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Posted in: Back pain, and Surgery.

Severe hip and leg pain 3weeks post surgery: Lateral interbody fusion and minimally invasive posterior fusion L2-L3

Started by SF25 on 05/23/2012 9:10am

I had surgery, L2-L3, Direct Lateral interbody fusion and minimally invasive posterior Fusion with rods and screws. This was 21/2 weeks ago. The back pain I was experiencing for 3 years prior to surgery is unbelievibly so much better! BUT about 5 days following surgery I began having terrible, excruciating pain in my left lower back, HIP, and down my leg that has not improved at all since it started. It is a burning, stabbing pain: worse in some positions; and hurts to walk.
My surgeon seemed perplexed--said there may have been some bleeding around some nerves and the pain should go away with time. The nurse had told me that it was not uncommon for lower back post surg. patients to sometimes have hip pain following the surgery, but did not explain why.
I am concerned because I am having to take pain meds now-almost as much as a few days after surgery, but not for my back! but for my left hip and leg. I would like a better explanation of why this has occurred if anyone can explain it to me. And, although probably most unlikely, I wonder if I need to be concerned with a blood clot in the area where the surgeon said there could have been bleeding.

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6 Responses


Maybe I can get some advice if I phrase it different. I had surgery (fusion L2-L3) 21/2 weeks ago. After terrible lower back pain for nearly 3 years, this surgery was well worth it! My back, other than the healing incisions, and a very low level of pain, is doing great!
My problem is that one of my hips, buttocks area, and down my leg, is terribly painful.
This started about 3-4 days after surgery and has not let up since. I am taking Percocet and muscle relaxers much more for the pain I am having in my leg than post-surgery back pain.
Can anyone explain this? or experienced this themselves?
I would very much appreciate any advice and/or knowledge of similar situations.


Hello...I see you posted this 6 years ago. I am not able to see any answers to your questions. My brother is experiencing the same thing...severe hip
pain after lumbar surgery. The pain is horrific and he doesn’t think it is related to the lumbar fusion, but I do. Did you ever find out what was causing your pain?


Hi! I had a lot of hip pain after my lumbar fusion 16 mos ago. My physical therapist explained that when your vertebrae are fused, your body has to adjust to a new way of moving. It takes a while for the muscles and ligaments, as well as the other vertebrae above and below the fusion, to get used to the new body mechanics. The hips must help compensate for these changes, too! It took quite a few months before that pain faded. Muscle relaxants helped a lot, as well as a heating pad! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


Thank you BonnieRae for your reply. Your chiropractor’s explanation is good to know, and it makes sense. I took my brother to ER yesterday and they gave him steroids and muscle relaxer through IV. It helped him immensely. They sent him home with a steroid pack to take orally. This will give him a few days of relief, and hopefully the pain won’t come back as severely as before. I talked to the surgeon’s nurse also, and she told me some patients do experience hip pain after lumbar fusion, but she didn’t say why. It helps when you understand the reason for pain, and your chiropractor sounds like he’s a wise man.
Thank you again for taking the time to reply to me. Best wishes to you!


BonnieRae...oops! I accidentally hit dis-like button and couldn’t fix. Sorry!


No problem! I just want to clarify ... it was my physical therapist who provided such great information, not a chiropractor. I would never allow a chiropractor touch my back after fusion surgery! Though I doubt any responsible chiropractor would risk working on a compromised spine!!

My physical therapists work in a group with other sports medicine and rehab specialists, including great chiropractors who I saw pre- surgery.

If you have a chance to see a physical therapist later in your recovery (I started at 12 wks post-op), check it out!