Hi! I am 35 years old and today marks 5 weeks and 2 days since my microdiscectomy/laminectomy on my L5/s1 disc. I was in extreme, unable to even sit upright pain before the surgery and immediately afterwards, the pain was completely gone. I had what I would consider to be an excellent experience recovering from the surgery, with very minimal pain (nothing compared to what I had been experiencing prior to surgery) and my incision has healed beautifully.
Up until about two days ago, I had not experienced any real pain since the surgery, but I am wondering if I have either over-done it or re-herniated the disc. (The prior herniation was, to quote the neurosurgeon, "Massive" and almost completely compressing the nerve root.) I have been very good about not lifting anything over 20 lbs (usually not even close), have tried very hard not to twist or bend and have tried not to overdo it, but I have done quite a bit of walking/standing over the last two weeks. The problem is, I feel fine, until I don't. It is usually the next day before I know I might have done too much.
Normally, if I had any tingling/numbness, I took it as my sign to slow down and that had been working for me. This time, though, I have nerve pain like before the surgery running down my left hip/buttock/back of my thigh that burns if I stand/walk and is relieved by sitting. Since it is almost exactly like what I experienced before surgery, I am understandably rather afraid I've re-injured myself (especially since I don't know how I injured my disc in the first place).
My question is, does this sound like classic over-doing it 5 weeks later or is this something to be more concerned about? I will call my surgeon's office tomorrow morning either way to check, but I guess I could use some "been there...done that" reassurance in the meantime.
Thanks for any advice!
Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014