Is Leg Numbness after Spine Surgery Normal?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 23, 2014

leg numbnessLeg tingling or numbness is usually cause for concern as it is symptomatic of an underlying nerve issue. Here’s another question from one of our readers:

Is it normal to have leg numbness after spine surgery? And is numbness permanent?

That is our topic of conversation for today’s blog. Read on to learn more about leg numbness after minimally invasive spine surgeries.

Leg Numbness & Surgery

Most patients with numbness in the legs undergo spine surgery to get rid of the numbness. When the numbness is still present after surgery, it can be frustrating and worrisome for the patient.

Most leg numbness is caused by a pinched spinal nerve (from a bulging disc, or other spinal structure intruding on the nerves). Many minimally invasive spine procedures are performed to relieve pressure on any pinched nerves. With that said, it is normal to have some residual leg numbness after your spine surgery. Sometimes patients report immediate pain relief and sensation in the legs after surgery. For other patients, the numbness may take a little while to fully resolve.

After spine surgery your nerves and surrounding muscles will be inflamed and swollen as the body heals itself. This can lead to a numbing sensation in the legs.

When to Be Worried About Leg Numbness

You should report any numbness to your surgeon immediately after surgery. Right after your procedure, any numbness will likely not be any cause for concern. In the weeks following your procedure, contact your surgeon right away if your numbness or pain increases significantly. This could signal another, more serious issue.

We love answering reader questions on the blog. If you’ve got a question about a spine condition, injury, or surgery, leave us a comment and we’ll answer your question in a blog.

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