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What causes backaches and tingling in feet after lumbar laminectomy?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: I had three back surgeries in 2013: Lumbar laminectomy (L4, L5, and S1); removal of screws from that surgery; anterior lumbar interbody fusion. As a result, I've had daily ongoing backaches at the base of my spine; numbness on the right outside of my leg; and burning/tingling in my feet (particularly the right foot). The doctors here tell me that nothing can be done for damaged nerves as a result of these back surgeries. Is this true? Is there something that can be done to alleviate this pain??
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Answered by Dr. Geldon Fejzo (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
there is no specific treatment to this condition

Detailed Answer:
Hello. I have been through your question and understand your concern.

The complaints you are describing are common after the cause that lead you to surgery, basically the radiculopathy. It is important to understand at what degree is your nerve damaged, and for this purpose a nerve conduction study would be appropriate. The sensory component of the nerve takes time to improve, with 6 months to 3 years for its definitive improvement. Gabapentine is the treatment of choice for the burning a nd tingeling sensation, called paresthesias, but since you have developed side effects of this drug you should not take it anymore. Regarding the back pain, it is difficult to understand the mechanism underlying, because surgery can change the microarchitecture of the muscular and ligamentous structures of the back, resulting in difficulty on finding the best treatment.

So you have to wait, and take the usual drugs for the pain.

Hope this helps, please feel free using MHC again.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Geldon Fejzo

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 337 Questions

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What causes backaches and tingling in feet after lumbar laminectomy?

Brief Answer: there is no specific treatment to this condition Detailed Answer: Hello. I have been through your question and understand your concern. The complaints you are describing are common after the cause that lead you to surgery, basically the radiculopathy. It is important to understand at what degree is your nerve damaged, and for this purpose a nerve conduction study would be appropriate. The sensory component of the nerve takes time to improve, with 6 months to 3 years for its definitive improvement. Gabapentine is the treatment of choice for the burning a nd tingeling sensation, called paresthesias, but since you have developed side effects of this drug you should not take it anymore. Regarding the back pain, it is difficult to understand the mechanism underlying, because surgery can change the microarchitecture of the muscular and ligamentous structures of the back, resulting in difficulty on finding the best treatment. So you have to wait, and take the usual drugs for the pain. Hope this helps, please feel free using MHC again.