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  • Psc55
    Member
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr. Corenman,
    I had a lumbar foraminotomy on June 14, 2013 to release the compressed sciatic nerve root. Since the procedure, I walk 1 mile a day per instructions from my doctor. I went back for post op visit on June 28 and told him the pain in my left leg was the same, if not worse. He told me to give it 6 more weeks to see if the pain goes away and if not, a spinal fusion would be next step. He gave me more oxycodone for the pain but I cannot work taking that drug. My question is, since the spine doctor doesn’t give me more than a minute of his time and seems annoyed when I try to ask a question, does it sound typical that I would have no relief from the sciatic pain 19 days after the procedure? I don’t know how much more of this pain I can take. I called and asked for a pain med that doesn’t make me impaired so I can work but no response yet.

    I appreciate any advice you can offer.

    Psc55

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8652

    Foraminal stenosis can be caused by a stable or unstable vertebral segment. If the stenosis occurs from a stable vertebra, the success rate for decompression is about 80%. If there is instability (there is an angular collapse of one vertebra on the one below), the foraminotomy has a much lower chance of relief of pain.

    With an angular collapse, you need to restore the height of the collapsed side. This is typically performed with a TLIF fusion (see website for full understanding).

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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