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5 Weeks Post-Op

ponner1uspponner1us Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,
I'm new here, so here's my story. In late October/early November of 1999, at the age of 26, I had a "major" herniation at L5/S1, so severe that I was barely able to walk. It came on suddenly with no injury and progressively got worse. I had a discectomy performed and was pretty much back to normal, very successful and I was very happy with the results as I was 99.9% "cured" with occassional minimal back pain (no leg pain) which would resolve on its own after a day or two. 12 years later, beginning in the middle of August, the leg pain (sciatica) began to reappear. I had an MRI done which showed a moderate reherniation at L5. I went through 2 epidurals and PT with no relief. The pain was bad but I was able to walk and "live with it," but I didn't want to deal with it forever. So I saw an ortho surgeon who performed a "redo" discectomy on Tuesday, November 8. The surgeon said there was much more material herniated than the MRI showed but that surgery went very, very well. I am 5 weeks post-op today and still in severe pain. This past Friday I had to leave work at lunchtime because my pain level was about a 15 on a scale of 1-10. I took it easy this past weekend, and the pain reverted back to its usual level, about and 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10. The thing is, and this has been the same since immediately after the surgery, I only have the pain when sitting or standing, as soon as I lay down the pain begins to subside. But the pain is definitely a little worse when standing as opposed to sitting. So I've had 1 epidural steroid post op, and I'm now on my third prednisone pack since surgery. I took one 10 day course, one 5 day course, and the one I just started is also a 10 day course. Steroids bring almost instant relief, taking the pain level down to a 2 or 3 level within about 12 hours. A followup MRI showed no more herniation. My question is, is this normal? The only time that I seem to be improving is when on the prednisone, as soon as I stop taking it the pain comes back with a vengeance. I am going to see my original 1999 surgeon for a 2nd opinion next week, and he's about 3 hours away and out of my insurance network, so I'm paying for that appointment out of pocket. Thoughts please?
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