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L5 S1 Micro, 4 weeks ago, Pain still same----anybody else experience this

bad luckbbad luck Posts: 11
edited 01/04/2015 - 6:22 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
• Sure would appreciate any opinions on this, please read whole thread
**10 years ago, had 1st micro discectomy, L5 S1, life went well. Fall 2011---3 Years ago, symptoms come back with a vengeance
**Just started a new job, went thru PT with a vengeance to try and avoid surgery as long as possible. Summer of 2014, my time had come and had to get the surgery in Aug 2014.
• From the time I woke up, I didn’t feel any different; only PT assigned was to walk, not sit for long periods, no lifting, and no driving 6-8 weeks
• The pain is LIKE HAVING A FLIP CELL PHONE DUCT TAPED TO BOTTOM OF THE OUTSIDE FRONT OF LEFT FOOT, as well as the burning/pain in 3 outer toes in each foot.
• By Nov, get another MRI, surgeon showed me where the disc was still hitting nerves, and they would rather ERROR on the side of not taking enough disc out vs taking too much out, then needing a fusion.
• Dec 5, same surgery, just MUCH MORE invasive. Instead of a 1 inch incision, this time, 4 inches. Pain 1st week or 2, SIGNIFICANTLY MORE.
• This time, I didn’t work at all (work from home on laptop/phone; travel when back is agree-able) for 3 weeks. I didn’t travel last time either for 8 weeks.
**You know the 2 or 3 days per week where you sleep well, wake up feeling like a million bucks…I feel great til about mid-late day, then the pain kicks in……..but on those 2 or 3 days you didn’t sleep well….JUST AWFULL, the pain just takes over, day ruined.

• Going to pain management DR tomorrow for more meds, surgeon not scheduled til late Jan.
• Only PT ordered is walking as I can tolerate, laying down a lot, not sitting more than 15 minutes at a time.
**Questions……..Sound Normal?
Sound like I may just have long term nerve damage and be stuck with this for good?
Thank you.


  • 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
  • 4 weeks is way too soon to tell -- I had a similar surgery and I'm 5 months post op and they're telling me it's still too soon to tell. That said, it sounds like you may have damaged your disk quite a bit at this point and your symptoms of hurting more after standing throughout the day kind of verify that (along with multiple microdiskectomies). However, if it's just the leg pain, it's probably still a nerve issue and not a disk issue -- extreme back pain is more indicative of a bad disk. If that's the case, you'll need to go the fusion and/or disk replacement route.

    Best of luck.
  • I never had any back pain yet my disc was still compressing on my S1 nerve. After my first discectomy my surgeon happily sent me off for an MRI at the 4 week mark. After the second he was a little harder to convince at that same time but an MRI did show a further herniation. I then had a fusion & am coming up 5 months post op with what appears to be some permanent nerve damage due to time compressed prior to diagnosis.

    If you've had a successful discectomy (I'd say 10years is a success) & you're uncertain this time round I'd see if you could get into the surgeon earlier or at least ring with your concerns. It's so hard to tell what's normal or not.

    Is your pain medication working/helping? If not maybe your pain dr can change it or increase the dose. I found I could deal with the pain better on a day to day basis if my medication was right.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Here I am now 6 weeks out, pain is still in feet ---3 outer toes on left as well as bottom of front outer quarter of foot and 2 outer toes, maybe 10% less..........a week ago dr put me on steroid pack, that helped out some.....he offered me a cortisone shot, so I'll probably take that this week......I'm going to try and get back to travel for work in 2 weeks, so we'll see.....this whole thing sure is frustrating.
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