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New member - microdecompression

rdlaubrrdlaub Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Rob and I am very happy to find this forum.

I am exactly 3 weeks out from surgery to remove a synovial cyst at L5, S1 including micro-decompression and foraminotomy.

I had spent the past 3 1/2 years with pain in the right side of my lower back radiating through the butt and down the leg. MRIs showed slight disk herniation and stenois. I spent the next 3 years going through physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, anti-inflammatories, John Sarno TMS practice etc. all to no avail.

Last December, I went to a neurologist who had another MRI taken which now showed the synovial cyst pressing on a nerve root. After 2 unsuccessful cyst aspiration attempts, I opted for this surgery.

Other than surgical pain, I felt relatively ok after the surgery, however, over the course of the last week I believe I am feeling the same pain on my right side that I specifically had the surgery to relieve. I am quite depressed and discouraged by this.

Any insight would be greatly helpful. Thank you.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I have never had spinal surgery ,so cant speak to that directly.
    It is possible/probable that it may take a little more time before you can determine if your surgery was successful. The body needs time to heal.

    I had a painful and diseased kidney removed awhile back and for about 6 weeks after surgery I continued to feel the same pain. As you, I felt discouraged.
    The day the pain dissapeared was more noticeable than the original pain...only in a good way. :)

    Not sure if the body has some kind of memory thing keeping the familiar pain alive..but usually it just takes time. :)

    Keep taking care of yourself..staying aligned, not lifting..twisting..etc...and hopefully in time youll be pleasantly surprised!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. congratulations on your surgery and all the best for a complete and healthy recovery.. you are bound to feel some aches and pains from surgery as you heal so be patient.. the body take time to heal!!! if this continues and you are worried, call your surgeon!! anything bothering you after surgery should be seen by him.. so relax, let yourself heal and then call the doctor if necessary!! good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • I appreciate the encouragement. Thank you very much.
  • Welcome to spine health! Sorry that you are still having the same pain that you had the surgery for. I can totally relate, as I am 5 weeks out from a two level discectomy/decompression and also still feel the same as pre surgery.

    It is early to know whether our surgeries were successful. My surgeon said to give it a good 8-12 weeks before you can really say there isn't any improvement.

    Also, depending on how long your nerve was compressed, it can take a long time for it to calm down and heal.

    Hang in there with me and hopefully in a few weeks we both will be feeling much better. Keep walking, be careful to not do any BLT.

    Wishing you all the best!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • It's very helpful to find someone in a similar situation. I wish you well also. My nerve was compressed for a long time so hopefully you are correct.

    I'd be interested to know you progress.

  • find it helpful hearing experiences from others that are dealing with the same thing, especially recovering from surgery done around the same time.

    My nerve was compressed for over a year, impingements at three different spots. My left foot and calf were and still are numb due to this. Do you have any numbness or tingling? The majority of my pain is low back, butt, and thighs.I also had the usual surgical pain, but the pre surgery pain never left, except for a bit less pain radiating down the leg, but back, butt feel even worse than before surgery.

    When do you go back to see your surgeon? Do you know if you will be having PT ?

    There are bound to be ups and downs with recovery, hopefully now you are due for some ups!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi Karen

    The majority of my pain is also right side low back going into the butt and sometimes into the thigh. Thankfully I do not have numbness or tingling. Sorry to hear that you have numbness. Did you have this prior to the surgery as well?

    I too have the usual surgical pain and also still have the pre surgical pain which makes me nervous that perhaps this was not the cause of my problem and I just went through unnecessary surgery. I find that very depressing on a number of levels including if not this, than what.

    I have a call into the surgeon (he is away) but don't have a scheduled visit for another few weeks.

    I have started physical therapy this week. The therapist tells me that there is still plenty of swelling and scar tissue which needs to settle down before I can judge the success of the procedure. I hope he is right.

  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    With any spine surgery, even micro (that's misleading, as it's still major surgery), it really takes a while to recover and you're still very early in recovery.

    Try to have trust in what your docs and PT are saying and be patient. Like Karen, it's a waiting game to make sure the surgery was successful, and many times the pain gets worse before it gets better.

    Take care and hang in there. I'm glad you found someone on here that's walking in your shoes. That can really be helpful.

  • Spine Health is a great site to find some very experienced and caring people, and I am glad that you have found a place to come and talk to people that understand what you are going through. When the nerves have been compressed for a long period of time they get use to sending that message of pain or numbness to the brain, and sometimes it takes awhile for that feeling to calm down after surgery. It is different for everybody, just try to take it easy and do what the doctor asks of you during the healing process. That is very important and it is hard to do sometimes. Keep your head up and know you made the right decision in having the surgery. Look around and you will find an amazing site with a lot to offer during the tough times. Take care and I hope you have many pain free days ahead.
  • Thank you. This is a great site and I appreciate all the encouragement.
  • I had OP surgery for stinosis and a cynovial cyst 4 days ago after suffering through every other conceivable treatment for nearly 18 months. The neurosurgeon inspired a great deal of confidence suggesting that the major pain would abate almost immediately. It's impossible to exaggerate how grateful I was to finally find someone who was so empathetic and optimistic.
    The evening of the surgery and the following day, I was indeed essentially pain free. The third day and today the pain is back with a vengeance - perhaps worse than i have ever experienced. Can this just be part of th process or does it likely mean the surgery failed?
  • Florida sure does get a bad rap. I use to teach drug prevention, and studied "Florida's case" extensively. I'm too lazy to go try to find all of my notes, but basically it was like 3 (?) families and 5 (?) "Pain Clinics" that caused the boom in the amount of oxy purchased in Florida. Once they prosecuted these families and shut down these clinics all of Florida's "Narcotic Numbers" fell right inline with most other states. In stead of Florida and FDA wiping their hands off and saying, "Ok, we took care of that problem," they instead (both state and Fed) started (and haven't quit) making up new laws and regulations.

    I have to somewhat defend the pharmacists. Many of them have thousands in student loans, as well as families at home, and it would be scary to know one "missed step" with narcotics could cost you your license and all of your hard work. Now I don't defend any nasty attitudes towards any patients, that's not what I'm saying.

    I too have had problems with CVS after my summer surgeries filling my prescriptions. I was constantly told they "didn't have that many" and they could give me "x" amount, but I'd loose the others. I finally went back to a CVS way out of my way (where I use to live) and talked to that pharmacist who basically said CVS did only receive so many narcotics per day/week, however a specific store was stocked, and sadly it didn't meet the demand. Some pharmacist did "hold" them for chronic patients that had been using that store for years and they knew would be coming to get them. He also rarely had the amount I needed, but I'd call him and he'd call around to all the area stores until he found a store that had the right amount. He'd ask them to hold them until I could get there... so that meant I always had to drive to different CVSs, but I did feel like he was telling me the truth. Who knows. I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with CVS... love because they have a drive through, and when I have two toddlers and back issues, getting them in and out of the car to go inside can be a lot of trouble and pain depending on the day... they also stay open a lot longer than the grocery store/walmart/target pharmacies in my area (none are 24 hour here sadly). And, in general they are the only pharmacy that has all the medications my family uses.

    I'm actually shocked by the pharmacy waiting on a "diagnosis". I'm surprised that doesn't in some way violate HIPPA. I mean, I have to sign paper work just for my PCP to be able to view my surgical records.... so I'm surprised that a pharmacist can call and get access to a diagnosis.
    Anyways, that is my 2 cents.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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