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Post microdisectomy

Amerna8terAAmerna8ter Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi all, I'm new here and hopefully looking for some advice/something to help feel like there's light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm post microdisectomy/laminectomy following a L5/S1 prolapse. I initially tried all the pain relief and anti inflammatories followed by lyricia which all had no effect. I was then given a nerve root block, which reduced pain by 40-50% but pain still effecting my life and work. I finally bit the bullet and had microdisectomy and laminectomy 5 weeks ago.

For the first 4-5 days I was pretty pain free I.e no sciatica other than general surgery pain. Then day 5 I could slowly start to feel the pain coming back to a point now 5 week post opp it's actually worse than before opp and pretty much back to its worst.

Neuro said he thinks just inflamed nerve from surgery?? I'm starting to think the worst, I'm back on all meds again and spending my days shivering with ice packs strapped to my back and feeling very depressed, pain now as bad as ever.

Any one out there with similar story that ended well.

Kind regards



  • Hi A8

    I followed much the same path as you prior to having a microdisectomy for L5/S1 herniation.

    The first few weeks was fairly uncomfortable, remained on paid meds for nearly 3 weeks.

    I found it as much of a mental test as it was physical as I was thinking about any pain that I felt all day.. a lot of time staring at the ceiling!

    At around the 4 to 5 week mark I started having days where I would wake up and notice a difference in my mobility and pain levels- I returned to work at the 5 week mark but was still limited to around 15-20minutes sitting.

    Day by day after around 5 weeks i've made noticeable improvement- I think this is due to consistent physio (PT) and following the exercises and stretches that've been given. It's now 8 weeks since the op and i've now gone back to the gym doing cardio and basic weights (machine). Physio has requested though that I hold off running as it's not ideal given the jarring that happens on your spine when you run.

    I guess to try and help with your situation- yes, there is light of the end of the tunnel and, with all the reading of forums, stories that i've done after my op, recovery time really does seem to be an indivudual thing.

    My Neuero mentioned to me in my post-op that if the progress seemed to plateau, or pain increased after the 4-6 week mark, it may be prudent to get another MRI to ensure there hasnt been a re-herniation of the disc etc. The neuro also said that, depending on how badly the nerve was beaten up from the bulge or herniation, that will dictate how long the nerve takes to recover- which, from what i've heard can be some time given how slowly nerves repair themselves.

    Might be worth mentioning to your neuro at your next consult?

    Hope it starts getting better soon.
  • Thanks matt.

    Pleased to hear your well on way to recovery.
    I'm on week 5 and I'm slowly getting worse. Pretty much back to where I started over a year ago which makes me very depressed. Did you ever get worse before you got better?.
    Neuro said they wouldn't rescan till the 3 month mark as it wouldn't really show anything other than swelling etc. I'm getting booked in for another nerve root block but this is the UK NHS and nothing gets done quickly so it may be a while.
    I'm desperate to get back to work but I do a manual job so I've no chance really.
    I'm so worried that something is not right i.e re prolapsed.
    I can't see this being a quick recovery.

  • Im sorry to hear that - the recovery process isn't much fun and, your situation I can imagine would be frustrating.
    If it's any consolation- yes the lack of mobility and the nerve pain that I had from weeks 1-3 didnt improve at all- in fact some of the nerve pain I had around week 3 or so was worse- however after that it did periodically get better.

    Hope you get some good news soon!
  • I had my first microdiscectomy (L4-L5) in Sept. 2010. It went well and other than incision pain I had no problems. I had an easy 4 week recovery and went back to normal. The only discomfort I had was when I joined a gym (nearly 10 months post op) On occasion I had lower back pain/tight muscles, but nothing big. I just backed off a little.
    I am 5 weeks post op my second microdiscectomy (L5-S1) and just saw my neurosurgeon this week. He put me on 4 Aleve a day to help with inflammation. He also says that's the reason for my symptoms. I will see him again in 3 months. My recovery is not going as well. I'm assuming this is because my herniation was HUGE and blew out the entire back of my disc. I have been experiencing lower back pain that comes and goes. My back muscles are so tight it is very unpleasant. I also have dull nerve pain in my right leg and left leg and some muscle twitching in my right leg. I still have numbness from the surgery too. I am very concerned about my long term prognosis. I think that inflammation causes symptoms to come back and even get worse. My surgeon said inflammation generally goes away at 8 weeks so we will see. I'll keep you updated on my progress. Maybe one of us will have a good ending and get some relief!
    22 year old. Herniated L4-L5 and L5-S1 in December of 2008 in horse riding fall. All non-surgical methods failed. L4-L5 micro discectomy in Sept. 2010. Further herniation of L5-S1 disc in Nov. 2011 and had L5-S1 micro discectomy March 2012.
  • I just joined. Have been thinking I might not be doing ok. But after reading the posts, I think I am. Had surgery April 11 2012. Right leg pain was gone, but woke up with some left leg numbness and minor pain that I had never had. I have intermittent pain/tingling in both legs at times. BUT, the left leg is getting to be less of an issue. Also, have some minor lower back pain, which I think may be muscle spasms. With the leg issues, unlike pre op, (and pre cortisone shot, which I had 3 weeks before surgery, and which virtually ended my pain, but did not eliminate the ruptured disc), the MORE I do the better I feel. Have been trying not to take anything, but have decided I may need to take ibeuprophen to help with possible inflammation. Got off the dope about 2 weeks out, and even then, was only taking it as needed. Just using ibeuprophen now. Have had some sharp back pains at times, when trying to squat/ bend, has have other posters, and thought I was done for, but they quickly go away. I can say I am having more good days than bad. Again, seems the more I do. The better I feel. Unlike before, which was the opposite.
    As time as gone on, I have been walking like a madman, (4 or 5 miles daily), also doing leg kicking exercises in the pool, when warm enough. Starting to lift light weights while setting in a chair. I have to pass a pretty intense "return to work" assement, to get back to work, and intend to do that somewhere about 6 1/2 weeks after surgery. I see Dr. the 25th, and hope to be released, but know from reading the posts, that it will take quite awhile before I'm 100%. The forum has been very helpful, as they just sent me home, mostly not knowing what to expect. One thing about it, one has plenty of time to research this stuff online!
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