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Think I re-herniated!

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Please help ease my mind. I spoke with the NP at my surgeon's office on Friday, and she said it is probably muscular, but I want to get your thoughts.

I had a two-level posterior thoracic discectomy on 7/6/11 on T8-9-10. The initial pain I had was midback and wrapped around my right side. After surgery I felt 95% better, except I developed left-sided pain as a result. That continued up until October, and I have been doing well (other than my usual AS symptoms) for the past couple of months.

Fast forward to now, the other day I was exercising (I am working on losing weight) and I felt this shock-like feeling in the area where I used to have pain, on the right side of my back. I decided to back off of the exercising and take it easy for the next few days. Well, the last couple of days I can barely even walk up the stairs without feeling this shock-like feeling in that area. If I am laying/sitting/standing still, I am fine. But as soon as I start moving around, I feel what I can only describe as an electrical shock in that area. It is unlike ANY muscle pain I have ever had, and it is not a spasm because I do not feel the muscle contracting.

All I can think about is that I have re-herniated. I keep trying to tell myself that it's muscular, but it just does not feel that way. I am terrified because my surgeon had warned me that if I reherniated, I would need to have a fusion. I don't know if I should call the NP again or if I should wait it out a little longer. I am currently on Prednisone for my AS, so I'm hoping if there is inflammation in the area, the Prednisone will help.



  • No one can give you medical advice here and if you think you've re-herniated call the surgeon's office up ASAP and demand to be seen. NP, PA and the other sorts are fine but only a doctor who went to school for this is going to be able to tell you what is going on.

    Take this advice from someone who has been given the runaround by know it all NPs and PAs who said my condition didn't warrant surgery. I'm now recovering from a 2 level acdf on Wednesday because I had significant spinal cord compression that needed to be addressed is what a neurosurgeon said. This was after being shoved around by stupid PA's and NP's for 7 months who had no clue as to what they were talking about while I lived in constant excruciating pain.

    IMO NP and PA should not be diagnosing and giving advice on matters like this. I could have died after one PA told me my problems were not from my back because I had symptoms in both arms and my MRI was normal for a woman my age. He then manipulated my neck which is very dangerous when you have cervical spine stenosis and herniated discs. I have very little faith in either of them to tell the truth-a NP missed a lump in my breast and another PA told me she didn't think my ankle was broken but if I felt better to go get an x-ray. Well, it was broken after all.

    Sorry about the long rant but CALL AND DEMAND TO SEE YOUR SURGEON, NOT SOME NP.
  • I would not want to speculate. However, I do get crazy electrical pains, especially in my foot that actually are muscular. They are the pains that have me double over.

    Are you going to see the doctor? Do you have a muscle relaxer left that you could try to see if it alleviates the pain at all?

    Oh, did you try icing?

    If you are really worried, you can contact your GP who can see you and order an MRI.
  • It actually could be muscular, I had my fusion 7 months ago and I get symptoms similar to what you are describing after doing "too much". At first it would really scare me but, it seems to happen less and less as time goes on. Of course I don't know if you re-herniated or not, but remember, the recovery from any type of spinal surgery is very long- a lot longer than the docs lead us to believe!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I had an accident that caused serious injuries to my C3-C7 and had a 4 level fusion 8 months ago - Immediately following the surgery I had major complications of dysphagia and was readmitted to the hospital with fevers and the inability to swallow - I started gaining my strength back last November 2011 and I had good days and bad days but overall I had hope. My range of motion will never be the same and the smallest tasks that I used to take for granted before the surgery have now become so apparent and burdensome. In mid-December 2011 I started experiencing sharp burning pain in my neck around T1 which has graduated to weakness in both arms and electrical currents in my arms to my hands. I hurt all the time - I work full time but this pain is causing me to be so debilated and exhausted. I cry driving home from work. I hate taking pain meds to relieve this horrible pain as I have been living the life of a mother who has seen her daughter throw her life away to narcotics which has lead to her having a serious heroine addiction and it all started with Vicodin and Oxycotin. I hear that many people with back problems become pain med addicts and so worried to fall in that category. So I suffer in silence and stay away from the pain meds. I am pretty tough when it comes to pain but lately I absolutely feel so helpless. I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow and not sure what to expect - worried I might need further surgery, or that the stress of the 4 level fusiuon injured another disc - worried to lose my job as I missed so much work last year because of this surgery.
  • Well, I spoke with my surgeon's NP again today, and she talked it over with my surgeon. He said he typically likes to wait 4 weeks to see if the pain resolves. If not, then I will likely need repeat MRI's (my 3rd since this past August). If the pain gets worse, I can call back and they will squeeze me in. If the pain gets to the point that it is unrelenting or I develop ANY neurological deficits, he wants me to go straight to the ER and have them call him. Let's hope it does not get to that point.

    For now they want me to continue with anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, heat, and rest. I have been taking it easy. As long as I am not doing too much activity, I have no pain in that area whatsoever. As I start moving around, I start feeling this shock-like pain that I have been having. The more activity I engage in, the worse the pain gets. It feels very much like the pain I had previously, but the NP still feels it is muscular. I am also currently on Prednisone for my AS, but I am tapering down. Once I am done with the Pred, then they may have me do a Medrol dose pack for my back.

    Never a dull moment!
  • That's interesting they move you from Prednisone to Medrol dose pack. Since they are both based on prednisone. They are both cortiscosteroids. I've used them interchangeably over the years for allergies and when my disc reherniated. Seemed to be whichever the doc felt like writing the script for.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Many times, over the years I've used Prednisone to help with various flare ups. I've also used the Medrol packs. As Graham indicated, they are both in the same category of medication ( cortiscosteroids )...

    I think the biggest difference may come in the dosage being used. I know I've started with prednisone at 40mg, drop down to 30, to 20 , to 10, then 5 and then 0. Other times I've started at 20. So, while they are both the same type of medication, as always dosage makes a difference.

    Main thing, Kim, is that you do not do anything that is going to create any additional problem(s) If this is truly muscular, then baby yourself a bit, take it easy, see how that works.

    Take care and get better!
    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
  • I was thinking the same thing....it would make more sense to continue taking the Prednisone and do a short burst with that.

    I have been resting a lot and have been trying not to do anything that will aggrevate the pain. I had to wash my daughter's sheets today, and my mom came over and made her bed for me, so that I didn't have to do it before naptime. When I am home, I have been lying down with my feet up. Hopefully it truly IS muscular and it gets away on it's own. I am trying not to get myself all psyched up about this, but it's definitely nerve-wracking. I keep thinking about how he said that if I were to reherniate, I would need to have a fusion. I really, really, REALLY hope it's not a reherniation. The NP said the doctor typically likes to be more aggressive when it comes to reherniating a disc.
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