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2 Month Post Microdiscectomy / paralyzing pain / don't know what to do

Hurt0418HHurt0418 Posts: 2
edited 04/19/2015 - 11:04 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi everyone, I'm 2 months post microdiscectomy on my l4-l5. The doctor said he removed about 80 to 90% of my disc. My doctor has me off work with a lot of restrictions until May 20. No bending, twisting, lifting. No sitting, and no exercises other than lite walking. Things were going ok... but then I started having relentless muscle spasms everyday all the time about 3 weeks post op. About 3 weeks ago I started getting very stiff in the night while sleeping. My back would loosen up during the day after some walking and heat and ice treatment. Then a week later ( 2 weeks ago) and since I have been awoken every night due to excruciating pain piercing through my low extremities and stiffness so bad i feel paralyzed. I literally am unable to move for about 5 to 10 mins. As soon as I am able to bend my legs the pain starts to subside but it is such a painful act. The stiffness then lasts until I walk it off and apply heat/ice.
I have also started having pain in my rear and thighs, numbness in my toes and sometimes feel as though my leg is wet but it's not...? Which is new to me.

Advice anyone? Has anyone heard of it had issues like this? My recovery was so awful I truly hope I don't need another surgery.
I have been trying to reach my doctor with no luck, had anyone heard anything like this?
Rikki Hurt


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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  • emtnellyeemtnelly Posts: 20
    edited 04/18/2015 - 10:51 PM
    I didn't have the exact surgery but had an L2-L3 disc removal and fusion. I am a little over 4 wks post op and have been experiencing extreme stiffness (like my back is made out of concrete) until I too, get up and start moving around. I have also experienced the leg pain and some sporadic spasms and numbness too. I've had earn pain for about a year now, but not sure how that correlates to any of our backs but I swear it has something to do with nerves in the back. My Dr for the past year looks at me like I'm crazy, but have no infections or any underlying disease that could cause it. I still think it's my back. Back surgery definitely takes a toll on the entire body. I keep hearing from others that the pain and tightness, muscle spasms and nerve pain can come and go for a long time. I'm not a dr, but would definitely address this with him/her at next appt. But I'm sure this is all normal for your body, especially if it subsides when u walk around. If you have a gut feeling that something just isn't right then make sure to get a hold of either your surgeon or your general practitioner if nothing else. I have been having ups and downs since surgery. And two night ago I almost had to have hubby or ambulance bring me to the er as I was having pain as bad as day 1 after surgery and couldn't move, but it stopped about 8 hrs later. Our backs have been through hell and back and disrupted. We will experience bad feelings sometimes. I know this not make u better but hope it helps u feel that something may just be your body and nothing wrong. But the Dr can determine that if it continues. Your still early in recovery, take it slow. Good luck.
  • Hi. First of all I have never heard of a microdiscectomy that removes 90% of the disc. That is complete BS.
    I tell you this from my own personal experience. After the surgery I was told by another NS that my NS removed my disc completely. After my first follow up with my NS he told me that he was able to remove just a little part of the disc since with a microdiscectomy there's no way a surgeon can reach for more.

    So imagine my frustration and anger thinking I have received so much misleading info after my op. The truth is most of them don't know what they are on about. Get in touch with your doc and ask him to give you proper info and ask him how come your vertebrae weren't fused after practically removing all if your disc.
    What a load of ....
  • Hurt0418HHurt0418 Posts: 2
    edited 04/19/2015 - 9:15 AM
    Not quite sure what that's all about (you definitely come off in a very rude manner). My doctor actually showed me the disc he took out and told me how much is left in there. The nurses were the ones that told me that my doctor had to cut one the largest holes they have every seen in this surgery due to the size of the disc. And what's normally an outpatient or 1 night stay in the hospital, mine was 3 nights.
    I already know why he didn't do a fusion. When we first met he looked at my films and said that a fusion would offer me 100% success at having no recurrence. However, due to my young age he didn't feel that a fusion would be fair to me. That's the reason for no fusion.

    I'm obviously not going to sit here and list every little thing I went through with my surgeon. However, I am going to trust my doctor and the nurses that were present for my surgery and the summery and follow up my nurses received from the OR. Not to mention my doctor is one of the best in my area.

    And it's the paralyzing feeling with crippling pain that subsides. The stiffness and muscle spasms never subside. the pain is also starting to linger in my hip and won't go away. I was told to use arnica oil and aloe but I am having no success. I do know that I can't continue to endure this pain every night for the rest of my life.

    I have read some people struggling to straighten out, but I get stuck straight and can't lift my legs. In fact I can't move my body at all. And I constantly feel as though I'm laying against a rolled up towel where my incision was. Obviously I can't stay in constant motion 24/7 to avoid this... I just hope that when I am able to speak with my doctor he doesn't think I'm nuts.

    Other things that I believe may be related because they started at the same time is my lack of appetite and constant nausea and trouble emptying my bladder.
    Rikki Hurt
  • I'm really sorry I seemed rude or too aggressive with my previous post.
    What I was trying to say is that the nurses or your surgeon like in my own case were talking bs. I assure you I wasn't referring to you.
    First the head of the neurosurgery dept said the entire disc was removed and after a month they tell me it was actually a tiny part of it as it is practically impossible to remove everything with a microdiscectomy.

    Anyways never mind that, you go on and trust your surgeon as it's the best thing to do and above all be patient as it will take time.
    Again I apologise, this was never aimed at you but at your medical staff which in my opinion were a bit exaggerated to make that kind of statement. We all get this sort of comments from nurses and surgeons after they finish eg wow that's the biggest herniation I've seen. Yeah right :) they said that to half the people on the floor.
    That being said I really wish you well and hope you get a lil better every day.
  • Hi, I'm sorry to read of your troubles (and pain) did you have this pain before surgery? Are you on any medications to help get you through?
    Some of what you have described sounds like nerve pain to me, especially the piercing pain in the lower extremities. I had a fusion at L5-S1 (ALIF) about 6 weeks ago.
    Initially I had complete relief of symptoms, but about two weeks ago the nerve pain came roaring back full throttle in my right leg, and have also developed some in my left leg. So yes, I've had symptoms return after surgery. I've also read of others who describe a "wet" feeling, and from what I remember, it was nerve issues causing it.
    I'm sorry I don't have much to add to your questions. I just wanted to say that yes, I've had similar symptoms return post op, and have brought them to the attention of my surgeon and his PA. they told me that I'm still in the acute phase of recovery, so these symptoms that come and go are to be expected. You just had an extremely traumatic surgery to your back.
    Trust your instincts. Make sure you report them to your surgeon. I have orders from the doctor to report any new or worsening symptoms. I wish you luck, and will be thinking of you. Please keep us posted?
  • Do you sleep on your back? Or on your side? I'm not trying to pry too much... I cannot sleep on my stomach since having surgery, I couldn't before surgery either. I'd wake up stiff like you describe. So, now I sleep on my back with pillows on either side to prevent rolling over, with a pillow under my knees. IF I going to sleep on my side, I mkae sure to put a pillow between the knees.
  • I'm so sorry that you're having such a difficult time. Some of what you describe sounds reasonable (the wet sensation in your leg is definitely nerve-related) but some of it is concerning, particularly the inability to empty your bladder. I think I'd get in touch with your surgeon and tell him all your symptoms. It is definitely possible to reherniate immediately after surgery, so you need to rule that out.
    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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