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Three weeks post op question- l4l5 microdiscectomy

It's been just over three weeks since I had a microdiscectomy at L4L5. The surgeon removed a "large" piece and "repositioned" my nerve.

The first week after surgery I was pain free in my leg, but the incision area was painful. I took Percocet every 4 hours that first week. (10mg dose).

Week two I was almost pain free, however I was still taking Percocet every 4 hours (reduced to 5mg dose).

First day of week three started off great. Almost no pain. I have followed the doctor's orders. Yesterday, I went to stand up from my chair, and felt a sharp pain in my sciatic nerve. This did not feel like a reherniation, more like a tooth ache in my left leg. Same pain pre-surgery, but not constant, just quick and sharp. I had difficulty standing but once I did the pain in the leg reduced, but the back and upper butt still hurt (nothing like pre-surgery, and "sharp tooth ache" pain is the best description I can give it).

I am not taking pain pills anymore, and I notice a constant pain in my back and a bit in the upper butt cheek. At times the pain radiates down the left leg, but that doesn't last very long. Sitting to standing seems to be the trigger, but now the constant back pain has me worried (pain at incision area). I'm not complaining because pre-surgery I was unable to walk, sleep, stand, or function. I was a miserable person for 4 months and my life was basically not worth living. This surgery gave me my life back, but the new pain has me nervous. I'm sure everyone that has experienced the same pain understands that I'm terrified of it returning.

Basically, I'm asking if this pain is normal after surgery. I'm concerned that it returned weeks after the procedure. Why would I be pain free for three weeks then...bam! pain again? Anyone that has had surgery please, please share your recovery stories with me. People around me have no idea what this process is like and can't relate.

Pre-surgery pain level was 9.5/10 :(
Current level 3/10, but the quick sharp pain is 8/10



  • I'm no doctor but, somewhere on this spine health site there is an article about scar tissue that forms around the nerves after a discectomy. I'm not going to suggest anything other than give your doc a visit and tell your symptoms.

    Certainly after my discectomy re herniated after I overdid things, they did a discectomy and fusion. 3 of the 9 hours of surgery was taken up carefully removing scar tissue that had tethered to my nerves.

    Hope that's helpful.

    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
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