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Recovering from second discectomy - feel so alone and depressed

I had a discectomy 7 weeks ago. After waking up, my pain in my leg was gone. It was like a miracle. After a good recovery, I reherniated the week after going back to work. Now I'm a little more than a week post surgery in my second micro D.

This time I do have intermittent pain in my leg, stiffness and numbness. I'm panicked constantly that I've reherniated. Depressed and feel pretty alone. Anyone have advice?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I m 8 days post op after my 1st discetomy at s1-L5..had some sciantia on my leg after I woke up..since then it was gone and I took no pain meds but now it got back the nerve pain on my leg and feet and it is worse than ever post op.
    Ok, today little better.
    I called the surgeon to since I ant MR to see if I reherniated...maybe I got up wrong from the bed or some..
    I dont know...or maybe my nerve just irritated ..
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • How does the reherniation feels?
    My aggressive nerve pain made me scared yesterday since I had nothing like that pre op.
    Ok I could not sit at all more than 1min or drive a car and took pain meds every 4th hour or 3rd at nights..
    but the sciatica or nerve pain was there but nothing like yesterday
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • I'm not sure when it exactly happened but the pain was constant and dramatically worse than post op. It was like when I had originally hurt myself months before. The problem for me now is that since I didn't have any of the post op pain last time, I'm freaked out about the pain I'm experiencing now.
    Doctors seem reticent to send you to an MRI willy nilly. Believe me I think id want one right now just to be sure. In any case I hope you didn't reherniate it. This is seriously no fun.
  • tran92ttran92 Posts: 183
    edited 09/27/2014 - 2:33 PM
    i had my 1st disectomy with a hemi-laminectomy. blew the disc a week post-op. didn't know it, but pain came back, different pain, but it was bad again. 4 months PT, new MRI and it showed the herniation. i can pinpoint when it happened, but i kind of pretended it didn't happen at the time. anyway, 2nd micro, woke up and this time i'm suddenly numb from my butt to my toes. no feeling at all down the back of my leg. this was a new symptom. spoke to the doc, he said between scraping scar tissue, and digging to get everything cleaned out, not surprising the nerve went a little haywire. pain never really went away after the 2nd surgery, had months of PT again, and finally another MRI. well, disc was herniated for the 3rd time. i was told basically the entire wall of the disc was gone at this point, and there was no way it would ever heal. but i wasn't desperate to go for a 3rd microd or fusion. i managed to hold out i htink a year and a half before i finally said enough was enough and had the fusion. i can't say what caused the 3rd herniation, or when it happened.

    what i can say, is that every time you go back into the same spot for more surgery, you add more trauma, more scar tissue, and things don't suddenly disappear like the 1st time. pain isn't gone when you wake up, other symptoms can pop up, and it doesn't prove you herniated again, it just proves that the nerve has been poked and prodded more and more and more, and it takes time for things to settle down.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • Thank you. I ll just ask the Dr the MR next week. Ok my insurence will not pay.. Ok with insurence I pained 900 and without 400 from my mr so I ll just say ok I pay it myself.

    I don't think I have reherniated as I don't have any pain anywhere only the nerve on my right leg is real angry. It was never this angry post op.

    One thiink I'm really thinking if I should have done to an artificial disc replacement instead.
    I wish I had. Since I don't want future problems..
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • I've talked to a couple of other folks now and I'm pretty sure I didn't reherniate. I. Just going to have to balance the reality of the anxiety of reherniating with going through the upcoming months of recovery and PT.
    There's a lot of things people warn you about, but on a second time micro D, no one really talks about the anxiety and stress. tran92, I appreciate your thoughts on the nerve pain and damage. My surgeon basically told me the same thing...when you get in there and mess around, it's a lot of extra trauma that didn't happen after the first one. Hope I stay well and don't have to do this again.
  • How you feeling today?
    I have no nerve pain today but some bone pain at my back on same type that I had pre op.
    It all worries me...
    I was twisting my neg yesterday is I think that made it..
    Anyways i don't like it at all.. It is too similar pain I had pre. Op.
    And I came back yesterday. Ok I had to go back on Tylenol
    Is that normal?
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • I'm 13 days on from having a second discectomy within a year, this time I awoke from surgery in extreme pain.
    On the following day when I was allowed to get up, I discovered I had foot drop and a very weak and sensitive leg, which I didn't have before surgery.
    I now have to wear a foot splint, a knee brace and use a walker.
    I'm just getting through this by thinking that at least by Christmas I should be pain free!!!!
  • I agree. I think they think they've told you it all before the first discectomy so don't add anything about the additional trauma to your body or mind. I didn't understand how I woke up great after the 1st & so crap after the 2nd. It was only after a friend visited & explained about how long it takes for anaesthetic to leave your system that it made sense.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
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