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new from NY

Just wishing to introduce myself & to say I'm so happy to have found this forum; what a blessing to know there is somewhere to go where people can understand you.

I had a microdisc. & laminectomy on 6/17 for severe radicular pain; an MRI confirmed a large rupture at L5 S1. Immediately after surgery my sciatic pain was gone. The pain returned 2 weeks and 4 days post-surgery without warning. I am extremely frustrated because my surgeon will not perform an MRI until 3 months post surgery. His stance is that "it is a mess in there" and he believes that I've just "overdone it" & says I did not re-herniate. I'm still on percocet for pain, flexiril and neurontin every day & need to return to work on Aug 18th. My fear is that I will not be able to withstand a f/t work schedule although financially I have little choice.

Can anyone pls. contribute their wisdom as to this 3 month MRI rule? I've done a search but only found mention of "3 months post surgery MRI". I'd like to know if others have dealt with this also. If I did re-herniate, I'd like to know ASAP so I can deal with the issue sooner rather than later.

Thanks so much in advance & I'm grateful to be a part of this wonderful forum!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    If you need any help navigating or finding links, just let any of my moderators know or message me.

    I dont think you will find a formal rule about no MRI 3 months after surgery. However, its a pretty common practice among spinal surgeons. Even with minor, if there is such a thing as minor spinal surgery it takes time for your body to start to heal
    Not just in the area that was operated but the surrounding area. Your body was basically invaded and now it needs time.

    It is difficult to re-herniate a disc so soon after surgery. As long as you followed the rules and regulations, you should not have a problem. Overdoing it is one thing, that would cause a flare up, a lot of pain and discomfort. If you went beyond that (ie lifting over 75 lbs and twisting your body to do so) then I might think about another herniation (maybe a different level)

    Right now, I would be concentrating on your return to work, especially since you identified it as full time. What type of work do you do? Do you need to drive to work? How far? Those questions are the ones that need answers to. While working, it may be very difficult to continue with the percocet and flexiril, since those can impair your judgement.

    I was a programer and after returning to work I was generally on some level of pain medication as well as muscle relaxers and nerve medications. I had to discuss all of this with my management team to for their awareness. But a lot depends on your line of work.

    Two things I would be doing right now

    • 1. Adhering to all the rules and limitations, do all the PT and other exercises you have been given
      2. Getting yourself both physically and emotionally ready to return to work
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks so much Ron for answering my post and for all your insight - it is much appreciated!
    I feel much more relaxed now both physically and mentally after reading your comments!

    I currently work f/t and part-time as well - I am a mental health clinician for a children's group home f/t
    - the job is about 15 mins. from home so not so bad & yes, I do need to drive to get there. I am also
    in the midst of starting my own private practice (p/t job) as a therapist - so yes, my level of clarity
    & judgement is key to my jobs as I am responsible for assessing other's judgement & well-being.

    I have requested a reduction in the strength of my percocet (was 10mg.) as of my last refill - now on
    7.5mg in order to begin weaning myself off. Hopefully, I will need very little, if any, pain meds upon my
    return to work. I am still experiencing pain (mostly upon waking in the a.m. as all meds have worn off
    in the morning) but it's becoming more tolerable every day.

    Thank you for easing my fears and my mind as I now believe I really did just "overdo it". 2 weeks post-surg
    (with my doc's permission) I took a short road trip - I was careful to lie down most of the 5 hour ride in the
    car but the trip was mainly a sightseeing one & consisted of walking around for approx. 12 hours per day. I
    felt no sciatic pain at all & therefore had no idea I was "overdoing it"! I felt only moderate-mild pain at the incision site (which I'd take any day over sciatica!) but woke with a pressing resurgence of the sciatica at 2 weeks and 4 days post surgery; this scared the life out of me & I was convinced I re-herniated.

    At four weeks post-surg, I threw my daughter a graduation party (was pre-planned prior to surg) in our backyard & that set me back quite a bit - I had no idea (& learned after the fact from this wonderful site) that the irrigation from surgery numbs any nerve-related pain & that it resurfaces approx. 2 weeks post-surg. I learned my lesson after pushing myself so much and try to relax as much as humanly possible.

    I guess everything is a learning experience & for me, I learned no more trips or hosting parties for me for awhile even if I'm feeling "ok" as these set my recovery back quite a bit! Thank you again & I will continue to read the posts here and learn from other's input & experiences!

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