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

Pain after Microdiscectomy

Hi everyone,

I am a new member. I recently had a microdiscectomy on my L5 S1 on 11/20/12 and I still have the burning pain in my leg when I sit. I also have numbness and weakness in my left food ( I did not have this before the surgery). I talked with my Dr. and he said that this was due to the nerves acting up due to the surgery and that it will get less inflamed as time passes. Has anyone else have this happen? I'm worried that the surgery did not work. I cannot deal with it if it didn't. This was my last option because ESI and PT did not work. I'm losing hope. Maybe if someone had it happen to them and it resolved over time, then this would give me some hope.

C Lai


  • Welcome to the lovely world of spinal surgery and specifically, Spine Health.

    Firstly, please realise that it very early days, only 9 days since surgery.

    There are lots of stories like yours here and members that have been there and done that. Please use the search function to search using appropriate keyword like microdiscectomy or nerve, etc, to read these stories. You will learn heaps.

    Please remember that none here (or at least not many) are doctors so what we say is based on what's happened to us or we have picked on along the journey.

    It is very common that after your type surgery that the nerve is 'irritated' and displays numbness and tingling / burning. It can take a few weeks or up to 3 mths for normal regeneration but occasionally up to 2 years. This type of regeneration pain is 'healing pain'. However, it is not normal to have 'ongoing' nerve damage after the op. It happens, and did to me. I had partial foot drop, muscle atrophy and ongoing nerve damage. (Click on my name for the story if interested)

    Please explain your pain in more detail. What medication are you on? Are you walking? Have you got an exercise plan? Are you strengthening your core? It is important to keep the internal scar tissue moving so it doesn't become stiff and hard.

    Don't despair, as this may only be the normal post surgery nerve healing.
  • Hello. I had nearly the same thing happen after my surgery. The sciatic nerve pain changed locations (further down the thigh) and I still have numbness in my right foot/toes. I had new bone pain post-surgery as well. Dave is right. Nerves take their own time to heal. My pain started getting better about 2 weeks after surgery with time and better pain meds. Call your surgeon's office and bug them if you are in uncontrollable pain. I iced down a lot at home post-surgery, changed position, and walked around. Don't despair-it usually does get better with time. I am 8 weeks out and drove the car today and can sit about 20 minutes at a time. Good luck with your recovery.

    L5S1Large extruded disc herniation strangling nerve root with arthritis/mild stenosis. Foot drop and nerve damage getting better. Discectomy and laminectomy 10/3/2012
  • I just had micro D on Saturday Dec 15, 2012. Prior to getting cut I had severe pain in left butt cheek and leg left. Lots of meds got rid of pain but my left side was pretty numb and my muscles were getting weak as I was dragging my left leg. It's now Monday morning. I still have a lot of the numbness. I feel as though I have more control of the leg though and I'm not dragging it. I was hoping the numbness would go away quicker based on the impression my surgeon gave me. I've not had any real pain and I'm only taking a minimal amount of meds. My herniated area was 10mm. What was it for the rest of you? Thanks and best healing wishes for all.
  • nkaynnkay Posts: 105
    edited 01/01/2013 - 1:30 PM
    7.5 months post micro here on the L5-S1.. I still have issues. Im playing the waiting game too.
  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 01/01/2013 - 2:55 PM
    Jbspine; how is the leg dragging going? Better now?

    Nkay; are you improving?

    Humanshishkabob; haven't heard from you lately. How's things?
  • Most of you are familiar with me. I am now 4 months post-op L5S1 MicroD. Well things had been goin well and probably still are, but the holidays have sent the roller coaster on a bit of a down. Christmas travel followed by a 3 day work week in which I did some physical things I hadnt done in awhile. Only 1 PT session and some housework over new years weekend. Now today My foot & leg are tingly and kinda numb. Dealt with it a few diferent times in my recovery, hope that it is short lived. I guess we will see. Recovery is definetley not complete yet.

    Good Luck all!!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Ben, you promised not to operate those lathes and millers! And I thought you was all fixed up.

    Well, fingers crossed that its just a small hiccup. :)

    Take care.
  • Had to try, it actually went well. Or it seemed. Gotta get there eventually, PT even suggested giving it a try. Oh well not yet I guess.. Back to the desk!

    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • @Dave Fusion.. I put up a post in the recovery from surgery page, maybe you have some answers? I'm kind of stuck. I get shooting pains in my opposite foot from time to time now. Yes, I can function but I def have some lingering nerve issues.
  • I had a Microdiscetomy on my l4 that was compressing my Syatic nerve going into my left leg. The surgeon told me I would only hurt for a couple of days and didnt even give me pain meds. When I came home crying my husband called and got me meds. I am in so much pain I have almost went to the er a couple of times. I can barely move, turn over, walk. Im in excruciating pain. I had it done Monday today is Friday. I go in this morning for a wound check and im gonna have a miserable time getting there because of the pain. Can somebody please tell me what I should do? This pain is the worst ive been in. Please help me. Thank you.
  • Get some vicadin... 10 mgs. That seems to be takin care of my pain. My surgery was on 7/12.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Kiichi3KKiichi3 Posts: 147
    edited 07/16/2013 - 12:54 PM
    I also had pain a few days after surgery. Had mine on a Friday and felt pretty good till about the following Tuesday. I also was given Vicodin. That seemed to really help. My pain was worse at night and it appeared to be almost like throbbing muscle spasms. I called and was given Flexeril (muscle relaxer) also and that helped me be able to sleep.
    It sure does take some healing time for the nerves. It will be 4 weeks on Friday for me. I am now only taking 1 Vicodin in the morning and 800 mg ibuprofen throughout the day.
    Hang in there. From everything I read on here it will surely get better.
    Micro-D June 21,2013
    Micro-D August 30,2013
    L4-L5 Fusion October 1,2013
  • Hi all haven't been on for a while but became disillusioned with it all as I've been in alot of pain since the op and still in lot of pain now.
    I started back at work this week on a phased return, I did mon, weds and fri, 12-4. It was hell everyday I'm fit for nothing when I get home and dreading next week as they expect 5 days @ 12-4 and I know it is just impossible as my sleep is very disturbed and has been for weeks! Anyone in similar situ or any advice would be most welcome I don't know what else to do but it seems like I will never get my life back
  • Well, had my follow up to the microdiscectomy I had done on L3-L4 on June 21st. I still continue to have left leg pain even after 5 weeks. My surgeon is having me get another MRI done. He wants to check to see if any other disc fragments have broken off since my surgery pressing on the nerve. I will hopefully have that done within the next few days. I PRAY it doesn't show anything or he will most likely have to go back in to remove them.
    I asked him if it comes back clear, what does that mean? Does that mean this pain I'm feeling is permanent? He told me it will just take some more time. I had a hole in my disc with a lot of fragments that he removed so it can take awhile to heal.
    I'm so scared that the MRI is going to show something that will force another surgery but I'm going to stay positive and believe that my nerves are just taking a little longer to heal.
    Positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated!
    Micro-D June 21,2013
    Micro-D August 30,2013
    L4-L5 Fusion October 1,2013
  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 07/29/2013 - 5:35 PM
    Thinking positive.....let us kow!
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • MRI was done this week. Now I sit and wait until Monday to find out the results. Pray it comes back clear. My leg pain is still there but a little better than a few weeks ago. It's strange. I have pain in my buttocks, a tiny little bit in the back of my thigh and a little on the outside of my calf that goes down to my ankle. It almost feels like muscle cramps. I'm wondering if it's also coming from inactivity all that time. Has anyone else experienced this so long after microdiscectomy surgery (it's been 6 weeks). I don't take anything except 800 mg ibuprofen a few times a day.
    Micro-D June 21,2013
    Micro-D August 30,2013
    L4-L5 Fusion October 1,2013
  • Hi Kiichi3, Im 3weeks post op. Im still having numbness in my big tie and tingling in my foot. No buttox or calf pain. I did have some hip pain but think its from being under used the past 6 weeks. I would say that I have overall general weakness in my leg. Im also taking 600mg ibuprofin in the day, but nights get painful in my lower back so I take Vicadin in the evening.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Well, I just got off the phone with my doctor's office. Unfortunately the MRI shows that my l4-l5 has re-herniated. I am so upset. I will be meeting with the doctor next Monday to go over everything and discuss another microdiscectomy. I don't want to have another surgery but she said that therapy/steroid shots/chiropractor may bring some relief but it will only bandaid the problem. I have been off work for 6 weeks already. If I schedule another surgery I will have to start this whole process all over again. I just want it to be over and feel better. Has anyone had to have a second micro and if so, what were the results?
    Micro-D June 21,2013
    Micro-D August 30,2013
    L4-L5 Fusion October 1,2013
  • Oh my gosh!!! I guess I realized this was a possibility, but figured it was rare. Guess not. I hear ya on not wanting another surgery!!! I cant imagine starting over again. let us know what you decide. So sorr y to hear this. :(
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • I am in a great deal of pain and on Tramdol, codeine and naproxen but still in agony. Bad sleep always interrupted and my pain is in my left butt cheek, around hip down leg and numbness of foot again. My surgery was on 17th April!
    I have made appt to see GP in hope I can go see my surgeon and have another MRI as I feel something is t right. We will see.
  • Have not been on in awhile. Hope everyone is as well as possible. Just passed 11 months post-op. I cannot tell you how many times I thought I reherniated. I even had a 2nd MRI somewhwere around 8 months. These nerves are crazy. I still have very mild pain now & again. But up through the 9-10 month mark I was still improving. Really even now in minute increments. So keep trying to get better in those early-mid months!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Hi there
    Although I feel for you it's also comforting to know that u r nor the only one with this problem.
    It hasn't been at all what I expected after the op and I'm in so much pain they have doubled my Tramadol so I feel like I rewound several weeks. They are making me quite dozy but are helping with the pain.
    Keep moving around and doing my excercises etc, GP said if still like on 23/8 when I go back he is gonna contact surgeon.
  • Well I'm counting the day till I see the doc again! A wk to go now so maybe I will be a bit closer to establishing why it hurts so much
  • Firstly if like to thank everyone on this forum got post your experiences .. I have had a microdiscetomy 5 weeks ago. Previous to this I had two buldging discs and siatica that I was diagnosed with at the age 17, I had not experienced any accidents to cause it, however I am a tall woman. I am now 25 and had my micro 10 days after my 25th. It was not a planned operation, it was an emergency. One night I had gotten home and could not get out of my car from that night on my pain got worse and did not subside not did any of the fun medication help! After two weeks of screaming and being in endless pain I had a few two days were I could move to the door and back (at snail pace) and managed to get in the car and a wheelchair to get An MRI. A day after the MRI, which was a Friday, my surgeon had called saying he could see why I would be in such excruciating pain. He told me he recommends a microdiscetomy and to have the weekend to do some research and see whether Id improve. You guessed it I didn't improve at all.. And thankful of this forum I didn't thin twice about getting the micro done, I was desperate. Straight after my operation in recovery I opened my eyes and my pain was thankfully gone! I cried out of happiness. My weeks after the micro were fantastic I was pain free an even though I was limited in movements I could walk within the week and day after the operation!!! After 5 days in hospital I was out and had not taken not even one pain killer since stepping out of the doors of the hospital. I seemed to be recovering really well, walks and all however about a week ago I started experiencing what it seems like a bruised coccyx .. Three days ago my right leg started shaking when standing for more than 2 mins and some throbbing has come back. I am worried that I might have injured myself or from what I have read a healing process? Also I have been lying down a lot this past week as I'm trying to finish off uni for the year as I was supposed to finish a month or so ago.. I could just be stiff I hope this is the case!! Tonight is the first time in 5 weeks that I have taken medication. I took a oxynorm and burfen and the pain jas subsided drastically I am using this as a positive sign as previously they would not work at all.. Trying to be positive about it all!! Having back pain an surgery can definitely take a toll on your mental state but know you are not alone! Anyone else have had the same issue after 5 weeks? I hope I have not herniated a disc again .. Sorry a part of my disc had broken completely off an etched itself in a nerve..
  • I am still taking pain meds. just wondered what the time frame was on pain meds. Doctor has ok'd 7 weeks short term disability, but I don't think that will be long enough because I sit 10 hours and have a phone job.
  • nicknova1990nnicknova1990 Posts: 1
    edited 07/11/2015 - 3:57 PM
    Hi everyone. I'm new to forum posting so I hope I'm doing this correct. So I just underwent the procedure on 3/31/15 so I'm only 4 days into my recovery. I haven't had as much pain as many other posters have, in fact with the exception of today I really only had stiffness in my lower back after the op. The doctors prescribed me norco 10's for the pain and I was taking them very liberally just because it tends to mess with my liver levels. Today however I've been experiencing pain in my left leg similar to what I felt before the procedure and it's been worrisome. I know it's probably ridiculous to be so concerned so early into recovery, but even just the thought if backsliding into the pain I had before is terrifying. Yesterday I had been out walking like my surgeon instructed and I was feeling really good. I then got the bright idea that I was well enough for an outing with my mother to walmart for Easter stuff. After being in the store for awhile my back started to feel like it was going numb on the sides of my incision, then felt like it might explode. I finally had to go wait for her in the car. Since then my leg has been extremely sore. I keep hoping that I just overdid it and that I caused some extra swelling or something. Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so did the pain go away again? I'm just hoping that I can share in everyone's experiences so I know what's to come as I take the long road to recovery.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click link for helpful information!
  • wifeonfirewwifeonfire Posts: 1
    edited 08/30/2015 - 11:25 AM
    Hi all, I'm recovering from L5/S1 Microdiscectomy and my pain almost is worst than before I went under. I am having pain down my right leg (front & back) just as before but now my foot is numb and I can hardly bare any pressure on my right hip/sacrum region without crying out in agony. I've had a couple other surgeries that were very painful but they were on my neck and nothing compared to this. Any advice on what is normal and what should be cause for concern. Pain medication isn't touching this pain :(
    Also, thought I was gonna die using the bathroom. Is this something anyone else can relate to?! Thanks in advance.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
  • jcompstonjjcompston Posts: 1
    edited 07/11/2015 - 3:59 PM
    I am recovering from having a microdiscectomy on May 6, 2015. I am two months out from surgery. A couple weeks ago I had a bad week, could barely walk. Day by day it got better. We spent all last week at our camper at the campgrounds and I woke up Sunday morning hurting bad. It isn't my leg (which is still numb, so is my foot). It is lower back above my buttocks. It is a little better each day but I am back to working 8 hour days and I just feel like crying every day. It throbs and sharp pains will shoot thru my back. Walking is extremely painful because my back just hurts so much. I get up every half hour and walk around some but it is still hurting so bad. I have oxycodone & muscle relaxers still, but this is my second batch and I'm running low. I feel like if I ask for more my doctor will think I am some kinda drug addict. But should I be in this much pain still?
    Thanks for any advice!!

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click link for helpful information!
  • aakashthukralaaakashthukral Posts: 1
    edited 08/30/2015 - 11:23 AM
    Hello everyone i am new to this website i would like to share my problem that i was having the pain in my right leg and after 1 month i go for a surgery on 26 August 2015 and microdiscectomy surgery successful but now i am having still pain in left leg my neurosurgon said this pain is due to nerves swelling whre you have the stiches after 10 days it will be fine. Please anyone let me know is anyone having same problem.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
    New Delhi, India
  • Hi friends,
    I had my microdiskectomy a week ago. I had severe pain for a month and when I had become immobile I had to under go surgery. After surgery I do nit have much pain so far. I would like to know if there are any DOs and DON'T s to be followed to make sure it doesn't reoccur. Pls Help 
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.