing a baseball bat and twist. Ever since then this keep progressing worse and worse nerve pain. Starting in r leg and eventually now in both and I can say getting way worse. I have not tried to twist to test and see if that causes symptoms. I did a little on accident and yes nerve pain increased. My mind just tells me don't. Even think about twisting.

    Sorry for the long reply. Maybe someone else might have same symptoms / story and when I figure this thing out I can help someone else !:)

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