News Feed Discussions Post-hernia surgery, burning pain down left leg

  • Post-hernia surgery, burning pain down left leg

    Posted by nahho on July 22, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Hello, all. I am delighted to find this discussion forum, as I have been impressed by Dr. Towfigh’s website (though I don’t have experience with her practice itself). Her website may be one of only two places in the World Wide Web where I’ve seen any mention of hip exercises following hernia surgery, when I quite clearly have had tightness in my hip and internal oblique before and after my surgery.

    But I write about a tremendous burning sensation in my left leg when I exercise it — 12 on a scale of 10 when I bicycle, 5 or 6 out of 10 climbing briskly up stairs, maybe a 3 or 4 if walking uphill, 0-1 at rest. And I am an avid cyclist, so the bicycling part really bothers me.

    The burning pain started at 9 weeks post-surgery. I had a laparoscopic bilaterial hernia repair, by a general surgeon who in particular focused on laparoscopic procedures. He described the hernias as large. I had a bulging only on my left side, but they were both direct hernias — no bulging in the scrotum. (I believe I may have had a hernia on the left for years and didn’t know it, now seeing how flat my left side is compared to what it was.) Before the surgery I did develop pain on the left side from coughing, right under where my belly fat protrudes, approaching my left hip; I suppose that’s where my inguinal ligament is. I had allergy problems at the time, and I had to work to contain my cough. I still have this pain to some extent now, especially when I sit at my desk at work. I have learned that pre-surgical pain can predict post-surgery pain.

    That pain has been on and off. Then a couple of weeks ago it just remained persistent. Again, 2 or 3 on a scale of 10, always just annoying. I did ride my bike a lot starting with the fourth week post-surgery, gingerly at first. In my 7th week I felt wonderful and even pulled off a 100-mile ride. I’d say I got up to 85 percent of my normal athletic self. Then the burning pain began one day when I got on my bike for my usual daily ride. I did have some warning of it when I felt a shooting pain in my leg, probably a 4 or 5 like a soreness or funny bone kind of sensation, just bending it while in bed, while my left groin pain had gotten a little worse.

    I’ve been prescribed an anti-inflammatory, to no avail. I await an appointment with a pain specialist, to see about a nerve block as suggested by my surgeon. In the meantime, I can go for walks with minimal pain. I don’t feel weak, and I have begun abdominal exercises (now I’m 11 weeks post-surgery) with no problem except the usual soreness from being a bit out of shape. For a month or so I’ve done some delicate hip and oblique stretches, too.

    I’m eager to know that this is indeed a possible nerve entrapment, and hopefully not a sudden circulation issue in the left leg. The two doctors I’ve seen don’t seem to think it’s circulation at all, and there’s nothing visibly wrong with my left leg. Then if it is nerve entrapment, of course I’d like it to stop! And know what it will take to make it stop. And could it even stop on its own? Will I ever ride a bike again?

    [email protected] replied 5 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • [email protected]

    Member
    May 6, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I have posted my issue can you help me with experts advise

  • drtowfigh

    Moderator
    August 4, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Post-hernia surgery, burning pain down left leg

    Two main nerves are at risk for injury at the time of laparoscopic hernia repair: lateral femoral cutaneous nerve and genitofemoral nerve.

    You had no injury at the time of your hernia repair, because your symptoms did not occur until 9 weeks later. This timing suggests a) early hernia recurrence and/or b) folding of the mesh or balling of the mesh. The mesh ball/fold can impinge on a nerve. The most likely nerve to impinge is the genital nerve which causes symptoms down the upper inner thigh. Secondly, since you had a direct hernia, the ilioinguinal nerve can be tickled, causing scrotal sensitivity. Lastly, testicular pain can occur if the spermatic cord is affected by the mesh. Also, mesh folding can result in a hernia recurrence by exposing the hernia defect it was patching.

    MRI pelvis with Valsalva can rule out these most likely causes of your symptoms. Then the question is how to address it!

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