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

Residual S1 Pain - Microdiscectomy L5-S1

prydlundpprydlund Posts: 1

I was just curious if others could provide some prospective concerning L5-S1 level micro-disc post op. The choice was straightforward for me to have the surgery, very large fragment causing S1 innervation pain, numbness, and inability to plantar flex (approx. 70% compromised). Never had any issues prior, but prior MRI for periodic back spasms prior revealed bulges at L4-L5 as well as the L5-S1 (that ultimately ruptured getting out of car on a long trip). So, I guess I knew it was coming (when it did happen I had the surgery within 2 weeks of the rupture), anyway, my 4 week post-op visit was encouraging. NS gave me an A- rating and it appears as though SOME of the numbness has dimished in my left foot (sole & outer edge), the foot pain has dimished more noticeably on the ball of my foot, and the leg pain is mostly absent.

I am just shy of 6 weeks post op, I walk 3-6 miles (break it up) per day, somedays longer, and commit to some light physical duties around the house w/in reason per NS advice. My concern: I still have intermittent S1 nerve related pain (scale 1-2/10) around hamstring and/or calf that appears after walking or moving about. The left foot pain is minimal some days, then other days it comes back a bit more. Understanding we all heal at different rates, Is this somewhat typical of a healing process? It does not bother me to sit or lie down. I certainly does not bother me to walk, even at a brisk pace....but when STANDING STILL, I have to lift my foot up or move about to ease the pain...almost indicative of inflammatory pain being tempered by blood flow movement. Can anybody relate? Also, my NS said this intermittent dull achy pain would subside at the 3-4 month mark post surgery. Any others that could testify to this?

Thank you in advance


  • I had two microDs last March and my pain level after 3 months was still 3-4 level intermittently. Even now I have sciatic pain after sitting awhile. If you have read other posts, discomfort can linger longer 3-4 months.

    I learned to be patient and listen to my body. The healing process is different for everyone. On the positive side, I don't have to take narcotics any more--just tylenol takes care of the discomfort.

    Good luck in your recovery.
  • I'd say you're actually doing very well at this point in your recovery. I think most people continue to have some pain for many months afterward. Sometimes it is all the time, and for others, it comes and goes.

    Just be careful that you are not trying to do too much too soon, and follow your doctor's instructions regarding bending, twisting and any lifting restrictions you were given.
  • Prydlund,

    I am a year past my L5-S1 microdiscectomy. I still have a bit of the hamstring/calf/hip pain. It is usually only at about 1 out of 10 on the pain scale, as compared to about 9 out of 10 prior to the surgery. They tell me that mine is due to scar tissue and/or a bit of permanent nerve damage. It wasn't until 6 months after my rupture until they did the surgery as they wanted me to try physical therapy and a few shots first.

    That is great that you are walking so much. They told me that walking is the best thing to prevent scar tissue. I am still walking 3 miles a day. I know that you want the pain to be 100% gone immediately following the surgery. That is probably very unrealistic for most people. Stay after it and work for slow, steady progress. I have come to accept that if my pain never gets to be 100% gone my surgery was still a gigantic success.
  • Hi there,

    Sounds like you are doing very well and being wise listening to your doctor. The biggest risk of re-herniation is within the 1st 3 months.

    I am 3 weeks post op of my revision MicroD on L5-S1 so I'm not the best example of what's normal.

    But with people I've spoken to that are 2-10 years post op, I have heard that you might get some phantom pains occassionally even after 6 months. So it seems normal...I would listen to your body on those days.

    Remember you are still early in recovery. It takes fully 3-months for the 'surgery site' to heal and I would say a year to rebuild the core muscles.

    I am pleased to hear such a positive story.
    As always, when in doubt, call your doctor, especially if you think you are going 'backward' in recovery. Though, it sounds like you are doing ok.
  • I had L5/S1 lamectomy & discectomy 2 times, once on the right side and 6 weeks later on the left side in 2007. Had "clean up" surgery in Feb. 2009. I started with numbness in my right portion of the right foot. That has never gone away. 6 weeks after the 2nd surgery I had severe pain set in to the right portion of the right foot, so bad, that I was wheelchair bound for a few months. Then moved onto crutches then a cane with a severe limp. Now I no longer limp but I still have pain in the right foot. It's a daily..minute by minute reminder. 24/7/365 reminder. EMG studies show no sign of nerve damage, I had 2 of them done. I've done MRI's, CT Scans, hot cold conduction studies, meds, active release therapy, PT, massage therapy, I've seen 4 neurlogists, 2 orthopedist, 1 podiatrist, a cardiologist, 2 chiropractors... you name it I've done it and not just once, but several times. I couldn't tell you how many doctors I've seen over the past 3 years. My progress is not week to week, not even month to month. I truly believe it's scar tissue even though the last "clean up" surgery was supposed to take care of that. I can't walk long distances. But I can finally take my kids shopping now. Driving the car is terrible. The vibration from the car into my right foot is just terrible. I've actually thought of having the right foot removed at one time. I just don't know if the pain will ever go away. I could probably live with the numbness, it's the pain. I take fish oil, b complex and b12. I don't take any pain meds because nothing works. Currently I'm seeing a chiropractor and doing muscle stripping for the scar tissue and active release therapy. Has anyone ever had the pain go away? Or do I have to learn to live with it. I would love to take my kids to Disney world, but I can't handle the walking.
  • Hope you are alright now with no pain. I happened to read about Eric's pain after surgery.

    Post Surgery Tingling and sciatica

    Hey all, I had a ALIF on my L5-S1, everything was going great as far as healing was back at work, none of these symptoms except some leg pain. Then after 3 months my work had a fire drill, I walked down a bunch of stairs(my fault and works), since then my life has been he-ll. I have back pain again, and tingling in my feet and back of my legs that radiates from my back. My Doctor thinks I just did it too soon and it will calm down, its been over 2 months, and its actually getting worse.

    I have seen pictures of my x-ray and they said the fusion is looking good, but the hardware has not moved, I think something did move. So their going to do a cat scan to see if there is something as far, non-union or if anything that could be causing all this.

    I have been icing, heat, they gave me a triggerpoint injection, tried Neurotin and hated it, tried Lyrica, hated it more. But have been in so much pain from the tingling and all. I'm probably going to try the neurontin again.

    They are going probably try me on cymbalta, I just don't like the gaba drugs,

    I think the hardware moved and is pinching something, and since its fused, will be asking my doctor if he would consdider removing the hardware. The plate and 4 pins.

    Ever since walking down those stiars has changed my life. I wish this would calm down but the way its looking its not.


    Herniated disk at L5-S1 8 years ago. 2 years ago Laminectomy on L5-S1
    Epidurals, phys therapy, Discogram,(< that was not fun ) etc.... Now L5-S1 with DDD
    ALIF Fusion w/disectomy and cage done on Feb 5th 2010 on L5-S1

Sign In or Register to comment.