Hi. I am so glad to have found this forum and to know that I am not alone. I never had low back pain in my life until about 1 1/2 years ago. (I'm 46) It started as pain that radiated down my leg and was not constant until about 6 months ago. Did the physical therapy for 6 weeks, then got an MRI that showed a large herniated disc at L4/L5. I was still seeing my family doctor at this point. He would only prescribe naproxen 500mg and robaxin for pain. I was able to function and work but the pain was always there and more uncomfortable at times. The pain began to interfer with my sleep so I called my doctor to try to get something else for pain. He said no but sent me to get a series of epidural steriod shots. I had about 1 month of improvement from the shots. Pain came back with a vengence. Family doctor referred me to nuerologist who looked at my mri and did a strength test by pushing on my toe while I tried to resist. He said I needed surgery and would not allow me to wait. I was shocked because although I did have pain, it was not excruciating and I was still working and functioning. i have the entire month of June off from work and wanted to wait until then but he said no way. Scared me to death by saying I'd risk permanent nerve damage etc. I asked around and my surgeons group has worked with many people in my area and everyone of them said how glad I'd be once I got the surgery done. They said I would get immediate relief etc.
So, I had the hemilaminectomy on February 3. My goal was to try to return to work in two weeks. (doc said 2-4 weeks recovery time) I'm in a fairly new postion and did not want to miss much work. Well, at almost 3 weeks post op I'm so depressed because I feel that I am in more pain then before the surgery. I dread going to sleep at night because the morning pain is so bad. I keep calling the surgeons office and they keep saying it is normal. I can tell from my latest refill scripts that the doctor thinks I should be weaning off the meds even though I keep telling his office that I am still in significant pain. I am currently taking Lortabs7.5mg every 8 hours (although, I usually can't wait that long), flexeril every 8 hours, and neurotin300mg 2xdaily.
I have new numbness on the outside of my right foot shich makes me wonder if something hasn't happened to the L5/S1 disc.
I am so afraid that I have moved in some way that has reherniated or messed something up. Feeling like I shouldn't have rushed into surgery but the doctor scared me so much that I felt I had not options...particularly without something to manage the pain.
Forgive my lengthy post. I think it is theraputic just to vent.