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Had operation on herniated disc. Took traction session. Having numbness in foot. Numbness effect of traction?

Hi, I had an operation on a herniated disc L5 S1, it has been 11 weeks since i had the operation, they didn t remove it they took away the part that was sitting on the nerve, my problem is, is that i still have sciatica and also part of my left foot has become numb since the operation which wasn t there before, i can only manage 30 mins walk and after that i am laid up for the rest of the day, when i saw my doctor he asked me if the numbness in my foot was any better or worse after the operation, i told him considering there was no numbness before i had the operation then i would hazard a guess it s worse, when i ask questions i don t seem to get any answers, i get told it could be down to scar tissue and i may have damaged the nerve leading up to the operation but my answer to that is that they had me in physiotherapy for 8 weeks which consisted of traction, could this have had any effect? and what is the cause of the numbness in my foot? and could they have done damage themselves? Your help would be most appreciated as i just want to get back to normal. Regards
Asked On : Sat, 22 Dec 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  41
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Thank you for your question.

From what you have described seems like you had L5-S1 laminectomy. Numbness appearing after surgery may be related to prolonged retraction or excessive traction on the nerve though it can not always be explained. Traction has been recommended for less than 48 hours as its effect is only due to bed rest. Traction by itself is very unlikely to have caused the numbness. The numbness may take long time to resolve upto 6 months and may not always resolve completely. If your pain is getting worse it is worth obtaining the MRI of lumbar spine with and without contrast as it has already been 3 months, to find or rule out scar tissue or stenosis at the adjacent level.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Answered: Thu, 22 Aug 2013
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