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Post-Op Scaries

I’m sure this has been posted a million times so I am going to apologize in advance. But I figured I would post because I would appreciate some feedback.

I’m a 26 year old male coming up on 2 months post L3-L4 discectomy and nerve decompression. Post surgery I basically spent 3 straight weeks in bed with bits of walking around daily. I struggled with severe pain due to inflammation/ healing of nerves. I was in way worse shape then before the surgery and had classic thoughts of why did I even bother/ did the surgery fail? 

Luckily I can say things have drastically improved since then. I can basically do anything I need without much restriction or pain (stairs, grocery shopping, walking, getting in and out of bed, cleaning etc.). I I’ve been off all pain killers besides ibuprofen for a couple weeks now. But I still have some dull pain that goes all the way down the back of my leg. And some minor dull lower back pain if I twist certain ways. I was really expecting come two months post surgery to have absolutely no pain down my leg so I’m a bit worried it may never go away. 

Anyone have experiences similar or different that can comment on this. I would really appreciate it. 



  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 12/14/2018 - 4:56 AM


    Most likely your body is still healing... 2 months is not really all that long for spinal surgery recovery.   Give it a couple more months and most likely the niggling pains will go away.   A word of caution... just because you are feeling better doesn't mean you can go back to your pre-surgery activities 100%.  Your surgeon removed an important part of your spine that will NEVER grow back... this means that for the rest of your life your spine will be less than 100% and it will be susceptible to further damage if you over stress it or abuse it.   You need to be smart about being kind to your back from now on to avoid further trips to the surgeon's table.  It doesn't mean you have to walk on egg shells every day... but you need to be thoughtful and aware on a daily basis about how you treat your back from now on.  Your very young so it probably be hard to listen/accept this... but take it from a not so wise old man who abused his back most of his life and is now paying the price.   Be smarter than me... your body will thank you and reward you with good health.  

    Harry - 65 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
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,425

    Spinal surgery recovery takes time, please read Recovery, the most important phase - Patience

    Another thing to keep in mind, is that while the disc / fusion area should be getting better,  3 months is almost the medical magic number for 99% pain relief.  However,  nerve pain can take much longer.  I had a laminectomy in Feb 2016 for spinal stenosis.   By June, my back was feeling good, but it wasn't until March of 2017 before all my nerve pain subsided.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Thank you Harry for the response. You are absolutely correct with your advise and I have tried my best to always keep that in the back of my head. The last thing anyone wants is to have to have further operations because they were not careful. 

    Ron, thank you for sharing that article. It’s a wonderful read. And thank you for sharing how your recovery went. Was beginning to get nervous that I still had pain but you are both right. These things take time and patience. 

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