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Had L5S1 Laminectomy/Discectomy today - when does it start to really hurt?

I had the procedure this morning and was home by 2pm. I'm obviously very tender, but I keep expecting terribly pain but it hasn't hit yet. Then again, I have to strain to pee, so I may still have surgery related pain killers helping me. The doctor is optimistic that my sciatica will be relieved. It was a small herniation but directly on the nerve and he even mentioned to me and my husband that the nerve root was very swollen. He gave me a 6 day course of prednisone. Is that common after this surgery? Thanks for any feedback or comments!


  • I found the pain from my 1st discectomy kicked in around 48hrs after surgery once the prednisone they bathed the nerve in wore off & even then it was less than I anticipated. After my 2nd discectomy it felt like it was less than 24hrs but they didn't bathe the nerve (no idea why). I didn't have a course to take at home after both surgeries.

    You may find you don't end up with terrible pain.
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • I have had two microdiscectomies (in just a two month time span) and then a third minimally invasive surgery very similar in that same area. Each time I had the nerve bathed in steroids and it was severely crushed each time except the third, which was a bit different. I also received the Medrol dose pack of steroids after at least 2, maybe 3 different surgeries.

    I found that if I took my pain meds on a good schedule those first 2-3 days, even setting my alarm at night to take them, that I never really had any major pain. I have been able to severely taper down my meds within about a week each time and not have any real trouble. That being said, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
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