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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
hi First of all sorry for repeating my story again for those who have read it. I'm now just over 2 weeks past my l5/s1 wide based microdiscectomy which the surgeon did more on me for my relentless back pain,( i had pain in my buttocks and hips but not alot of sciatica).Before he did the op, he said that he wasnt convinced it would help my back pain as I have bone changes( I think he was pointing to the top of my sacrum on the mri scan but could be wrong). My pain relief is increasing and increasing, but I feel my old pain again and nothings getting rid of it.I'm feeling so downhearted at the moment and want to cry.Last night I took my maximum meds and had my old back pain and through the night I took my fast acting oxynorm every couple of hours,but my leg pain was so bad.I have a feeling its going to be the same tonight.I got myself comfy with all my pillows on my back in bed and relaxed for 20 mins then when I got up I had CRIPPLING back pain.Just as I was pre-op :''( =((


  • It is quite normal to have pain flares, especially so soon after surgery. I know it is frightening and disheartening, but you have to allow your body time to heal. It has had an incredible insult from surgery and will remind you from time to time as you heal that it's not happy. Can you use ice? I found great relief from ice post op. I use the hot/cold packs and wrap them in a thin t-shirt and then wrap a towel around me to hold the pack in place. Sometimes just knocking the pain down long enough to go to sleep is all you need.

    One thing that made a big difference for me also, was that I was restricted from sitting for 30 days post op. I was allowed to stand or lay down and found that it made healing a lot more comfortable for me. Sitting is so incredibly hard on a healthy spine, and so terribly insulting to a newly operated on spine.

    Don't hesitate to contact your surgeon should you feel the need. That's what they are there for. I hope you find a way to make yourself comfortable! Hang in there.

  • thank you. I'll try a heat rub just now at I sometimes find it soothing.It's just that the pain pre op was diffirent to the post op pain which I was quite happy about as I thought it was due to damage and healing, but now my original back pain seems to have come back,and I'm thinking maybe the surgeon was right in that its the other bone changes that are causing the main pain (even though the disc bulge was large,and he said there was alot of pressure,it wasnt actually compressing my sciatic nerve,which is why these ops are usually done) Hope this makes sense! I'm just finding it disconcerting.When I had the op, I couldnt turn or move in the bed for pain, had to use bed pan for near 3 days and had to use a walking frame from when I could get up 3 days post op, but couldnt weight bear on the frame for another day and a half.I was loaded up on oxycontin, oxynorm,etc and the nurses and surgeon were concerned about the pain I was in.From what I've read up on microdiscectomies, people dont usually seem to go through experiences like that.Once again, sorry if I'm boring people who have read this before. I agree with not sitting. My limit is arount 5 minutes!I'm just having a bad day!
  • You are not boring people. If this is an outlet for you, then please use it and don't worry about what others may or may not think.

    One thing is that the mind is a terrible thing when it comes to being miserable or in chronic pain. It can play tricks on us and make us think all sorts of wild things. I find that watching a good movie or a good TV series on DVD will help distract my mind from a lot of the pain thoughts. Also music helps me. I use my iPod for pain more than anything (with the exception of my SCS) and it helps me a bunch.

    Did your surgeon tell you to call or come into the office if your condition didn't improve?

    Hang in there,

  • thanks for the kind words. Venting does make a difference.This site is a lifesaver sometimes.I'm so sorry for my husband and children having to listen to me complaining about it.They never complain, but it has to get to them sometimes.
    I'm seeing my surgeon on the 10th (BIG comfort) for an extra appointment, otherwise I wouldnt be seeing him until August.He operates in a hospital 200 miles from here, but does consultations in another hospital 83 miles away, which is when I can see him.(I'm from a fairly remote village in the Highlands of Scotland and our local hospital only deals with more basic care).
    thanks again for being there x
  • To respond to your comment about most patients who have a microdiscectomy, you are right in that most do not have the post-surgical results that you had. Many get out the same day or the following day and feel so good that they end up doing too much. Did your surgeon give you any reasons for your difficulties before releasing you from hospital?

    I'm happy you will be able to see your surgeon soon. Hopefully, he will be able to answer your questions and find a way to bring you some relief.

    It is very discouraging to have surgery and feel optimistic about getting rid of the pain, only to find that the original pain is still there/back. That happened with my fusion and a subsequent surgery I had...so I do understand your frustrations.

    Hang in there.
    xx Gwennie
  • thanks Gwennie,
    the only thing he said was he went in both sides to avoid having to touch the nerves, but he also looked very concerned when I was trying to walk with a zimmer frame 3 days post op.When I saw him in the corridor of the hospital with the frame I said 'getting there',with a (has to be said, 'forced'!)smile on my face and he said with a concerned look 'yes but I want to see you without that frame'.
    Again, last night was awful.I had to get up every hour or so because the pain in my legs (which ever side I lay on) was so bad, kind of a painfull 'going to sleep' feeling.I must have taken an extra 5 of my 5ml oxynorm.When I get up and walk about a bit the leg pain goes then when I go back to bed the back pain returns.
    Adding to that (you'll laugh at this one!) I felt a huge tickle on my head in the middle of the night- nothing to do with nerves- it was a mouse our cat must have taken in!What a fright, but then as I'm sure you know, I'd rather a mouse anyday!lol
  • One thing I found out after my first lower back surgery, was how important hydration is to being able to sleep at night. It's kind of a catch 22 because the more hydrated I am the more I have to get up to use the bathroom, but as you mentioned, the only way to ease the pain is to "walk it off" and then go back to bed. Hydrating the body, hydrates the discs and provides more comfort at night. I still can't sleep more than a few hours before my legs wake me up, but I have learned to manage it much better. I sleep with 3 pillows and I also use melatonin to help me sleep. When I have bad spells, I use Benadryl to help me sleep, which was something the pain management doc started me doing.

    I'm glad that you have an appointment to see the surgeon on the 10th. That has got to be some comfort for you. Bummer that you have to travel so far, but that I do understand, since my surgeon and pain management docs are over 7667 miles away from here and it takes me a day and a half to travel to their offices. Just knowing when I have an appointment for their help, always gives me the strength I need to make the trip.

    Hope you have a better day today.

  • Wow 7667 miles away!I presume you're in the USA? It always astonishes me with its size! Scotland is only around 400 miles from north to south!!lol
    I will try drinking lots today- seems to make sense as I'm guilty of not drinking enough.My GP wont give me sleeping pills to use on occasion (says 37 is too young), but was quite happy to up my dosage of oxycontin!(which hasnt helped, but maybe 20ml is still not enough for through the night when I had to take an exrta 30ml oxynorm on top of it last night and that STILL wasnt enough!)
    Am I correct in saying benadryl is an otc cough medicine?Not sure how you go about getting melatonin here (apart from the occasional sunshine!).In what form does it come in?
  • I live in Japan and my docs are in the Eastern portion of the USA. Long flight.

    Anyway, Melatonin and Benadryl are both OTC. Benadryl is used for allergies or itching and Melatonin is sold as a natural sleep aid.

    Sorry I have to cut this short but I have dinner cooking.

  • hi again, just updating and I have a question about a pain I had pre surgery and I have still got.When I go to bed to relax to watch my half hour programme 4 x weekly (my garunteed peace I have away from the kids!lol), I position my 6 pillows and get myself comfy in a reclined position on my back.I feel no pain as I lie there.When I get up half an hour later (turning over first) I have extreme pain in my lower back (9 out of 10) untill I've moved about for a few minutes (with great difficulty),then I'm back to my usual 3/4.I thought that this would have been the disc bulge, but now its gone, I'm wondering if it could be because of my 'other bone changes'.Does anyone experience this with facet joint problems or other problems except discs? Nothing much is improving so far- managed a 15 minute walk with my stick today so thats something, I suppose!
    Hope you are all well (as you can be!) xxx

  • redkaren said:
    When I get up half an hour later (turning over first) I have extreme pain in my lower back (9 out of 10) untill I've moved about for a few minutes (with great difficulty),then I'm back to my usual 3/4.
    So sorry you are feeling so bad, but I have to say, my antenna went up at the quoted portion of your last post. This may make you feel better, and I hope it does. 1 week after my l5s1 fusion/laminectomy, while getting out of bed, I felt like everything in my back just fell apart. Of course, this was ruled out with Xrays, but the pain upon rising continued for 3 months. Most times it took me up to 20 minutes to get up from bed using log roll, then my arms to lift myself up etc, and I could barely walk. But after I walked to the restroom, and walked back to bed, the pain was just gone 90 percent of the time. 3 months later, it just stopped happening! I was positive for those 3 months that there was something wrong that the doctors just didn't pick up, and bored many people here with my rants (under a different user name that my kids had discontinued) ~X( .

    I guess my point is, talk to your doctors. If they tell you you are ok, it's normal or w/e, remember my story, one day you will get up and realize you don't feel so bad!

    Take care, and don't be like me talking to your doctors, take control and make sure they know how you are feeling, and your concerns. (since you have to travel so far)

    I'm not a doctor, but another thing: some of what you are experiencing could be due to swelling, have you tried icing the back where you had surgery? I still do it periodically, and it helps a lot.
  • Karen, did you have a discogram before your surgery?
    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.Firstly the pain is exactly as it was before suregery,my only change so far being that when , I sneeze theres a LOT less pain!This pain while getting up has aways seemed worse after I've been lying for shorter periods rather than all night, which is what seems so strange.It is SO extreme too!So because my surgeon had concerns that he didnt really think the surgery would help my back pain,I'm beginning to think it is 'something else'.
    Paul, no I didnt have a discogram.Is this what tells you about 'annular tears'?All I know that it was a very large central disc bulge.What a terrable night again last night- up every hour to get rid of leg cramps from hip to foot!Took an extra 4x 5 ml oxynorm.Oh the joys!
  • I have facet problems that my doctors believe caused the original instability that led to my disc problem (yeah, not to mention 9 years of sports 6 days a week!) I was born with 3 tropisms, basically 3 facet joints at various levels, one on one side and two on the other, that are turned 180 degrees so I have bone-on-bone contact. These segments don't move very well, if at all. These do cause me pain. It's different than disc pain. I can't bend backwards or I'll randomly get these "power surge" type pains. I call it this because it's as powerful as the buzz of a power surge. I wouldn't call it a shock, like my sciatic pain, but more like a jolt that makes me immediately bend forward. I also get extreme stiffness, ache, and random muscle spasms trying to ease the burden on my spine. What is really ironic is that medical doctors missed these problems and concentrated solely on my herniated disc. Of course this is extremely painful and limiting, but combined with the facets, yeah, plenty-o-pain. :''( I've had one particular muscle spasm believed to be caused by the facet problems, for about 10 years now that is about the size of I had a chiropractor point them out to me, since they look for different things on x-rays than medical doctors. I actually have to point them out to my medical doctors, and I get the, "Oh, yes, I see that now, I guess you do have facet problems." Basically, this is my long-winded way of saying my facet joints cause me pain! :D I hope your pain is just post-surgical healing and that you wake up soon to much less pain and perfect healing!!! >:D<

    Much love and understanding,
  • thanks Lisa, My surgery pain is easing, though I still have that extreme pain (like the jolt you explain on getting out of bed, which brings on spasm after spasm for a few minutes, then it dissapears)and the usual other jolts when I catch my foot on something, etc.Maybe this could do with doing highland dancing 4-5 times a week for 14 years when I was younger,(alot of jumping on the spot).Still having my legs hurt alot through the night which may still be imflamation, but am seeing my surgeon next wednesday which is a 'new pain', so will tell him this at the same time.Thank you Lisa xx
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