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L4 - L5

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Chronic Pain
I had my L4 L5 done about 8 years ago.

The first couple of years after the surgery were relatively painless, however, as time has gone by, there has been recurring shooting pain in the right buttock, and recently the pain is also felt in the right knee.

The pain is extremely severe early in the mornings, and after prolonged periods of being seated.
It is so bad that íts now affected my career -- as I've got a desk job... and I can't seem to concentrate due to the severity of the pain.

In order to mitigate the pain , I do invest a good 8-10 hours per week doing some excersice (i.e yoga, light weights , swimming or the cross trainer).

My question is ---- whether any one can suggest how do they keep their mind of the pain during work-hours, specifically if they have a desk job as I do ...

My next question is ---- now that its been over 8 years since my surgery, is it ok for me to get back into certain sports i.e. skiing or golf?

Largely appreciate any and all advice.

Thanks, aaa777


  • I have a question -- Have you gone back to any of your doctors to have another MRI done to see what's going on? If you haven't had any issues for all these years, I'd be a little suspect if I were in severe pain again. What are you taking for the pain?

    I couldn't cope with the pain (even with drugs) and had to leave my job (but that's totally an individual case). While I was working, I used heating pads, thermacare wraps, or ice packs to help dull the pain. I also had a tens unit. I had all sorts of rub in pain relieving gels and ointments and sat on an exercise ball instead of my task chair. If you don't have to move around a lot in your office the ball is great as it takes the pressure off your spine.

    I haven't undergone surgery but I'm sure you'll get some posts from others who have.

    Hope you get to feeling better soon,

    Take care,

  • I still work. I'm a little different in that my pain is 24/7 but I still have to deal with it during work. Here are some of the things I do to cope during work:

    1.) I purchased an electronic timer and set it to go off in 30 minute intervals. This way, I get up and move a little to give my back a little reprieve.
    2.) Music or talk radio in the background. Just enough to grab your attention a little but not enough to prevent you from working.
    3.) A little acute pain goes a long way, i.e. pinch, shot to the leg, you get the point.

    What do you mean by you had your L4/L5 done?

    I had a 2 level PLIF L4-S1 done two years ago and the hardware removed last year. I play golf when I'm feeling halfway decent and will even attempt bowling with my daughters on an occasion. Bowling usually costs me a lot for at least a week but its worth the extra discomfort. Don't think I would ever think of skiing or running again but that's just my personal choice.


  • Do me a favor, forget about surgery, if you do it will be worse than it is now. believe me, dont take my word for it, just look at this forum. Doctors just want to operate and could care less about you after they are done.
  • A large thank you for your advice and views.

    I haven't had a MRI done recently ... last one I had was several years ago. Will be scheduling right away.

    The excersice ball at the office sounds like a great idea, and I shall give it a shot.

    When I say L4/L5 , I mean is that I had a nerve prodtruding in that region, for which I had to have the surgery (to cut the disc slightly, allowing the nerve some access).

    I'm really glad I stumbled upon this site (spine-health.com) --- it gives solace in learning that there are so many out there that understand the kind of problem I've been encountering.

  • Hi, It sounds like you had a discectomy 8 years ago. I would definitely get an updated MRI if you are having so much pain. And, I would hold off on doing any sports until you do. Don't want to risk causing further damage if something is going on in L4/5 again.

    Best wishes to you,

  • I had a spinal fusion at L4 & L5 and now have severe foot and leg pain due to scar tissue and DDD.
    Have you tried the cushion that has a cut out for the tail bone to sit on? That takes pressure off the spine and may help your pain.
    Having constant pain sucks and to have to work with it is rough. My heart goes out to everyone with cheonic pain and more so to those that have to continue working while dealing with the pain.
    Best of luck to you. Hope you find relief soon.
    Patsy W
  • I keep a little foot stool at my office as well as a heating pad. Like Dave, I try to get up and walk around a lot during the day though I've never thought about a timer (Thanks, Dave. Great idea.)

    I had a laminectomy and fusion at l5/s1 in Dec. of 2006. In Jan. of 2007, I went downhill skiing FOR THE FIRST TIME. My balance was so bad (due to nerve damage) that I fell alot. But I'm a good faller (meaning I don't tense up --- someone suggested I put that bit of information on my resume ha-ha). I had a blast even though I had a bruise the shape of Tennessee on my right thigh. My surgeon had given me thr green light but just shook his head and laughed when I told him of my travails. Susan
  • Thank you for the suggestions on the cushion -- btw, do u know what its called, would it be available at the pharmacies?

    I haven't been taken any meds for reducing the pain, would anyone be able to suggest any , and whether those would be on prescription or OTC? Thanks

    Got a few great tips from you all ... the timer, the excercise ball, the radio @ work, and placing the legs on a stool while @ work... all very simple to do and yet effective . Its much appreciated.

    As for sense of imbalance -- wow -- i thought that was a rarity, but again, so glad to stumble across this site, and learn that I ain't the only one encountering these symptoms.

  • The cushion is called "The Tush Cush" and it is a fantastic little invention.

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