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Discectomy on left side, now pain on the right side

Justin66JJustin66 Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a microdiscectomy on Aug. 18 this year for a left side broad based herniation. I have been having different problems off and on during my recovery. Right after I had surgery I noticed that at times I would have a sharp pain in my right lower back but it was not constant. Now im around 10 weeks out of surgery and the right side stabbing pain has been nearly constant for around a couple of weeks.

I still have sciatic issues with my legs, they have got some better.

I had another MRI to see what would be causing these problems about 3 weeks ago. The Dr. said he did not see anything that should cause any problems and that there was no cause for any further surgery. He told me that I was just inflammed and it takes some people a really long time to heal. I take anti-inflammatories daily.

I have a copy of my MRI and of course I really don't know what to look for but I don't see anything wrong other than the disc has lost some of its height.

My wife says im worrying too much and I should calm down, be positive and let myself heal. This is pretty tough to do as you all know, when you want to do things but your body wont let you.

Im worried my Dr. is just trying to shut me up and get on with the next paycheck sitting in his other waiting rooms.

Has anyone had similiar problems and finally healed from them?


  • The surgery was on the L4/5 disc.
  • What kind of DR performed the discectomy? Was is a MicroD?

    What tests did you have previous to the discectomy? Do you know how your back was injured?

    The reason I ask was that my first spine specialist was a anesteisiologist (sp)/pain dr... He does injection and micro-discectomy on patients.

    He was ready to perform one on me before we knew what was causing the problem (instability). Had I did the micro d, it would have been a huge waste of time (being in pain) and money.

  • A nuerosurgeon did my surgery and I had a discectomy.

    I hurt my back trying to pick up too much weight the wrong way. An MRI showed the root of my problem the L4/L5 was herniated pretty bad on the left side.

    I didn't want to have surgery but I was in so much pain and my legs were getting weak. I was scared if I waited any longer I would be risking nerve damage.

    I did get relief of the leg weakness, thats pretty much all gone now. At least I had some relief.
  • If you have concerns, why don't you make an appointment with a different specialist, perhaps an orthopedic spinal surgeon this time. Take your MRI with you and see what the new doctor has to say.

    Or you might ask your surgeon about getting a steroid injection at the L4-5 level to quiet down the inflammation. Sometimes it can take a really long time for the inflammation to clear up.

    Another possibility could be the formation of scar tissue that is pressing on that spinal nerve...although I would think it would be more on the same side. It usually shows up on the MRI, but often doctors do not comment on it. It is one of those topics that is somewhat controversial and most docs seem to prefer to ignore its presence on a MRI.

    I'm guessing your wife has not been through back problems....you'll have to be patient while you try to educate her about it...and come here to share your pain with other spineys who do understand!!

    Let us know how you decide to proceed.
  • and for the first year the pain did switch sides. I would also have pains in different areas. It is funny what the nerves can and will do as they are healing. I would also choose neuro over ortho as I have had many docs tell me that nueros are more gentle during surgery because they are used to working with delicate nerves. Orthos on the other hand may be just as good at what they do but are used to being a little rougher working with bones. If you are concerned you might want to check with your doc but you may just need a little more time to heal. Good luck and keep us posted.
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