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need reassurance

LovinggardenerLLovinggardener Posts: 494
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Today is day 10 post op. , and I am having mild sciatic pain. The only thing that i can think that contributed to the pain was my coughing and sneezing.

I am waiting for my ortho's office to call me back.


  • I was having the same problems after my surgery in June and after a few weeks the pain went away. just give it time and be paitent. Or you could end up like me and be looking at another back surgery less than a year after the first one.

  • Just got a call back from the surgeon's office and didn't get much reassurance. The nurse practioner said that she could not guarantee that I didn't re=herniate the disc and told me take ibuprofen or Aleve.

    I can't believe that the discs can be so fragile.
  • Hi teach,
    Maybe there could be some swelling left in there from the surgery a twist there a cough here and it could be the problem...sure hope so for you! Good luck!
  • I sure do hope so. Thank you again!
  • I reherniated and it was after a sneeze that I noticed the increase in pain. I looked back on my calendar and it was on day 9 that it happened. I called my neurosurgeon's office and he put me back on steroid dose pack and Neurontin. The pain didn't really get better and when I went in for my 4 week follow up he sent me for another MRI. I had my MRI done last week and repeat microdiscectomy this past Monday. I still have the spasms in my right foot and the numbness on the lateral side of the foot. The pain in the calf is better so far. There is still no guarantee that this one will be successful. I am really getting tired of bedrest and my job isn't secure after the last of this month. I hope you can get in to see your doctor and get another MRI. Good Luck.
  • It could just be an "angry" nerve. I was positive I had reherniated on my 18th day post-op. Absolutely positive. I would have bet on it, I was so sure. My surgeon ordered another MRI, and that disk was absolutely fine, just as clean as it could be.

    Always call your doctor if you think something is wrong, but try not to think the worst. I'm a natural pessimist, and a serious worrier so I completely understand what you're thinking. Personally, the more stressed out and frightened I am, the worse the pain is. If you can find a way to relax a bit, and get your mind off the pain, even for just a little while, it will help. It has worked for me.

    Recovery takes time, and most of all patience. You will feel all sorts of weird sensations, and most are just part of the normal healing process. No one really has a choice about the time, and these days I'm not so good at the patience part, but my advice is get some rest, take some ibuprofen, ease up on the walking, and most important of all is try not to panic.

    I hope its nothing serious and you're feeling better soon! Keep us updated.
  • You know...I am going to think the worst if my surgeon gives the bad news.
    I've looked up sneezing/coughing on herniated disc and found out that coughing/sneezing can irritate the nerves like sitting or bending. I am thinking that every time I sneeze or cough, I am irritating the already "angry" nerve. I am taking Zrytec/ benedryl, and Flonase to control the coughing /sneezing. Sometimes, a cough/or few sneezes will escape from me.

    My pain level is around 2/3 which can controlled by two Advils.

    I'll going to keep my fingers crossed that the allergy symptoms will go away so I can resume the recovery in peace. If worst case scenerio happens, I'll just get another surgery. For now, I am going to enjoy this moment.
  • You will be happy to know that having a bit of pain at this point is common and almost always, nothing to worry about.

    In most cases, surgeons will add some long-acting, pain relieving medication and a steroid when they finish the surgery, prior to closing. The theory is that this will get the patient over the worst part of the pain. By the time this wears off, the worst will be over. But if the patient doesn't know this, they feel good for the first week, and then think "something" has happened and they have done something to effect the outcome of the surgery when these meds wear off. In almost all cases, this is not the case.

    If you continue to get worse, or if you suddenly develop a new symptom, call your doctor. Otherwise, keep a positive frame of mind, follow your surgeon's directions perfectly, avoid any activity that involves lifting, bending or twisting, or reaching up high over your head, limit riding in cars or driving, and remember to rest. If you can do this for the first two - three weeks, you really maximize your chances of having a successful outcome.

    Be patient, and remember that it takes much longer to heal and recover than any of us think it should.

    xx Gwennie
  • If you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, or have any warning at all, brace yourself.(try to "pin" your navel to your spine) You should also use this brace when reaching (which you should not be doing yet!!). Actually it is better to train yourself NOT to reach for anything. Move your body to the object rather than leaning and/or trying to reach for it. I constantly have to remind myself of this and still catch myself doing it. Also get in the habit of sitting down or using good body mechanics when putting on underwear or pants, boots, etc. Even after you heal, get out of the habit of standing on one leg while pulling off the other boot or shoe, pant leg, etc.

    While I'm at it with little tips: learn to sit squarely on your "sit bones" as they say in yoga. Avoid leaning to one side or the other, which means, do not cross one leg over the other. This pulls your body out of alignment, can cause your pelvis to tip and puts additional pressure or one side of the spine, or the other. When you stand, be sure your weight is equally balanced on both feet. Do not stand with one leg turned to the side. This causes your weight to be balanced over one hip more than the other, and again eventually causes wear and tear on one side's soft tissues.
    Good body mechanics are not so important when you are in your 20s and 30s, but form good habits now, so you won't have problems later on, and you won't stretch out ligaments and cause muscle imbalances that can cause damage down the road.
  • WEll...I didn't know about having both feet on the floor while changing. I have been standing on one foot to put on my pants. I need to stop that. Since i have done yoga, I know about sit bones. Thank you for reminding. Once I recover, I will resume yoga and pilates.
  • You know what I meant, right? Sometimes even though you think you have your balance, you can catch a toenail on a hem, or something can throw you off...then you kind of lurch to catch yourself...and it is those kinds of jerky movements that actually can hurt you. Also, pulling off boots, you have a twisting and pulling motion all at once, which can put strain on the discs.

    I just mention a few of these things so everyone starts thinking about all the little movements they do without thinking that can potentially be a disc herniater!

    You may have to modify your yoga practice to avoid some of the twisting and hyper-extending poses. There is a really good DVD called Viniyoga therapy for the low back, sacrum and hips by Gary Kraftsow. It is very basic but it is a therapeutic yoga practice carefully designed to alleviate pain and promote health in the low back, sacrum and hips. It is the only yoga DVD recommended by the NIH.
  • For what is evidently an L5 disc rupture with a "floating" piece and an L4 bulge. Also have lifelong "mild" scoliosis midback with right twist, a congenital malformed hip and short right leg (maybe 5/8"). Have worn lift on right leg for LONG time - I'm 56. After several uncontrolled falls a month ago, got x-ray and PCP terrified me with prediction of fusion and rods. But I'm getting much better with minimal meds (1 total 325mg Percocet a day split in half and taken AM/PM), and 2 Advil at 6 hour intervals. No falls. Can sit fine again. Still pain and instability, but I've been living with that for 40+ years. Quick advice needed! Resist or embrace surgery? Or no choice? Minimal or whole damn thing? Terrified by some stories and appreciate statistical risks. But sounds like one thing leads to another...and that recovery time and effort is a bitch! Please help.
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