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Microdisectomy L4L5 on Feb.9, have a question

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went ahead and had the microdisectomy on Feb. 9th, I have to be honest with myself and say I shouldn't have had the surgery. I was feeling pretty good. I had no pain down my leg the only thing I had was intense pressure in my buttucks and at the spine area. I saw the surgeon and he did some test on my leg and foot and I did have some weakness, which he said could be permanate if I didn't get the pressure off the nerve. I trust my surgeon so I went ahead and had the surgery on Feb. 9th. So far I have been feeling ok and I have been very careful, no bending ,twisting... Two days ago I started having shooting pains on my shin. I'm just wondering if anyone who has had Microdisectomy had similar pain and did it go away. I am so scared that I have reherniated already. The pain comes and goes almost like a spasm. If I take muscle relaxer and hydrocodone I feel fine. I don't want another surgery, and I'm just at a loss. I have a appointment with my surgeon next week. Is it normal to have pains after surgery and still not reherniate? Thanks for any help.


  • After my L5-S1 md I could have sworn I had reherniated.
    It was sheer hell.(4 weeks worth)
    As it turns out, I hadn't. It was just swelling, inflamtion, and edema.
    An ESI resolved it within 7 days.

    The nerve did take some time (about 6 months) to "remember" how to be normal.

    The longer the nerve was compressed, the longer it takes to "wake up". (mine was compressed about 9 months)

    Let us know what happens. Good luck.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Thanks for answering my question. I'm hoping that is what my problem is. What is ESI? Is that a epidural injection and can you do them after surgery? I already had three prior to surgery. I was under the impression I could only have 3 in a year.
  • Hi Lizard,

    I had my microscopic discectomy on Jan 26th and I'm really happy about the results. I believe the shin pain you're feeling (I had the feeling as cramps in my calfs/calves) is from the muscle atrophying from not walking properly.

    I found that with my drop foot and/or weakness I lifted and shuffled my leg forward instead of properly letting it "roll" which keeps the muscle nice and stretched.

    I didn't do any exercises cause I was told to wait 6-8 weeks, but I knew I could stretch my calf without it affecting my back surgery/muscles.

    Try that. It's going to hurt like heck, but you'll start feeling better and you may actually start walking somewhat properly. I'm really trying to get my weak foot to walk mechanically the same way as my strong foot and that may solve the problem.

    Also plain old simply walking around your house. When feeling crampy (every 4 hours in the beginning) I'd get up and walk around even if it was 2am, 3am, 4am in the morning. I'd stand in the kitchen and watch some TV for about 30 mins and the pain was relieved.

    Lizard is right about the swelling. Just be patient and it'll all fall back into place.

    I don't regret my surgery and I'm off my toxic pain meds.

    I was off the oxycotin in about 8 hours because it made me feel more achy. So check with you meds on how you're reacting to them. Only you can tell what is working for you.

    Good luck and again - be patient
  • I will try stretching my calf muscles. I have been trying to walk around like you did every couple of hours. This morning I woke up and it felt like my foot was asleep. So I walked alittle and it got better. Just wondering, do you use heat or ice any more? I do sometimes lay on my heating pad for 10 minutes if its bothering me,which feels good at the time but maybe I should be applying cold not heat. I guess I am upset that I felt better before surgery and thought the surgery would only make me feel better. So I guess I have to hope it gets worse before it gets better.
    Thanks again for advice.
  • Hi Lizard,

    I asked my surgeon if ice or heat would help best for post surgery pain - and they said whatever you get the best results from.

    So there's no specific rule. If heat works for you great! Some people don't get any added relief from either, but again if heat is working for you awesome.

    I just can't wait to get back into my spa. It was not only nice and hot, but I loved the fact that while floating weight was taken off my back.

    I was told to wait 8 weeks until the wound was totally healed. Somehow the spa chemicals are not as "clean" as a pool's (chlorine).

    Good luck and quick healing!
  • Lizard,

    Your post has helped me. The fact that people feel new pain where there wasn't shows us we aren' crazy. My case is like your situation. Before surgery, My ciatic had settled done after 3 months of pt. My foot was still numb. I couldn't stand up straight and walking was a b___h! Things got worse when I went back to work, but not the hot ciatic. After surgery, the ciatic was back in my left leg. It eventually went away and my left foot numbness is gone(4 months). What happens during the surgery is the surgeon moves the nerve to get at the disc material. Nerve don't like that! It should settle down.

    Backman 38
  • http://www.spine-health.com/video/lumbar-micro-endoscopic-discectomy-video

    This website has great videos animated (so you don't get grossed out by the real thing!)

    And it shows how the nerve is moved and thus you do get the nerve irritated. But you can see how necessary it is to move it and to clear a path for the surgeon.

    If you're crazy like me... I watched the actual (short/edited version) of the real deal on YouTube before my surgery. I didn't get freaked out and I guess the surgeon made it look easy, so it actually kinda set me at ease.

    Back to the subject... yes new pains, yet they should fade!!


  • I'm so thankful to have found this site and all the friendly people here. I appreciate all the feedback and I will look forward to a speedy recovery.
  • Hey Lizard, I'm interested to see how you've progressed. It's been a little over two weeks since your last post--so I'm wondering how you're feeling now. Do you still think surgery was the wrong way to go, or are you happy you made the decision to go ahead and get it?

    Looking forward to your next update and am hoping for good news.

  • thanks for the info, my surgery for L5 S1 was 3/31/09, leg went totally numg the other day and scared the hell out of me. i am told nerve root takes forever to recover, i had herniation of L4 L5 six years ago and did not have surgery, I am told recovery will be lengthy due to previous injury. I am looking at job change as current job involves lots of standing and possible physical interventions of behaviorally challenged kids, hoping things progress quickly.
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