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L5-S1 post surgery pain

Hamm05HHamm05 Posts: 1
edited 05/22/2013 - 9:18 PM in Lower Back Pain
I had l5-s1 surgery on Dec 20th 2012
I was on 3 X 40mgs of oxicontin + 10/325 of Percocet as needed for breakthrough pain. After the first month I was wiened off the oxicontin, very hard and quite miserable to say the least. In the first month there was no pain and by the end of the month I was walking a mile and a half every day. By the 3rd month I was lightly excercising( no bending or twisting at the waist) . I have been virtually pain free by this time. I was givin the green light to take on more activity. Vacuuming, general cleaning , yard work etc. still no bending or twisting at the waist. I start hiking a 2 1/2 mile loop 4-5 times a week. By the 4th month I started larger tasks: heavier yard work, light construction , and auto repairs. Isn't it funny that nothing breaks down when one is healthy, but as soon I get laid up or incapacitated the cars erupt w/ multiple problem. Anyway, now I'm 1 week shy of my 5th month post op and I'm doing some yard work and cleaning up outside and I'm struck with a few sharp pains. I stop relax, and wait patiently with an ice bag until medication time.Oh by the way , I was taking 80 mgs of oxicodone after I was taken off the Oxicontin . I waited a few hours, after my next fix, and proceeded to finish my yard work. No problems after that. Later that evening 11pm I felt a sharp pain at the surgery site. Still, no big deal I woke up the next morning and my back was in a deep dull pain. I didn't do much the next 2 days and the lightning pain struck my hamstrings. I call my NS. He put me on a methyl pal and it seemed to help. The following day my nerve pain had reached my calf and pain level from my low back to my calfs wer reaching a 5-6 level. I called the Dr. I was put on neurontin 3 X a day. Seemed to do nothing. All the while still taking 80 mg of Percocet . Now it's not killing the pain anymore. The following day the pain and nerve lightning had surrounded my lower extremeties and it felt like fire in my toes. It feels worse no then before I had the surgery. Oh shit!!!
My NS put me back on 2 X 40 mg if oxicontin and the pain has greatly reduced to a pain level of 1-2 . I know now why my friends that had had similar surgerys kept telling me I'm over doing it. It's a huge setback and a great lesson learned . Please don't make the mistakes that I have made!! You gotta take it slow even if all signs lead to GO!! I'm now going to be very careful from here out. I had a MRI yesterday and thank GOD I didn't screw anything up. I just have to give time, time and do as I'm told. " John Wayne has left the building"
For you younger folks, John Wayne was Bad Ass stud!! Old time tuff guy.
Good luck and God Bless you to a healthy recovery


  • ben_indianabben_indiana Posts: 288
    edited 05/23/2013 - 2:58 AM
    I am 8 months post-op and completely relate to your story. I notice that I still swell up all around the surgery site after too much activity. Thankfully I have never been in any kind of extreme pain since my surgery. But there have been many times when I thought for sure I screwed something up. I mowed the lawn for the 1st time last weekend, my yard is not large. After mowing the back the wife had to do the front cuz I was already done for. I could have pushed through and got it done, but I am sure I would have paid heavily for it.

    Basically there are some things I am probably never gonna do agian, which is kind of sad considering I am only 33. Digging holes, heavy lifting, and other " heavy" yardwork is probably out of the picture.

    I work in a machine shop, I can pretty much do what I want on the machines now as long as I am safe & smart about it. We also do some industrial maintenence. So wrenching on large bolts & crowbars & swinging large hammers was a common thing for me in the past. This is probably most of the reason my back got screwed up! I still have to do some of these things, but I have to be alot smarter about how I do it. Asking for help, using heat, leverage, or the crane to do things I used to to by hand is a must now. Swinging a sledge? Forget about it, not gonna happen, not worth the risk.

    Hopefully this post provides some good advice for others that you have to be smart even months after surgery and also that although we cause ourselves pain it does not necessarily mean reherniation.

    Quit being a tough guy!!

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • nyyjacknnyyjack Posts: 1
    edited 05/27/2013 - 2:56 AM
    I have been suffering from severe degenerative disk at L5-S1 for several years. I'm told that I have just about no disk left there. When the surgery was described to me (going through through the front, needing a vascular surgeon as well as the spinal surgeon) it made me very nervous. I'm 64 years old and I've been told that the vascular surgeon has to move blood vessels aside to clear a path for the spinal surgery. I don't know much (anything) about blood vessels but I know that the hoses in my car get hard and brittle over the years and moving them may make them break. Fortunately it is easy to get those hoses replaced. But I still have the same blood vessels that I was born with. I'm not afraid of surgery, in general, as I've had plenty. In the past 18 months alone I've had a 3 level fusion in my neck and an L2-3 lamenectomy. The same doctor did both operations and I trust him completely. But he has said to me more than once that he doesn't like to do spinal surgery for back pain as he only sees a 60-65% success rate. My neck surgery was a safety issue as I had severe stenosis and was at risk of paralysis in the event of a bad accident. The lamenectomy was for leg pain and was 100% successful. Now, just for good measure, I just found out I have a severely bulging disk at L2-3. I'm scheduled for epidural injections there and am hoping for the best but the pain doc has already said I may need a fusion there too (possibly do both fusions in the same surgery?).

    I'm sorry for this long message but I am looking for advice from anyone who has been through this. I've been on all kinds of pain meds, gotten addicted, am off now but am about to go on something else.

    Thanks for any advice/info anyone can offer.

  • Does sound like you have some nerve damage, which is expected with these surgeries. Give the neurotin time... it will not be an immediate relief but can make a HUGE difference with time. It took me taking it a few months before I saw a difference, but then I could tell a huge difference. Best of luck to you.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I felt good with no pain after my surgery know after a month and a half I'm feeling pain in my left buttock. I'm afraid my surgery didn't help. Is somebody related to these?
  • slaftermansslafterman Posts: 3
    edited 10/08/2015 - 1:12 AM
    Yep, same thing going on with me right now. New MRI thursday showed same herniation same location but bigger .. SO you should get a follow up MRI asap to save you from prolonged nerve damage..
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 10/08/2015 - 4:28 AM
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