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Pain after Discectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a Discectomy for a herniated disk in my lower back on 6/2/09. Before the surgery I had terrible sciatica down my left leg, pain, numbness the whole works. I thought the surgery was a complete success until I woke a couple of days ago to the same miserable pain as before the surgery. I'm afraid it might a re-herniation or a different herniated disk. I read on another site that the pain might be due to nerve damage. Has anybody had a similar experience? I have an appointment with my doctor late next week. Also my neighbor suggested an inversion table, but I'm afraid it might do more harm than good being that it's only been about eight weeks since my surgery. Thanks for listening I would appreciate any feedback, thanks.


  • Hi, Fan.

    I'll probably be the first of many to tell you that it can be perfectly normal to have pain return after surgery when all seems to be going amazingly well. What I was told when it happened to me was that the steroids used to irrigate the opening before the incision was closed were wearing off.

    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't try an inversion table or anything else until clearing it with my surgeon. You cannot be too prudent after back surgery, and the surgeon and his or her staff is there to see you through your recuperation to ensure the best possible success. A phone call to their office first thing Monday morning wouldn't hurt a thing!

    Let us know what's said, 'K?

  • Definitely visit your Doctor for guidance. I would be cautious about doing anything without discussing it with your doctor. People will have all sorts of ideas that may have worked for so and so who is NOT you. I will tell you that I recall a similar experience 6 weeks after my first discectomy (not as bad as original pain and numbness but bad enough to cause me a lot of concern since seemingly out of the blue). In my case, this did resolve slowly over a few weeks. MRI looked like hell by the way given recent sugery-not particully helpful in my case. I believe I had an epidural steroid injection or took an oral dose pack at that time. Flare ups can happen. Check with your Doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Woke up this morning and the pain is definitely worse than before the surgery. I no longer feel numbness but the pain runs down my leg like lightning bolts in bursts no matter what position I'm in. I'll call the doc tomorrow morning and see if he can sneak me in a little sooner.
  • i remeber pain form my first surgery , worse than prio to but it gradually got better, then i reherniated same spot only other side of disc.. after the surgery my right scar tissue from the first surgery has given me nothing but grief , glad to hear you going back to dr they can do another MRI and see whats goiong on.. maybe scar tissue? hopefully not another herniation best of luck let us know
  • After my disc surgery, the pain was greater and more intense, but settled down two to three weeks later.

    The doctor explained it as all the cutting and swelling and movements have "excited" your nerves. I am sure your doctor will tell you to give it time. I was really concerned and the doctor did a CAT scan to make me feel better and show me that the disc was fine.

    Hope this helps.

  • Insist on an MRI...my first diskectomy failed and after an MRI 4 days after surgery, it was realized a piece of disk fragment was left embedded in the nerve and was causing the sciatic pain. My surgeon operated again (5 days after the 1st surgery) and got the disk fragment. I had a complete recovery. Without the post surgery MRI, he would not have known the piece was there. He was trying to send me home after the first surgery, but I knew there was a problem. Thank God he listened to me and ordered the MRI! Good luck to you! There is hope. I was not able to walk after the first surgery from the pain and now I am hiking 3 miles a day!
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