Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

How am I doing? Is this normal?

Vin1215VVin1215 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. Just had a 2 level (l4/5 and l5/s1) microdiscectomy last Thursday 8/11 and am worried it failed. Here's the quick rundown

I've had backpain for 4 years, sciatica off an on from this time as well. In the last 4-6 months the sciatica in my left buttock and leg has been terrible. MRI shows a recent l4/l5 herniation and a L5/S1 herniation that has been there for a few years.

Decided to have microdiscectomy on both discs. Woke up from surgery feeling ok. Pain in left leg was subsided when I initially woke up but that could've been the meds bc when I stood up I still felt a slight nerve pain. Doctor also said he found a pars defect at L5 but we would discuss that at my 6 week follow up.

The past 5 days have been rough. The nurse said I could get in and out of bed however I wanted to so the the first 2 days I was figuring out the best way of doing so. While doing this process I feel that I hurt myself more. I still have left leg pain and the butt pain is excruciating in certain positions. Is this normal? Should this be gone by now?

Yesterday I felt I was getting better but today I woke up in Terrible leg and back pain. The incision site is still extremely sore, how long does this last? And my left leg/butt pain seems worse than ever?

My question is, is this normal or is something wrong??

I have an appt with a PA tomorrow and it's impossible to get ahold of the doctor. Any advice??


  • give it a bit of time .its very early to decide whether or not your operation has been a success or not .it took me a few months for my pain to subside ofter my open laminectomy {1997} .you may find that you have a numb calf and foot for a few weeks but that should go in time {or you could be left with permanent nerve damage {like me !} back surgey is very hit and miss i hope that you get a good result .just follow your doctors instructions and you should be ok .but i would not worry ...just yet ..when you feel up to it swimming is good exercise but make sure that you don't over do it AND your scar had healed up .DONT lift or twist if you can help it .a TENS may help with pain and when you sleep try putting a pillow in between your knees and lay on your side with your knees slightly bent .just do everything at a slow gentle pace .good luck ..i am sure that you will get loads of advice from the other regulars on here as they have been there and got the tee shirt
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    All spinal surgeries take some time to heal.
    Just do everything you are suppose to do, dont ignore any restrictions and see how you progress.

    Many people do not know how everything has gone for at least 6 or 7 weeks post surgery
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thanks so much for the info...i guess i still have hope!
  • Welcome to spine health. You definately still have hope! I had a discectomy/laminectomy L4-S1 and I still have hope.

    You are really early out and you will have some ups and downs. Just try to not do any BLT, walk often, in short trips at first, building from there. I could not walk very far for the first few weeks, but try to do it often, resting in between.

    Take your pain meds on time, since if you let the pain get ahead of you, it is very painful.

    My incission area was painful for a good couple of weeks.

    My surgeon said that you really can't tell if it was succesful for a good 8-12 weeks.

    The best way to get out of bed is by log rolling. Roll onto your side, push into a sitting position with your arms.

    Depending how long your nerve was compressed before surgery makes a big difference with the nerve pain and or numbness. When did your back pain begin? The nerves are moved around during surgery, and are very irritated after, which can increasr nerve pain.

    I am still struggling at 6 weeks out today, but can definately walk further and with a better stride.

    Wishing you a great recovery.

    >: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
  • Still having pain down the legs and I have done a straight-leg raise test and am having major buttock pain as soon as my heel is off the ground about 6-8 inches.

    If there is no more herniation then how could I still have a positive straight leg raise??
  • The straight leg raise worried me after my surgery as well. I still had it 3 weeks out when I started PT. I even had the opposite straight leg raise still positive. It could honestly be anything. It could be inflammation, it could be the nerve has tethered to its sheath, it could be tension along the nerve. And let's face it: no one likes being pushed around, not even your nervous system.

    I drove myself crazy worrying about progress and regressions every day. I'll just reiderate it -- relax and give the surgery some time. Some folks are lucky and wake up with resolved neurological symptoms. Others take weeks or months to feel significantly better.

    I'm about 8 weeks out from a 1 level discectomy and still not 100%. But I am WAY better than I was before surgery and WAY better than I was 1 week out. The things that have helped me most are following the doctors orders and letting the clock keep ticking.

    P.S. I can now lift my affected leg to 90 degrees. During the best of times I can do it without any pain! 1 week after surgery I would have laughed at the suggestion if it wouldn't have been so painful. Keep your chin up, there's definitely still hope.

    I hope you find pain relief soon!
  • Thanks for the info Vitale!!

    I am now down to 2-3 pain pills a day from 8 a day. The nerve pain (buttock to ankle) comes and goes but it seems it is worse from 6-pm through the morning. Today at 6 pm, it was really bad, I hope I did not do anything to aggravate it as today I was more active than usual.

    should i stop doing straight leg raises?? I do them to monitor progress or lack thereof but maybe that is hindering my recovery?

    Can you share your post-op story. I just really hope my surgery will be a success as I do not have insurance any more so this is my last attempt at solving this problem for the next couple of years and as everyone knows this can be scary.

    Stories of others who had nerve pain post surgery yet still overcame it will really help my mindset. I am 9 days post-op
  • You sound like you are doing quite a bit better pain wise, judging from your drop in pain meds. That's great.

    With the straight leg raise, how often are you doing it? I tried it for the first time since my surgery, after reading your post, and I still have a positive response (pain shooting down leg) on my left side.

    Vitale has a thread on here that he has been updating regarding his recovery. I have been following it, we are 2 weeks apart with our surgery, so it is nice to see how others are doing. This is the link to his journal. www.spine-health.com/forum/recovering-surgery/my-microdiscectomy-recovery-journal

    Wishing you all the best in your continued recovery.

    >: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
Sign In or Register to comment.