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Recovery and Frustration

For 7 years, I tried to conservatively treat my herniated disc that caused me butt pain, calf numbness, and atrophy in my leg. I tried 2 EPidurals, chiropractic, PT, steroids...you name it.

Finally, late last year, I had an MRI, which showed a 5mm, far lateral "extrusion" pressing on the nerve. 3 weeks ago, I had a microD. The operation went great, and I noticed the leg and butt pain go away immediately. During my recovery (which has also been easy), I've been walking and working on strengthening my core. I was off the narcotics after 3 days. The first few days were hard to sit for longer than 10 minutes, but that has gotten better.

What hasn't gotten better is the pain in my butt. I know they say it takes a long time for the nerve to heal, especially after having been pinched for so long, but I am wondering if I'm one of the failed surgery guys or if I - egads! - I reherniated.

When the nurse checked my incision after week 2, she said it was way to early. I'm seeing the surgeon again next week, but here's my question to the great Internet spine web: How many of you have experienced the same thing and what helped? Did anyone have the same symptoms (almost identical to prior) and later had them resolve? What about Neurontin? Turmeric?

Many thanks.
02/13 L4-L5 endoscopic microdiscectomy.


  • What was the level of pain &/or numbness in your butt, your upper leg, your lower leg/calf, and your foot prior to surgery and now?

    Has the level of pain and numbness subsided at all &/or started to "un-radiate" back up your leg... i.e. your foot, and calf a lot, your upper leg a bit, your butt not at all, etc..?

    Give me a little more info and I'll reply back with my experience that sounds, from the little I know right know, similar.

  • Sorry for your pain but I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! This is my first time on here, too. had my first discectomy (l5s1) in 2002. I was pretty good for 10 years. I injured it again in January 2012 and gradually the pain continued to get worse. In July 2012 I had another discectomy on the same disc. For the first 2-3 weeks I had some relief except for the usual post op pain. During the 3rd week my leg pain came back and was worse than before surgery. I was sent to PT for about a month with no relief. (He was scared to do much bc of the leg pain.) I had another MRI at 2 months post op and my neuro dr sd everything looked fine, there was nothing he could do for me surgically, and released me to a pain management dr. PM dr said at the 3 month mark, I should be healed and that was as good as it was going to get from that surgery. PM then tried nerve block injection with 0% relief and his opinion is a spinal stimulator or a spinal fusion. He wants me to see an ortho dr and get his opinion. I've had a hard time finding a dr to see me. They tell me I have to wait 1-2 years post op before they will see me. Meanwhile, PM dr just gives me pain meds. (They take the edge off but the pain never goes away. Stays between a 6-8 constantly) I did find an ortho who agreed to see me and I'm hoping to find some relief with him. I do have back pain (this was expected and that I can deal with) My issue is with the constant leg pain that starts in my back and goes all the way to my toes. My butt/hip, knee, and calf muscle is the worst. Like you said it feels like burning/being stabbed with a knife. Soo aggravating! All I want is to do normal things again! It's hard to make any plans bc I never know how I'm going to feel that day. I'm only 35 and this is not how I want to spend the rest of my life! I just keep reminding myself that lots of people have it a lot worse and I should be glad for how I am. Sometimes it's really hard because I feel like no one understands. It has to get better at some point, right?! I would love to know if anyone else has had these issues and found relief!!
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