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L4-L5 lumbar discectomy w/decompressive foraminotomy

Hello everyone,
I am 5 weeks post-op of having an L4-L5 discectomy. When my surgeon opened my back up he discovered I had a condition called Cojoined Nerve Root - my nerve root had a branch off of itself going through the same foramin - so not only did I have a herniation pressing on my nerve root but it was also being compressed by the tightness of the space that they both were trying to pass through. My surgeon had to end up making my incision longer and going up and behind to get to the herniated area to clean it up. He said my nerves were "extremely angry looking" and he was surprised I lasted as long as I did or that I could even walk. Needless to say, he had to also widen the foramin for these two nerves to pass through easier without being compressed. He has told me it will take a long time for my nerves to heal. I know I felt better 2 weeks ago and now I am having a lot of nerve pain. The burning in my feet, at times, is almost unbearable. I don't go back for my second follow-up until 4 weeks from now. I don't feel the nerve pain constantly, but I have noticed when I feel it that I am also,having a bit of back pain as well. I wish I had a better understanding of how long I am looking at for nerve roots to heal. At this point, I am not sure how I will be able to bear going back to work and sitting at my desk for 8 hours a day.



  • Are you on a nerve pain pill. That worked wonders for me. It's Neurontin. I have almost no nerve pain now. I am 5 weeks out fro an L5/s1 fusion, decompression.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I am still in unbearable pain on my left side of my lower lumbar back that travels down the inner part of my leg down to my toes. Now they say I am severely twisted and need to be fused from L-1 to S-1. Neurontin does help with the traveling pain that also makes me feel real dopey. I have been on as much at 1800mg a day and as low as 900mg. Still on Norco, Tramadol and Voltaren. Icing helps, special positioning helps. I have not been able to return to work due to pain, weekness and all these medications. I pray you do heal better. I had one of the too surgeons in So Cal. There were complications as a bone spur was accidentally pushed into my spine and it took them 3 weeks before they realized it was not normal pain after the surgery the MRI told the truth and they had to go back in. Pray, pray and pray some more. I recently had accupuncture am at the massage therapy that did give me some temporary relief, actually brought down pain to tolerable at AC Pain Control Clinic in Torrance by Dr. Linda Ding, who is the best I have been to (she is the 4th I tried). She is caring and really works on the pain and total health. My insurance has suspended coverage for that so I will start treating on my own.
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