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Revision Microdiscectomy L5-S1

Hello all. Been a couple of years since I've posted on here.

Had an L5-S1 microdiscectomy back in November of 2011. Surgery went extremely well and recovery was swift and immediately provided relief of the sciatica going down my right side. PT went great, followed a good walking routine, and took care of myself the best I could (mainly not doing any stupid things that would cause reherniation to happen.)

Back in January of this year, began having sciatic problems again. MRI showed slight protrusion at the same level L5-S1. Had another MRI as it just continued to get worse and ended up being bedridden and on pain meds for the past few weeks until finally seeing a neurosurgeon who recommended another microdiscectomy at that same level (letting me know this would be my last one - reherniation would require a fusion next).

Surgery went great back on 9-10-2014. However, I'm in intense pain this time. The Dr. said he had to make a larger incision and the scar tissue from my previous microD plus the herniated piece was pinching the nerve severely. He said the nerve was bruised pretty badly and that the numbness in my foot would take some time to pass.

There's no pain of sciatica, thankfully, but my back (just two days out) is sooooo miserably sore this time. I don't remember it being this bad at all my first surgery.

Can anyone give me some advice of what all I can do to alleviate the pain? I have percocets to take but they really aren't even touching the pain to be honest. I also have some Flexeril muscle relaxers that have been helping to knocking me out.

I've tried to walk as much as I can tolerate but it just seems to be at a slower rate. Is this because of it being a second surgery and the factors of scar tissue and whatnot? Is icing beneficial right now and when does the muscular soreness usually let up?

Thanks and appreciate hearing the advice some of you can toss my way.
L5/S1 MicroD - Nov. 11, 2011
Revision L5/S1 MicroD - Sept. 10, 2014


  • When I queried additional lumber pain with my surgeon after 2 discectomies then a fusion, he explained that it's expected as they deal with scar tissue & would take longer to settle again. My sciatic nerve was still swollen in an MRI 3months after my second discectomy (granted I had re-herniated within a month for no apparent reason).

    I can't offer any wisdom about between discectomies as mine were only 8 weeks apart & I felt like I had been hit by a truck after the second one. Something to do with being knocked out so close together.

    I was told to experiment with ice or heat to see if that helped at all. It's early Spring here in Australia & cool so I've not tried ice, but have used my hot water bottle a couple of times.

    My muscle soreness has pretty much gone, I'm 4 weeks post fusion. I have been doing hydrotherapy since day 5 post op (with a waterproof dressing) every second day and have found that it helps for pain & stiffness.

    I hope your recovery continues even if it's slow,
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
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