Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

5 yrs post discectomy/pain lower back progressing to sciatica

mistymaammmistymaam Posts: 63
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hey there folks,

I am a thirty year-old female, I have been dealing with lower back pain for a while now. I would like to hear of other's experiences with problems post discectomy. My discectomy was done at the S-1 L-5 levels. The pain has become chronic in the last 6 months or so. My symptoms are at rest-nagging headache feel in butt. Sitting-pain from lower back to upper back thigh. Walking-pain sometimes feels better but quickly my back fatigues after about 15-20 minutes of walking. I can adjust my back sometimes to hear a "click" or popping sound that sometimes makes me feel tremendously better or sometimes screaming in pain from the electric shock that shoots down my leg. I have a difficult time sleeoing more than 5-6 hours at a time. My Physical therapist mentioned instability. I had been doing extension exercises and I feel I made my condition worse as I could hear and feel bone on bone when I did this. My sciatica became really bad when I was doing aqautic therapy and they had me do hamstring stretches. Now I can hardly brush my teeth or cough without being in pain. Sorry so long-winded...Three days ago I did have an X-ray in supine position as well as two laying on left side (Sciatic and pain is on right side) I also had an MRI with and without contrast immediately afterwards. Hoping and praying that they figure out what has happened to my back. Anyone who has had similar symptoms? If you want maybe you can give me a few hints or advice on what you did in your particular situation!! Take care!!!


  • I could have written this post! I had my L4/L5 done in 2002, and in the past year the pain and sciatica has become unbearable. I, too, have the clicking feel deep in the lower spine--it's a pop, and I can do it five or six times in a row. So gross, and so painful. My left foot is even swollen b/c the sciatica/nerve pain has worked its way down. I had another MRI today...I don't know how I did it. Was yours excruciating? Mine was *horrible*. My pain runs down both legs, but tends to be worse in the left.

    I have no idea how to make it feel better. I just finished 18 sessions of PT to strengthen core and fix instability, and made little progress b/c the exercises would flare the symptoms.

    Good luck to you...know you aren't alone!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    dig not correct the disc pressing on a nerve root.
    The symptoms you describe, espeially in the cheek, you feel ok walking, but only for a while sounds like sciatica.
    Here is detailed available on the Spine-Health main site Sciatica
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Mel, I am so sorry about the pain you are going through:0( I don't have horrible pain in left side (now). My pain is generally in the right side now. I can sometimes manuever my back and make it feel better. About once a month I get the horrible pain in left leg, which makes me think that the disk is all jelloey and popping out the other side. It's funny how you mention the MRI, and yes it just about killed me to not twitch my legs and lower back. My lower back hurt so bad and I made a great effort to not say a bad word coming off the bed. I too, have stopped going to therapy...that's when I called the doc up and told her it's just not working. I think your sciatic symptoms seem worse than mine because the pain for me seems to stay in my thigh and calf. Driving can cause my foot to go to sleep and that can be dangerous!!! Have you gone back for a different opinion or update? Did you have a second MRI done recently? It sounds like you might be getting some nerve damage with the swollen foot and all. Take care and it's nice to talk with someone who is in similar pain and situation :)))
  • Thanks Dilauro for the link...I agree that it is probably a sciatic nerve problem. Oh well...hopefully the MRI will indicate what the heck's going on! Take care!
  • I went through something similar after I had my fusion when I felt like a pop or something give way in my back. A horrible pain shot down from my lower back straight down to my foot, and I fell over. Later on, on an MRI with contrast it showed scar tissue growing on the surface of the left S1 nerve root at L5-S1, and more at the left S1 nerve at L4-5. What complicated matters is that I already had permanent right S1 nerve damage, along with chronic low back pain.

    Before my fusion, I did have a microdiscectomy at L4-5 and I did reherniate at the same level 1 month post op. I had all the typical symptoms of nerve compression: severe low back pain, sciatica, and instability due to retrolisthesis at the same level. They had to fuse L5-S1 because of this but to this day I continue to struggle with chronic lower back pain and nerve pains.

    Please let us know what your doctor says about your MRI. Take care >:D<
  • i have had the same operations as you and i am i pain all the time too.i will tell you what i tell anyone with chronic pain . don't fight it just make sure that you are on the correct pain killers and make your life a comfy as possible .with things lie recliners /walkin showers/etc you could also try the acticare see the post on it ..there is no miracle cure my friend i have been in pain for 15 years and really bad pain for the last 4 ..don't beat yourself up its not your fault and don't let some surgeon try something new on you!!
  • Hello, I can't help feel bad for many people as I read the stories. People with low back pain, ie. herniated discs, spinal stenosis, pain radiating down the leg and leg weakness. Steroid injections hold no benefit for the patient. The however are a great money maker for the doctors. Unfortunately, the the back doctors' due what is best for their wallet, not the patient. Any one with chronic low back pain, should look into Non surgical spinal decompression. The doctors will be very negative on the subject, and may snap at you for asking the question. Doctors are suppose to due no harm and have the patients' interest at the first. We all know this is not reality. I am telling this from experience. Do some research into Non surgical spinal decompression. The positive results morph shots and surgery.
  • Poor Mey, I wish you did not have such chronic pain! I'm worried that my MRI's will indicate scar tissue or something else that happens to jab into my nerve. Did your fusion make some of your symptoms better? I live in constant fear that any moment my back will start to spasm, pop, or crackle to the point where I'm in agony. In addition, (of course I make myself crazy thinking about this) I fear that when I get my results back the doc will tell me that my back has "normal" amounts of scar tissue and to go back to PT. I can't even get into the real core stabilizing exercises with PT b/c my back starts to spasm and grind when I do extension exercises. Take care and Thanks for writing!
  • Thanks for the heads up...I am worried because I do feel like naproxen and skelaxin are not enough to keep the pain at bay. I intend to get second opinions after the last experience I had with the discectomy; I had two doctors tell me I was too young to have a herniated disk and brushed me off as needing simple physical therapy (which I realize that insurance makes you go0 I just read your info at the bottom and I too married a red-head!!
  • I had the l5s1 done 6 weeks ago. After the 5th week I started getting the same pain i had before the surgery. Back on vicoden for 5 days and the pain has now subsided. Taking an occasional motrin now. What's going on? Why the 6 days of torture? Is this part of the healing process?
  • I have read numerous stories of people who develop scar tissue within 12 weeks of the procedure. I would not be surprised if you have developed some scar tissue that caused pain. The problem with scar tissue is that it conncts to whatever it comes in contact with. i.e. nerve entrapment. I would give this some time. I do think this is part of the healing process. Have you done any therapy yet? I wish I had committed to physical therapy within a few weeks of my procedure. Talk to your dr. if pain worsens or you develop chronic pain in lower back or into the legs.

    Take care, Misty
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.