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L4-5 Discectomy: 3 weeks post-op questions

weaverjawweaverja Posts: 1
edited 03/09/2015 - 7:06 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm 36F considered history of herniated/bulged disc at L3-4 and L4-5 over 15 years ago. The MRi done at that time showed what I can recall from memory as supposed DDD and/or spinal stenosis in this area. Approximately 3 months ago began suffering symptoms of lower back problems again. After 3 months of meds, PT, and no relief an MRI showed the following:
- Central annular tear L3-4
- Central disc bulge severe spinal canal stenosis at 3.5mm with lateral recesses compromised greatly.

The Surgeon recommended a discectomy at L4-5. I am now on week 3 post-op. Surgeon seemed overall pleased at 2 wk follow-up appt however noted to me that there were adhesions that had to be removed (not sure what this means) that he wasn't expecting and stated this occurs over a period of time. My pain level however with range of motion is not where he would like it and I am concerned as well. I fear I now have the same level of sciatic pain in my left side as I did before surgery. There is still also signs of numbness down my left side leg and foot - not the level of tingling (as if my leg were asleep) as it was before, but a definite loss of sensation/numbness.

My fear?
Is it possible the surgery was not a success? Are there residual issues? Why do they no do a follow-up MRI/x-ray post-op?

I need to return to work - however as it is an office position sitting for 95% of my day is a requirement.

Help? Advice?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • PaulMtPPaulMt Posts: 20
    edited 03/09/2015 - 4:25 PM
    I am having a very similar phenomenon. I had a multiple laminectomy from L2-S1 and had disc bulges throughout along with a Herniation at L5-S1. 2 weeks post op my left leg pain is starting to return and I am not sure why. I was told by my surgeon that they releived the cause for severe stenosis so I am at a loss at to what's happening considering that when I got out I had pain but no leg pain. I called my surgeon today and notified his office but have yet to hear back from him. I have read though that if you leave the issue for any considerable amount of time you can get sciatic nerve damage wherein even after pressure has been relieved, pain continues to radiate due to damage from over time. I do not know how true this is but I have read that this may be a possibility.
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Disc Bulge L2-L3, L4-L5
    • Disc Herniation L5-S1
    • Facet Arthrosis
    • Laminectomy L1-S1 02/18/15
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