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Need help following Lumbar microdiscectomy

cbergensccbergens Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 3 month post lumbar microdiscectomy for herniattion at L4 and am worried about symptoms I still have. Prior to surgery had severe burning in both knees, tingling burning, and numbness in both feet. My feet seem to be coming along ok, but knees are still burning. In fact, they are burning more now than they did in the first weeks after surgery. I read that they inject long acting steroids at the time of surgery and I'm thinking that maybe they wore off and that's why the symptoms seem worse. But I'm feeling very anxious about it. Could someone tell me if they experienced anything like this and did they eventually recover? Thank you.


  • Hi,
    I had a Laminectomy, Foraminotomy at L5 S1 in Jan. 09, and I still have pins and needles in my left leg, still some swelling, and weakness. I was laid up for almost 1 year, and have done 12 weeks of PT. The nerves take along time to heal. 1mm a day. It seems that everyone I talk to that has had my surgery or yours, talks 6 months to 1 year before they feel better! But, I found the best person to answer your questions is your Dr. I am seeing mine this week to talk about my legs, and back pain, and swelling that I still have, and I still have problems sitting. Are you doing any PT? I found that it helped. I would get in touch with your Dr., and see what they think. But, it does take time. I have learned to hate the word "TIME"!!! sweetpotatoe57
  • Hello and welcome! So sorry you are still having problems! I have not had a microdiscectomy, so I really don't know the specifics of recovery, but in general terms: it can take (up to) several years for your nerves to repair themselves after being damaged. This is one of the things Surgeons never tell you prior to surgery, that they should. Along with the possibility you could have NEW nerve damage after surgery. However, it is likely your symptoms will subside with time (stressing here that I'm not a doctor, your surgeon is the best person to talk to about this!)

    Have you spoken to your surgeon about the sudden reappearance of pre-surgical symptoms? If not, that should really be your first order of business. Are you taking anything for nerve pain, such as Lyrica or Neurontin? If the pain is so bad you just can't stand it, you should mention that to your doctor as well, and be specific about what the pain feels like.

    I hope this helps, and wish you the best in your recovery. Try to keep positive, and stay informed.

    Keep us posted!

  • Like the other posts, the burning pain after surgery is not uncommon; however, I would call your surgeon so you can get a proper answer "your" symptoms. Having said that, I still experience burning pain (not bad as before surgery) in the afternoons or evenings. I am having my 3 months postop (L5 S1 microdiscectomy) this week, and I will ask about my issue.

    good luck!
  • UPDATE:5
    Four months after my microdiscectomy my surgeon decided that my l4 nerve was still compressed and he did a laminoforaminoplasty at l4. I am now four weeks post surgery and feel worse than I did the first time around.
    I found a new surgeon, he recently sent me for cat scan of lumbar, xrays and emg and I am waiting to hear from him. He seems to think there is a problem with l5 and came just short of saying that there may never have been a problem with l4. I'm very down, very discouraged and still burning in legs and feet, tingling constantly in left foot. When will this all end?
  • Welcome to Spine Health! I am sorry about the circumstances that brought you here. But you made a wise choice when you looked for a new surgeon, and hopefully the tests he ordered will help him find the right treatment for you.

    Wishing you the best and mostly relief from your current discomfort.

  • Did you have a discogram before the 1st surgery?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • NO discogram. They did 'mapping" (numbing the nerve root) to see which one brought relief and it was numbing of l4 that brought the most relief. However, I have since been told by other professionals that if l5 is possibly pressing on the descending nerve from l4, it would have given a 'false positive' so to speak. I'm beginning to think all these tests are a bunch of crap and subject to error.
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