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Post op Microdiscectomy (Surgery 7/10/13)

I am still very new to this (posting on messageboards) but found it to be the only way I can truly vent, gather my thoughts, and find any advice whatsoever.

When I was a child I slipped down some stairs (playing tag) and took the impact on my back. As a child I shook it off and didn't seem to mean much since it merely knocked the wind out of me and didn't seem to cause any pain. As a young adult I received my first MRI (after a car accident) showing a herniated disc in my lower back (no pain and doc told me to keep continuing living my life normally). Shortly after I hiked in and out the Grand Canyon (I love hiking). I also had a side job landscaping. A couple years after the hike and me ending my side job ...I started noticing the pain. What seemed to really trigger it was my morning workouts (specifically situps) ...So I worked out less and less until no workout at all. Then the pain starting really getting to me while i was sleeping sometimes not being to sleep the whole night even after taking motrin and ambien (I also have insomnia). Since sleep was already rare for me I asked my doctor to refer me to a back specialist. After another MRI it showed a disc degeneration at L5S1. After several months of popping norco and an injection and no relief, I asked for the surgery.

9 days later after the surgery, no relief in site. Infact the pain is worse prior to surgery. I know what everybody is going to say, you have to give it a lot more time for a nerve to heal. I'm not a patient man so to say (lol) but this right now is more for me to document my thoughts and look for advice. Hope for the best but expect the worst is my motto so to say. I'm 32 and the pain medication does nothing for pain whether it be norco or percoset. I am also taking Neurontin at its lightest dose since it makes me feel brain dead half the time. I will be seeing my surgeon again on Tuesday ...I cant walk without pain right now.

Feel free to comment ...anything on recovery time, best case scenarios, worst case scenarios. I hear 3 months is the basic time they give you until they reorder another MRI if the pain persists. After I see my doctor I might post my MRI findings ...but I want to speak to him first.

Also If I'm on the wrong forum feel free to redirect me.
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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    Here are some you should take a look at:
    Read before you post
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    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:

    dilauro

    tamtam

    Liz

    Sandi

    JellyHall

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 07/19/2013 - 1:42 PM
    Welcome! I had a microdiscectomy for a herniated disc at L5-S1 7 day ago. I know how you feel with the disappointment!!! My leg pain returned just 3 days after surgery and again keeps me laying down 90% of the day. Sitting and walking are very short term things until the pain, burning and aching return. I just got off the phone with my brother who went thru this about 4 years ago. He said his leg pain was still there after surgery for about 2 weeks and gradually improved and finally went away. gave me some hope. Just stinks I know to go through all that and not see results.....yet. I'm hoping to start PT soon and get some strength back.

    Feel free to go on the July or June surgery buddy boards to read and or ask question. Pam
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • thnx for the heads up Liz...

    And much thanks for your info Pam, I can always use a tag team partner to fight the pain so to say. I also have numbness on my 2 baby toes of my left foot, so bizarre since I didn't have any numbness prior to surgery. This has me worried, but then again I've read so many stories that also says this can be normal. I feel like a junkie as well with all these meds I have in my possession and I know how difficult it is to get clean when it's all said and done (hope). So right now i'm taking my narcotic meds every other day ...lol it really is a test for me. I see the doc on tuesday and then he might schedule my pt then. I wish the very best for you Pam, lemme know how the pt works out for you =)
  • I see my doc on Tues too. Will come back on here and post what he has to say.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • So yeah I saw my surgeon and he encouraged me that everything was healing well. And from the looks of it I do have to agree, it's not as swollen and the scar is not as visible and red as it once was. I saw my physician as well and pretty much said the same thing. I did express how much pain i was still in and the numbness in my left leg/foot. He said this was all normal. I see my surgeon again on August 23, by then I'm hoping the pain will be barely noticeable. I mean I am noticing a significant drop in pain as time is moving ...but the sciatic pain is still clearly there at night and in the morning and at certain times when i sit and stand. I'm shocked that they never scheduled pt for me ...but then again I can get around the house just fine without my cane. I walk to the supermarket next door almost everyday and lately seeing a bunch of doctors and pharmacies I guess can almost count for my pt, plus I'm still young, maybe that played a roll. But nevertheless I'm going to be patient in the next month (going to have to be) .....anyone please feel free to comment. =)
  • I had a lamenectomy at L4-5 way back in 1994 and had severe sciatica before surgery which took a few months after surgery to calm along with a steroid pack. It has been 19 yrs and still have numbness in two last toes and up side of foot and around ankle bone on right foot. Used to it now and it does not bother me in anyway.

    Kelli
  • I too had a microdiscectomy (a far lateral left L5-S1) recently (on 7/18) and I still have significant leg pain (check some of my posts for further descriptions as I've described a lot in more detail). I was told 2 days ago at a followup visit that this continued pain happens more often with a far lateral (as opposed to a central procedure) because a lot more manipulation of the nerve root is needed for that route. Do you know if you had a central or lateral herniation? And they told me that usually by 4-5 weeks the radiculopathy improves. I actually do feel a bit better today than I had (keeping my fingers crossed) . They also had me increase my Neurontin to 300 mg 3 x/day and maybe this has helped (for me the Neurontin made me groggy in the beginning but after a day or 2 that effect wore off) so maybe it's worth giving that more of a try. I also have different pains and other sensations than I had before surgery including my toes burning at times (although my big toe is more affected). I also find that my discomfort is worse late at night and especially for the 1st few morning hours.

    I hope you find improvement so as I know this is all very frustrating.
  • My dr is not ordering PT for me until 8/12, 1 month post surgery. Im really ready for it now so I am going to call tomorrow and ask him to move it up a week. My herniation was far lateral (right). My leg pain is really nill, but still have toe numbness and general weakness of the whole leg.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Pamhoffca said:
    My dr is not ordering PT for me until 8/12, 1 month post surgery. Im really ready for it now so I am going to call tomorrow and ask him to move it up a week. My herniation was far lateral (right). My leg pain is really nill, but still have toe numbness and general weakness of the whole leg.
    When did your leg pain go away? And what kind of leg weakness do you have? Do you have foot drop?
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    have patience. I have been thru what you are all living now post op. Walking will be your best pt unitil your Dr. thinks you are ready. Why the rush? Healing takes time. My numbness took a couple months to subside.
    Good luck!
  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 08/05/2013 - 6:38 PM
    P, I would say my leg "pain" was gone last week. I still have hip pain but Im pretty sure its just tired and under used....it comes and goes. I did not have foot drop, but close to it. My foot was very weak before and still is post op, but not as weak. I remember before surgery, the dr asking me to walk heal to toe, like a DUI test. I looked like a drunk. Could not even do it. Now, I can, but its very slow and wobbly. My leg weakness is just a general strength issue. If I climb stairs, its obvious that that leg is weaker. It also has this gentle buzzing sensation, if that makes sense to anyone. Lik...I always notice that leg,...instead of it just being like the other leg.

    Botz, I hear ya.....just feel like Im sitting around doing nothing!!! Trying to grpet some simple projects planned, like catching up on the family scrapbooks, organizing coupons, picking out paint colors for the den, etc.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Pamhoffca said:
    P, I would say my leg "pain" was gone last week. I still have hip pain but Im pretty sure its just tired and under used....it comes and goes. I did not have foot drop, but close to it. My foot was very weak before and still is post op, but not as weak. I remember before surgery, the dr asking me to walk heal to toe, like a DUI test. I looked like a drunk. Could not even do it. Now, I can, but its very slow and wobbly. My leg weakness is just a general strength issue. If I climb stairs, its obvious that that leg is weaker. It also has this gentle buzzing sensation, if that makes sense to anyone. Lik...I always notice that leg,...instead of it just being like the other leg.

    Pam, it seems we had a our far lateral procedures about a week apart (7/12 and 7/18) so I'm hoping since your leg pain was gone last week that mine will be this week. I do think it's a little better but my foot is still a mess with numbness, tingling and sometimes burning. At times it even hurts to put a sock and shoe on my foot. I too have a lot of hip pain, especially for the 1st few hours I'm up in the morning. I have this fairly large lump on my back which isn't really tender but is worrisome. Did you (or anyone) else have this? I'm assuming it's some sort of reaction to the trauma of the surgery and hopefully it will eventually go away...or is it something I should be concerned about. I also have this feeling that my left leg is a bit weaker and find myself limping at times. However, I can walk on my toes and on my heels. Hopefully a few weeks from now we'll both see this as a thing of the past!

    Botz, I hear ya.....just feel like Im sitting around doing nothing!!! Trying to grpet some simple projects planned, like catching up on the family scrapbooks, organizing coupons, picking out paint colors for the den, etc.
  • quote=Pamhoffca]P, I would say my leg "pain" was gone last week. I still have hip pain but Im pretty sure its just tired and under used....it comes and goes. I did not have foot drop, but close to it. My foot was very weak before and still is post op, but not as weak. I remember before surgery, the dr asking me to walk heal to toe, like a DUI test. I looked like a drunk. Could not even do it. Now, I can, but its very slow and wobbly. My leg weakness is just a general strength issue. If I climb stairs, its obvious that that leg is weaker. It also has this gentle buzzing sensation, if that makes sense to anyone. Lik...I always notice that leg,...instead of it just being like the other leg.

    Pam, it seems we had a our far lateral procedures about a week apart (7/12 and 7/18) so I'm hoping since your leg pain was gone last week that mine will be this week. I do think it's a little better but my foot is still a mess with numbness, tingling and sometimes burning. At times it even hurts to put a sock and shoe on my foot. I too have a lot of hip pain, especially for the 1st few hours I'm up in the morning. I have this fairly large lump on my back which isn't really tender but is worrisome. Did you (or anyone) else have this? I'm assuming it's some sort of reaction to the trauma of the surgery and hopefully it will eventually go away...or is it something I should be concerned about. I also have this feeling that my left leg is a bit weaker and find myself limping at times. However, I can walk on my toes and on my heels. Hopefully a few weeks from now we'll both see this as a thing of the past!

    Botz, I hear ya.....just feel like Im sitting around doing nothing!!! Trying to grpet some simple projects planned, like catching up on the family scrapbooks, organizing coupons, picking out paint colors for the den, etc
  • Tomorrow will be a month exactly since my surgery. It was a far left lateral I believe. I mean do have numbness (never had foot drop) and i do notice feeling very slowly returning to my leg ...next stop my toes hopefully lol. I really don't know what I would do without these message boards besides bothering my doctor and friends all the time. lol. I do have faith all will be back to normal (for everyone) but I do prepare myself for the worst as well (since nothing is ever guaranteed). My pain can be a bit ridiculous at times and certain days not too bad. When the pain is ridiculous I compare it to prior the surgery, and the pain is much worse now. Which kinda puts me in the dumps.

    Botz: I want to get back to how my life was ...where I can go to work, workout everyday, strengthen not only my back but my body, and possible gather my thoughts while I'm sober (without any pain pills). Right now I can't do any of this.
  • I also was an avid hiker ...so me being deprived of the outdoors is like draining on the soul. I will be keeping everyone updated. Feel free to post and share experiences in detail. Every little bit helps...
  • P0506....No lump here on my back. I would get that seen. My scar is healed up really nice. My foot is about 90% back to normal. Still wants to drag a little when Im tired. My big toe is still numb...no biggie. Starting PT next week.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Saw my surgeon just today and he didn't seem to concerned about me still experiencing pain (only if the pinched nerve was on the other foot lol). But he was glad when I had to admit the numbness in my leg/foot/toes is all pretty much gone. Even though I am happy I can feel everything again but this pain is something else, a lot different than prior my surgery. I would say it's more consistent overall ...even though it does come and go. But out of all the weird things I feel it the most when I'm sitting regularly upright ...from the upperleft part of my thigh all the way to the back leftside of the butt, literally a pain in the ass so to say. lol

    My surgeon also wrote out a pt treatment plan for me ...3 times a week for the next 6 weeks ...seems a bit much for someone that purposely limits their physical activity because of the pain ...but, we'll see how that works out, going to start monday. Meanwhile they wanna give me more pills :rolls eyes: .......this is the reason why I settled for the surgery, no more pills and no more injections. If I require any of these in another 6 weeks from now, then in my mind the surgery might have been a complete failure.

    Pam hows the numbness, pain and pt going for you?

    Everyone and anyone feel free to comment ...express your story. If something is working for you ....any info at all please feel free to share. We are all learning to put our lives back together, even if it's one small step at a time.
  • My numbness is pretty much gone....still a tiny numb in my big toe. The pain is 95% gone. Acts up now and then, but not bad. My pain now is in my lower back and tailbone area in the latter part of the day.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • My physical therapy is now done with. But that's only because they are going to take another MRI in a week. My pain has been pretty much the same after surgery, no difference (certain times better than others). My surgeon seems shocked and that's why he ordered the MRI. I'm starting to think surgery was a mistake. But I know it would have kept bugging me in the back of my head. The pain is different comparing pre-op to over 3 months post-op. It's worse now, but not much worse. And before the operation I felt more pain in my back than butt and leg. Now it's kind of reversed. Pam I'm glad your at 95%.

    My surgeon fears that I might have re-herniated the disc, but that still remains to be seen. I haven't done anything too aggressive and I've been making sure I've been keeping my activity light.

    And yes later in the day is when my pain kicks up a notch ...lower left region. The whole reason why I got the surgery was to prevent spine shots and pain killers, now I fear I'll be hooked on that shit for the rest of my life. And if I did re-herniate it I sure as hell don't want to be butchered again. And in my mind I was thinking surgery has come a long way. Don't get me wrong I'm keeping the faith but surgeons need to mention surgery as a last ditch option, and not hype up a procedure that was quoted as "simple" by my surgeon.

    Sorry if I sounded like I'm complaining. Have to gather my thoughts somewhere lol.

    Seriously if anyone has any useful info and/or experiences plz feel free to share. Thank you.
  • Mama-SchueMMama-Schue Posts: 337
    edited 10/23/2013 - 4:33 PM
    I have had two microD's in the last 2 months for a re-herniated disc. But before my first surgery I had exhausted every non-invasive procedure there is. You can read my profile to learn more. I am sorry that you having to deal with pain again.
    I have researched everything I could find on re-herniations and it is not nessacerily anything that you or your surgeon did wrong. During a Microdiscectomy they trim back the portion of the disc that's pressing on the nerve. In order to do that they there's usually an opening or a hole in the wall of the disc, and currently, there's been no good way to repair that hole in the wall. That's been true as long as they've been doing Microdiscectomies. Even in this day of modern technology, they have no good way of repairing the disc, so they just trim back the disc and hope that that area heals with scar tissue and protects the patient from re-herniating the disc, but that doesn't always work. At least 10 percent, maybe as high as 15 percent, of patients who have a discectomy will have a re-herniation of that disc and often require additional surgery.
    You may ask is the re-herniation caused by the opening that's still left behind? It may contribute a lot. The idea is that that area should heal by scar tissue formation, but that it doesn't always heal, and if it does heal, it may not heal very strongly, so it does predispose patients. Which may suggest that the larger that opening is, the more likely the re-herniation. So to say that a surgery was a failure, isn't really true. It may have more to do with the rate ones body heals.

    These are my thoughts from my findings and knowing what the out come may be I still went ahead with the second surgery. I had already tried everything the first time and nothing worked. I didn't want to have to go through months of trying just to end up in surgery again in the end. So here I am 16 days post-op and I've made it farther then the first post-op recovery, which was 14 days and the disc re-herniated.

    Hope my experiences can help you in your journey, that's what we are all here for. Sharing our own experiences in hopes to help someone else get through theirs.
    Kristy

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • edited 11/25/2013 - 6:08 PM
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. To tell you the truth I don't know what I would do without this site, besides bad mouthing my surgeon. I know when the pain gets serious we want to raise a fist against the person that cuts us open. But most of the time they did their best. I'm sorry you had to go through a second surgery. Please share your journey along the way. I know it would take me a lot of convincing for me to go through another one, since I'm now having second thoughts about my first one.

    Well here's the update:

    My second MRI was done ...(even though I do have a small cyst on my right side) to my surprise I did not re-herniate anything. I even got a second opinion. My surgeon said there's a lot of scarring. And I just started seeing a pain specialist (my second opinion) and she said she can see a lot of scar tissue rubbing against the nerve. Hence the continous pain. She also brought up that I might have a nerve abnormality as well (2 in 1 type nerves) Which would not be surprising since both my parents have had back and neck problems almost their whole lives as well. And that nerve abnormality term seems quite familiar, maybe something a dentist told me. She said scar tissue is all normal and pain from it normal as well. She said I might have re-aggrevated the nerve from the PT and she would like to see it heal naturally which can take up to several months. She wants to hold off on the epidural for now. So I'm fine with that as long as that is what it is. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Now on with the pain management:

    I thought the pain specialist would help me in this area since this is her expertise but she said she can't treat me (prescribe me anything) unless I agree for random drug tests. Which I'm fine with. I told her I don't take street drugs, but then she started putting marijuana in the category of street drugs. So I started to laugh (I live in California where Medical Marijuana is accepted, regulated and not frowned upon) and I told her I acquire my medication legally, it's for my insomnia, but mostly for my back pain. And this is something I'll never forget ...she said she couldn't treat me, be my doctor, or prescribe me medications unless I stopped taking my all natural medication which does not harm the liver and has no physical addiction. She said her license could be taken away. That was so absurd just to hear that. I respect her as a person for saying that, But I can never respect a doctor for recommending that. I'm like fine I don't need percocet that bad. Why do doctors make you feel like junkies when they are the ones that offering something worse for your body. A drug test from someone that was willing to give me morphine ...oh but marijuana, for gods sakes no. Some of these doctors, I know their just trying to protect their job ...but geez, that's about as professional as a drug dealer on the corner.

    I'm sorry it's just I have been in more pain ever since my surgery and the more doctors I see, the more they remind me of children. For every minute I experience pain I imagine a chimp in a doctors outfit withholding epidurals and pain meds. I can really careless about the narcotic medicine. But just the idea of drug testing someone that fits the criteria of someone that needs to be on heavy duty pain medicine, just so they can force me from stop using an all natural alternative medication which works is so backwards. lmao. I feel bad for the other states. And I do say this for doctors to improve their profession. If I was an addict I can find Oxy on the street, why would I go to the doctor for something that's as easy to find as advil. Oh, but if I acquire medical pot legally from my other doctor all of a sudden I'm a bad guy. And I say this with a smile. I'm actually quite grateful with the doctors I have and the state I live in. It's just sometimes you have to laugh at the evolved apes. lol.
  • Dawnylou68DDawnylou68 Posts: 46
    edited 11/27/2013 - 10:48 PM
    Hi there
    I can apprecaite what you are saying especially with regards to the pot as it really helps.
    I tried to return to work end July but was in agony and it didn't work out. I've just had a MRI , waited a long time and see the surgeon on 10/12/13.
    I think I've reherniated but who really knows so just got to wait. Every step is painful although I still do it as exercise is supposed to be good for you lols.
    I'm on 100mg of Tramadol 4 times daily and some days have to have a codeine before bed else the pain will keep me awake. I'm at my wits end with it all and really have had no life this year at all. We have had to sell our home as I'm not getting paid anymore and now renting. We are in so much debt it's untrue and still I'm no better so god only knows what my future holds. Counting down the days till I find out what has been the cause of all the pain.
    My pain is mainly in my left butt cheek and hip but does go down my leg as well . Also still get pins and needles in foot too. When I'm tired it goes right across my lower back and is awful. I just hope there is something they can do for me so I can at least work part time( desk job aggravates back problems)
    Reading your posters on here today have made me realise I'm not the only one. When I was on here a few months ago the ones who had surgery around same time are all ok now it seems just me lagging along still!
  • Dawnylou68DDawnylou68 Posts: 46
    edited 12/10/2013 - 8:58 PM

    Hi all
    If you read previous posts I had a DISCETOMY in April this year but Im still in great deal of pain, can't work etc

    I have had 2 MRI's one with dye injected, contrast I think it's called. I've today seen my consultant/surgeon and she has put me on a 100 day course of antibiotics.
    I came home and googled antibiotics for lower back pain as she had advised and there it was, guess I'm some kind of guinea pig in the continuing fight to cure the pain we suffer and I would try anything right now.... I will update in a few days as to how it is progressing.

    All the best Dawn


  • Pain WillI Am A 49 Year Old Female Who Is Worried. Had Left Sided Microdiskectomy 2 WeeKs Ago And The Pain Is worse Thanbefore Surgery. Sciatica In Left buttcheek Is Sharp, Back Of Left Leg Hurts, And Foot Is Numb And Cold On Left Outside.
    Cant Stand more Than 5 Minutes before Pain Gets unbearable And I Have To Sit Down. SitE Is A Little Swollen And Tender. Called Dr. And He Upped My Neurotin And Gave Me Steroids. The Only Restrictions He Initially Gave Me Was No Lifting Over 5 Or 10 Pounds And I Could Go Back To Work (Office Job) Immediately. I Worked One Day And Did Well But I Seriously Doubt I Can Handle Re. I Ride Motorcycles, As A Passenger, And I'm Worried ThiS Horrible Pain WilL Limit Me. I May Be OverreactinG But The Pain Was Supposed To Go Away,Not GeT Unbearable. Help Me.
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  • Hi p506img, I've been trying to get ahold of you to see how you are doing. I have far lateral herniation and am considering getting the surgery. Far lateral is a different animal and compared to the other herniated cases. If any one else on this board has communicated with p506img let me know'
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