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Tired of Pain

txtommygirlttxtommygirl Posts: 3
edited 06/02/2014 - 11:02 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello fellow bloggers!

I'm new to this site and wanted to take the time to introduce myself .... female, middle 50's, active, currently employed

Had Microdiscectomy surgery on 4/21/14 had a massive herniated disk... currently taking 800mg Ibuprofen, had my 4 week check up, doctor said nerve sometimes takes a while to recuperate - tomorrow I start PT but ....

I'm seriously nervous about this lingering pain ... doctor said, DON'T listen to whats out there on the web ... hmmm, that just made me even more nervous. The pain shooting down my leg brings back memories of how I was feeling before the surgery.
Yes, it's true, I'm no longer in excrutianting pain, nor am I crying, but ....

This pain does NOT seem to subside, I'm still in constant pain (0-10) I'll say a 5 ... because even when I sit to use the bathroom, the pain that shoots on my thigh, is still pretty excrutiating along with the pain on the back of my calf ... I want to be active again, tired of just walking ... am I just hoping for a miracle here?

Thanks for letting me vent :-)


  • 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
  • and it usually subsides given some time..........unless you develop new, increasing symptoms, then I wouldn't worry and stick to your recovery instructions...
  • The doctor most likely said to watch what you read because on a lot of sites, there is some pretty unrealistic comments about recovery. Sandi summed it up best. Right after surgery your nerves are going to be irritated. It took me almost three months before I started getting feeling in my left thigh again. I'd suggest that you keep your doctor informed of what's going on and do what he/she recommends regarding rehab. Take it easy and try not to over do it!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • It's my opinion that people experiencing complications (aka the pain) after surgery like you are experiencing are more likely to want to 'tell the world' than people who aren't having complications. I think that is the part the doctor is cautioning you about.

    March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy
  • If I'm not sure what somebody means, I usually just ask them. However that can be harder with the doctor, I know. At this point I have simply gotten past it and just ask all the questions I'm thinking of because it is the only way to get the answers I need and possibly the care I need.
    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
  • Well yesterday I went to see my doctor again ,,, he agreed, that coming up on my 7th week after surgery, I should be feeling at least some relief, which I'm not! It's now time to go back and do a second MRI as the pain on my calf and in my buttocks is getting unbearable ... I truly am hoping this pain is truly just my nerve being irritated and not something worse. I have been walking about a mile every other day, but have found no relief ,,,, keeping my fingers crossed
  • Same calf problems and buttocks pain, I was doing well, I have gone downhill also, I'm over 16 weeks now, gosh that went quick, busy doing NOTHING! .......off for a new mri tomorrow morning, will keep my Fingers crossed........


    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • GašperGGašper Posts: 11
    edited 06/16/2014 - 4:16 AM

    I am having the same problem, the pain is still there after the surgery and isn't getting any better and i am one month after surgery. I would really like to know what did your MRI show.

    best regards from Slovenia
  • I just want to caution you all not to think that automatically that there must be something wrong. Nerve pain, especially if the nerves were compromised during or previous to surgery, it can take months........not days or weeks before it subsides. There are things that can be done to ease some of the nerve pain, but the "only cure" is time. Nerves regenerate at a rate of about 1 mm per month.....so depending on how much of the nerve was compressed, the length of time, and the extensiveness of the compression, it can be up to about two years. THIS DOES NOT mean that it won't get better, or that you won't see improvement over time, but it does mean that it may be a slow process.
    I hope, in all of your cases that nothing shows on the new imaging, and if that is the case, then talk to your doctors about using one of the medications used to treat nerve pain- gabapentin, lyrica, cymbalta, or others in the meantime.
    Those of us who have gone down this road before understand your fears and worries, but unless you have new , or increasing symptoms, and pain, most of this is just part of recovery.
  • thank you very much for your calming response, can you please explain one more thing to me, i was at my family doctor and she did that straight leg raise -lasegue test and it hurt just like before the surgery, is this a sign of a new hernia, or is this just the nerve reacting to the stretching?

    Thank you very much for your answer
  • Mri was fine, nothing touching the nerve now,my surgeon said everything look good he said exactly what sandi said, it's a slow recovery, some people heal quicker. I actually asked my dr, does anyone ever come in here and do handstands. They are feeling so good. And he said yes we had one patient that had just had back surgery a few days ago. He was 24 and a surfing guy.lucky guy....... i would love to be 24 again.i don't have to go back again till August. Dr gave me a cuddle and he said you will improve Jen. So im still having the butt pain, but not as bad since I've been having accupuncture. Casper those leg raises I don't do them anymore they seem to set me back , I think the pain butt happens to a lot of us after surgery

    Sorry it turned into a novel
    happy healing days,
    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • If the nerve is still irritated and it sounds like it is, the pain you experienced during the test may be related to the inflammation/irritation of the nerve. It really depends.......did it mimic the pain you are having now, in the same area? Or was it a new area? Different side?
  • Glad to read that there is no new issue......and hope that you see things improving, sometimes it helps to measure where you are now in a month, and then you start seeing where things are improving...day by day is too early in the first days, weeks and three months post op...
  • Yes Sandi,

    I have heard you say to all of us here on the forum, that the nerves takes ages to heal, so I'm hanging on, and looking after myself, and hoping for a good outcome, I appreciate your imput so much it makes me feel better about the tlif, and that I am not so alone in this SLOW recovery...

    Patience is the key......

    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • Hello,

    I am glad to hear that MRI was ok. I just hope that it is the same with me. Today i received mail with invitation to a natural spa for recovering from surgery, for two weeks it is all paid by national health insurance, i really hope this will help....
    Sandi, My pain is the same as before surgery, maybe a little more in my calf muscle and toes, which i didn't have before. one day i think it is getting better, but for the past two days it again hurts a little more. i really dont know what to thin about this, because now is about one month after surgery and it feels the same as before surgery,
  • Even if you had no nerve compression prior to surgery, the nerves, muscles and ligaments are all moved around and cut or held out of the way with retractors during surgery......so an angry nerve /irritated nerve is going to retaliate for a lack of a better description. You are only a month out, and I know that it is frustrating to hear that things may take a bit of time to recover, but I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. Are you doing a lot of walking? Or doing too much at one time? Hang in there, and that spa sounds like a lovely idea.........can we all come with you?
  • jennypixiejjennypixie Posts: 44
    edited 06/18/2014 - 12:17 PM
    Wish I was going too. Lol. Gasper I am the same 2 steps forward 5 backwards. I know trying to stay positive sometimes is hard, but we have to stay strong and believe we will have a great outcome. It is early days still. I am also going away next week .Hubby has holidays, and we are staying in an apartment on the beach. So it will be a great change of scenery. As I have been so housebound since surgery.
    Goodluck Gasper with your up coming MRI I'm sure you will be Fine, just like I am. Enjoy your break in the Natural spa
    Keep us posted


    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • Come to Slovenia, and we can all go to the spa together :) I think that it is getting better for the past few days, but i am really careful doing things. My doctor also increased the dose of ibuprofen retard, because she still thinks that it is the inflamation, and now i dont know is this lesser pain due to analgesic or anti inflammation property of the drug. Thank you all for your kind answers. Jen i hope you will have a great time at the beach!
  • Dober dan Gaspar!

    I remember going to one of the spas in Slovenia years ago. It may give you some physical relief (relaxation of muscles) but also some well deserved mental relaxation! I too had a microdiscectomy l5s1 in May and am slowly recovering, so I understand your frustration.

    My husband is Slovenian.....born and raised there until coming to Canada. I have been with him for 20 years and his family considers me an honorary Slovenian (I am Hungarian by birth).
  • Great you are feeling a bit better, Gasper went to Slovenia in 2012, before this back thing happened.......loved your country we stayed in Bled in was gorgeous. Mountains peaks, beautiful autumn winters trees. Lovely village, take care , and hope you improve each and every day, yes I am looking forward to getting out of this house.......

    Take care,


    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • I am absolutely going to hide in Gaspar's suitcase.........
  • DaisycreekDDaisycreek Posts: 9
    edited 06/22/2014 - 2:38 AM
    Aqua aerobics really helped me in my early recovery with the stiffness and pain. I started as soon as my incision had closed. You should be careful o jumping for a while, but you will be amazed how the stretching in the water helps ease the pain.

    Like you, I thought something was wrong @ about 4 months post surgery... then at exactly 6 months to the day.. One day it was like "wow.. i'm walking normal... no pain!!!" I feel like me again!!!!

    I love jogging in the pool.. no stress on joints or spine -- its a great work out also
  • Hello friends, lepo pozdravljena Tina :)

    Im sorry for my late answer, i finally brought my lap top to a place where they have wireless internet access. Im happy to hear that you like my country, i hope that i will come to yours one day.
    Here in thermal spa i have 6 different therapies from massage, aqua aerobics, to tens and something whit magnets. For the first few days i felt that i actually got worse, but then after a few days the pain in the butt went almost away. But i got this strange pain i both of my calves if i stand or walk, it isnt like the pain before i dont know what this could be, not even the doctors know. After speaking with people here who had surgery for the same thing, they all still have some kind of problems after surgery, and i am starting to realize that recovery is different than what i imagined.

  • jennypixiejjennypixie Posts: 44
    edited 07/01/2014 - 1:06 PM
    Great to hear from you, how are you loving the spa place? Keep up the good work, daisycreek posted that the pool did wonders for her. I was really pleased to read her post, it gives us hope, Gasper I still get that butt pain too. My is a burning stinging feeling just wish it would go. But it's still early days really.I also have started using a warm pool and I'm just doing walking, doing laps up and down the pool.yes maybe visit Oz oneday, we are so far away, but it's such a big country and wonderful places to visit. Keep up the good work, and hopefully this will just be a memory soon

    Keep us posted on your progress

    Look after you self.

    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • The spa was great, it must confess that i was very doubtful for the first few days but then the pain almost went completely away. i just have this strange feelings in both calf muscles if i stand up or walk. And a few days ago i went to my surgeon for the first check up after surgery and he did that test lasauge and bragard and after thet the pain in my right leg came back just like before the spa. He said that there are three possibilities inflamation, reherniation or nothing. We did blood check for inflamation and it came back negative. so we are down to two possibilities reherniation or nothing(i dont know what that means)
    He prescribed me another session of physio therapy, and after that we will do another MRI to check for reherniation. I was really happy because the šain went almost away but it is now a week after the check up and my leg stil, hurts if i walk or stand. I am getting scared that it maybe really reherniated my disc, because the pain goes away and then if i do anything more than just walk for a few minutes it comes back, i really dont know what to think. Do you have any suggestions?
    Jenny how are you doing is the pain still there, is it getting better?
  • Glad you enjoyed your spa time, sorry to hear you have to have another mri... hopefully it will show you haven't re herniated and you can be relieved and continue to heal.Gasper like you I had to have a mri 1 month ago and I was fine and fusing and and my nerve was freed from the disc, fingers crossed for you, keep up your walking and pt and you will get there, more time,is needed to rest and heal. My calf pain and my burning soul under my foot has resided so i hardly have any pain there anymore! I still have a deep achy pain in my butt, but I am continuing with the accupunture, so all in all I am coming along. I am in the pool everyday.Gasper I think you are the same as me 6 months post op. Still early days....So give the healing more time stay positive my friend. Prayers and happy healing vibes to you.

    Keep me posted.
    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
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