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Torn Scar Tissue or Re-herniation

Hi Everyone,

It's been forever since I posted, but wanted to write to see if anyone may be able to help me with my current situation. I had a microdisectomy w/ laminectomy of my L5S1 in early October 2011. I did PT from November until May 2012 and other then the usual flareup for a few days, I have to say things seemed successful. Unfortunately, I did get lazy doing my PT at home and I think I messed things up this up almost two weeks ago. Not to be TMI, but was using the ladies room, went to clean up, and felt a tearing, stretching across my left side (left of the incision site). That night it felt a bit off and since then I have been having nerve pain in both legs (moreso at night) and a dull burning sensation at the incision site. I have tried the straight leg test at home, as well as running in place, jumping, etc. Other then a burning in the back once I stop these things (2 seconds at the most of the burning), it stops. It hurts mostly when I am sitting or lying down. I'm trying to replicate some of the things I knew bothered me during the first herniation. I'm wondering if there is anything that is left to herniate in that disc (my surgeon said he removed what was the equivalent of an adult male's thumb). I tried self treating with ibuprofren but finally called the doctor's office who started me on prednisone for 5 days and said if it still hurts after a week or two after the prednisone, call for an MRI. She did say most re-herniations occur within 3 months of the discectomy itself. I'm just a nervous wreck - I have a four year old daughter and I'd hate for her to have to go through Mommy having surgery again. Also, we are going to Disney in 4 weeks and again, I would hate to be in pain and ruin the experience. As you can see, I worry about everyone else. Has anyone else had an experience like this? Was it torn scar tissue? Was it a re-herniation? Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope everyone is doing well and recovering quickly and pain free.


  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 01/10/2013 - 7:02 AM
    Congrats on your progress thus far, sounds like your really doing well. Hopefully the medications will help things out for you. Have you considered going and getting a massage. You might try some massage therapy also to break down the scar tissue. It is not to late to keep up with the things you have learned. I would get to the walking though. Hopefully it was nothing more than some scar tissue at the incision sight.
  • I am only a few months post-L5S1 microD but I figured Id share some info that might be pertinent. One I was active again - say 4 weeks post-op and until very recently, I would experience what I would call a nerve "pinch" or "twinge" whenever I made certain movements, like bending my legs into a squat while keeping my back straight to pick something up. It would pinch as I bent down for just a second, and then again when I stood up. It was definitely nerve pain, but not a constant stabbing, burning, etc A 1-2 as opposed to a 8-9, and just for a second. And it was also very high up, limited to the buttock/sciatic notch area. I reported this to both my surgeon and pysical therapist. My straight leg raise test would also just produce a slight "pinch" in that once area when I started and stopped the motion - nothing down the leg, nothing sustained. None of them regard this as a possible reherniation, but as the nerve root still being sensitive, in this case to changes of pressure on it as I moved.
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