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update and worries

catsinc3ccatsinc3 Posts: 42
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hi,im back,im now 16 days post md on l5-s1.im not convinced its done anything at all tbh.i have more pain now than i did pre surgery.by the time i had surgery i was fully functional just had a limp and numbe butt to toes on the left.was like that for 8 months.still managed to walk the dogs clean and ride the horse once or twice a week.the diazapam is working re sleeping im no longer getting stuck!im waking up a lot less stiff now!!and can wait half hour before taking a anti inflam.i am still very relaint however on the pain meds.im out every day walking its difficult though.i now have weakness in my right leg that i never had before,my left 1 hurts slightly more than before burns in my butt,front top of thigh and usuall below the knee and ankle,both sides of the incision id say are sore or inflamed one of those.i limped quite badly pre op i dont now but i do have a very odd gait!i seem to "mince "if you know what i mean?my legs have never been so close together walking sometimes they knock each other, if anything my right foot used to kick out a little when walking.im doing my exercises the hospital pt gave me finding these very easy im not due to start proper pt until the 6 week mark.im wondering if i should call my original pt that i had pre op before i call the useless hospital pt team and ask her advice on it.the gave me a crutch which is around half inch at least too long.all in all im getting around better than when i 1st came out and the pain level is receeding but my movement restrictions are worse than pre op.i havent been told if im getting a follow up with the neuro.pretty useless system it appears to be..:)


  • Hey there...yes, I can relate. You sound like me 2 years ago.

    Some words of advice but it's my experience only. I ruptured my disc (know exactly when it happened), lost feeling in my buttocks to knee and then in my left foot (heel to outer toe) and lost ankle reflex and was in a lot of pain.

    Had MD on L5-S1 back in August-2009. Got myself off meds within 2-weeks but around day 16 realized I couldn't function without them. And, taking them made me loopy and barely got me through the day.

    What did I do?
    - I learned that back recovery takes time
    - I learned that while recovery takes time, I know my body and should have been pushier sooner.
    - I learned to make sure you keep a daily journal (jot down notes so you know/remember)
    - I learned to be honest with my doctor. At the 2-week post op, I told them that I didn't feel different. They seemed marginally surprised but not alarmed. They told me my herniation was so huge that the surgery should bring me a ton of gratification.
    - I learned that those around me could also tell I wasn't better.
    - I was very clear at my 6-week post op that I was not well and asked for a plan from my doctor.

    At 6-weeks, he put me on prednisone (steroid) thinking maybe I had post-op inflammation.

    I set up a 10-week post op appointment (e.g. made sure he wasn't releasing me as a 'success').

    At the 10-week post op, he told me to wait more even though the steroid did nothing and I assured him I was curled up crying because I was so depressed and tired of coming home in pain every night. He was still wiling to wait because he said "the surgery should have been gratifying".

    I finally spoke up.
    I told him..."this surgery has not been gratifying and each time you say that, I'm more depressed because I am just as bad as the day met him"

    I then said "Listen, maybe I need to wait but I would be mad at myself if I didn't insist on a follow up MRI". So at 3-months post op, he ordered it.

    Guess what?
    Another large piece came free.

    I did switch surgeons and did a revision.

    Moral of the story?
    Get a post op.
    Even if you follow all recovery rules, there is a chance that another piece was loose or broke off after they sewed you back up. You may have to wait but if you are not doing well by the 2-month mark, have them send you for another MRI (with/without contrast).

    At least then you'll know if you reherniated OR if the nerve is causing problems.

    If you reherniated...you can have a revision
    If you didn't...there are nerve blocking medications that can help.

    I don't want to scare you but I want to assure you that you aren't crazy either.

    Not sure what country you are in...but in the US, you hav more flexibility to 'take charge' of your situation. I know in other countries, it can be a bit of a waiting game.
  • First welcome to the other side. You have to realize your just two weeks out of major surgery. It is way to early to tell what is going to happen with the surgery. The issues you are feeling are normal post-op. When they do surgery they stir the nerves up quit a bit and nerves don't settle or heal as fast as the rest of the body. If your bored with the PT, do it more often during the day. Also walking is the best thing you can be doing. When you think you have walked enough walk some more. You might even look at some walking programs so you will have a measure able goal in mind, 10,000 steps comes to mind, but there are others.

    Whom is following you post surgery? Who will be taking the stitches out ordering meds and physical therapy? Some doctors only see a patient for surgery, and unless there is a issue they will then see there PA, or NP. One reason when going into surgery and researching your doctor to find out about the follow-up care.
  • I agree that you are still very early in the recovery process. However, I also agree that you know your body best and you have to follow your gut instinct. I had a two-level thoracic discectomy early July. I was doing pretty well up until two weeks post-op, when I suddenly developed excrutiating pain on the other side. It is a mirror image of the pain I had prior to my surgery, except it's on the other side of my back and wraps around my ribs on the other side. I called every couple of days complaining of this pain, and finally they sent me for a repeat MRI, which showed another disc, that is herniated to the other side, that appears to be causing the pain. We already knew it was herniated, but it has slowly gotten worse overtime. My point is, give it some time and see if it gets better. But if you continue to experience increased pain, then I would make sure your doctor is well aware of this. As someone else said, you don't want them to declare the surgery a success if you are having more pain than you were before. I declare mine a success in that it pretty much fixed the initial pain I was having. However, apparently it put more stress on the discs above that were already slightly herniated to begin with, so now those discs are acting up.
  • I too can totally relate to you, although I am now 6 weeks post op. Since the surgery I have not seen any improvement and am still walking with a cane.

    I am on all my pre surgery meds plus more (upped my long acting med and am on valium for spasms)

    I agree with both sides of previous posts, in that yes you are 2 weeks out and it is early, nerves have been shook up and are angry. But like Dnice and Kim, you know your body and recovery best and can sense if something isn't right.

    I am still being told to wait it out, but go to see my NS on Tuesday. The original plan was to wait until November to have an MRI. I will see what he says on Tuesday whether to wait that long. Been told not to start PT yet, just walk as often as possible.

    I too have a funny gait. My left (affected) foot now points straight to slightly inward, where I used to walk with both feet pointed very far out.

    Do you think maybe a cane would work better for you rather than the crutch (especially if it is too long)
    When do you go back to see your surgeon? Please do try to keep a journal with pain meds, what makes things better/worse as well as type of pain (burning,stabbing,achy,etc)

    Wishing you all the best. Please keep us updated.

    >: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,thx for your comments.had a painfull day 2day but hot water bottle helping.right side pain appears to be in buttock but not sciatica pain maybe the pilf wotever muscle?anyway i rand gp was told to contact hspital re follow ups.which i did and got secretaries answer machine!also rang physio and got their answer machine aswell!!fgs!will c if i get a call back tomorrow?!if not ill ring again and again!!british nhs system stinks!maybe as the hot water bottle is helping its more muscualr than anything else!lets hope so
  • Ask your Dr if it is ok for you to walk the dogs and clean and ride your horse, it might be to soon for that.
  • not seeing my surgeon until november!!!!im not seeing to the horse ive been up to visit but thats it!1 of the dogs doesnt pull walks lovely so as i dont like going walking alone i take her.as she a pup 8mths and my daughters pup she needs to be exercised aswell as my daughter been on hols until tonight!surgeon orig told me i could prob ride at 8 weeks but i think now that was a bit ambitious!!ive driven for a bout 1 half miles twice now and can manage that with a cushion behind me.doubt id be venturing much further yet tho!got physio brought forward to 31st this mth hopefully have a stick the correct length!as i tripped over it today ouch!!and get some insight into whats goin on wiv these muscles!!when im good uim very mobile but thaats when meds are fresh!!and i dont sit down!!managing now to walk only as far as i did the 1st few days has been too uncomfortable to go further until a good spell i had today (until i tripped over the bloody crutch!!)
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