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Butt Pain

I have had three surgeries in June/July to repair a torn L5/S1 disc. The third surgery was to repair my spine, which was torn. Not sure how that happened. Now, I have a constant pain in both of my buttocks and in my righ ham string. I am taking Oxy-Codone, which relieves the pain, but I would like to get off of this stuff and return to a normal life. My surgeon is telling me that this type of pain does appear and will eventually go away with walking, stretching and light jogging. I am 3 months out from my last surgery and the pain is no better or worse. Has any of you experienced this? If yes, what are you or did you do to relieve the pain? Thanks.


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health, have a look around and you will find others going through what you are or whom have been there already.

    AS for as recovering from your surgery, have you started physical therapy as of yet? When is the pain the worst and what makes the pain worse or better? The one thing that I know for certain stretching is a daily process now and will always just be something that I have to do. What does your fusion itself look like at this point and time?

    As far as the medications are you using any type of nerve medications such as lyrica, neurotin or cymbalta? Sometimes if it is a nerve issue those meds can help more with the discomfort. If you do plan to go off the oxy be sure to have the aid of your doctor in titrating down off of it.

    You might also want to post in the low back pain forum, where others have gone through this as well.

    Once again welcome to spine-health and congrats being on the other side of surgery. If there is anything I can do don't hesitate to pm me. Take care.
  • Here is more info. My initial surgery was to repair a herniated disc. The second surgery was done because the disc ruptured after the first surgery and the third surgery was because somehow my spine was torn. I last saw the surgeon on 9/28. No P.T. was ordered, even though I had requested it. He wants me to try to wean off of the oxy. (I take maybe 2 a day.) I also take Celebrex. The pain is worse when sitting and best when laying down. I have been walking 2 miles for 2 months now and he has given me permission to begin jogging 1/2 mile per day. I stretch daily. The surgeon contends that my pain is coming from scar tissue. I think it is a nerve problem, but what do I know?
  • Hiya, I have found with surgeries of this kind we tend to heal from the inside out. It takes a good while to heal and can feel tender for a time. You need to do your PT and its important to relax. When things start to calm down and are less agrevated this kind of pain will start to ease. I am telling you this based on my personal experiences. In the mean time if you do have any questions or concerns, go back to your doctor. I hope this helps you. Keep us posted.

    Angie x
  • I had PLIF done on L5-S1 back in 2008. I was doing great for three months. Down to one Hydrocodone per day.

    At three months I went back to work, and either I did something to move something, or it was because of scar tissue pushing on a nerve.

    My pain management Dr. told me that at three months scar tissue is at it's nearly maximum formation.

    I had multiple MRI's done, Nerve conduction tests, Physical Therapy, Accupuncture, Massage, Spinal Cord Stimulator, and just about everything you can think of except seeing a Psychic.

    I am now up to 240 mg Oxycontin, 300 mg Lyrica, and 400 mg Tramadol.

    I feel for you, because I have the exact same pain as you do, except I have it only on the left side.

    I tried to wean off of Lyrica twice, due to the mental fog it puts me in, but each time I had to start taking it again, because the pain level became too much to handle.

    This tells me that most of my pain is due to nerve pain, since Lyrica is a nerve medication.

    I have not yet reached the maximum dosage of Lyrica yet. My Dr. wants to wait till I have no other option left.

    I feel that scar tissue pushing on a nerve is my problem, and could possibly be yours.

    I quess the old saying....PAIN IN THE BUTT...really is based on real experiences.

    I pray that you will find something to help relieve your pain.

    I pray for all of the people on this forum that are suffering.

    I pray for a miracle, for all of us.

    God bless and heal us, please. Robert in NC
  • Dear Robert, take care of yourself and stop by the forum anytime.. we would be happy to hear from you and share.. good luck! Jenny :)
  • Okay...I haven't posted in a looooong time, but since the last time I did, I have had a L4/L5 fusion with isolation of the S1 nerve since it was giving me such a hassle with pain going from my back to my left butt cheek(not my tailbone just the cheek) allllll the way down to the bottom of my foot.
    Discoctomy #1 07/2009 - unsuccessful
    Discectomy #2 12/2009 - unsuccessful
    Fusion Date: 4/15/2010 - TBD
    Today's Date: 10/4/2010

    So here I am almost 6 months into recovery and I start getting this tailbone pain, that truly is unbearable. Sitting is nearly impossible....especially when it is time to stand up after sitting, OMG the pain just rips through me! Now I am on plenty of drugs and you'd think it would help. The oxycontin only take a bit of the edge off, but I don't want to increase my dose, The Norco is basically useless, the valium relaxes my back.....but nearly everything has failed with this PAIN IN THE BACKSIDE!!!

    The pain has not gotten any better from the fusion. Right now with this tailbone nightmare, I'd say it's worse. Went to my PCP today he have me some Flector patches, just for the anti inflammatory part of it...GREAT place for a patch. Doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot, but it's the first one I have used, so I will give them a chance, one every 12 hours. So now what?

    I have been introduced to the idea of a spinal cord stimulator by my Neurosurgeon. Do I REALLY want something "implanted" in me...not really, but if it is guaranteed to work 100% I'd do it in a hot minute, nothing is guaranteed in back surgery. Now the question I do have and my PCP introduced this to me today: THEY CAN CUT THE NERVE ENDINGS CAUSING THIS PAIN????? Does anyone know what the procedure is called? And why have I suffered this long with this much pain if that is an option???? Must I wait a year to see if this fusion has worked, because they say 6 months to a year for recovery?? I'm frustrated, I am in pain almost ALL THE TIME, I take way to many pills, and all I really want is to be "normal" again. No back pain, No butt pain, No leg pain. Just a simple pain free life would be awesome. Someone tell me, is it possible?

    Dawn ~X(
  • Understand that this is just what I was told everyone is deferent
    Here is some stuff on line I found, they wanted to do it to me also, it is like everything else that involves the back there is no grantees on how long it will last and I was told it the nerves could come back madder

    The purpose of radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy, or RF neurotomy, is to reduce or eliminate facet joint pain and related symptoms in the neck or low back. The goal of the procedure is to interrupt communication of pain between a specific medial nerve root and the brain. The medial nerve roots innervate the spine's facet joints.

    Before a RF rhizotomy is performed, the pain generating facet joint nerve(s) (medial branch nerves) have been identified by means of a diagnostic injection, such as a facet joint or medial branch nerve block. Other tests may include MRI. Since the medial branch nerves do not control neck or low back muscles, it is not harmful to disrupt or turn off their ability to send signals to the brain conceived as pain.

    RF neurotomy is a precisely targeted injection that works by creating heat to destroy a facet joint's medial branch nerve. Relief from pain and related symptoms may last a year or longer. However, the medial branch nerve root regenerates (grows back) and facet joint pain may come back. Results vary from patient to patient.
  • After reading a few of the replies to my post, I am considering myself fortunate. By this mean, that someone else is always worse off than me. My biggest complaint is that if I sit too long or walk too much, the butt pain comes on. Like yesterday, I had to run some errands and then my wife wanted to make a few stops here and there like Target and etc. Well, after being active for about 3 hours, I had enough. I told my wife we had to go. When I got home, I took an Oxycodone (Percocet) and layed down. Pain went away and I had a fairly good evening. I most always have no problem sleeping, which is also a big issue for me.

    For some of you, you are unable to get rid of the pain. This is most unfortunate. My doc keeps telling me to be patient and the pain will subside once the scar tissue begins to wear down.

    Like the previous poster stated, I pray everday to the Lord that we all get better. After all, it is not just being alive that matters, but having a quality of life.
  • When I had my L5/S1 repaired the surgeon told me that I also had a spur on my tailbone that had to be removed. He also said that by doing this procedure, it created scar tissue and this may be where the pain in my butt is generating from. I had a follow up MRI after my third surgery and YES, I do have a lot of scar tissue. Scar tissue must cause a lot of problems for us.

    Also, if I am feeling pretty good and my wife wants to go visiting or go to church or just do some running around, like shopping and she wants me to go along, I have to lay on the back seat of my van while she drives to where we are going. By doing this, it gives me maybe 2 hours that I am able to function before having to medicate myself.
  • When you are in so much pain that it hurts to walk yet your doctor recommends you to start jogging. I mean....reallly???? Honestly, if walking the concrete floors of a store hurt like heck, how are you supposed to run around on the pavement?

  • ...I know what you mean. I said the same thing to my doc, but he said that unless the pain is intolerable, that I should do a little jogging. He said by doing this it will wear the scar tissue down quicker.

    I don't try to understand this medical stuff, I just do what the doc tells me to do if it sounds reasonable.
  • hey everyone!! new to this type of thing. i was looking up some info when i saw these posts. i had L4_5 herniated disc repair about 3 yrs ago. it took over a year for the butt pain and tailbone bone to clear up. I used ice packs and anything else i could think of to releive the pain. For the tailbone pain i found using a donut cushion or something like it that would keep the pressure off the tailbone to be most helpful, i tried anything that would take the pressure of the tailbone when sitting but it still took quite some time and i still try not to aggrevate that area. Also recently i got the butt pain on the right side again and my first thought was OH NO!! I am not sure if the recent flareup is going to be long term but i know it flaredup from twisting at a bad angle while doing some yard work. In order to cut some dead foliage from the flower beds i had to use a lunge stance, i believe i did that stance too often or for too long and REALLY agrevated the low back area and now i have the butt pain and siatica pain again. for those who have had recent surgery or continual irratation in that area, it will take a while and watch how you move and stretch. I hope this helps and gives you some ideas, it got better for me but it took quite awhile and i still have to be cautious.
  • I recently posted this:


    I am scheduled to see a surgeon on the 27th. In the meantime I use a cane and ice several times a day. Your symptoms sound similiar to mine. Do you have difficulty lying on your side while sleeping, tossing and turning all night? Pain lateral upper thigh area or upper buttock area? I've suffered with this pain for over two years.

    Best wishes,

  • Actually, I do better if I do lay on my back or my side. Sitting is my downfall. By laying on my back or side, I get the pressure off of the spine and in turn my spine is not compressed. The pain is not as bad as it was initially after surgery, so I am continuing to walk and jog everyday. My wife massages my incision area in an attempt to help break-down the scar tissue. (We watched this method on youtube.)

    We own a vacation home in Florida, which is where I am now and I swim everyday. My doctor also agrees with this. I do whatever I can tolerate to help break up the scar tissue. With having 3 surgeries in 33 days, I developed a lot of scar tissue. I had a follow-up MRI and the scar tissue showed up in the pictures as being in abundance.
  • I had a discectomy on Aug. 25 and I am in worse pain now then before. They said it can take up to 6 months for it to go away. (the Pain) When I asked for more pain meds they said, "when are you going to slow down". I said when the pain goes away. I am very afraid there going to just punt and say good luck. Can they do that? It is a large hospital in Philly and they treat you like number. No tlc here. Just get you out and do the next. I can not sit at all and they say that the nerve root is inflammed and they will not operate again. Life goes on.
  • Although I don't think my doctor would shut me off from my pain killers, he has told me to try to wean off of them. This is easier said then done. I only take 1 or 1 1/2 Oxycodone a day, but when I need some relief, I need to be able to take it.

    I don't know if the doctors can refuse to give us our meds or not. But, it is like I told my wife. If my doctor stops giving me my pain killers and I get to hurting real bad, I'll just have to go to the E-room at the hospital.

    As for the inflamed nerve root, I have heard a couple of different reasons of why we have this butt pain. I had 3 surgeries in 33 days and therefore had a lot of scar tissue build up. It takes awhile for this to wear away and I do whatever I can to help this along. I walk 2-3 miles per day, swim, stretch and light jog. There has been some improvement, but sitting is still difficult.

    I will continue to pray for all of us.
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