Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Lumbar Herniation and Surgery

Hi everyone,
I'm new and I was hoping that it didn't have to come to this; however, I'm alone and unsure of what to do about my situation. First let me start with the basic info that needs to be told in order for you to understand what I'm going through.

Okay I'm from Louisiana, I live in Mississippi now but I moved to OH in December of 2010 to be closer to my dad and in June of 2011 I started having some very uncomfortable (at first) back pain with right leg sciatica. It gradually became worse as the days went by. I finally went to the chiropractor first and that didn't help, it made it worse. Then I went to the ER and the did an XRAY and determined I had sciatica. They gave me an anti-inflammatory and a pain pill and sent me on my way. A week and a half later, I had to go back. This time the sharp, shooting, and burning pain going down my right leg to my foot was so bad that I couldn't even put pants on or walk well and doing anything hurt. This visit they did a CT scan and the doctor determined I had Degenerative Disc Disease. He referred me to a neurosurgeon, who accepted me as a new patient and in 1 week I had an MRI approved by my insurance and scheduled. It was scary to me to be stuck in a tiny loud tube, but I got over it. My neurosurgeon called me in his office a few days later to have the results read. He showed me a severe
L5/S1 herniation that was actually pushing against my spine. L5 was the worst one being of the most concern to my dr. He scheduled me for and L5 Laminectomy Discectomy to be done on July 19, 2011.

Skipping some time I moved back to the south 3 months after my surgery because I hated ohio and my leg pain was gone; however, I had bad back pain still. So, I found a doctor to do a follow up but it took 2 months for me to get in to see him. I told him my history I haven't had any trauma or injury. He wrote me a prescription for narcotics and referred me to an anesthesiologist to start doing epidural injections and nerve root block injections. Those did not work. I had another MRI and it showed L4,L5,S1 with spinal stenosis. When the procedures failed he then referred me to another neurosurgeon, this is in southern Mississippi. He read my MRI and told me that I need another surgery. At this point in time my legs were going numb in any position, I felt like I couldn't do anything physical, so he scheduled my surgery for July 11, 2012 only 8 days before my year mark from my last surgery. He told me that he was going to open my spine up to alleviate the stenosis and he was going to fix all 3 discs. When I woke up he had only done the stenosis procedure and 1 disc. It is now 4 months later and I am having such terrible LEFT leg pain that it keeps me up at night, wakes me up during sleep, makes me cry from intense discomfort (understatement) I have no idea what to do. The pain is a shooting sharp burning pain that really kills me when my knee is bent like if I were to pull it to my chest. I can't take this anymore and I have no idea what to do. I'm on opioids 10mg percocet for pain and its barely helping. I've tried heating pads, ice, icy hot, bathing whatever you can think of. I am a 23 year old female. Oh and in between the time from 1st surgery to 2nd one I lost 30 lbs. Please please help


  • Hi. Good article about this on this website - you probably have read it. Many here have experienced surgery failures.

    Positives, 1) you seem to have insurance, 2) you have lost weight, well done, 3) you are young and more likely to recover quicker, 4) you are on pain medication and hopefully have a relationship with the doctor, 5) you are experienced in lumbar health technology.

    Potential negatives, 1) you don't sound happy with your neurosurgeon, 2) you haven't indicated that you have developed good core muscle strength. (Apologies, perceptions not criticisms.) :)

    Suggestions, Discuss your current pain with your prescribing doctor, discuss nerve pain medications like Lyrica etc and also anti-inflamatories, get another MRI and updated opinion from your surgeon and request referral to other surgeons (from another practise) for second (or more) opinions. Good surgeons will welcome other opinions.

    Being in pain is bad, but it can be worse. A bad decision can make it worse. Just read other posts about worse outcomes. This site, forum and the members here can help you with generic support and share their knowledge. Some may be able to give you advice on who they found good as surgeons in your location, (do the detailed discussion in a private message of course). Good luck. Hope this helps.
  • you should make sure the surgeon you are seeing is a board certified spinal surgeon and not just a regular orthro or nuero surgeon. You want a doctor who basically only works on spines.

    Sounds like you also need to tell your pain doctor that what medicine your on isn't working well.

    Why didn't the surgeon fix all the discs he said he was going to. You said he was going to work on 3 but only did 1 if I'm correct. Are these the discs that are still giving you problems or is something else going on?

    Sounds like once you have found a certified surgeon, that you like, that you need to start fresh and see what the doctor tells you. You are pretty young to be having these kinds of issues.

    Good luck
  • Davefusion- I appreciate your post and no criticism was taken. It has been 3 months since I posted and things are even worse. I have an appointment with my pain management doctor, who is the greatest doctor I have ever met to discuss with him the new symptoms that I am experiencing. I am also going to see if a post-op MRI is a option (which I'm sure it is). I will also let him know that the pain medications aren't working anymore either. I've been prescribed anti-inflammatories, arthritis medication, muscle relaxers, steroids (metabolic) and nothing alleviates any pain. I have dropped another 28 pounds and now the pain is in both thighs, hips, legs and this is a burning, numb constant pain. The back pain that I am experiencing is sharp and shooting. My legs still fall asleep even after 10 minutes in the car. I have been doing some cardio (I.e. the treadmill, elliptical, bike and the medicine ball not sure if that's core or not though). My job doesn't help any either because I work in retail on my feet for 8 hours a day. Your perceptions are correct that I do have insurance and I thought that my age would be working in my favor but 2 back surgeries later, I'm in worse pain than ever. I would like to find a new neurosurgeon and soon.
    Bkins I'm not sure why my neurosurgeon only fixed one because he informed me that there were 3 defective discs. I was shocked when I came out of recovery and he only treated one. I'm not sure if the other 2 are the cause or if this pain is caused from something unknown. When we were discussing the course of treatment I told him to do everything he could for me since I would already be open on the table because I didn't want to keep going through this. He assured me that he would and ultimately he did the opposite. Hopefully, when I go see my pain management doctor the first week of February we can come up with something else. Look forward to hearing more input from you both and thank you for taking the time to reply.
    Patiently waiting,
Sign In or Register to comment.