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Still have sciatica after microdiscectomy?

Andrew92AAndrew92 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone, I'm having a little trouble post-op and wonder if anyone here would have any information.

I'm a healthy, 19 year old male with some congenital spinal stenosis and early last year herniated my L5/S1 disc. PT did not help so two weeks ago I got a microdiscectomy. I left the hospital later that day, but the next day, I noticed I still had some of the sciatic pain. Of course, this is normal, but now two weeks post-op it feels like it hasn't really improved from that point. It still feels a little better than it did before the operation, but it can get particularly bad in the early morning and nags at me a bit all day. I am off the steroid anti-inflammatories and taking about 1600mg Ibuprofen daily.

Although the pain is not excruciating, it is certainly sciatic pain and it worries me two weeks post-op because it's not making much improvement. I am particularly fearful because I am still very young and there are a lot of things I will never get to do if this doesn't improve. I know it's early in the recovery process, but inflammation should have subsided a bit by now, if that's the problem. I have been walking since day one and trying to slowly increase my activity level but maybe I've been pushing it. Should I expect this to get better on its own... and when? Do you have any advice?

Thank you, Andrew


  • Andrew92 said:
    inflammation should have subsided a bit by now, if that's the problem.
    You'd be surprised. In my case, I had massive inflammation / edmea / swelling 3 and 4 weeks out of my L5-S1 microD.

    An injection into that segment done under flouroscopy resolved my issues tho.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Update... It's been four weeks and the problem hasn't subsided. The pain in the morning is awful until I take some ibuprofen, and it comes back if I don't keep taking it. I still have a big swollen bulge on my back where the surgery was. If it is inflammation... does anyone have an idea of what to expect? I'm going to contact my surgeon tomorrow.
  • Going to suggest you contact your surgeon.
    No one can tell for sure but it could be scar tissues or you re-herniated.

    I am having issues after a revision - not huge but tough pain in the middle of the night and upon waking mostly. Mine is mostly back but I do get leg pains and I had an MRI. It showed the disc is still degenerating and I have a lot of scar tissue so it is likely my pain is inflammation.

    I'm going to see a Physiatrist (fiz-eye-a-trist) this week to see if he can help. I'm told that they treat total musclar-skelatal and will likely start with PT but can also offer a more 'hole' treatment plan working with various non-surgical treatments.

    Good luck at the doctor. Hopefully he will offer to run another MRI for you to confirm that there is no re-herniation.
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