More DailyStrength
Health Event Calendar
See what's new on the site
Step-by-step Tutorials
How to use DailyStrength
We're on Facebook
Check out our page
Follow us on Twitter
Read our tweets
Get Cool DS Stuff!!!!!
Shirts, Hats, Baby Wear
still pain after microdiscectomy....SO concerned
Watch this 
View More Posts Ignore
I am a 23-year old who has been suffering from back and leg pain for 7 months now. I feel like I have been part of a nightmare...and it is just never-ending. I hurt my back teaching an exercise class for my job. I had excruciating pain in my leg.....I ended up getting an MRI, showing that I had torn two disks, and one was herniated. It was affecting my L4-L5 and my L5-S1. I still tried to avoid surgery....tried literally EVERY option. So exhausting, losing hope.

I finally had a microdiscectomy last week on my L4-L5. I was so hopeful that relief would come! I woke up in the recovery room and my leg pain was gone! The doctor said they were able to remove all the herniation away from my nerve. I was leg pain for two days, just the normal back soreness from the procedure. But then, it came back. It is just a throbbing pain in my whole leg, and sometimes the pain medication doesn't take it away. Is this normal after the surgery, and could the nerve just be really sensitive now from the procedure? Has anyone else experienced this? I am getting NO help from my surgeon. I feel so alone and so scared.....I just want to know what to expece! Please, please, please if you have any similar experience or words of support I would be greatful. Thank you.
Posted on 11/10/10, 12:47 pm
27 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Advice
Reminder: This is a support group for Back Pain. We trust you will do your best to remain positive and helpful. For more information, see our rules of the road.

You may also create your own Member Groups where you can moderate the discussion.
Email me when others reply to this topic help
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #1 - 11/10/10  1:21pm
" Hi Meg ~ I would bet that this is just your nerve HEALING. Healing can be very painful after surgery. They have to push, prod, poke, and of course that nerve has been inflamed for a long time. Now it's trying to heal and it's going to hurt. SHAME on your surgeon for not explaining this to you. He's a jerk.

He also should have given you something for the pain. Ask your GP to prescribe something. This shouldn't last TOO long, but try to be patient. I can really feel for you - I've got permanent sciatica. God bless and keep us posted. Check in from time to time. Hugs, Lee "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #2 - 11/10/10  9:31pm
" Meg,
You are a week away from surgery, didn't your surgeon tell you that it could take about 6 months for you to get some real relief??? Nerves take a long, long time to recover, and this is going to be a long haul, I can tell you, I've been through 5 lumbar surgeries, including a fusion.
Another thing, did you surgeon explained to you what a MicroD can do, and can not do? Unfortunately, MicroD's usually do not work, and I am sorry to tell you this.... but here is an excerpt of an article from Mayo Clinic;

Microdiscectomy success rate
A recurrent disc herniation may occur directly after back surgery although they are most common in the first three months after surgery. Recurrence rates after a patient has a disc herniation are between 5 and 10%. If the disc does herniate again, generally a revision microdiscectomy will be just as successful as the first operation. However, after a recurrence, the patient is at higher risk of further recurrences (15 to 20% chance). If herniation continues to recur, a fusion procedure might be considered.

Recurrent disc herniations are probably due to the fact that within some disc spaces there are multiple fragments of disc that can come out at a later date. Through a posterior microdiscectomy approach, only about 5 to 7% of the disc space can be removed and most of the disc space cannot be seen. Also, the hole in the disc space where the herniation occurs (annulotomy) probably never closes because the disc itself does not have a blood supply. Without a blood supply, the area does not heal or scar over. There also is no way to surgically repair the outer portion of the disc space (the annulus). "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #3 - 11/11/10  10:27am
" {{{HUGS}}}

I am so sorry for your pain and your frustration and fears ... this is a very big procedure and it I think Leeall is right, SHAME on your surgeon for not being more empathetic and honest with you.

I have not had surgery for my issue...though I have had several consults now with my MD and two different NeuroSurgeons

Here is the information that they all agree on

The longer your nerves are irritated or compressed, the greater the probability that they will not have full recovery after a surgery.

Surgery does not cure nerve issues. Nerves may or may not regenerate fully. Surgery can only fix mechanical problems (broken bones) repair injuries (gunshot wounds) alleviate illness/symptoms (diskectomy, appendicitis) etc.

You are very young and it sounds like in very good shape. This will greatly help in your ability to heal and to have a good outcome from this surgery. Tipper is absolutely will take several months for you to feel more like your "normal" self. Physical therapy is also recommended after back surgery.

The Sciatica pain that you are experiencing may take a long time to go away...I would ask your primary care provider for some medications that would hlep with this and maybe see about getting involved with a pain management doc. You absolutely SHOULD NOT be suffering in pain. Is some pain normal, sure it is...but suffering is not acceptable and is not normal...they have medications that they can help you with.

Good luck and keep us informed of your progress. You will find many wonderful people on here who have tons of experience and are very helpful. Take Care! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #4 - 11/12/10  11:31am
" Hello

I have been suffering since April 2010 with similar problems. My L5/S1 are bulging, L4/5 is torn and L3/4 is just starting. I have been through pt, injections, chiro and am now doing decompression as to avoid surgery. I tried pain meds in the beginning but nothing helped and I didnt want to become an addict because they kept upping my dose. I had high hopes for pt as I do a lot of heavy lifting at my job but pt continues to be a struggle for me. I cant stand or walk for more than 10 minutes without pain in my leg. My back has never hurt as bad as my leg does.

My doctor has explained to me that if we do the surgery it may not be successful. I may still have pain but it will hopefully be less than before. He also told me it could take a while to be out of pain after the procedure. My Dr seems to think that pt after surgery would be a waste of time. You are much younger so it may be an option for you. I have also heard that decompression can be helpful after surgery if all the pain is not allieviated in 4-6 weeks.

My prayers are with you and I wish you good luck. I may be getting back to you myself for advice if I decide to have surgery. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #5 - 11/12/10  3:28pm
" fifercats,

I want to clarify something......... There is a HUGE diffference between addiction and dependancy, and most people that are in chronic or intractable pain, do NOT become addicted to their medications, they are dependant on those medications to live a more "normal" life....

Addicts do not take medications to alleviate pain, addicts take medications to get high! Most addicts do not go to a Doctor to get their pain medications, they either get them from the streets, steal them from family members, or go Doctor shopping, which is illegal...
Addicts will steal, lie, rob and do anything to get their "fix".

Us people in chronic pain are not addicts... we take our medications as directed, we do not buy our meds on the streets, we get them from a Pharmacy, we get treated by a pain management Doctor, and besides pain meds, we use other modalities and therapies to treat our pain. So you see, there is a big difference. I just wanted to clarify that, since I get mad whenever I hear someone saying; "I didn't want to continue my pain medications because I was going to get addicted", that my friend 98% of the time, does not happen. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #6 - 11/16/10  8:16am
" I agree with Tipper, about pain meds. I only take them when I can't stand the pain.And then it doesn't work until the second dose because I waited to long. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #7 - 11/16/10  1:44pm
" Your story is very similar to my own Meg, I severely herniated my L5/S1 and I can relate to the never ending excrutiaing pain. I'm going to be going for an epidural to see if I can get some relief but the Doctor says it's most likely that I won't be able to avoid surgery and he recomends a microdisectomy so it's interesting to hear your experience. Please keep us updated on how it goes, I'm very interested to see how you make out. Best of luck and hope you have some relief and feel better soon! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #8 - 11/17/10  1:19pm
" Well, I am now about two weeks out from surgery. I thank you all so much for your advice, support and replies to this is so helpful! I guess I had a surgeon that just didn't do a very good job at explaining things! That is the challenging thing....actually getting time to talk to doctors, surgeon's especially. It seems like they just want to cut, and leave the other thinngs to their nurses and scheduling staff, who often are hard to get ahold of as well!! Not a great system.

My leg pain has gotten much, much better. I am trying to slowly wean myself off the pain meds. There are still some times that it throbs and is just sore, but I don't have the horrible pain like I used to, mostly when I changed positions, etc. Although now I am experiencing just some general back soreness....even in my upper back. I think that is because of my return to work, even though I am only working half days. I am doing a lot more sitting than I used to, and I think it is going to take awhile to get adjusted to that. Anyone experience that??

Ben1975.....SO many people turned me away from surgery. Told me horror stories, etc. Yes, it is true there is risk of re-injury, it is not a permanent solution, etc.....but would you rather stay in this much pain and constantly wonder if surgery would relieve that or not?? You have to be your own advocate.....go with your gut. Surgery is not for everyone, and I am not trying to convince you to get it.....but in my experience I would have done it months and months sooner. I know I will have to manage this for the rest of my life....but I would have to anyways!! Research, talk to your doctor, be informed!!

Good luck to everyone here, and I will continue to keep you posted, as I hope you do the same! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #9 - 11/17/10  4:00pm
" Meg,
Is good to hear that you are doing better and that you have been able to return to work PT. I know what you mean about surgeons... mine never told me that it was going to take a full year to recover from my fusion, and of course never told me that the cadaver bone that he used was been recalled, but that is a whole another story... :-/ . I hope that you keep on improving, and that you will recover fully. Take care, "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #10 - 01/14/11  4:24pm
" Thanks for the info meg. I just had microdiscectomy between L4andL5 8 days ago. The pain has started to return about 2 days later and over the last week getting worse by the day. Seems to have leveled off. I don't have the severe limp I had before surgery, so maybe progress? I'm glad to hear that there is hope this may improve with time. I'll check back in as things develop with my experience. My doctor too doesn't give much info unless the question is asked directly. When you don't know the questions to ask you get frustrated.

The pain is sciatic in nature on the right side. Bottom of the foot feels taught, like walking on a overly tall arch support. The nerve on the back of my thigh is sensitive to pressure. The hip aches. Walking is when I notice most of the symptoms. Laying down, just the foot feels odd. The hip not too bad laying down.

I hope this recovers to where I can be active again. I'm forty and in great health. So here's to hope.
Thank you. "

First | Previous | Page: 1 2 3 | Next | Most Recent Add Your Advice

More From Around the Web