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After discectomy continued pain

back surgery pain changed sides
I had two herniations at the L5-S1 one on the left was twice as large as the one on the left. My injury was work related so it took more than five years to get to an orthopedic surgeon and my first MRI. After nerve block injections I was scheduled for a QME appointment for determination. My orthopediic surgeon had determined that I would need a discectomy and laminectomy on the left side since my pain was on the left side and he figured the right herniation would dissipate on its own i time. I informed my boss and was asked to postpone my surgery as long as possible to put it after our busy time of year. They were not happy about me being out of work for atleast 8 weeks. They joked about sending home a laptop and fax machine and having me continue to work from home. I thought I was safe I had been there 19 years and they had supported my thetapy for 5 years. Then the day before my QME appt my company unexpectedly decided my position was no longer needed. I was crushed. I went to the appt and the state doctor confirmed what my surgeon said and wanted to perform. It took another 6 months but I finally had the surgery on Dec 16, 2013. It was a surprising change the next morning my left leg was doing so much better but now the pain was in my right leg. At the time everyone thought it was just inflammation from the surgery. Unfortunately, I am sitting here 7 months later and I just saw my surgeon to review my latest MRI results to find that the second herniation hasn't gotten bigger but there is a large amount of scar tissue that is pushing the herniation into the nerve. He says that for the most part I have to wait it out. With time the scar tissue should flatten out and the pain should go away. I am not sure I have much faith in the wait and the pain will go away since I have been told that same thing for the last 7 years and now one surgery later and the pain is worse. I can not sit for long without pain, I cannot play a board game with my girls without pain. My girls look at me and say, "Mommy I thought the surgery would make you better?" yeah me too. Now I look at not being able to work for who knows how long if ever, I am in the middle of a Masters Program incurring large financial debt for a degree that i may not be able to use if I can not sit, stand or walk for very long. I am not feeling very optomistic about what I can contribute to my family except for problems. Has anyone had similar issues where the surgery causes paid to swtich from one side to the other because of the scar tissue.


  • BrknVetBBrknVet Posts: 8
    edited 07/18/2014 - 8:12 AM
    I still have pain from my ACDF on C5-C6 back in December 2013. I also have cord flattening at C-3 through C-6. Once you have damage to your spinal cord there isn't much that can be done. If your pain is just from nerves then your symptoms should subside in time. Be patient and keep your head up. Nerves take a "VERY" long time to heal if they heal at all.
  • My doc says that I basically have a ball of scar tissue that is pushing a second herniation into the nerves. He says that the scar tissue should flatten out over time. Of course I was told 7 years ago that I needed to relax and the herniation will heal itself, so needless to say I am a little more skeptical these days. I do appreciate the thoughts and will try to keep my head up.
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