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Pain still here and getting tired of it

Justin66JJustin66 Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just wondering what your opinions are on pain after a discectomy. I had surgery in Aug. 09 and I still have pain that moves around. I have came to the conclusion that the pain I still have is from the damaged or remaining buldged disc that could not be removed because it was directly in front of my spinal cord.

What do you think the chances are of the remaining portion of the buldged disc to wear down or back away from my nerves? Im thinking about further surgery but not at the point of saying that I can't take anymore and trying a fusion for fear of being made worse. If there is a chance that in time that the disc will wear away from my nerves im not ready for a fusion at all.


  • Have you had a new MRI recently that can "tell the story" about what is or is not really happening? I see you had one 2 months post op, I would think that by now you might be able to see things a bit better since all the swelling and soft tissue damage would have healed.

    Anything is possible. Best thing to do though is to know what you're really facing before heading into the dark. Have you talked to your doc recently?

    Sorry that you're still in pain this far out. I hope that you can get some answers and find a resolution to the problem.

  • Justin
    Have you been told from your MRI that you have disc material bulging in front of your cord?
    If you have, and that is what is causing your pain it may possible solve itself with time.
    How old are you?
    Troublesome discs can improve with time. That is because as you age, the disc degenerates, shrinks and hardens, which sometimes means they cause less problems.
    Have you tried conservative methods to deal with the pain?
    I would advise that you speak to a medical person, as we are not trained and there may be something else going on.
    Hope that you reach a helpful solution without resorting to further surgery. :-)
  • You and I have talked before due to similarities in pain after surgery on the "opposite" side.

    As you know, I am not a medical expert and I can only tell you about my own experiences, but I do feel that you need to be pro active about your health.

    I stuck with my surgeon and kept going and telling him it wasn't right the pain I was having, even though the tests didn't show why I was having the pain, he believed me and kept looking for answers and solutions.

    I had every test done, discogram, pelvic MRI, Myelogram and he felt that the disc was not the problem so he made sure he cleaned out everything around my nerves and gave them plenty of room when he went back in last month.

    I really feel it has helped, my nerves are sensitive, so just scar tissue and a piece of bone that was touching my nerve when I walked was enough to give me alot of pain and he took care of all that for me.

    If you are not happy with your current surgeon then perhaps you could go to a new surgeon and like "C" said, get a new, updated MRI to see of there are any changes, I am sure a second opinion and a new set of eyes might be good for you under the circumstances.

    I wish you lots of luck Justin that you get to the bottom of your pain and you get some resolve, don't give up.

    Keep us posted,
  • Thanks for the info I believe a new set of eyes on my problems would go a long way. That last time I was at my surgeon he just acted totally uninterested in what I had to say. Maybe its just because he hears these kind of stories all the time.

    I honestly feel that a small amount of my disc is just wobbling around in front of my spinal cord. You guys know the constant pain wears you down so I don't have to explain that. Im just getting wore down dealing with pain, trying to work, and trying to be upbeat and positive for people around me so they don't hate me.
  • Justin,

    It seems that most of your symptoms are sitting or standing? If so, and these 'new eyes' offer an MRI, you might want to look and see if there is a positional MRI facility you can go to. That way you can get the MRI taken in the very position that generates your pain, and as such maybe lend better insight as to what is truly going on?

    Please let us know what you find out, and how you're doing. Take care. *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have pain standing, sitting, and laying down.
  • had any other tests besides the MRI?

    A diiscogram or myelogram may be a good thought for you too, I hope you seek a new doctor so that you can get a new plan going.

    I had a new surgery last month, I had a laminectomy and a foraminotomy and he went back in the old incision and totally cleaned everything around my nerves and removed anything that may be causing my pain. My herniation has healed well from the discectomy last year, so I pray that this is the last surgery in my back for a while. I do feel better. I still have surgical pain and some numbness in my leg, I get twinges of pain in my leg, but hopefully when I am al healed there will be big improvements

    I know its ard being n pain, people won't hate you, we are here for you. Best wishes to you,

  • Hi Justin...where is your pain? Same place or new? Leg or back?

    I'm not a doctor but I could give you my experience. I had a MicroDiscectomy (L5-S1) back in August'09. Shortly after, I felt I was getting worse, not better. At my 6-week post op, I told my doctor this and he said "you are just progressing slowly but I think you are ok". He put me on prednisone hoping my issues were inflammation. NO such luck. At 10-weeks, he was almost ready to tell me let's wait another month or 2 but I just couldn't continue coming home from a day of work (in which I was biting the bullet to pretend to be ok but struggling to concentrate) and taking meds to try to get any rest.

    He agreed to send me for MRI and we found I 're-herniated'. I opted to take that as a chance to get several opinions.

    I ultimately changed doctors. I had a revision MicroD that seems to be working...slow recovery but I seem to be getting stronger each day.

    I would see if another MRI is in order and perhaps get a new set of eyes on your case.
  • I have had this pain since right after surgery. I thought that it was just surgical pain but the surgeon assured me it would go away but it hasn't. My surgery was for the left side L4/5 but the pain I have know is on the right side. Sometimes the pain will move back to the left side and my right side symptoms will completely dissappear and vice versa.

    I get what I call vibrating in my right calf/ankle from time to time and some slight irratation down my left leg thats not bad but this isn't all the time. What I do have all the time is the pain in my (forgive me) right butt cheek. It constantly moves every few hours around from feeling like the pain is in my hip and back to my butt. Almost like someone is taking their thumbs and pressing as hard as they can.

    I honestly don't think I reherniated the disc. Since I felt it so soon after surgery I believe it just the leftover disc itself the the surgeon couldn't get to being my spinal cord was directly in the way. This was a broadbased herniation so im sure this disc is rubbing my spinal cord. At least that is my feelings on my problems. I have ruled out scar tissue since I felt the problem so early.

    I have managed fairly well through the pain to be able to work and etc. There are just some days that are to much to handle and I have nothing to ease the pain at all, as far as pain medicine goes. You know im not looking to pop pills everyday. I have asked my surgeon about something to take for the worst days when I feel like I can't hardly go on because of the pain. He said just take Advil, seriously I could have jumped out of my chair and punched him.

    I demanded that we where going to do some kind of test to see what was wrong with me and we were going to schedule it that day and I was not going to wait any longer. The Dr. scheduled a Myelogram but after reading the stories of people that have had one I backed out for fear of it making my problems worse.

    My pain isn't as bad as it was back around Dec. last year but I feel like I have just stalled out in progress.

    Anyway it does look like another MRI and new Dr. would be a new pathway to hopefully success. At the very least maybe I could get some answers.

  • Justin:

    I had something similar, my disk L5_S1 was ruptured and this piece was pressing against my sciatic nerve when I aggavated it caused problems. Well my first surgery they did a laminectomy and pulled the back bone off and they said the disk was moving so well that they didn't do the disectomy. Which I was mad because I was hoping they would at least take that piece out. They thought since they did the laminectomy it wouldn't cause problems now. NOPE, 2-3 more years, then I had the fusion 4 months ago where they finally got everything out. Also I had a different Doc too. But before I had the Laminectomy since I had been diagnosed it, I waited 6 years hoping that piece would grind itself up and go away. If it doesn't go away in a year, it won't. :S just from my experience, yours might be different.
  • Sounds great :sick:. How has your fusion went Eric?
  • Justin66 said:
    Sounds great :sick:. How has your fusion went Eric?

    So far so good, knock on wood. its just a healing process. Still in pain but I can tell its better and getting better. Just make sure you get 2nd and even 3rd opinions. If you have a Neurosurgeon, talk to a Orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines to see what they think, or vice-versa. I would exhaust all avenues, that was my experience, I heard from several doctors, it going away. Just a waiting game. when I had my MRI and exam 4 months ago, besides my disk was ruptured, the disk went DDD, it was totally black. I had 2 reasons to get the fusion, from the piece there then the DDD, and of course the pain. Just wait and see and build your stomach and back muscles, it could go away. I have been dealing with this for 8 years total and I was fed up with it and I know my surgeon thru a family member. Fusions are not easy and wait till its your last option.

    Good luck.
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