Surgery Did Not Help Sciatica

Hi everyone.  I'm 6 weeks post-op from having my 2nd lumbar fusion and first time laminectomy, I'll try to be brief.  I was a flight attendant for 35 years before I had to medically retire. About 10 years prior, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. Many people have this. Over those last 10 years, I had hip replacement, shoulder surgery, knee surgery, carpel tunnel surgery, and the back fusion of L4-5. The fusion did not take. So I was in pain all the time, and with the g- forces of take off and landing at least 6 times a day, I was lucky to walk off the plane.  Ok. I retired in 2012, been on pain management ever since.  

About a year ago, I noticed that my right leg started feeling funny when I drove for long periods of time. More than 30 minutes and if I sat in one place, the same thing happened. Over time it got much, much worse that after 5 minutes in the car, I was in excruciating pain. The same thing occurred with any type of sitting. Those were the only 2 times my leg would bother me.  Except if I did a hard day at my little part time job and I was on my feet for too long. 

Anyway, through my pain doctor, I did the PT and the series of steroid shots and even some other shots. Nothing worked.  So back to the surgeon. He took an MRI, saw that L3-4 were pinching the sciatic nerve and he also thought a laminectomy would be a good idea, as well.

Ok,  last Friday at 5 weeks post op, my back is feeling pretty good, I've been released by the doctor to drive, so I decide to go to my daughter’s house. She lives about an hour away. I thought that I'll stop half way just to be safe. Plus, I'm really anxious to see how my leg was going to do.  Well, about 20 minutes into the drive, I thought I was going to die.  I felt the pain coming on at about 10 minutes, but I just kept saying “No, this can't be happening”.  I was so upset. It was actually worse than before the surgery. I got off at the next exit and couldn't get out of the car fast enough and then called my daughter and told her that I was going back home.  

Does anyone know, is this normal?  The surgeon told me that he released the nerve and made more room for it. I just assumed it would be back to normal. Please, if anyone knows differently, I would love to hear from you. Right now, I'm very discouraged.  Thank you and have a great night.

- Susan




Sciatica > Sciatica Forum > Surgery Did Not Help Sciatica

cure sciatica program

The most important thing that you can do is to share this resource right away. You never know who might need our help right now. Thank you.