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Post op pain after L5/S1 MicroD

tjandtttjandt Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery

Woke up with sore back in January 2010. No specific trauma. I run, bike, play soccer and volleyball. Had pain deep in right hip, and down hamstring but that was it. Went through massage and chiro therapy with no relief. MRI in March confirmed herniation of L5/S1. Went through spinal decompression with moderate improvement but not full cure. Seemed to re-injure or relapse with intense pain in right hip (piraformis area) down right leg, and now into right calf and foot.

Had L5/S1 microdiscectomy on May 12 (three days ago). Doc said herniation was bigger than he anticipated and had to remove 1/4 of the disc. Said the disc was pressing right onto the nerve bundle. When I woke up, at least 90% of sciatic pain was gone.

Day after surgery was up for a few short walks, but still pretty doped up on pain meds. 2 Valium and six vicadin. throughout the course of whole day.

Yesterday, up for a longer walk, up and about during the day, less of the narcotic and more of the NSAID pain meds. Probably three vicadin and one valium. on naproxen and four ibuprofen. Noticed slight pain in right hip area where it used to hurt. Pain not bad enough to wake me up at night. Maybe 10% of what it was.

Today, three days after surgery, am noticing very slight pain back into the calf again along with continued pain in hip. No narcotics so far today, just three ibuprofen and two Alleve. Went for a couple of short walks and noticed IT band of right hip is clicking over hip joint and also deeper in hip is popping if I put it up on a chair straight in front of me and start to lean forward.

I am petrified that I'm going to have the same sciatica come back as I am healing from the microD and have a couple of questions:

Has anyone had 1/4 or more of L5/S1 removed and had a full recovery with no issues afterward? 1/4 of the disc just sounds like a lot to me.

After a microD where the nerves have been compressed for approx five months, will there be residual nerve pain as they uncompress?

Is it normal to experience similar sciatica after a microD and have it go away over time?

Has anyone had IT band problems from overcompensating from a herniation that caused similar sciatica symptoms?




  • I have a question for you, didn't your doctor ask you not to bend, twist or lift for a period of time? My doctor was adamant that I not lift over 8 pounds for the first two months after my Micro-d, and I started therapy after 2 months. It sounds to me like you are doing very well.

    I think it is quite common to have residual nerve pain for some time after surgery. I know mine was quite bad for most of three months after my last surgery, and has only recently improved after I started aqua therapy.

    As far as taking out 1/4 of the disc, I don't think that this is all that uncommon, however I'm not a doctor, so take this as just my experience.

    Hope your recovery goes well, and welcome to spine health. There is a wealth of info on this site.
  • Thanks for the comment. My doc did tell me no lifting anything more than 15 pounds for the first month, that I should get out for frequent short walks starting the say after the surgery. Taught me the log roll out of bed and has the brace I'm supposed to wear when I'm up and out of bed.

    I've been following his instructions to a T, but kind of feel like there would have been more direction than just, short frequent walks after surgery until the follow up appointment a week and a half later.

    I'm glad to hear that it sounds fairly common for there to be some residual nerve pain shortly after the surgery. Perhaps the pain relief I initially felt was due more to the local anesthetic than the removal of the disc, and I just need to give it more time.

    Guess it's just being greedy to feel like after dealing with this pain for five months, the microD would offer faster relief to the pain :)

  • Hi everyone,
    I did the Micro-D L5/S1 and would love to hear your update feedback. I am experience mild pain completely tolerable but I am also taking a bunch of medicine. Please let me know because I am terrified to experience pain again.
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