Hello Dr. Corenman –
In November I had a lumbar laminectomy and foraminotomy at the L4/5 level, right side. I am doing much better. I am now getting 30 minutes/day of exercise and am able to do back exercises prescribed by PT with no problems. I am on my way back. :)
Two questions –
1. I still have some numbness on my right lower leg and my right big toe and under by first 2 toes. How long does it typically take to regain full feeling?
2. I have really tight lower back muscles with very limited flexibility. Also, my right low leg muscle (outside) is very tight – this is where most of my radiating pain went to prior to surgery. I am working with PT on this, but not seeing much progress. Would massage help this along a little quicker?
The feeling of numbness takes about 6 months to clear. The “tight” feeling in the leg muscle is residual from the nerve damage. This too will take some time to clear. Read “nerve damage and healing” on the website to understand how nerves heal.
Massage might help but this is a trial and error situation.
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.