Sunday, April 14, 2024

What Helps Leg Pain After Back Surgery

Secondary Problems After Spine Surgery

Back to Health : How to Treat a Sciatic Nerve After Back Surgery

Often, there are other secondary problems that must be worked out after back surgery. For example, a patient with a pinched L5 nerve root from a disc herniation may still need physical therapy afterward because they may have a secondary piriformis syndrome. Unpinching the L5 nerve root may relieve the radiculopathy but the patient still has pain in the buttocks from continued muscle spasm in the piriformis. Until this is worked out, the patient will not feel like the back surgery is successful.

Many times, spine surgery is necessary to provide enough back pain relief for the patient to start a rehabilitation program, but it should only be one component of the patients healing process. Unfortunately, some patients feel that if they have had back surgery they have been fixed and no further treatment is necessary. However, this is rarely true, and continued therapies and rehabilitation are usually necessary for a successful outcome.

Persistent Back Pain After A Successful Surgery

Some people have long-lasting pain after a back surgery that was technically flawless. In these situations, imaging tests, such as MRIs and CTs performed after surgery do not show any significant abnormalities that would indicate a need for repeat surgery.

These people may have neuropathic pain , a condition where nerve fibers become overactive and send inappropriate pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. In this case, there is no constriction or narrowing that is squeezing a spinal nerve.

Some facts about NP:

Rehabilitation Considerations After Back Surgery

After spine surgery, careful follow-up and rehabilitation is very important. If there is continued pain after surgery despite adequate time to heal and rehabilitate, then further workup may be warranted to find if there is a new lesion or a different type of problem that could contribute to the patients pain.

Failed back surgery syndrome is really not a syndrome, and there are no typical scenarios. Every patient is different, and a patients continued treatment and workup need to be individualized to his or her particular problem and situation.

To watch a video about post-laminectomy syndrome, click below:

You May Like: Meniscus Tear Surgery Recovery Time

What We Know About Post

Learn more about the 4 different types of surgery and which back problems and pain they address.

A lot of factors determine your post-op pain and recovery. How painful your back surgery may be is affected by: the type of back surgery youve had the extent of your osteoarthritis/ disease/ bone degradation your age pre-surgery fitness and mobility level your mental state if you have chronic pain etc. For instance, pain after spinal fusion surgery of multiple vertebrae may be worse than a minimally invasive laminectomy on a younger, fitter patient.

Heres what we know about back surgery post-op pain:

Did you know: The more you mentally and physically prepare for back surgery, the smoother and less painful your recovery will be?

  • Right after surgery, you will feel pain in the surgical area. Your body went through a traumatic experience and there will be overall discomfort.
  • After surgery, you will feel pain from your wound, swelling around the nerves, and general swelling around the wound. After surgery, pain is no longer achy and arthritic but stems from wound healing, swelling and inflammation.
  • You will experience some pain outside of the hospital.
  • For most back surgeries, it will take 1-1.5 months to resume normal mobility and function. During this time, pain should be tolerable and controlled.
  • Those whove been on narcotic pain medication for their back pain prior to surgery tend to have a more painful recovery.

Procedures For Pain Relief

Memory Foam Leg Elevation Pillow to Reduce Swelling, Back Pain,Hip and ...

If you continue to have pain despite taking the appropriate medications, your pain specialist will offer several non-surgical, pain-relief procedures.

  • Epidural injections. This is a common treatment for both mid-back pain and one-sided leg pain.
  • Selective nerve root block. This injection helps find the cause for your back pain and it treats back/leg pain due to a pinched nerve. Steroid, numbing medication, or a combination of the two is injected at the site where nerves exit the spine.
  • Joint injections. Facet joint injections place steroid and/or numbing medication directly in a painful back joint. Medial branch blocks temporarily numb up the nerves that carry pain sensations to the back joints.
  • Dissolving scar tissue. Newly formed scar tissue is a common cause for FBSS, affecting 8-14% of people who have back surgery. However, the injection of a special type of saline solution into the epidural space can remove the adhesions. This relieves pressure on tethered nerves and allows pain-relief medications to spread better during an ESI.
  • Treatments for disc pain. Treatments applied to the painful outer disc ring, include intra-discal electrothermal therapy , discTRODE, or Methylene Blue Injections.

Read Also: Am I Eligible For Weight Loss Surgery

Scar Tissue Heals Without Causing Pain

Foot Nerve Pain After Back Surgery

After a back surgery, it is common for scar tissue to form. This tissue is normal and necessary for the bodys healing process. It does not contain nerve endings, but can press on nearby structures that do. Moreover, it can attach to structures in an abnormal configuration, which puts the tissues under tension. This tension can result in pain. The best way to treat this condition is to seek early treatment.

The treatment for this condition is usually a combination of physical therapy and medication. The medications are meant to reduce the pain and make exercise more bearable. Some medications for this syndrome are gabapentinoids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and Tylenol. Physical therapy consists of core strengthening, stretching, and other exercises. This type of therapy can limit the formation of scar tissue.

Leg Pain After Spinal Stenosis Surgery

Severe pain in the legs is one of the main problems in people with spinal canal stenosis, which can be greatly reduced with the help of spinal surgery. The goal of surgery for such pain is to reduce leg pain and open up the limited space of the spinal canal.

To perform spinal stenosis surgery, two methods of decompression surgery and stabilization of the damaged vertebrae should be used. To reduce the pressure on the nerve structure with the help of decompression surgery and restrict movement between the vertebrae with the help of the second method of spinal stenosis surgery, namely spinal fusion surgery, about ninety percent of patients after spine surgery and canal stenosis recover.However, some people may experience complications after spinal stenosis due to reasons such as specialist neurosurgeon with lack of enough skill, spinal nerve damage, and adhesions to nerve roots. In this case, the patient suffers from symptoms such as chronic and severe pain, limited range of motion, severe spasm in the limbs and the legs. One of the most common complications that most people complain of after spinal stenosis is leg pain caused by pressure on the spinal nerves and nerve adhesions, so in this article we explain the risk of spinal stenosis surgery and treatment strategy.

Recommended Reading: New York Surgery Center Queens

Treating Leg Pain After Back Surgery

Unfortunately, the options are limited when it comes to treating leg pain after back surgery. If scarring has occurred and is thought to be the cause of the leg pain then it may be possible for the patient to undergo further back surgery to remove the scar tissue. However, in the majority of cases it remains unclear whether the epidural fibrosis is actually the cause of the leg pain and the potential benefits of back surgery are often deemed too small compared to the risks of such a procedure. Further surgery may, indeed, cause greater spinal instability and increased scarring, with patients in more extreme pain. If a patient can successfully manage their condition using medication, physical therapy, and other conservative treatments then they are not usually considered for surgery. Pain medication such as Gabapentin may be prescribed during the recovery period, and physical therapy can help to free the nerve roots from adhesions to a certain degree. After this time, pain management is the usual course of therapy for patients with leg and/or back pain.

Scar Tissue Causes Pain After Back Surgery

Back Pain Relief Stretches After Knee Replacement Surgery

Foot Nerve Pain After Back Surgery

If you have had back surgery, you may have experienced postoperative pain from scar tissue. This is known as epidural fibrosis, and can occur at six to twelve weeks after Foot Nerve Pain After Back Surgery. This postoperative pain is not painful but is sometimes accompanied by muscle weakness or numbness. In some cases, scar tissue may form around the nerve roots in the spine, causing pain in the foot and leg. Fortunately, this pain is temporary and generally goes away on its own after six to 12 weeks.

If this happens, the scar tissue that forms around the nerve will reduce the amount of chemicals it transports to the foot. Moreover, the procedure may also cause the nerve root to become stuck, making it less mobile. To prevent this from happening, you should exercise regularly after the operation and perform stretching exercises. The main goal of postoperative care is to keep the nerve moving. Keeping the nerve moving will help keep the scar tissue more mobile and prevent the painful symptoms that come with it.

Read Also: Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery Painful

What Is A Back Surgeon Called

The three most common types of back surgery are fusion, laminectomy and discectomy. These procedures can be very effective in correcting the problems causing your pain whether its from a herniated disk or degenerative disc disease that has caused bulging walls between nerves ending up sending messages as if they were muscles instead which takes away their ability to move around freely resulting in chronic lower-back discomfort!

Back Pain After Surgery

Id like to talk about lumbar spine surgery. Depending on the cause of lumbar spine pain, a degenerative disc, which is discogram proven, and facet arthropathy are two things that cause back pain. Spinal Stenosis can cause back pain. Now if you have pure leg pain, from a herniated disc or pressure on a nerve root, and a surgeon performs a surgery for that, the leg pain should go away as long as the diagnosis is correct. Therefore there should be no residual leg pain after a spine surgery, whether it be a laminectomy or a fusion. If the diagnosis is correct in the lumbar spine and the facets, the degenerative disc, or spinal stenosis is the source of pain, with the right surgery, those pains will go away. This also includes a spinal fusion with instrumentation.

In my patients over the last 30 years, I have found by the second or third week, no narcotics are needed, no opioids are needed, and activity as tolerated is encouraged. A back fusion takes 6 weeks up to 12 weeks to fuse entirely and only then should physical therapy begin. If physical therapy is performed too soon or inappropriately, then back pain can occur. If back pain and leg pain are 50/50 as far as problems and the surgery is performed, the leg pain should go away and the back pain should go away in 3-6 weeks. Any longer that, one would be suspect as having a surgery that wasnt done appropriately or for the wrong diagnosis.

Read Also: 305 Plastic Surgery Deaths 2021

Technical Problems After Lumbar Decompression Surgery

Three potential technical problems that cause the pain after surgery to continue include:

  • Missed fragment is still pinching the nerve
  • The back surgery operation was done at the wrong level of the spine
  • Dissection of the nerve root may cause further trauma.

Nerve damage during a discectomy or a lumbar decompression is very uncommon, but has been reported in about 1 in 1,000 cases. When it does occur during back surgeries, a permanent neurological deficit with new weakness in a muscle group is possible, and a postoperative EMG can be helpful to see if there has been nerve damage and if there is any reinnervation after the back surgery.

At times, decompressing a nerve root through back surgery will cause it to become more inflamed and lead to more pain temporarily until the inflammation subsides.

What Are The Types Of Pain

Lunix LX5 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set, Post Surgery Memory ...

You may receive more than one type of pain treatment, depending on your needs and the type of surgery you are having. All of these treatments are relatively safe, but like any therapy, they are not completely free of risk. Dangerous side effects are rare. Nausea, vomiting, itching, and drowsiness can occur. These side effects can be troubling but are usually easily treated in most cases.

Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia

Patient-controlled analgesia is a computerized pump that safely permits you to push a button and deliver small amounts of pain medicine into your intravenous line, usually in your arm. No needles are injected into your muscle. PCA provides stable pain relief in most situations. Many patients like the sense of control they have over their pain management.

The PCA pump is programmed to give a certain amount of medication when you press the button. It will only allow you to have so much medication, no matter how often you press the button, so there is little worry that you will give yourself too much.

Never allow family members or friends to push your PCA pump button for you. This removes the patient control aspect of treatment, which is a major safety feature. You need to be awake enough to know that you need pain medication.

Patient-controlled epidural analgesia

Nerve blocks

Pain medications taken by mouth

Read Also: Best Hospitals For Acoustic Neuroma Surgery

How Can I Control Pain At Home

You may be given prescriptions for pain medication to take at home. These may or may not be the same pain medications you took in the hospital. Talk with your doctor about which pain medications will be prescribed at discharge.

Note: Make sure your doctor knows about pain medications that have caused you problems in the past. This will prevent possible delays in your discharge from the hospital.

Preparation for your discharge

Your doctors may have already given you your prescription for pain medication prior to your surgery date. If this is the case, it is best to be prepared and have your medication filled and ready for you when you come home from the hospital. You may want to have your pain pills with you on your ride home if you are traveling a long distance. Check with your insurance company regarding your prescription plan and coverage for your medication. Occasionally, a pain medication prescribed by your doctor is not covered by your insurance company.

If you dont receive your prescription for pain medication until after the surgery, make sure a family member takes your prescription and either gets it filled at your hospitals pharmacy or soon after your discharge from the hospital. It is important that you ARE PREPARED in case you have pain.

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes, and keep your coughing and deep breathing pillow with you.

You may want to have your relaxation music available for your travels.

While at home:

Frequently asked questions

What Helps Leg Pain After Back Surgery

The three possible causes of SIJ pain are an increased mechanical load transfer onto the spine after fusion, bone graft harvesting in close proximity to where it will be fuse later on , and when we think that theres been no healing progress enough with laminectomy surgery for our patients who have had their diagnosis changed from syndrome or fusion-related syndrome.

Read Also: Caring For Your Spouse After Open Heart Surgery

Finding The Right Sciatica Surgeon For You

A proper diagnosis from a board-certified sciatica surgeon will allow you to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

Luckily, many of the aforementioned surgeries are minimally invasive in nature. Compared to open surgery, a minimally invasive procedure uses smaller incisions and specialized instrumentation. With the aid of a tiny camera and advanced equipment, a skilled surgeon causes minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. This means less scarring, pain after surgery, and quicker recovery times.

If you suffer from sciatic pain, The Advance Spine Center adopts a multidisciplinary approach, offering you the most trusted conservative and surgical options. We take the time to get to know you, your symptoms, and the cause of your pain. Then, based on your recovery goals, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

If you require surgery, for example, then you can take comfort in the fact our doctors have a combined six decades of surgical experience.

Left untreated, some cases of sciatica can become dangerous. Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can eliminate your pain.

Gi And Urinary Symptoms

Lumbar spinal decompression surgery for sciatica | BMI Healthcare
  • Constipation is a common side effect of pain medications. While taking pain medications use a stool softener to help with regular, soft bowel movements. Eat a diet rich in fiber.
  • Nausea is common and may be due to the anesthesia or pain medications.
  • Urinary retention the inability to fully void, can cause pain and should be evaluated.

Recommended Reading: Pros And Cons Of Hip Labral Tear Surgery

How Long Before Nerve Damage Is Permanent

If the motor endplate receives no nerve impulse for more than 18-24 months, it dies away and there is no longer any way that the muscle can be activated by the nerve. The muscle then whithers away. Thus surgical repair of motor nerves needs to happen within 12-18 months of the injury.

Tips For Minimizing Surgical Pain: Before Spine Surgery

Gauging your pain potential can help doctors manage it after spine surgery. But you can help yourself along, tooeven before ever seeing the inside of an operating room. Heres how.

Be prepared. Not knowing enough about your procedure is linked to more pain afterward. Learning what to expect, on the other hand, better prepares you for the aftermath. Expect a full rundown from your surgeon, and dont be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to discuss the medications you might receive before and after surgeryincluding side effects and the potential for addictionas well as non-medication recovery options.

Bring your cardiovascular health up to speed. The reason is, when youre able to do that, you can handle the anesthesia, and you can handle what the heart has to go through, says Dr. Shah. Being in shape may help you move around afterward, too, which can help minimize pain. If youre able, Shah suggests working your way up to walking for 25 to 30 minutes at a time, raising your heart rate 80 or 90 percent.

Get a handle on opioid use. As the Calgary researchers found, using opioids regularly can affect postoperative pain. Try and be beforehand. Its hard to do, but that would be the goal, says Dr. Shah. Speak with your general practitioner about a specialist or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-4357.

Don’t Miss: Gender Reassignment Surgery Female To Male Cost

Latest news
Related news