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Week 1 since L5-S1 Microdiscectomy. Numbness returned in foot.

tebrodrickttebrodrick Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Greetings all!
8 Days ago, I had a Microdiscectomy of L5-S1 disc (No fusion).
I woke up feeling the pain of the surgical site, but none of the nerve pain that had been in my hip/butt leg and calf. I was very happy.

I have been so afraid that it will re-herniate, I'm hyper-sensitive to anything I feel.

Now yesterday, I feel the bottom of my left foot has a little numbness. This scares me to death, since that's how the worst of my problems started last time. I am wondering if there is an explanation for this, or if this is a sign of re-herniation?

I don't see the doctor for 3 more days, but I'm hoping this is only a temporary deal, and not a sign of failed surgery.

Any similar experiences that ended happily? ;-)



  • I had a fusion surgery on L5-S1 and my numbness got worse post op, but my doctor explained it to me in a way that made me feel better. He said that during any surgery in your back there is inflammation and nerves that were pinched by something pre surgery will still act pinched until the inflammation goes away. He also said that sometimes new numbness or pain happens due to inflammation around nerves that were fine pre surgery so they can be irritated too. He said the inflammation goes away after a month or 2. He also gave me some steroids to help stop the inflammation. (I had new numbness in my right foot that did not exist at all pre surgery)

    I know they are different surgeries, but it seems that it would apply to you as well. I hope this puts your mind at ease. And I hope you continue to get better!
  • Thank you Jeni!
    That does set my mind at ease. I continue to have some swelling at the surgical site, so it would make sense to have inflammation inside as well. I hadn't thought of that.
    I'll continue to monitor things and pray for a good longer term outcome.

  • I have the same problem. After surgery all my butt,leg, foot pain,tingling,numbness was gone. I had a huge scare the second day while doing my afternoon PT. I was up walking around and all of a sudden had the worse sciatica pain down my right side that I had EVER had. It almost brought me to my knees. This happened a week ago and my right foot is still numb and I still have sciatica down that leg just not nearly as bad. I have taken a 4 day dose of steriods and it has not helped. I'm hoping I did not re-herniate my disc.

    Best of luck to you
  • I had a microdiscectomy 5 weeks ago. The pain in my legs was gone when I came out of surgery. Then I started back at work two days ago (for half days only). I stood up for the most part at my desk since sitting is uncomfortable. On Friday I got some sciatic pain in one of my legs. It's pretty mild compared to what I had before surgery, but it scared me because that's how my troubles started. I talked to my physical therapist who said that as I become more active it's normal to feel some of the old pain, pretty much for the reasons you guys already mentioned. Even though I didn't feel like I was "active" at work, just by virtue of standing up at my computer for 3 hours was asking my back to do more than I had for the first few weeks. I lay down as soon as I got home and plan to take it easy for the weekend. I don't want to reaggravate anything. I'm not quite sure how I'll do next week since I only worked 2 days last week. I'm not really looking forward to doing 5 days in a row. Wish I could do 1 day on, 1 day off. Sadly, that won't pay my bills. :)

    Hopefully that's all that you guys are having -- nerves that are irritated from surgery and that start complaining when you do too much. I've heard it can take months for the nerve pain to go away, which is reasonable I guess. As long as it goes away and doesn't stick around!
  • Hello,

    I've been reading this thread as I see my doctor next week and I know he is going to recommend microdiscectomy.. I hope all of you are doing well by now as you posted in this thread in March and it's now September. If any of you are still on this board however, I hope you can offer some insight.

    5 years ago I had injections for hernatied disc at l-5-S-1. It worked like a miracle. In Dec. of 2011 I put a fairly heavy backpack on my back, (and I had a new job that requires extensive travel and long hours)....and I was in excrusiating pain 2 days later. I had 2 injections with only minor relief. My doctor recommended surgery but I asked for the 3rd injection and PT, and it worked. I've had one small flare-up that I was able to work out myself, but then minor everyday mishaps, like tripping, and sitting in a massage chair have caused me to right back where I was in Dec. I've taken time off work and I'm waiting to see the Dr. Bottom line...I am scared of surgery and I'm hoping to hear from people whose surgery has been successful. My quesstions:

    How old are you? I'm 59 and I've read that other normal deteriorations of the spine, such as other buldges, or osteoarthritis, etc. can cause the outcome to not be as good.

    Also, would you recommend others to have the surgery? Has it helped you? Were you able to really return to work full-time? I know none of us are doctors, however, I've also learned that experiences of others can be the greatest teachers.

    Thanks so much and I hope you are well,

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