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Post-microdisectomy Need input please!

a_jarvis13aa_jarvis13 Posts: 3
edited 01/08/2013 - 2:15 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, on December 28th I had a lumbar microdescetomy of L5-SI. Before surgery I had horrible leg pain and numbness down my left side. This continued for six months, and after all other treatments, my surgeon and I decided on surgery. I am twenty years old and otherwise very healthy. I am here to ask, is it somewhat normal to have extreme leg pain down BOTH legs as well as numbness after surgery? Will this go away? How long until this pain and numbness should subside? Any input would be greatly aprecciated!


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find other members going through the same condition as yourself. As far as the pain post-op during surgery they kind of piss the nerves off a lot. So the fact you have additional pain sounds normal to me. However when in doubt call your surgeon, that are not only there for the surgery but the post-op care as well. Keep in mind many times the nurses can answers questions as well, as they been working with the surgeons along time and know the questions coming in.

    Hopefully you are up and beginning to walk. When you think you have walked enough walk some more. Walking will not only help your back, but also keep your core body strength up. Once again welcome to spine-health.
  • I had a fusion on December 5th (L4/L5-L5/S1). Prior to surgery I had numbness in my lower right leg and worst of all, come to find out, I had bursitis in my hips (I think that was worse than my back pain, which was pretty severe!). Those symptoms would come and go before I had surgery and at the time of surgery neither of them were flaired up. Well after surgery my whole right leg and foot was numb (my calf still is) and the bursitis came back full blown but only in my left hip. Again the bursitis was probably more pain than anything! My doctor explained that yes, once they fix the problem in your back, all of your nerve go crazy and everything gets inflammed. He said it could go away immediately or it could take months for it to go away. Unfortunately it sounds like there is no time frame that they would consider it unusual because everyone is different. I'm 30 and everyday feel a little better although some days I have an off day and have more pain. So I don't think your having anything unusual, it's just your nerves figuring out and settling down with what just happened (the surgery).
    Hope you start to feel better soon, keep us updated!
  • NHbackNNHback Posts: 35
    edited 01/11/2013 - 5:33 AM
    I can only share my experience with you, but as Ive found out, everyone's recovery seems a little different. I had a bulging disc causing severe sciatic from Dec '11 - March -'12 that I got over temporarily with PT. Then in Aug '12 it came back and Sept '12 it got severe and an MRI revealed a full rupture/extrusion with a piece of disc impinging upon my left S1 nerve root. I had an L5-S1 mircoD on Oct 3. The severe, stabbing, burning, constant nerve pain down my entire left leg improved/dissappeared immediately, and the numbness in my left calf and ball of my left foot dissappeared in a few days post op. I had some nerve "pinching" when I started getting more active that lasted several weeks, but it was more of a short "pinch" or poke when I made certain motions.

    however, since my first episode in Dec '11 and even now at 3+ months post Op I have aches and tighness in both legs - particularly the calfs and hamstrings. Also - it is interesting what Megmac mentions because I have also has bursitis-like symptoms in both hips since surgery - particularly 'contact pain' at the hip/ball joint. These are more pronounced after a more-than-usual workout/PT/hike, etc The symptoms in the left leg are more pronounced, but they also exist in the right leg as well. Now, I do have another disc (L4/L5) that has slight bulging on the right side - but the slight symptoms in my right leg did arise after the rupture/extrusion and surgery of my L5/S1 disc on the left side.....???

    When I boil down all the I read here and from other resources, and all that my surgeon and physical therapists have told me I take it like this:

    The nerves that controls messages of pain and also control functionality, contraction, etc of muscles were damaged by the disc extrusion trapping it/them. Surgery further aggrevates and inflames the area which may also cause or aggrevate symptoms. Because of the slow rate of nerve healing/recovery, you can have varied symptoms that persist or come and go for months and months even after a successsful surgery.

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