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Post L5-S1 Microdiscectomy Update

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am now almost two weeks post-surgery for microdiscectomy on L5-S1 and wanted to give an update for those who helped me prior to my surgery.

I was in total agony before the surgery - my husband had to go into the hospital to get them to bring a stretcher out to bring me to my room. I was in so much pain, I couldn't imagine walking into the hospital and up one level to short stay admitting.

After the surgery, I woke up and the intense buttock and leg pain was gone. I stayed the night in the hospital, since my surgery didn't start until 4 pm. I was incredibly sore at the incision site and felt very stiff and delicate when I got up to use the restroom. It was the first time in two months I was able to use the restroom without incredible pain. My right foot (the bad side) is still numb (was before the surgery), but I anticipate this will take awhile to resolve.

I have been walking since I got home - around the house at first, then graduating to walking outside two times a day for about 30 minutes each. It has been incredibly hard not being able to pick up my 6 week old baby, but now I can at least sit in a chair for a bit and hold him. I was not able to do this for the first four weeks of his life. I am trying to be as good with the no bending, lifting, or twisting restrictions as possible - I don't want to go through the herniation pain again!!

While I totally don't regret the surgery - I had no choice given how incredibly much pain I was in - I do have a few wierd things that I was wondering if anyone has dealt with... (I know it's still very early on post-surgery)

My right side was the painful side, but after surgery I have been having some twinges in my left buttock and leg. These are not anything I would call painful, given my presurgery pain, but odd since my right was the affected side. I am having a few twinges in the right leg, but I expected that.

I also have numbness on the upper/front portion of my left thigh towards the hip. Again, nothing terribly painful, but this is the most annoying - it makes sleeping on my left side a bit painful because it burns at times. I am not certain if this is due to the surgery/herniation or if this is something left over from pregnancy.

Anyone have any input on either of these two things?



  • Congratulations on getting through the surgery, I am so pleased to hear it has resolved so much of your pain and that you are now able to hold your baby.

    I had my MicroD in January and I had the same experience with the pain post surgery seeming to switch to the other side. It was never even close to the severity of the original problem, I am glad to say that was fixed in the op and hasn't been back since. The other side (in my case the right) has been tricky on and off since the surgery but I am coping with it fine, its more of an annoyance than anything else.

    My physio said it was probably there since the original injury but your brain can't process it as the bad side takes over, its only when that pain has gone that you realise there are other things not quite right.

    I have been doing pilates to strengthen my core and that really helped release some of the right side pain, but I then made the error of doing too much training trying to get back into shape and it has had a flare up, nothing too major but enough to scare me into taking it a bit easier.

    I don't have any advice on the hip pain, hope it eases off soon so you can get some good rest.

    Keep us updated on your progress, and give your baby a big hug from me!

    Take care


  • Sounds like you are really on the road to recovery!

    I am also 2 weeks post op and both my buttocks are weirding out. The right is almost completely numb, along with most of the right leg. Yes, I can relate to not wanting to lay on that side, it's like it goes doubly asleep. The numbness at times is benign, just not there, but other times it is an angry numb, like you've tied a string around your finger until it goes bright red and numb and throbs.

    My left side, originally my pain side is now pain-free, but my 'cheek' is really odd feeling. I can touch it and it's not numb, but it is definitely kind of tingly and not real feeling. Almost pain, but not quite. You really described it well when you said you get twinges there and down your leg too. Same here.

    Keep us updated 'cause I really need to talk with someone else who is dealing with numbness - AND we are both about the same time post op :) We're buds!
  • Hi JClay

    I am just over 2 weeks post op and am feeling much better. My pre-surgery pain was in the right leg and it's resolved with some residual numbness. The pain I have now though is on the opposite site, like you. My left hip and back area really bother me. I spoke to my chiropractor/PT and she said it is likely due to gait changes and for so much overcompensation that our bodies were doing to help move the other leg. She also said that once I am a little farther into recovery that this type of pain is something PT can really help with through some stretching, using an exercise ball, etc. I found this very reassuring as there was nothing any PT could do to relieve my pain before the surgery.

    It is hard not to pick up your little one- mine is 2 and 30 pounds, so I have quite awhile before I can lift her. She has been a real trooper.

    I hope you continue to feel better!
  • I am glad to hear that things are really starting to look up for you. I know how hard it is with a baby to go through these things. My son was just a little over a year old and starting to walk and fall alot. Make sure you a careful though. I reherniated by picking my son up when he fell. I hope everything goes well for you.
  • Hi JClay, I'm also probably facing a microscopic surgery. I'll see my new Dr. on the 13th. My previous surgeron wanted to repeat the terrible fusion like he did once
    before...too much recovery time along with too much cutting!

    My L 3 is badly worn, bulged out a long ways, and the disk is also leaking giving me all the synthoms of a herniated disk. I've been putting up with this since Feb. It just about gets the best of me on some days.

    We had a gospel meeting at church and I was determined to make each service. By Wednes, I had to stay in bed all day. But, again, I braced up and pilled up and made this last service!

    I pray that you'll soon recover! Just remember, you've got to give yourself time. Nerves are slow healing most all the time. And thanks for alerting to me that I may have some new pains on the opposite side. This happened to me after having a discogram. In addition, I developed Bursitis in my other hip ... steroid shot finally kicked in! Best get well wishes!! Anorman
  • Thanks for the replies everyone. I am trying to be patient and not over analyze every little twitch and pain I get - it's hard!

    Cindy26 - I see you had a microdiscectomy prior to having your baby. I know it's still really early, but I'd like to have another child eventually (maybe 3-4 years). I developed the herniated disc during pregnancy (not quite sure how) and I am scared about ever getting pregnant againa and repeating this pain.

    If you don't mind me asking... Did you have any problems with your disc during your pregnancy? Was the c-section because of your back? Was the second surgery on your back caused by pregnancy?
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