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tison1200ttison1200 Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone I'm a 28 year old male who just had a diskectomy and laminektomy (sp?) for a hernitated L5-S1 and pretty severe stenosis.

I just wanted to get your comments on something that has me fairly worried.

Prior to my opperation most of my pain was lower back and my left leg (tingling and weekness) After surgery my sciatica pain was gone in both legs but I had severe back pain and it was very hard for me to get out of bed at the hospital to use the bathroom and do PT. (I will get this out there now I'm 6'4" and 300lbs but when my Dr guessed my weight he thought I was closer to 250lbs{if that means much})

I was on that pain pump administared drugs at that time and even that didnt seem to take the edge off the lower back pain much, but reguardless I forced myself through the pain was was able to get up and use the restroom a couple times that evening post surgery.

The next morning (a week ago today) I had my first PT session in the hospital We went through some minor leg stretches and some core strengthing for the abs and I got up took a walk around the nurses station and climbed a few stairs. I still had the bad back pain but my legs felt awesome!!.

My afternoon PT session came in and again we went through the stretches etc and I managed to get out of bed again to take a walk. I made it about 30 feet and all of a sudden my whole right leg shot in that burning sciatica pain. I had never had sciatica like this before. I was close to hitting the floor and was devistated that I had reinjured my disc or something like that.

The nurse was notified and my surgeon ordered an ultrasound of my leg to make sure it was not a blood clot (which it wasnt) So the answer I got was its probably just swelling.

Meenwhile alot of the sciatica pain has died down but is still there and pretty much my whole right foot is numb and tingling. I was told when I was released from the hospital that if I still had the symptoms to call 2 days ahead of my 1 week checkup appt and get another MRI so they could go over it with me.

I'm sorry this ended up rather long and boring but I wanted to get as many details into it as I could. But my gut feeling is that I may have reinjured that disc from struggling to get out of bed with no help. I'm not a Dr. but I would think that if my pain was associated with normal swelling that the sciatica would have gradually kicked in and not just suddenly/violently struck?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?



  • Welcome to spine health! You are very early out from surgery, but I understand the frustrations that recovery can bring, as I am three weeks out.

    Great that your sciatica that you had pre op disappeared after surgery. Is this new pain the same or different than before surgery?

    I know that nerves do take a long time to heal and depends on how bad the impingement was and for how long it was there among other things. How long were you suffering before?

    Hopefully if you continue to have trouble, your surgeon will order more tests.

    How are you making out at home? Walking often with breaks in between? Please be careful of BLT restrictions. Do you have a grabber?

    Wishing you all the best. Hope things settle down quickly for you and you have a great recovery.

    >: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
  • My fiance went and bought the whole back surgery kit for me while I was in the hospital. 24 bucks and I got a nice grabber, extended shoe horn, extended bath spunge and sock gig.

    My main concern is that I have never had much sciatica in my right leg and never foot numbness. pretty much all my symptoms prior to surgery were in my left butt,leg and foot.

    So when I was up and walking with the Physical Therapist in the hospital the next day and had the EXTREME sciatica down my right leg it really freaked me out!. It's not pain that gradually came on either it was very sudden (built up in 5-10 seconds) while I was walking.

    I dont think I mentioned this in my first post but I was also diagnosed with black disc in the L5-S1. I saw 3 surgeons for different opinions. The first wanted to do a fusion because of my lifestyle and the fact that he said my disc was for lack of a better word "shot" and that chances are I would re-herniate it and need more surgery.

    The two other surgeons both thought I was too young for a fusion and even if I had one I would most likely have problems in the spine right above the fusion needing more surgery in the futre.

    So needless to say I went the less invasive route and now I'm scared that I screwed something up already.
  • When I first started my journey I saw multiple surgeons as well for opinions. The opinions given to me were similar to yours. I was told everything from micro d to fusion. It was frustrating that there was such a wide range of opinions, but I finally went with the least invasive as well.

    Unfortunately, in my case it did not work out for me, and seven months later I just had an artificial disc replacement. In my case as soon as I woke up from my first surgery I had a bad feeling, never had any relief, and was actually worse than before.I do not regret trying the least invasive first.

    It is natural to worry about reherniating, but healing does take a long time. Make sure to do everything right recovery wise (sound like you have a great kit to help) Walk often, stay ahead of pain with meds, and rest. Give it time,then if you don't feel right, tell your surgeon, and have him look into things. Many patients feel there is something wrong and worry, but,a lot of the time, it just takes time.

    >: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
  • Well I had my 1 week post-op appointment today with my surgeons nurse. I told her how things were going and about my new pain in my right leg etc. She got ahold of the surgeon right away and he ordered another MRI ASAP. So this afternoon I spent an hour getting another MRI with contrast. There was 4-5 occasions where I was in so much sciatica pain during the MRI that I almost pressed the emergency stop bulb that they give you to squeeze. By the time I had gotten done I was in a cold sweat. (this was after taking my morning meds which include oxycontin-20mg and 2 Percecets and 300mg of Gabapentin.)

    I should find out tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning if my pain is due to swelling or something more serious. I will let everyone know when I find out.

  • Welcome to Spine-Health Zeb. ouch has already given you some good information, and I haven't had spine surgery, but wanted to welcome you aboard. I'm hoping too, that this is all a part of the healing process and that you are feeling better very soon. As ouch mentioned though, sometimes time is all you need... here is to hoping this is one of those times!!

    Get well soon :)))
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