About 3 months ago I made a small leaning move to grab something and I felt my back pop. I had instant pain in my back and debilitating pain in my left leg. I was already in pain management for chronic regional pain syndrome. My pain doctor sent me to physical therapy. After 3 months in therapy and my pain doctor just increasing my pain medications and not really caring about what I was telling him I went to my primary doctor. He sent me for an MRI and they got me in for the test the same day. Two days later my doctor had sent me for a consultation at a different pain management doctor. That night the surgeons office called me and told me I had an appointment the next morning. I had some pre surgery tests and I was in surgery 3 days later. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to do any research. I was told that my herniated disc was sitting right on top of my sciatic nerve and it would be a complete waste of time to even attempt nerve blocks or other treatments. I had a microdiscectomy and was supposed to be able to leave the hospital the same day. When I woke up from surgery I was edit they cut my spinal cord. I spent the next 5 days in the hospital with the worst headache of my life. I thought my nerve pain in my leg was gone but now I am wondering if maybe it was just the strong narcotics I was on for my head pain that made me not care the pain was there. After I left the hospital I still felt good for a few days. A week after my surgery I got excruciating pain in my right leg that feels about 100 times worse than pre-surgery. I also had swelling in my legs and feet so bad that it landed me back in the hospital but only for 1 night this time. With my chronic regional pain syndrome I have a lot of pain and leg swelling (not related to my back) whenever I have stress or trauma on my feet.
So I have a few questions and have been unable to find answers. Is it normal to have some residual nerve pain after a discectomy and lamenectomy? My pain is worse in the morning in fact it is so bad in the morning that I cry. I get up and take my neurontin and norco 10 and within an hour the pain is gone. I feel pretty good the rest of the day but I dread going to bed. I know that as soon as I go to bed the pain is going to come back. Sometimes it wakes me from my sleep and it drives me crazy. I have reflux so bad that I choke in my sleep. I am not able to sleep flat. I have to be at least 30 degrees in the air more often being at about 45 degrees. I think my sleeping position is making my sciatica worse. My GI doctor has not found anything wrong with my GI system so he says there is nothing he can do. I have no other choice than to sleep sitting up. I have choked so bad that I have ended up with aspiration pneumonia.
How common is it to still have nerve pain after surgery? The surgeon told me that looking at my MRI that I had a very high chance of success. I am afraid that the 3 months I wasted in PT may have given me permanent nerve damage. I would really just like opinions from others who have experienced this.