Need advice on post-surgery pins and needles

Past Member
Hi all,
Hope everyone is having a good day?

I've been back to work now for 6 weeks after having 18 months off work, and if I'm honest, I'm struggling! I'm totally shattered all the time and I've lost my confidence in a lot of areas.
I'm the manager of a cosmetic shop and my staff are being completely unhelpful.

My concern at the moment is really bad pins and needles in both my feet and hands, and it's really concerning me. It's there constantly and driving me nuts. I've had blood tests and I'm awaiting my results!

My doctor thinks I'm lacking in something, but I just wondered if anyone on here has had the same thing after their operation? Any ideas as to what to take or do would be a great help?
Hello G,

I think you will find a few of us here that have suffered from the same symptoms. The burning and the pins and needles.

"Trauma neuropathy" is what they are calling mine. Mine was so bad that following my emergency surgery, I had to learn to walk and hold a pen again. It's been ten months now, and I still walk with a cane if going extended distances.

I currently wear a fentanyl patch and take an oral med called gabapentin for it.

Ask for an EMG test with a neurologist. This measures nerve signals and function. It can't be checked with a blood test. In my case, they did one test, and then a second months later. The difference between the two will tell them if it is getting better, and if so, how fast.

It can take months to years for the nerves to regenerate if it is bad enough. I haven't worked in 10 months. I had an emergency ileostomy in May of 2011, was in a coma for 10 days, and when I woke, I had no feelings in either leg and all of one arm and part of the other.
I just had reversal surgery in February. My surgeon has cleared me for return to work from that surgery, but my neurologist hasn't from last year. It's worse than the surgery for some of us.

You are not alone.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Dave is on the mark! It happened to me too.



I feel better already knowing I'm not the only one that suffers like this.
Sounds as though it's quite normal for some of us, good luck.x



The left side of my body (primarily) was affected in a similar manner after my emergency ileostomy in Dec. 2010. Left foot, left leg, left arm, and hand. Numbness; followed by pins and needles and the feeling that everything was on fire....then weakness. Repeat. I didn't have to re-learn to walk or write or anything; but I had so much marked weakness and loss of sensation in my left arm and hand that I could not change my own flange/bag without assistance. I am still taking Neurontin and Fentanyl patch, too, for the nerve damage which, as Dave says, may or may not be permanent. I've since had a successful reversal in Feb. 2012; but the nerve damage remains. My neurologist states it will be 2+ years before we know what we are dealing with for the long term.

Dave's observations are correct; an EMG with a neurologist will be your best bet for these type symptoms.

Wishing healing and better days for you.


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

As has been said, nerves, if they are able to, can take a year or more to regenerate. My neuropathies are a result of chemo. While I still deal with them, the numbness and tingling have markedly improved over the 18 months since I finished treatment. The one thing I will add to the thread is that physical therapy has been most helpful in reducing the impact of the neuropathies. There are PT's that specialize in this type of thing. Also, I have found stretching, be it Qigong or Yoga, to be quite helpful as well. Good luck G. --- Dave


Hi G, hope you are feeling better. My only contribution would be to ask if you were on any painkiller drug or opiate for any length of time. Check out your meds, current and prior, for possible side effects or withdrawal symptoms. PB


Thanks guys for your feedback, wouldn't know what I'd do without this site!
We all have some kind of problem, I suppose after such massive surgery, I guess.
We can all count ourselves very lucky! Bless you all.xx


Hi, you are probably lacking in essential vitamins or minerals. When I had my colostomy in November 2010 due to a cancer tumor (not in my bowel but outside and pressing on my rectum), this was my second tumor. The first was in the vulva. However, I needed to have my rectum and anus removed and a permanent colostomy.

While in the hospital, about seven days after the operation, I was having a funny sensation on my skin, a sort of tingling like nettle rash, and pins and needles. This was all over. Then, when trying to get to sleep at night, my legs wouldn't keep still. They kept shaking and aching, and I couldn't rest. On day nine, they took a blood sample and found that I had a massive potassium deficiency. So, I was put on a drip immediately, which after a couple of days, made me feel much better. Apparently, after bowel surgery, this is quite a common occurrence to have a lack of potassium in the body, which can cause very strange and frightening effects, especially with the nervous system.

Because of the damage caused and having less bowel than I should have, I take a good quality multivitamin daily. I also take good quality garlic capsules and cod liver oil capsules (don't use the cheap ones; they are useless) in order to keep my immune system built up. Fortunately, up until now, I feel fine and went back to work in April 2011. I had light duties for about 8 weeks and have been on my own since. Oh, by the way, I'm a truck driver for a very large supermarket. I hope everything keeps going the way it is, but I do get a bit tired and have learned to pace myself.

Sorry, I know I've gone on a bit, but I hope this is helpful. I always think to myself, "You only get out what you put in," so I try to listen to my body and try to put in what's lacking and necessary.

Good luck, Trudel


Thanks Trudel! Maybe I'm not really eating as healthy as I should!
Reckon I'll take a regular dose of vitamins and such, see how I go. Guess I'm just a person
who doesn't want to slow down a bit, but I guess at the age of 60+ I'm gonna have to. LOL

Just my humble opinion, but I would caution against letting anyone here tell you what you "probably" have, or are lacking, based on something that happened to them.

Sure, it's easy to relate stories of similar things that we experienced, but that in no way, shape or form means that's what you have going on.

Yes, sometimes we all take comfort in hearing that someone had the same symptoms and it turned out to be something minor, but I also believe it's just as easy to go the other way and convince ourselves we have something more drastic too.

Self-medicating with anything, including simple vitamins, can be deadly if you have underlying conditions.

I believe that everyone here has nothing but good intentions, but none of them are you.

I guess what I am saying is, see a doctor.

Hi. Thanks for sharing your experience and asking this question. I'm sorry you have such an unhelpful staff. Too bad I'm not close to you. I need to go back to work and could work for you and "get your back"! Lol! Seriously though, your question is a great one. I, too, have terrible neuropathy and take gabapentin for it. Did not know about the fentanyl patch and will ask my doc about that one. He told me to take vitamin B supplement and I think it helps. Not really sure? I wonder if anyone has tried the ReBuilder device. If so, wish you'd post about it!

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