I have been lurking on this site and finally decided to join and post. It seems I have read every posting and every website to try to find a situation similar to mine, but can't quite find it, and I'm getting more and more down.
I had a microdiscectomy on Dec. 8 at l5 s1 with a very reputable surgeon. When I first got injured in August I was in the ER and couldn't walk for about a month due to severe right leg and back pain, had a pretty large herniation at 8 mm by 14 mm. I begged for an ESI and that relieved about seventy percent of my pain. However I still had to wear a back brace to feel comfortable and supported and was taking about a Percocet to two Percocets a day for pain relief. Although I could get back to mostly functioning, I was very active before the injury and multiple doctors told me if I wanted to be active again I needed surgery. If i tried working out i could reel the painS again in my right leg. Right before the surgery I started feeling this strange heavy sensation in both thighs and felt like I was getting weaker although more in my thighs than the calves. I panicked and surgery was moved up.
Even directly after surgery I didn't feel right, but not really in pain. More of a weird stiffness in my legs, but oddly especially in my left thigh, front, back, and inner. Felt like I couldn't walk without dragging the left leg, but my surgery was on the right. Finally did a post surgery MRI to reveal the disc had bulged out again but not as large as my previous extrusion, about 4 mm. However surgeon and second opinion both said that it was too early to tell and also that with my desiccated disc and multiple schmorls nodes, some bulging was going to happen anyways. They said give it time. Now at 7 weeks post op I'm having not only that continued "heavy" feeling in left leg but also pain in left and right legs. The pain varies but is pretty constant at least in my left leg, which was my good leg prior to surgery. Also having new very cold feeling in both feet that seems a cross between pain and numbness. I should mention I have a mild diffuse disc bulge at l4 l5 which I'm not sure is playing into my pain although no doctors seem to think its big enough for any nerve damage.
The whole reason to get surgery was to be able to be active again but now I feel not even functional. My pain is everywhere in my legs, or at least it's in many places whereas before surgery it was confined to my right back of the leg. Doctors told me to try nerve pain meds and I finally caved in and started Nortriptyline last night though I won't know if it's working yet. Also back to minimal Percocets. I don't like taking meds due to side effects so this is also depressing me. I'm waiting to schedule an ESI but pain mgmt says waiting is better because he's not sure where the pain is coming from at this point. My legs feel achy and tired all the time.
I'm so confused as to why I'm having so many new symptoms in both legs, and especially what the heavy feeling even IS in my left leg. Feels so much heavier and hard to move than my right when previously it was pretty much a symptomatic for months. Doctors keep telling me to wait time, but I already know it is rebulging (apparently right paracemtral again) . Now I'm just thinking its gotten bigger or something. I'm getting super depressed and scared. Has anybody else had lots of new pains after surgery in both legs? Did they ever settle down? Also, anybody done an ESI post op and found relief? I really don't want another surgery. Can rebulging after microdiscectomy be treated conservatively and ever return to normal?
Thanks for any advice you can share. I know some pain is normal post op but my pain in such weird areas and the degree of increase in pain is pretty depressing and debilitating. Feeling quite hopeless and normally I'm a fighter.