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Post op sciatic pain

Hi all,
I had a bilateral laminectomy at l5 three days ago. I appreciate this is a fairly short time...
My surgeon was really blasé after surgery, telling me just to carry on as normal, no restrictions. As long as I could do something, do it.
For the first couple of days it was great; no nerve pain, just pain around the incision and radiating a little around it. But after getting home 24 post op I have had sciatic pain to various extents and it is just getting worse. I'm writing this at 4am as I woke in agony after 2hrs sleep.
I have seen loads of posts saying things take a while to settle down, but is this level of pain normal? Right now I'd say I'm 9+ on the pain scale? I know it can take a while to recover, but should it be getting worse at this stage?
Any comments would really be appreciated as I think I'm going mad!


  • I don't think that you are going mad at all. I have also seen lots of posts that say it takes a while for things to sell down after surgery. However, did you have this pain before surgery? I know that you said your surgeon was blasé, but have you talk to them about it? Unfortunately we don't always get the answers we need when we talk to surgeons or other doctors. I would go to every doctor there's treating you and explain what is the been going on. I began having pain as well after surgery, and it turned out to be spinal fluid leaking. I was having increased pain at the incision site but I thought that this was normal, because why wouldn't you have pain where you were just cut open? However the pain kept getting worse and worse, and both incision site started swelling. Follow your gut if you think something is wrong. Good luck!
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • Hi, and thank you so much for your reply.
    I had pain in both legs prior to surgery, but predominantly in the left. This had settled slightly pre-surgery, but the position and spread of the pain was exactly the same.

    I won't see the surgeon for three weeks, but will go see my GP tomorrow and see what he suggests. A friend who has had a discectomy, laminectomy and eventual fusion, and is also a physio, has advised it'll probably be a thing of the past in a couple of weeks judging by when it comes on and the nature of the pain, but I just wish the surgeon had warned me that this could happen. I was devastated when I started hurting!

    The incision site is ok. No problems there, it's just sore but getting better every day.

    Thanks for replying... It feels so lonely at times when those around me have no idea about this level of constant pain! They're great, but it's not the same.
  • Lmr106LLmr106 Posts: 119
    edited 05/13/2014 - 1:39 PM
    Gillian, I totally understand you saying that you are lonely. Chronic pain is good at isolation. I sometimes even feel alone with other people around, because I'm sitting down (looking unsocial) while others are wondering around, milling with others.
    I also understand that people around us may be great, but they don't understand the constant pain. I get on this web site and it really helps.
    You can always call your surgeon, if you feel that you want to. How did your GP appointment go?
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • Unfortunately I couldn't get an appointment until tomorrow so I haven't seem anyone yet.
    I'm ok when I'm out and about (though that is of course on hold since the op), it's just really around the people at home, my mum, other half etc. they do all the right things, but it's a pain they can't see.
    I got a decent sleep last night so I'm hoping if I do all the right things it'll settle and I'm just being neurotic, but I'm still going to see the doc. I little reassurance can do no harm!
    Thanks again,
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