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back/leg pain/numbness after hysterectomy

JMJJ3
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2018

Hi everyone, I am a new member, and have been diagnosed with Stage 1a, Grade 3 Uterine Cancer. I am almost 6 weeks post-op from complete hysterectomy. They took everything including lymph nodes and omentum. everything was clear except fot the tumor in uterus. It hadnt penetrated the uterine wall or muscle yet.  I will be having internal Brachytherapy starting in couple weeks, they want me to do 2X weekly for 3 weeks.  My recovery from the surgery itself has been great. The big problem is that  I have horrible sciatica pain in left leg, it starts in lower left back/butt area and goes down back of my leg into my calf. I also have pain and numbness in my left outer thigh. This started immediately after surgery. I am currently seeing a back/spine specialist trying to figure out what to do about it. Has anyone had this similar problem after surgery? My surgeon said it is most likely due to the position you are in during the surgery. I also asked for any advice about the Brachytherapy on that thread, im wondering about anyone's experience with side effects? Im sorry this is long, everything happened so fast between diagnosis and surgery that I dont feel I got to do enough research. I thank everyone in advance for any advice.!!!  Also - I am 53, have always exercised and have kept a healthy weight. Thanks again!!! 

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 498
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi JMJJ3, Welcome and I am sorry you are experiencing left sided leg pain post operatively. Did you have an open surgical procedure or laparoscopic? 

I had an open abdominal procedure and also experience what I would describe as left groin pain. It was like something was sutured together too tight. I know it wasn’ t adhesions because I felt it immediately after surgery. I also experienced a weakness in my left hip structure ( like a ligament was no longer tight) if I would sit and move my leg out to the side my leg would quiver and actually I couldn’ t keep my leg abducted outward only when sitting. I experienced this for a couple years. About 5 years after my surgery I was diagnosed with “snapping hip syndrome“ on the left side. It felt like a rubber band snapping over the outer aspect of my hip (a ligament). 

My point is that lying on the surgical table for 5 hours and depending on how they moved your body anything is possible! This despite how careful the surgery team is. 

Sciatica takes weeks to resolve. Most people don’t need surgery but rather time to heal and work on core body strength ( when you are done with cancer treatments). You may want to consider seeing a chiropractor. You also may want to consider physical therapy when you are strong enough. 

Regarding brachytherapy I had 2 or 3 brachytherapy after having completed the external radiation treatments...I think I had like 26 external radiation sessions total- 5 days per week. I experienced extreme fatigue towards the end of radiation. Also had some burning with urination for awhile but the nurses in the radiation oncologist center have suggestions on how to deal with any side effects from radiation. 

You will get through all this suffering.

The fear of the unknown is hard. The sciatica is miserable-I had sciatica once about this time last year. It resolved in about 8 weeks using alternating heat and cold and anti-inflammatory (Aleve).

Take care and know others will respond to your post soon. ((Hug))

Lori

 

JMJJ3
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2018

Thank You so much Lori. My surgery was done via laparoscopy, with 4 incisions. I didn't even know this kind of thing could be an issue with having this surgery. I knew right after surgery I was in trouble.  I honestly was crawling around my house during the night the first week after surgery trying to find some position to lesson the sccaitica pain. The numb area on my outer thigh has gotten smaller but still good area of outer thigh is numb. then my doctor prescribed pain medication and i was getting a little bit of relief. They have sent me to a spinal/back specialist who put me on prednisone last week to see if the inflamation would lessen. it has helped, but not nearly like i hoped it would. I cant sit or lie down for more than couple hours, so fatigue is an issue. I go back to spine center Monday, if not getting better they will do an MRI. i guess the insurance company wants conservative treatment before approving the MRI. she said she would also send me to PT if needed. Not sure where that will fit in my schedule lol.  Im worried about the internal radiation treatments if my back is this way. Im trying to stay positive and finding women to talk to is already making me feel better so thank You!!!

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1913
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi.  Sorry you are experiencing this. I had a major surgery in April and like you right away I felt numbness in my lefj hip area.  I mentioned this to my doctor and he said given the extensive off my surgery some of my nerves were damaged.  I had another surgery in June.  As I type this I still have numbness and prickly things in my left hip thigh.  I did have it in my right hip too. Not as much and that has almost subsided.  I describe the feeling as recovering from having novicain and the feeling right before it wears off.  You touch it but it still feels funny.  It’s annoying as heck.  It bothers me more when I sleep because I like to sleep on my left side.  

 

It it has gotten better but now that I am healed I feel I am more focused on it.   I get my MRI November 1st.  My MRI in July was fine except for a slight hydrouretoneprosis.

 

prior to my surgery I was in pain every day and I did go to an acupuncturist.  It did help center most of the pain.  

 

I hope you feel better

Kathy

 

 

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I've been seeing a chiropractor for over 30 years for a number of back problems.  About three years ago, I was diagnosed with a herniated disk. The one drug that I've found works for me is Gabapentin.  I'm on 300 mg. three times a day.  I have pain when I get up in the morning, but I hop right into the shower after taking my pill and the pain goes away.

I developed numbness in my right thigh and about 6 months later found that I had a recurrence of my cancer and a tumor was pressing on a muscle, almost to the bone.  After surgery, my GYN/onc. told me that he couldn't get all the cancer, which was there and in other places, but he hoped chemo would take care of it, and it did.  That was last year.  This year, I have increasing numbness and some shooting pains in my right thigh.  I've seen an orthopedic surgeon, who basically passed it and other problems as due to old age, but he did say I had greater trochanteric bursitis.  However, he said that would only affect the side of my thigh, where I have some of my pain, but I also have it halfway across the front of my thigh.  I got sent to a neurologist, which is actually where I started out before my recurrence of cancer was diagnosed.  Back then, I was told I had meralgia paresthetica, which is usually caused by wearing clothes that are too tight.  Now that I've told him it was from cancer, the diagnosis is still the same, but I'm guessing that's because the cancer was pressing on a nerve that runs over the pelvis from the inside.  I wondered if I still had numbness after surgery because the surgeon might have cut a nerve.  This time when I saw the neurologist, his nurse practitioner found that I have no reflex in my right knee.  I've developed an allergy to steroids, so I can no longer have them, but he tried an injection of a numbing agent, which hasn't helped.  My next step is to have another EMG to see if anything has changed.  The previous one I'd had was negative.  A couple of days ago, I read that a drug I've taken for UTI's, Levaquin, can cause numbness and nerve damage, and i wonder if that has anything to do with my problem.  I'll ask at my next appointment in October.

I had a problem with surgical position after my last open surgery, but my problem was chest pain.  I had trouble taking a deep breath.  I went to the ER to rule out a clot from surgery, and came ouf of there with a diagnosis of unspecified chest pain.  But I used to work in that hospital and remembered seeing the diagnosis of costochondritis over and over again in charts, so I read up on it and decided that was most likely what I raally had.  It's a pain that is in the costal cartilage (rib area). 

Sciatica can be awful.  I suffered with it for years before going on the Gabapentin.  It's only used for nerve pain.  I tried Lyrica first, but it didn't work for me.  However, it has worked for my sister's back pain, and my sister has worse back problems than I do.  If you can get an MRI of the spine done, that will show if you have a herniated disk or not.  Hopefully, it's something that will go away in time.  Maybe it's caused by some degeneration of the spine and not by a herniated disk or just the position during surgery.  I had that problem for about 35 years before developing the herniated disk.  Good luck to you in solving the problem.

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