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L5-S1 Microdiscectomy 3/25/10

flaggalfflaggal Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello all

Not sure I'm doing this in the right place but wanted to introduce myself.

I had an L5-S1 right microdiscectomy on 3-25-10 after MRI on 3/17 showed large disc extrusion and swollen nerve roots. Unlike most of you, I was in excruciating pain in my butt and down my leg for "only" 5 days prior to that with no known injury. 2-3wks before that, I had pain in the same place--but not quite as severe--that resolved after 2ish weeks except for limping.

I had never seen a chiropractor so went that route at first and was told I had the "worst piriformis muscle" he had ever felt. When things didn't improve after 2 days (he felt that stretches and adjustments and heat should relieve the pain and very much discouraged any type of OTC pain relief!), I went to an orthopaedic surgeon who scheduled me for surgery the next week. He said that I was way past the place where ESI would help.

I must be a wimp. I cannot believe how some of you last months or years with this kind of pain! I could not find ANY position of comfort for those weeks and nearly wanted to die!

Anyway, I woke up with complete relief from my butt and leg pain:) I am now almost one week post-op and have tenderness and a pulling feeling at my incision site, and worry about this meaning I am not healing well or am opening my incision. I have a follow-up appt next week.

Although no pain in my leg, I do not some tightening of my calf muscle when I take short walks, and this results in some limping, like I'm not walking straight or right. Will keep walking short distances and hope this is just residual tightening from the muscles being contracted before surgery.

I was not offered any PT or stretches to do--just ice and pain meds the first couple days.

I guess I'm wondering if this sounds normal or if I should be doing anything different...

Wow! That was a long intro. Sorry I got so long-winded:)



  • Congrats on the pain relief you had after surgery. I hope walking short distances will help retrain that calf muscle. I haven't had surgery so hopefully your appointment next week with your Surgeon will have some answers for you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you stopped by. sorry to hear you are having some small problems after your surgery. your doctor is always close by for consulation. good luck as you progress through your recovery. stop by anytime. :D Jenny :)
  • You might want to hop on over to the section of this board entitled "Back surgery and Neck surgery" will you will find many threads from people asking questions similar to yours. You will get more responses if you want to start a new thread there.

    Some people who reherniated fairly soon after their first discectomy will advise you to take it easy for the first month or two. Even when you start feeling really great, you will be tempted to just pick up all your old activities, but it is best to err on the side of caution.

    In addition to the forum, there is much useful information in the way of physician-written articles, videos, blogs, etc. pertaining to various back issues. Since this all came on suddenly for you, I suggest you do some reading so you better understand spinal anatomy and what may have caused your disc to herniate.

    There is also information on general exercises one can do after surgery and what to expect in recovery...for example:


    Of course, always ask questions of your surgeon and listen to his suggestions. He is the one who knows your particular situation, and your back!

    The important thing for you now is to walk and rest. Avoid sitting for longer than about twenty minutes at a time, as sitting puts more (30%) stress on the discs than either standing or walking. Learn to listen to your body...and don't push yourself.

    We have a whole slew of experiences with discectomy among members on this board. Feel free to post often with your comments and questions. Someone is bound to have an opinion to share with you!!
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