Will numbness in my legs go away after microdiscectomy?

In some cases it may take weeks or months, perhaps even a year for post-surgical numbness to disappear. If you still experience this numbness after a year, it is probably permanent. This is a subject you may want to discuss further with your physician.

After having a microdiscectomy, you may experience a number of residual symptoms and it is important to understand them. There are 3 main symptoms that can remain after your procedure:

  • numbness,
  • weakness, and
  • pain.

Many patients complain about a "new" reported onset of "numbness" in the area where the pain is now gone following the decompression of the nerve(s). However, this numbness as reported by patients is not really numbness.

By definition, numbness is a decreased sensation of the skin

This complaint of numbness following microdiscectomy stems from an altered proprioception, which is the sensation of position sense of your body in space. When undergoing a skin check in the area of the reported numbness, the sensation is typically intact and normal in patients who complain of numbness following the procedure.

Altered sensations such as "pins and needles" or a hot or cold sensation on the skin occur if the nerve that conveys the sensation is not compressed and functioning properly. Pain covers up these feelings before surgery and, only after the surgery when the pain is resolved do these feelings start to be noticed by the patient. Numbness in the leg or foot is often the symptom which takes the longest to resolve, taking a few months to disappear or become fairly tolerable. However, sometimes the sensations mentioned above can be permanent.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/

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