Post Back surgery pain


Q: I have scar tissue from lower back surgery. Ihave been hurting bad down my butt cheek and down my right leg,also my foot is numb. I have been getting shots in my back ,,about 13 over the past few years, which helped some, however the pain comes back worse when the shot wares off and my last shot didnt help at all.The two surgens Ive seen say that if they operate they would probably do more harm than good.What are some more options to get rid of the pain,and what affect is all these shots having on my body.


A:    The symptoms that you described, are due to nerve compression, cause by a degenerative and probably scar tissue post back surgery process at L3-L4 and L4-L5 lumbar level, and you feel them worst in some positions because in those positions the intervertebral space gets smaller and compress the correspondent nerve. Also the numbness in your leg and foot are indicating nerve damage and compression at the above mentioned levels. Basically , in your case,the conservative treatment is Physical Therapy aimed to recondition and stabilize the lumbar spine by re-educating you , teaching you a daily stretching routine for the lumbar area, strengthening of abdominal muscles, and other important general recommendations as follows: sleeping with a pillow between the knees lying on the side, avoid activities that place additional strain on the lumbar spine (example: weight lifting). All of the above, with the objective to keep you as far as possible from episodes of acute low back pain, and also to preserve your quality of life. If the conservative measures do not seem to work, the local corticosteroid injection may be considered from time to time, do not exceeding 3 per year.

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