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First P.T. since laminectomy/discectomy at L5-S1

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone,
Thanks to so many of you who have been writing to me regarding my recent surgery. I am new here and the advice has been so welcoming. I feel some of you have become real good friends already (John B - your amazing)!!!

Well this afternoon was my first appointment with P.T. I had my surgery 16 days ago. Fortunately they took it real easy on me. The therapist massages my incision sight as he says I am getting bumpy there and scar tissue is beginning to form He was quite concerned about the swelling and told me to make sure i don't start running a fever & just to watch it.

He did ice therapy with the TENS machine and a few stretches. So not too bad atall. I did feel pain down my left side with the excerices, and my left foot is still very much numb down the outside and the sole of my foot. Therapist said it is at the S1 level. But all in all said its normal just being a few weeks post op.

I got a visit from the surical assistant at PT, they are all under the same building, and she gave me a new script for pain meds and muscle relaxers so that should see me through going back to work on the 17th.

My left side did not bother me too much before surgery, all my pain and symptoms were on right sided, but post op, my pain and suffering is on my left side although my surgeon said he never touched my left side, just looked!!! It may come around in the next few weeks like the doc said.

I do wonder how many of you re-herniate and how? From accidnet? over doing it? bending? or can it just happen??

Take care everyone, and a huge thank you to all who have been helping me through this.


  • In time, when you are able, make sure your PT teaches you how to do core exercises (especially transversus abdominus and multifidus muscle work)-do these for the rest of your life. They have really helped me. By the way, I'm 2 weeks post-op similar surgery-had severe sciatica was doing crappy but doing great today.

    Disclaimer: Don't listen to me. I am not giving any formal medical advice. Listen to your doctor and personal medical team. As always, see your doctor for your individual care. (I guess this has to be said for possible liability since we can't assume all people already know this, are smart enough to educate themselves and make good informed decisions, know to rely on their doctor, or will not take advantage of the well intentioned people on this site, or that we all have a strong sense of personal responsibility)
  • Hi, glad your PT went well. I also had the massage on my scar, and my husband did it for 10 minutes everyday, and I have a really smooth, non lumpy scar, and my lastest MRI shows very small amount of scar tissue. Ask you PT about flossing exercises, as they help to prevent the formation of scar tissue in the area of your surgery. The neurologist was amazed at how little scar tissue I had. I do them everyday still. In time the stretches become easier, and they do become a "WAY OF LIFE"! I have just accepted the fact I will be exercising for the rest of my life. Remember to listen to your body. I still have swelling from my surgery, and I am on my second Medrol Dosepak, and today, it looks normal! First time in 7 months. Hope it stays that way! sweetpotatoe57
  • I am glad to hear that things are finally falling into place for you. Your scar is smooth and finally the swelling going down, way to go!!!

    My swelling actually looks a little bigger today but perhaps this is die to the fact that I ran around all day yesterday with my kids and drove alot and had PT, so by last night I was exhausted. We have nothing to do today so I am going to get in the pool with the kids and just walk around in the water as my exercise and I will do my daily walks.

    I feel really stiff in the mornings, the pain is there but it just takes a while for me to feel like I can actually move my back, what is the best sleeping position. I have a Dormia bed with remote controls so I can lift up my legs or sit right up, the first week I cam home from the hospital I slept in an upright position on my back cause I couldn't move, but I can change positions now, just can't quite get too comfortable though, I wake up alot at night.

    Take care,
    keep healing,

  • At least you can laugh while your healing right? I love your attitude and sense of humor, I believe this sees you through alot of the tough times. You are a warrior! You had surgery aroun the same time as me, but you say you are feeling better now which is good, has your sciatica pain gone away? Mine did, from the minute I woke up my right sided sciatica was gone but as you may have read in my previous posts I now have new troubles on my left side, but hopeing its just post op, angry nerves and it will not last.
    I am getting in the pool today to do some exercises, so I do plan to keep it up!
  • Do as I say not as I do. The pool is great! I am not really a swimmer, but swam 2.5 miles nonstop yesterday then did a 4 mile easier mountain hike. For a change, I miraculously improved over the last few days. My severe left sciatica improved postop for a day or 2 then had me thinking any semblance of my prior life was over until a few days ago. I did start Lyrica but the improvement seems to be related to my left S1 nerve root inflammation and manipulation calming down. Now, before you think you can do whatever when you feel better, keep in mind my left l5-s1 agressive discectomy 2 weeks ago was a second discectomy in 3 weeks after I reherniated (both huge herniations). Why did I re-herniate?- my wife, family and friends say I did it to myself since I was on my road bike(my prozac) within a week cycling over 60 miles in a day (easy pace for me while trying to keep my back more upright), while me and my ortho think it was more bad luck than anything.

    Anyway, I am doing great for now (still have some sciatica-but very manageble) so there is hope when things get miserable. We have to be very careful (work that core-if I stop for a few days-pain creeps back) since we are never truly out of the woods. I can't bike for a couple of months because it would be far too risky-my wife and a few others would kill me if they caught me on a bike (Bicycle racing is my hobby). I had some similar problems to you 3 years ago (improved post-op, got worse for a few weeks, better, then slightly worse around 6 weeks, then mostly better with the intermittent short (no reason) back flare ups every so often- so ups and downs were common for me but I was much better overall after that 1st surgery.
    Take care,
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