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I had spinal fusion surgery three months ago. My left foot has been numb since the surgery. Can I get feeling back again in my foot? Is there anything I can do?

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I reckon you should see your surgeon for a follow-up because you shouldn’t be feeling this numbness. In my opinion, something may have gone wrong.
It happens sometimes during surgeries that a nerve gets injured. Nerve injury can lead to occasional numbness but if the injury is big, it could also lead to paralysis.
Such injuries don’t happen too often but are possible, so I think you should look up for your surgeon and have some tests down to see what’s going on and why you are feeling numbness in your left foot only.
Maybe the surgery didn’t work out, and the disk is still pressing down the nerves ( I don’t know why you had the surgery, so I am only guessing). As far as I know, this can be on of the symptoms of a herniated disk.
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I had spinal fusion surgery 3 months ago also. I have tingling, burning sensation and numbness in my left foot. Surgeon said it will get better! I think I have reached a plateau with my recovery. When surgeons do the cage spinal fusion the cage has to be inserted from the left side. They have to move nerves in order to get the cage in. This disturbs the nerves and my doctor said the nerves are the last thing to heal. I have come to the realization that I don't think it is going to get any better. I don't have the pain in my leg that I was having before the surgery, but at times the pain I have now is almost as unbearable. It feels like fire ants are stinging me or like I am being burned with fire. And this has lasted anywhere from 24-30 HOURS at a time and then the pain goes away as fast as it started, and then I go 3-4 days without the burning feeling. It is almost like it is has its own cycle. My surgery was done at the L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. When they mess with the S-1 (the lowest level) that is when the moving of the nerves come in to play. Hope this helps.
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hello everyone,

I had spinal fusion surgery 3 months ago, as well (11/14/07). I had minimally invasive TLIF by one of the top surgeons in the area so i knew he was good. However, I woke up and found my foot was numb on the day of surgery. I was told that because of the nature of the surgery they had to work around the nerves, thus manipulating them. The 2 tests he checked were the sensations on the sides of my inside foot next to my big toe. Also, If I could lift my big toe at all, while standing or sitting. This tells them if the nerve is severed or not. If you can't move your big toe up then there is probably an issue.

I was fine for the 1st month with the numbness because there was no pain. I had a nice "pimp" walk though which did cause some discomfort in my back after walking awhile. The 2nd month however was absolute hell because I guess my foot was "waking" up. Anyways, that pain went away after a month and the next month my foot slowly & I mean slowly improved. I saw my surgeon a few times over the 3 months and he did notice a difference in the strengh. My fusion was on the L5 S1 so I couldn't lift my foot towards me.

My progressions were as follows (all while standing). 1st month, I couldn't move my foot at all off the floor. 2nd month, I was able to lift my foot about an inch off the floor. 3rd month I'm at about 2 inches off the floor. I'm still not there but slowly improving.

I finally started rehab 2 weeks ago (2/5/08) and what a difference. It turns out that my nerve was trapped, for lack of a better word, in the scar tissue where my doctor's entered my back. So my whole leg was very restricted, luckily I found a great rehab center. Laying on my back I couldn't lift my leg more than 30 degrees off the ground, until she stretched me out and worked my leg to free the nerve. In 5 minutes my leg was up to 90 degrees. It would go back but after 5 sessions i'm able to pretty much get back to 90 degrees.

So my advice to you is to seek some rehab and get them working on the strenght of your foot. Mine is still weak but they are working with me with the bands and weights to strenghten my foot up. My understanding of it all is that the muscles in your foot kinda forget what they are supposed to do and you have to retrain them.

Hang in there, I've heard it can take as long as a year to totally heal. Just be happy that you haven't had any nerve pain in your foot because that is by far the worst pain I have ever had.

Good luck, get to rehab and stay positive.

Greg
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The numbness that you are feeling may be completely normal. Because of the nerve damage that I had and all the repairing that the surgeon had to do, I still feel some problems but they are getting better. Until I am fully fused, I expect to continue getting better but still have those pains that sometimes shoot through the sciatic nerve to the big toe. You are probably still just healing. I would recommend going to a physical therapist for help. That helped me out alot. Knowing how to stretch helps you to heal quicker. You of course will need to go through your surgeon and make sure that it is still just the effects of not being fully healed but ask him or her for a recommendation to a PT. you won't regret it
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Not to be a doomsayer, but I had 2-level spinal fusion (L4-5, S-1) in 2007, and have had numbness all the way from my butt to the outside of my right foot. This damage is on the opposite side from the pain that led me to surgery. The symptoms have not improved AT ALL, 6 years down the road. The only thing I've been offered (other than pain meds) is a 2nd spinal surgery, to which I replied no, thanks. I hope your cases are different. As for me, the day I agreed to spinal fusion surgery is the day my life changed forever, and NOT for the better!
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I had three back surgeries in 2009 (Jan, Mar and May). I have and had the burning sensation from my low back down both legs since my fusion. (May 2009 operation) My nerve root coming out of S1 is impinged. The doctor wants to do another surgery to remove the hardware and open the hole the nerves come out of in my spine for the S1 nerve root.
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I had two surgery's in 2008 my legs and feet are numb my butt is numb lots of fun there. after 5 years with no improvement it is very depressing I can not work a short walk is a chore. pain every day sometimes in the feet maybe legs hips. If I had it to do over I would not have had surgery, I have been offered surgery to maybe fix things not going to happen nerve damage can not be fixed.
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I had spinal fusion L3, L4, L5, in 2010 at the age of 50, I also had decompression work done and a lot of adhesions sorted out.  Before the surgery I could only walk 200 yards before being in so much pain, that lasted all day, until I rested.  It took me 8 months of hard work, swimming anwalking man a bit further each day.  3 years later I regularly walk 6 to 8 miles in one go.  I swim a mile with no problem in 50 minutes.

i get burning feet and a numbness in my left leg if lay on my back, but this is a small price to pay to be pain free.

spinal surgery is life changing, but you have to learn to live with a few side effects and just adjust if things get uncomfortable.

I know I have been lucky, but positive thinking helps.  Good luck to anyone about to go into surgery.

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It took 8 months to go away o
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