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microdiscectomy post operative pain and numbness

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone, I am 24 years old and 3days post op from microdiscectomy at l5 s1. Day one I felt no pain in my right leg anymore and the numbness I had been feeling in my toes and outer part of my foot was way less noticable. But yesterday I started having some pain in my hip/buttock and the numbness has returned to my toes/foot. Is this normal? And if so how long will this last?I was told to try and walk around as much as I could but I was wondering what a good daily walking goal should be. Also when I am resting should I be sitting in a chair or laying down. I know this is a lot of questions but I am just really worried, any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks, Brent


  • After I had my L5-S1 discectomy, I was in severe debilitating pain. I was supposed to be in PT and taking meds to control the pain it would cause.
    I did neither.
    It was the normal swelling and edema that accompanies surgery.
    So, about a month later of no improvement, I asked to come back in. An ESI was recommended and I went for it.
    About 3-4 days after the injection, the pain finally started to go away.
    By day 7, I was pain free.

    Ice, PT, meds, no bending lifting twisting, and an ESI.
    TRy to limit sitting, it puts pressure on the discs.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I can only give you general answers, as I had a lumbar fusion and never had your type of surgery. In general, spinal surgery can rattle the nerves (literarily) and many people experience various symptoms until healing takes place. However, if you experience anything worst that you had before, call your surgeon's office. Walking is the best thing you can do for yourself. The rule of thumb, don't over do it at any one time, rather, take several shorter walks until you can go for a longer period. My OS told me that during the first few months don't walk more without taking a rest than an hour. But at first I started with 5-10 minutes. Even then it may tires you out, but eventually it gets better. As far as sitting, the first month or so I had to restrict it to no more than 30 minutes without getting up and walking around.

    Wishing you the best for your recovery,

  • Thanks for the comments and suggestions guys! I feel a little bit better today and the general idea I've gotten from reading various posts about microdiscectomy is that the healing process is a slow road. I'm trying to walk several times a day for 10 to 20 mins and when I go back to my surgeon in 9 days I'm going to see about starting a PT program. Right now I'm just trying to stay positive and have a good attitude about this whole process. Thanks again for the posts, any other info u think might help me would be appreciated.
  • I'm 3 month post op. I wanted to actively approach my healing process like you are. I walked a little too much. I produced syptoms in both legs since I approached the suggestions to walk like a workout scedule. Dude walk a litle bit this early. Call you doc for advice. Both of them, if you bug them enough you may get a good answer. This process takes time. If you feel pain ,ice it up and take the meds. Distract yourself. Read a bunch of books, watch movies and talk to you friends. So, don't freak out this process takes time. I had a blown disc and severe stenosis on my left side. They trimed it and cleaned out the space. I'm better now. So will you.
  • ... for all the input. I'm 11 days post-opt. and my pain and mobility recovery has seemed to plateau or worsen. All of your thoughts and your experience has been extremely helpful and given me a point of reference. My doctor told me to two weeks of "bed rest" until I see him again and then PT. On my discharge form, "resume your usual activity" was checked -- come on I could bearly move. Because things were progressing so well last week, I developed an unrealistic expectation about how the recovery was going to go -- you all have help bring me back to reality. O:)

    When did people return to work full-time? In general, I have a desk job so no manual labor.

    Any other thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated :/
  • I am going into to have a microdiscectomy on the same disc on 1/15/09 and have some questions and fear. It great to have this support group. I hope you feel better soon. I too have a desk job and wonder when I will back to work. My doc says anywhere between two to four weeks. What was the estimation for you?
  • I had a microdisectomy 6 days ago,,,the pain is terrible,,,walk!! yeah, baby steps,,it hurts,,Sit!! forget that,,lying down and walking a few minutes at a time is all I can stand. Getting up and down is akin to standing before a firing squad. I dread either one. If any of you have any insight as to how long this pain will continue before feeling some relief, i sure could use a hopeful word.
  • I know this is an old post but hoping for some insight on your end results! 
    I'm going through this right now and kind of nervous that something went horribly wrong 
  • I'm 4 days post op of a L4\L5 with a huge amount of disk material removed. I'm scared as hell I am going to re-herniate. How can I tell a potential reherniation versus normal post op pain??
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,003

    I also answered you in another discussion thread, so I will answer differently here because you seem to be focused on this - and that cant be a good thing.

    Why do you think that you have herniated?  What did you do, or what happened to you?

    Spine-health Moderator

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • Hi, I am 10 days post L5/S1 microdiscectomy and I have read a lot of people saying they had numbness after the surgery but most post updates (I googled it and clicked on videos) indicating the numbness subsides over time. I've been lucky (so far) as my pain was gone immediately upon waking from surgery aside from the tenderness at the incision site. Mine was closed with internal stitches then derma bond but since it is tender (less now) I would put s non stick surgical dressing on it with paper tape as added cushion so it didn't hurt. As for sitting and stuff-->many will say to lie on ur back with pillow under your knees but that crap hurts; I mean hello, your laying on the dang incision.  The main thing is keeping your spine straight. I bought a body pillow for about $13 and sleep on whatever side I am comfortable with a pillow between my knees and the pillow behind me so I don't roll over. When I sit I put pillows behind me to support my back and elevate my feet as much as I can. Check with your doc but mine said just keeping your spine straight and not to sleep on stomach........as for walking, three days after surgery I walked too much and paid for it--extra sore.  Waited a couple days then walked 7/10 of a mile. Am going to aim for 20-30 min walk 2-3 times per day until I feel better then I will start having my daughter drive me to my gym and my goal will be to walk on the treadmill at slow pace with 0% incline
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,233
    Hello candice1970s !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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