Back & Neck Community
Numbness after microdiscectomy
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to back and neck problems, exercise, pain, sleeping, and physical therapy.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Numbness after microdiscectomy

Hello. I'm a 33yo male and I had a microdiscectomy about two weeks ago. I had a disc herniation at the L5 S1 that cause me alot of pain down my left leg just to the calf area. This was the first surgery I ever had so I didn't really know what to expect. The first thing I noticed after surgery was my leg didn't hurt anymore. The next thing I noticed is my left foot was asleep. The surgeon told me my nerve was pretty beat up and the feeling should return. Its been two weeks and its still asleep. They fitted me with a cane and told me to walk as much as I could. On a recent trip to the store with my wife, I noticed numbness in the areas I used to have pain, so I found a bench and sat awhile and it went away. But the foot is still numb even though I never had an issue with my foot. Has anyone ever dealt with this or know anyone who has? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
Related Discussions
9 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
1295655_tn?1272470846
Hi There,
I had a microdiscectomy 7 years ago, L5 S1 the same as you. I'd had pain on and off (mainly on) for 3 years before I had my operation,it was all due to a fall + +.  Again,Iike you  I had numb toes and foot (just sole & a bit of heel)
To be honest I was just so pleased that the main pain had gone that I was happy to handle the numbness. I don't want to worry you but I still have the numbness 7 years on.
How did your disc slip in the 1st place? as mentioned, mine was due to a fall (slipped on ice and landed on my bum) and then I did not look after my back.
I did go to see my consultant (some time later ) and he said that my numbness was probably due to scar tissue.( I can't see how, because scar tissue probably won't have immediately formed ?) but then I am not a consultant.
Have you ever had a muscle spasm?
Does your numbness get worse through the day or stay constant?
Does it ever hurt?

So many questions, tons of time tho'
Helen.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hello. Thanks for the feedback.  I work for Pepsi as a vending technician. I service, deliver, and install pop machines, cooler and fountain equipment. I would have a back ache from time to time but this past november I had a back ache that never went away that eventually led to my surgery two weeks ago. The numbness in my foot is the worse in the mornings and is constant and has been since the surgery. The numbness in my leg has ony happened a couple times but has gone away. I plan on making a call to the surgeon next week. Just like you I'm glad the pain is gone just wondering why the numb foot. Thank you for the comments.
Blank
1295655_tn?1272470846
When you go to see your surgeon, ask him about piriformis syndrome. It could be that with the type of heavy work you do, the disc could be herniated AND some muscle spasmed. After all your body will try to protect a damaged area,(disc/spine problem) and sometimes muscles can spasm to do just that. It's your body saying STOP! but of course you can't/don't, because of work, etc.
The piriformis muscle in the pelvic area, below the spine, runs next to the sciatic nerve and if spasmed can give the same symptoms of sciatica, like numbness. If nothing 'spinal' shows up on your follow up scan, muscle spasm(s) might be the answer. The are plenty of stretches and exercises to do for piriformis syndrome, when you are feeling up to it, after all you need to recover from the surgery first.
H  
Blank
1295655_tn?1272470846
OOpps forgot to say that nerve damage can take a while to heal of course.
Did you notice a numb foot before surgery ?
Just a couple of things about identifying piriformis syndrome . . . normal sitting position can be uncomfortable, walking often causes pain (as the sciatic nerve is irritated by the muscle with every step) walking up stairs or up inclines is more difficult.
I guess you had better concentrate on recovery first but just bare in mind P.S in the future, if the numbness remains.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for all the info. I go back to see the surgeon on the 19th of this month. I will definately mention the piriformis syndrome. To answer your question, I never had an issue with my foot before surgery and it is still numb right now. I'll update you with what the surgeon says. Thanks again!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I had L5 S1 Microdiscectomy last Feb 18th 2009. I just had pain in outside of left Ankle almost like the bone was being stabbed by a knife.
I caused me to develop a limp. Tried 5 of the epudriual injections and nothing. Before surgery left foot was fine. After Surgery Foot was numb really BAD... Felt like it was really swollen, asked doctor said the the nerve was wrapped around the disk and he had to move it and nerves don't like to be moved. Should be fine in a few mths. It is now May 20th 2010 and foot is still numb. Went back to the doctor April 20th 2010 asking why my foot is still numb and it also runs up my left calf all the way to the knee. What a really bad feeling.. He told me that well only thing he could do is a fusion on my back now. I had MRI and showed another herniation at L-4 and he said that was causing my numbness. I don't know what to do. Really not wanting a Fusion but really not wanting to live the rest of my life with this numbness. I am only 45 years old and it's driving me crazy.. Don't know if it will ever heal...

***@****
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I had microdiscectomy at L5/S1. After surgery the weakness and 95% of the pain went away. However, the numbness along the outer border of my foot, including the small toe remained. It's been over a year since the surgery and the numbness is still there. Unfortunately, nerves are very sensitive to pressure and manipulation by surgery. Sometimes nerves heal, and sometimes they don't; it's difficult to predict. A good rule of thumb is: If a year after disc surgery you still have numbness on your leg/foot, chances are it'll stay for good. The cause for failure to heal is not easy to figure out. It could be severe damage from the disc herniation; manipulation and damage during surgery; or scar tissue pushing or pulling on the nerve. The only real  solution for this problem is learning how to live with it. No magic pills or therapeutics exist to relieve numbness due to nerve damage. Avoid depression, lose weight if not skinny, and keep moving if possible, avoid narcotics. God Bless you all who are in pain.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I just had  microdiscectomy of my L5-s1 on the 4th of Oct 2011 I am experiencing extreme numbness in my leg to my foot and it is hard to walk.  i was wondering if yours ever went away?????
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I had L5/S1 microdisectomy a month ago due to a sequestered disc causing ridiculous leg pain. I teach PE and had no choice but to reluctantly get this done due to the pain. I've had foot numbness on the outer half of my foot since the surgery with little or no improvement. If I try to jog it feels like my leg "doesn't work" and I'll just fall over. I'm a former professional athlete and very active so this is a little concerning. I think all you can do is hope the nerve slowly repairs itself and go from there. I also think it's important to strengthen your leg and do what you can do...sitting around feeling sorry for yourself isn't going to help.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Back & Neck Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Pain Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Kalvin
Milwaukee, WI
7721494_tn?1405368662
Blank
philnoir
Front Range, CO
620923_tn?1405964489
Blank
selmaS
Allentown, PA
8221281_tn?1397574572
Blank
Pantx
Denton, TX
1613542_tn?1366472143
Blank
bigsissie
MO
1248623_tn?1341734357
Blank
EdwardPB
Pontiac, IL