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4 months post op L4-5 laminectomy and discectomy and more problems with no answers.

mommyof5mmommyof5 Posts: 1
edited 12/01/2015 - 7:11 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This is my first time posting in any kind of forum but I am getting no answers anywhere else. A little bit of back ground information: I was injured after a fall at work about 3 and a half years ago. With the fall I not only hit the floor but fell against a metal shelving unit in a walk in freezer. After 3 and a half years of lower back and leg pain I finally went in for an MRI which showed L4-5 large central soft disc protrusion slightly asymmetric to the left compressing the thecal sac and the left L5 nerve in the lateral recess. There was also findings of degenerative disc disease and arthritis of the spine. I was sent for an L4-5 laminectomy and discectomy. I am now 4 months post op and am in more pain now then I was to begin with and I have no idea why. I was sent for new xrays as well as a new post op MRI for both my lumbar and cervical spine due to the pains, tingling, and numbness I have been having.

I went in for the x ray and got the results of mild straightening of the cervical lordosis. With no explanation as to what this is I was sent for an MRI of my lumbar and cervical spine. Later that same day my surgeon calls and tells me that my lower back pain is probably just muscle and ligament pain and that there is a small disc bulge in my neck but nothing else was said. I received my reports from the radiologist and I am a little confused by it and what my Dr had told me.

The Lumbar MRI reads as followed:

Disc desicration at L4-5 is noted. There is subtle levoconvex lower lumbar scoliosis
L4-5 has no residual stenosis status post left laminectomy and microdiscectomy. Epidural fibrosis to the left of the thecal sac and in the left lateral recess. Mild underlying disc bulge is noted

The left L4 and L5 nerve roots course through adjacent mild epidural fibrosis in the left foramin and left lateral recess.

The cervical MRI reads as follows:

C4-C5 central disc protrusion. Mild straightening of cervical lordosis.

cervical degenerative disc disease

I guess maybe I am not understanding how my surgeon says that I am ok and it is just muscle and ligament bruising but the pain is so much worse now then it was before the surgery. Not only is my lower back and legs in pain but now my neck and arms are in pain along with the same tingling and numbness i have in my legs. Not to mention the ever lasting migraines that I have been getting lately. Is this all just a part of the healing process? Can someone please help me to understand the new MRI results so that I understand what all is going on? I am getting no where with my surgeon and things seem to progressively be getting worse with no answers from the Dr that is suppose to be helping me.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
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    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/02/15 01:11 est



  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 721
    edited 12/01/2015 - 7:23 PM
    Myself and the other people here on this forum are everyday people with back and neck problems just like yourself so there is no way we have the training or knowledge to interpret your MRI results. But I/we can tell you is that if you are not getting the results or information you need from your current doctor go see another doctor/surgeon. It is perfectly normal to seek a second or even a third opinion.

    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • I hope someone can be of help to me

    I had MicroD around 4 months ago now as i had a slipped disc pressing the nerve at L4-5 which was causing me moderate back pain but sever leg and foot pain/weakeness. Since my surgery I have had no leg or back pain which seems to be a complete success! In the last two weeks I have had server back pain come back (worse than before my surgery) which seems to on trigger during certain movements I make and only in one spot in my back. The pain is very intense and can bring me to my knees. What have also noticed that can not stand up right or straight so i find myself leaning my body to the left or right hand side to stop the pain. If i try to stand my body up right and true the pain comes back and stops me doing this. Has anyone else had this problem and if so would anyone know what the issue could be? Thanks for reading and I hope someone could be of help.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427

    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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