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Sciatic pain worse after herniated disc surgery-please help!

soworriedssoworried Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am so worried about my Fiance and hope someone can help!
He had surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back about 5 weeks ago. He had bad scaitic for years and it was finally deteremined that it was from a severly herniated disc. He had the surgery to remove the disc matter surronding the nerve (to relieve the pressure) and the surgeon said everything went great. He was supposed to be back to normal in 6 weeks and wake up feeling great from the surgery. Well since the surgey he has had no back pain but he has horrible sciatic pain, worse then before the surgery! I am obviously very worried about why this happened and the surgeon has not told us anything when I called. We are supposed to get married in three months at a destination wedding-right now he can't even sit for more than 10 minutes! We are also moving in four months to another province which has horrible waits to see a spine surgeon. He is in so much pain and we don't even know why this might be happening since the surgeon tells us nothing. Can anyone let us know what might be going on? Why does he still have WORSE sciatic pain and what are the treatments?

Thank you!!!


  • Hi. And welcome. His surgery could have made the nerve angry as it was always told to me, 5 weeks might be too soon to tell posibly if the nerve is just angry from surgery , Dr,s will usualy tell you this and will tell you to wait longer to see if it calms down,

    If the nerve was compressed too long could have cause slight damage to the nerve, They say it can take up to 18 months for nerve to heal,

    Mine never healed after my back surgery back in 2004 and i still suffer from sciatic type nerve pain,

    Its too early to say if his issues will resolve or not i believe, You could ask the dr to give him meds to help with the nerve pain for now, and see what dr says at next dr visit,

    Best of luck and hopefully it will all work out for the best,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Welcome to spine health! Sorry that your fiancee is still having nerve pain.

    As Alex has said, it is still early to tell, and it does take a long time for nerves to heal, especially if it was compressed for a long time, as seems to be his case, with years of sciatic pain.

    That being said, when I had my discectomy in July, I knew immediately that something was not right, as I was in the same/worse pain than before. I told the surgeon, and then my original surgeon, and he ordered a new MRI. I am now scheduled to have an artificial disc replacement.

    I see that you are also from Canada (as you said you are moving to another province) I know that wait times can be terrible here, although I was very lucky to get in to my newest surgeon so quickly. If your fiancee doesn't feel right, continue to tell the surgeon, and hopefully they will order a new MRI.

    Is he taking any nerve medications(lyrica, Cymbalta, Neurontin)?

    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
  • Thank you so much for both of your responses. He totally herniated the disc about a year ago but had herniated a bit about 8 years ago. So it was a long time with the pain. I appreciate both of your responses. My main concern (besides his pain obviously) is that he seems to not be able to take the medication that he did before. The only medication that seems to work is Ibuprofen. He had to take so much that it started to give him stomach pain. They gave him meds for that but it did not help. So if the pain gets worse, he cannot take good medication for it or sustain on medication for years and years. They tried painkillers but he says that they don't work for scatica. They tried nerve blockers and nothing seems to help. My main worry is what if he has the pain for the rest of his life because the surgery did not work and he can't get relief. Should I also mention that he is a bricklayer :) Without a solution, he cannot work. Oh and he is self employed which means right now...no income! We got into see a surgeon relatively quickly here but the province we are moving (calgary) and the research I have done on it seems to have YEARS wait to see a surgeon. With the wedding fast approaching...i am stressed! which is easy to see:)
  • My story:

    For 4 weeks after my L5-S1 discectomy, I was in a ton of crippling and paralyzing pain. It was equal to or worse than pre-op. I called the surgeon and asked to come back in. They recommended an ESI (Epidural Steroidal Injection) into the area where they operated so, we did that.

    It worked! It started taking effect 3 days later and by day 7, I was pain-free. As it turns out, I had a ton of swelling, edema, and inflammation compressing the nerve.

    Maybe look into this option.

    If I may be so bold, the bricklaying job(and other strenuous activities) should be given up in favor of something that does not load the lumbar discs as much. It'll heal, but the damaged disc now has a much higher probability of herniating again.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • marksinpainmarksinpain Oslo, NorwayPosts: 28
    @paul This is an old thread, but I'd be really interested to know how you are now (if you are still active in these forums)?
    13 September 2016 : L5-S1 minimally invasive microdiscectomy after 2 years living with sciatica.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Paul has not been on the forum for 2 years. The member who created the discussion has not been here for 5 years so I  am closing it

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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