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Recovery pains - opposite side...??

RookieRRookie Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am 3 months post op for an L5/S1 microdisectomy. Yes, I have gotten back into some working out and such while following my surgeons and PTs advice.

My initial pain was right side glute and leg. I am now 3 days into some new pain in my LEFT glute. Much like I had 6 months ago when all this started before the surgery on the right side?


Rare but possible?

Or....dude....you are screwed?


  • Rookie...you have quite a sense of humor (your last option/question).

    I would say opposite side pain can happen. Are you still going to PT? Do you think maybe you just over stretched?

    If you overdid it, I would think ice or ibuprofin would help reduce the inflammation that might be causing temporary flare up. I'm going to let others comment b/c I know a few have experienced this but I forget what the outcome is.

    I would say typically if you re-herniate, it's the same side. It isn't that the other side couldn't be impacted but without really understanding the 'pain', it could just be something as simple as some scar tissue or other activity has caused an inflammation. I would see what others post but I would contact your doctor to get some insight.

    They will probably tell you to monitor it and cut back on working out a bit but they may also be able to call in an NSAID (prescription anti-inflammatory) if what you describe is similar to inflammation pain.

    What's the pain like? Is it tightness? Numbness? Pain?
  • Sometimes it is a matter of spinal alignment and postural positions. As one heals, it is easy to overcompensate in the body's attempt to "guard" the injured area. Muscles and soft tissue become over-stressed which can lead to new pain.

    Try to keep this concept of balance in mind as you exercise. (The body does this overcompensation automatically so you probably are not aware it is going on.) As DNice said, you might cut back a bit on exercise for a couple days, try using heat alternating with ice a number of times each day to see if that helps. If there is no improvement after a week or two, you might want to call your surgeon. He may want to get a MRI to see if something new is going on.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks. It is just a deep strong ache in my glute.
    I am not IN PT per se but went for guidance and am in communication with them. I am a fitness freak and know my stuff from a conditioning standpoint so the PT just gave me guidance on form and moves. She said it may also be the body compensating due to doing new things and over doing it. I am icing and backing off for sure.
  • I think one thing that has surprised many of us is how relatively "little" activity it takes to cause a new pain or a flare up of recurring pain. It is really hard to know when you should try to work through the new pain/stiffness and when to back off.

    I do know just from my experience on the board that the people that seem to have the most problems with recovery are the committed athletes, the "fitness freaks" as you so aptly put it....They are just so eager to get back to doing what they were doing prior to the onset of injury that they often try to accomplish too much too soon.

    No one can tell you what is right for you....a lot of it is trial and error...but I can tell you it seems to be much better to err on the side of being cautious and moving forward slowly. At least that way, you do not end up backtracking with your recovery.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks and yes...it is hard to do nothing but walk and stretch. But hey, at least the PT agrees pushups are pretty harmless for me. :)

    I have communicated with both the doc's asst and my PT. Both said, independently, to assume it is muscular from the actvity and slow down. If it radiates at all then we need to look at it further.
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