Pain Concern
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i need help with knowing how long this post surgery pain will last!

i need help with knowing how long this post surgery pain will last!

i had lumbar fusion and laminectomy on march 1. i am still dealing with pain from sciatica. i thought the surgery would take that away. surgeon said he did the best he could and may continue with that pain for up to a year!!! anyone have any insights about this? i would appreciate any support. thank you very much. cathy

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I had same operationin 2008. STILL have pain...been told this is now lifetime condition...must have been unlucky few that are left with pain !😣

That wassurgeon's exact words....


Hi Cathy

I had 2 (emergency) laminectomies due to severely prolapsed disc(s) pushing into spinal cord, one (at L4/5) in July 15, which rapidly enabled me to walk and relieved pain for about a month. Unfortunately I woke up one morning and couldn't walk (again) so had another cervical laminectomy in Nov 15. I then had 3 root ganglion nerve blocks over the following 6 months.

For me the pain was still bad following surgery but improved slightly with each injection. I slowly regained some control of my legs so started a program of supervised physical therapy under the guidance of a skilled personal trainer.

Over about 6 months the sciatic pain subdued and I have very slowly increased my walking ability, but it has been painful and hard work.

I should say that I literally couldn't stand up when I started and had lost an enormous amount of muscle from my lower body.

I avoided the need for a fusion as the vertabrae that would have needed it auto-fused.

The stretching and core strengthening that I have been doing have definitely helped enormously, I doubt I would be as mobile and although not exactly pain-free I consider myself lucky to no longer have permanent sciatic pain. Also my back itself is usually stiff rather than painful.

I have learned that the recovery is a long process, 2 years so far and I am still seeing major improvements in my mobility. Will never be back to 'normal' but feared I was going to be in a wheelchair for a while, so I'm pleased in the circumstances.

I'm afraid there's no easy solution but time and physical therapy have helped for me.

All the best


Hello. I have had spinal fusion with laminectomy at t12 l1 level and hemi laminectomy at l2 3 level. I had surgery almost 2 years ago. I developed nerve pain (burning and diffuse surface pain - called dysthesia) after the surgery and still have this new pain. My original issue of pain and numbness in my left outer thigh was not resolved. So my back surgery is deemed failed. I discovered some people are pain free right after surgery and some take longer. Generally speaking if the pain is not resolved within 3-4 months post surgery, the surgery is considered failed. This can happen for many reasons but one main one is that the underlying nerve compression was not sufficiently decompressed, scar tissue from the surgery is putting pressure on the nerves or the nerve damage was permanent (it is sometimes believed that if the nerves that are compressed are not decompressed within 2 years they may not respond well to decompression surgery) . I have learned that back surgery is very risky with lower success rate than published or claimed by the practice and that it is now over marketed and advertise as a "fix all". Doctors over estimate the chance for success and want to get patients to operate on. They know if it does not work they will not have to deal with you. Usually their patients are with them for only up to 6 months ( to confirm fusion). If you still have pain or developed new pain (like in my case ), they send you off to pain management. I wish you success. Don't think negatively. Each case is different. Give it time. But try to avoid more surgery. Surgery should always be last last resort.

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