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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hello. I am new to this forum so I might as well introduce myself first. I am 22 years old and I just recently had my second back surgery in June. It was a re-do of the L4-L5 discectomy that I had when I was 20 years old. During the first surgery, I also had a discectomy & laminectomy on the L5-S1 disc. I have never been injured, and no doctor can find a reason why I am having such issues. I am also a college student.

I started to realize something was wrong again when I was having incredible difficulty trying to sit through class. Even just 55 minutes was terrible. As soon as the semester was over, I noticed a tremendous change. I still had back pain/sciatica, but it was not nearly as bad as when I was sitting for hours a day in classes. I knew that even though the pain wasn't as bad, when I go back in the fall, it would more than likely flare up again, so I chose to have the surgery.

It has now been six full weeks since my surgery, and sitting still aggravates my back. It's nothing compared to the pain I was in, but it is pain none-the-less. This will be my senior year, and I was planning on applying to graduate school. However, my degree will be in Sociology, and my minor is in Psychology, so either one I choose will involve a whole lot of sitting once I begin my career. I am worried that if I choose to go on, sitting will become an issue and I won't be able to perform my job properly.

My question is, has anyone had a discectomy and laminectomy and experienced sciatica/low back pain long after the procedures were performed? I asked my neurosurgeon his opinion and his response was "It's tough to say." He's a very difficult man to get any information out of.


  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    :H I can't answer your question because I haven't had the surgery I just wanted to welcome you to SH. I'm sure you'll get a lot of info from others who had the same. I do share the pain while sitting and low back pain though and I hope that yours soon will be gone. I'm sure it does take a long time. I think your NS must be related to mine and also my OS. Not very forthcoming with info. Hope you feel better soon.

  • I attend college. Right now I am off for the summer but I dred going back in the fall. I hate sitting in classes. My tailbone kill me so bad. I go all day twice a week and by the end of the day I can not walk. I stop useing the stairs and just use the elevator now. People look at you crazy when you tell them you cant sit down anymore. I hate the desks!!!
  • Wee ~ That is a strange reaction from your NS. As a specialty, these guys tend not to be great communicators! From everything I have read here and in various journals and books, it is not unusual to have additional pain such as yours after a discectomy or laminectomy. Sometimes enough of the disc is not removed and something is still pressing against the nerve. Other times, patients reherniate a disc.

    It may be that you have the beginnings of a disc degeneration. Do either of your parents have a history of back surgery? When discs keep herniating at different levels, it sometimes leads to fusion, as the spine begins to get unstable.

    I wanted to mention an orthopedic seat cushion that you might want to look into for your classes. If you search for "slanting ortho. seat cushion, or tush-cush" you should see it. It is a slanted chair cushion that has a U-shaped cut-out that accommodates the coccyx/tailbone area of the spine. The slant puts your pelvis in the proper position and helps take the pressure of the sacrum. I use mine when I go to a concert, play or restaurant where I know the chairs to be uncomfortable and where I cannot get up and move around every ten minutes!

    Good luck. You are young to have such problems, but there are a number of you on the board, so you are not alone!
  • yes i have had almost the same operation as you and yes i still have pain and sciatica and other problems since the last operation 20 months ago ..i can only sit in a recliner because if i sit on a normal chair my legs go numb and my feet have pins/needles and more worrying my genitals also go numb! ,laying in bed also after 3 hours the pain wakes me and i have to come downstairs take more meds and get on my recliner .so no your not on your own ..
  • Hi
    I didn't have your surgery but I did have a l4/l5 hemilaminotomy 5weeks ago and I can't sit 20minutes without pain. My surgeon was suppose to do a lumbar laminectomy but for some reason didn't. I'm still in pain. I hope you feel better. I truly understand how you feel.
  • I had microdiscectomies at L5 S1 and sitting was a big issue for me. After almost 4 months of recovery, I can sit over an hour now. I think it is still early for you to be able to sit comfortably. Hang in there.

    Have you thought about working in a school or hospital environment because you won't have to sit as much?

    My graduate classes were 3 hours long but there was a break in between.

    Good luck in your recovery and grad. school.
  • I was rearended in Jan 05. I went thru numerous injections, having my nerve endings burnt, IDET, Fusion at L4L5 April 06. To this day I still can not sit. I spend 75% of the day in bed. I am not saying give up, but I have been fighting SS since Sept. 06. I finally have a court hearing next month.

    I have been going to school for medical transcriptionist for a 1 1/2 years, which is normally a 4 month course, but I can't sit still long enough to transcribe 1 report. I finally broke down and went to rehab, and they spent $7,000. to set my computer up so I can talk to it, but it has been a really long drawn out process, and I am no were near completeing the course, but I do now have some hope for the future.

    Don't give up, you just need to learn to work around it, and I assure you there will be days when you want to give up, fighting the system sucks, and unless you can't sit down, it is hard to understand. Fortunately my husband has stood firmly beside me, but I can't say that about a lot of my family members.

    LOL tamzilla
  • Wee,
    We all go into surgery hoping this will be the answer and unfortunately for some in the longer term it is not, how and why nobody knows and if they tell you they do they are misleading you, they could have an educated guess or use historic information but you are you and we are all very individual.

    I was told about 18 months to see the total balance of what he future holds and you have identified that the pain is far less than you had previously, it may be that after surgery some residual pain will always be present and the notion that all our pain will disappear is more in hope than reality. What can anyone say, my sitting can be down to 15 mins and as Straker said those frequent need to change become more varied and through the day and night for some. You have to live in the present and cope effectively in what you can do rather than what you would, could or should be able to do.

    Much research has been done on the Psychology of pain itself and Melzack and Wall Text book of Pain is a good starting place.

    Keep as active and mobile as possible and pace well take care and good luck in your final year.


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