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Micro D question

gaj399ggaj399 Posts: 270
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm now almost 5 weeks out from L3-4 Microdiscectomy. During the surgery my NS also cleaned out some pretty bad scar tissue that was causing problems with L4-S1. This was from a laminectomy and foraminotomy(?) on June 2, 2009. Until about one week ago I seemed to be improving very slowly, However in the last week the pain has been returning, and I have had more and more trouble with walking and sitting and even getting up out of chairs.

Maybe I'm just hoping for too quick a recovery, but with my other 2 back and neck surgeries I was much better by now. With this one I still have no stamina and my strength has not returned at all.

My next appt. with my surgeon isn't till April 7th and I'm wondering if I should be calling him about this. I know that recoup from back surgery is two steps forward and 1 back, but I'm kind of losing my patience at this point.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, Thanks


  • Of course every case is going to be different, but as an example, even 4 months out I would get winded just from washing dishes. Standing at the sink would wear me out.
    Eventually I did build stamina and strength. Takes awhile.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • One thing I found out, is that once a person begins to have multiple spine surgeries, that recovery does get a bit more difficult. Our bodies take a long time to rebuild all the resources that get used up healing from surgery each time. If not enough time has passed, it seems to literally suck the energy right out of us.

    When I got onto the surgery meri-go-round my surgeon hooked me up with seeing a nutritionist. Now keep in mind that I eat pretty darn healthy and I couldn't see where I was lacking in anything. Well the nutritionist pointed out that healing from surgery really saps the body's stored resources and we have to work to rebuild or replace those. So my caloric intake was way too low (I didn't want to gain weight) and I wasn't getting a proper amount of protein. So I modified my diet and viola, started healing one day like it was going out of style.

    I'm not trying to say this is your problem, I'm just relaying my own experience.

    Hang in there,

  • Thanks for the input. I guess sometimes it's just hard not to worry, especially after 2 Lumbar surgeries in 8 months. I've been trying to do everything exactly by the book this time (I was a bad boy after my last surgery and got what I deserved i guess). Thanks "C", I will take the nutrition thing seriously because I have been trying to get some of the weight off that I put on from not being able to exercise for so long, so it is a very strong possibility that I may need to see a nutritionist and get the diet straight.
  • Hi, did you start doing more?
    I only ask b/c I am 7 weeks post op and recovery is SLOW as far as leg goes. I noticed as I was cleared to do more, I still have to pace myself. I also have to take ibuprofin and/or tylenol to stay ahead of things.

    For example, I was driving to work. Knowing that driving increases my leg pain, I took a tylenol before getting in the car so that I would have less pain.

    If you didn't do anything specific to give you a scare (like a fall or tripping), then wait for the 7th. But you can always call your doctor.

    I know how you feel...I'm on my 2 surgery in 7 months.
  • You are past the honeymoon phase. Two things happen. First the meds they injected into you when you were open are wearing off. Second you are doing more. As you heal on the outside you start doing more and that strains the muscles that haven't worked in weeks.

    This too shall pass. In another 2-3 weeks you will be looking back saying you can't believe the difference. Probably a good time to start a PT program if you haven't already. That is good because they can make sure you aren't doing anything foolish.
  • but I have increased my walking and have been doing more each day till this flare up set me back.

    My NS is planning on having me start PT after I see him on the 7th. He wants to get some deep tissue work done and stretching to try to stop the scar tissue problem before it builds like last time.

    I was real surprised that he didn't order any PT after my last surgery. I think had he done so I may not have had all the trouble with scar tissue.
  • PT is subjective on when they start.
    On my original MicroD, since I was active and understood how to keep my core strong and was doing the right things anyhow, the doctor said he might not send me to PT but just modify my restrictions.

    As it turned out, I recovered very slow and at 6-weeks he indicated he would send me to PT but not until 3-months b/c he wanted to be sure I was 'healed'. I went to 1-PT session the same day I had MRI. Since I reherniated, the PT was stopped.

    This time after my revision microD, I was prescribed PT at week 6 but it took me 1-week to get an appt. So starting today for 6 weeks (2-3x/week). It's more important now since I've not been active really for 7 months since my initial surgery.

    So it really is just a varying school of thought.
  • I strongly agree with hanglandc on the nutrition thing. Your body needs more calories than its normal state to repair itself so if you are decreasing your caloric intake at a critical healing time your not going to progress as quickly as you could. Just try to maintain at this time and increase your protein intake. Good luck!! Lynette
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