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Questions about recovery after Microdiscectomy

I had a microdiscectomy in May. The L5 and S1 nerves were being pressed against the spinal wall and the L5 disc they shaved all excess off.

I did nothing for the two months after surgery and while I did have phantom pains they went away for a good two weeks.

Two days ago the back pain and pain in the leg came back (although not nearly as bad). Is this normal? I am getting nervous that the surgery did not take. Should this pain have come back?

If it did not take, what will they do next? WIll they go back in?

Any help would be appreciated.


L5 - S1 Microdiscectomy May 2013
Nerve damage and a disc herniation that was shaved down,


  • I'm going through the same thing. I had a microdiscectomy in June and I have started to have pain in my leg and back although not as bad like you. I actually had an appointment Wednesday and my dr said that as long as I wasn't feeling worse than before the surgery things were normal. He said that it could take up to a year to get full improvement. I would just keep an eye on the pain and see if it gets worse. If it doesn't get better I would try and see my dr as soon as possible. Good luck!!
  • Sorry to read of your troubles.

    Once a disc is compromised, it will always be compromised. Further, it will have a much lower ability to withstand stresses;
    yet we go on with our lives as normal. We then suffer the consequences. I myself am guilty of this more times than I care to admit. I paid the price but I did recover.

    Might you have stressed it to cause this flare up?

    If it doesn't get better in the next few weeks, a new MRI would be in order. If it reherniated and the annulus isn't torn too badly, maybe they can remove the newly herniated nucleus material. They did in my case.

    For now, are you trying any cold packs or traction? If you have access to a pool, you can put flotation devices around your upper body, get in the pool, and then hang weights around your hips. This will produce gentle traction on the spine.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I was moving some boxes around but only did so because I was told to resume normal activities. Since that night after I have been having some discomfort and pain.

    I go back to the doctors on the 29th and it can't come soon enough. I have been using ice packs on the lower back off and on to help in case there is swelling. I do not have a pool so no traction is being used. I have not and will not be doing any more lifting until I see him.

    L5 - S1 Microdiscectomy May 2013
    Nerve damage and a disc herniation that was shaved down,
  • Hi there, I just joined and this is my first comment/post, but I have been dealing with back problems for many years. There can be many reasons why you are having this pain. One is that the surgeon wasn't able to completely remove all of the protrusion on your disk and therefore wouldn't take as much to put pressure on the nerve as a healthy disk would after agrivating your back through lifting or bending. Another could be disk material exiting the disk through the hole where the herniation occurred and that material could be making contact with the nerve. A third reason could be a new herniation all together. Ice and physiotherapy is the best thing to do while awaiting your MRI to get real answers from a doctor. Good luck with your pain.
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