Hi everyone, I'm asking some questions on behalf of my 24 year-old brother who is 3 days out of his second microdiscectomy (first was performed a year ago I think) and in severe and debilitating pain.
Prior to this second surgery he was taken to the hospital because his pain was unbearable. He was treated with a morphine pain pump with almost no effect. Almost all forms of medication he was given were not working so well on the pain. Finally they found something they could give him, but I can't remember what it was called. He was sent home after 2-3 days. His original surgeon, a pain managament specialist and the hospital doctor all gave him recommendations and it was even discussed that he need an emergency fusion right then and there! He was in such severe pain that he passed out more than once when he was trying to get an MRI done.
He was able to gather the strength to take a plane out of town to a spine specialist in Texas and finally made the decision to have a second microdiscectomy. After looking at his new MRIs, they found that the first surgery did the job it was supposed to but now a new disc had herniated and ruptured. The second surgery was scheduled but his pain got so much worse that he tried to check into two different hospitals, but none of them would admit him for the pain and had him escorted out by security as he was screaming in pain and shaking.
The second surgery was finally performed, the doctor found very large fragments, removed them and believes that everything went fine and it's quite possible that he will not have to have a fusion or disc-replacement in the future.
All was fine the day he went home, but now he is again in severe, severe pain. He is crying out in agony, and it hurts me so much to seem him this way. He is crying and screaming when he gets up or tries to sit down. He lives in a third floor apartment and he's using a walker right now. He told us he needed to go to the hospital and to call while he starts to go downstairs. We put in a call to his doctor and they told us not to bother because they won't admit him and that if he's not having new pain, numbness or loss of bowel control there is no emergency.
He'll be getting an MRI in the morning if his condition doesn't improve. He's on valium, which he has been on since the first hospital visit and some other pain meds. Before the surgery he was taking the valium, pain meds and a really strong pain control patch. The doctor's are dumbfounded that the pain is not being controlled with the strong medication he is on.
Anyways, after all that explaining, I want to know if anyone knows what might be going on. Is this a reherniation or is it just the expected pain of recovery? We asked if he had strained any while using the bathroom and he said that it might have been straining for someone who had just had back surgery, but under normal circumstances he wouldn't consider it straining, but the pain started hours after that. He said it hurts even more than before the surgery. I understand that the nerve was inflamed and irritated, is the nerve just going haywire while trying to heal?
I'm trying to find out also if anyone else has been in a similar amount of pain, maybe your experience is similar. I just really feel for him and it really upsets me to see him like this, the screaming and the tears are tearing me apart. I've been hospitalized for a severe back muscle spasm which took me at least a year of recovery and the right combo of medicine to get over. I know what it feels like to be in a ton of pain from your back and if his is more severe than mine was, I don't even want to think about what that might feel like.
Any help would be appreciated, explanations about the healing process would be great too.
We are in the Austin, Texas area if anyone wants to point me to a physician, pain management doctor or anything.
Thanks so much!