I am a 31 year old about 17 weeks post-op from a posterior spinal decompression fusion at L5-S1. I herniated that disc in April of 2016, and once the burning sensation subsided after about two and a half months, my left big toe has been numb and the top of my left foot extending a few inches up my shin have been desensitized (can't feel hot or cold, only pressure). I tried conservative treatments for about a year, and though they helped a great deal with pain, particularly PT, there has been no change in the numbness and desensitization. After a second MRI, we found the disc has completely degenerated, so went ahead with the spinal fusion.
The surgery seemed to have no complications, but there has been no change in the numbness and desensitization. I know nerve regrowth is extremely slow, and of course I potentially have permanent damage, but the lack of improvement seems to have surprised my surgeon. My surgeon, PT, and the doctor who did the epidural injections are trying to troubleshoot the issue. I have an appointment on July 26 to see if injections into my left piriformis muscle might help.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? I have had a lot of trouble over the past year with very stubborn muscle spasms, particularly in my piriformis, gluts, and IT band. Can your muscles stay spasmed for over a year? Has anyone had a secondary problem like piriformis syndrome actually compressing the nerve to the point of numbness that doesn't subside? Are there other conditions or treatments I should ask my doctor about?
If the numbness persists until 6 months post op, my surgeon plans to order more imaging (an MRI and maybe CT scan?) Would it be wise to ask if he can push it sooner?