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Difference between muscle spasms and reherniation

I had my micro-discectomy on February 27th on l4/l5.

I came out completely pain free. Every once in a while I get numbness in the leg that bothered me before surgery. And I have had some very quick "twinges" of pain in my low back. But today I have gotten a lot more of them. (Where ad before it would not happen every day and it would only be once or twice. But today it has been several times. I haven't had to take any of my pain meds or my muscle relaxers though today I took one of the muscle relaxers to see if it helps with the spasms.

Has anyone had this? If so, does this sound like muscle spasms or does it sound like a possible reherniation



  • forgivenbygracee

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    You are very early in recovery, you are also at about the right time frame for nerves to start waking up which can be painful, also muscles are starting to heal and muscle spasms are a unfortunate part of that process. Generally speaking a reherniation will cause basically the same pain as before or worse, sometimes on the other side. You also did not indicate if you have been increasing your activity level, that can also cause pain until your body gets used to it again. Are you using ice packs? My suggestion is to take it easy this weekend and see if you feel better, if it starts getting worse you need to contact your surgeons office.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Hi Chip, yesterday I was a lot more active than I have been. I am in no pain at all compared to what I was in before surgery (though I wasn't sure if it would start out mild then slowly build in intensity). I will take it easy to see but I'm thinking I just overdid it yesterday. I haven't had any muscle spasms/pain this morning and was in no pain last night while sleeping. I still have numbness and tingling in my "bad" leg today but I know that it's normal. Thank you for your thoughts. To go from no pain after surgery to some can be disconcerting because in my brain it seems like the worst pain would be right after but I know that's not the case most times. 

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  • Glad you are feeling better today, I completely understand, after going through surgery and feeling better, when you have pain your mind says oh no, had it happen to me many times.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • New or updated question. My husband and I walked around the mall today. Evening my left buttock (the problem leg) had had piriypirif symptoms. (Burning and tightness but no real pain or anything). Is this also just the nerve healing and waking up? I tried googling it and was not very successful. From what I found it is but I get scared at every little twinge that is different.

  • It is very normal to be scared when you have pain after surgery, it sounds like to me it is just the nerves, you will probably have more of that as your activity level picks up.

    One word of advice is to be very careful when using doctor google, if not you will have yourself convinced you have everything known to man.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

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  • gracee ive had those fears when i had back surgery and  had  asked to speak to my sirgons PA over the phone as my surgons office was an hour away he said that healing from a back surgery is long but being active is great my first surgery i was out of bed in hours oof waking up and did a little walking every day i have spinal stenosis and may be having my second surgery soon

    listen to your body thats what you should do my pain has been intense and not easy to deal with im hoping relaxing will help

    you sound like your doing well!

  • Totally normal...speaking from my experience. I'm at 6 months and feel great, but the first 2.5 months had moments as you describe. In fact, I had a three week period of nothing, and then the twinges returned.

    You're healing

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,522

    I think everyone has given you some good opinions.  Recovery from any spinal surgery takes time, and when there are nerves involved, it can take much longer.

    It is very difficult for any of us to really distinguish between muscle spasms, re-herniation, or flare ups.    They can all bring on some new acute pain.   We need our doctors to identify what if any problem there is.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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