Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

reherniation due to constipation after microdiscectomy?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 3 days post L4-5 microdiscectomy. Today in straining to have a bowel movement, I am worried I herniated again since I have numbness in a new area in my leg. Does anyone know if this is possible? I had good relief of my symptoms right away and now I feel this new area of numbness/tingling when I walk.


  • ellen- I would call the surgeon's office as soon as possible. Or see if they can work you in Monday or as soon as they can. :-C
    Discuss the numbness and your concerns about re-herniation. :SS
    I did re-herniate a disc (L4-L5) after my surgery about 2 or 3 months out. My surgeon just told me the disc was unstable and that was a possibility. I do not remember any specific incidence. :/

    The straining post-op may be helped by suppositories. I used dulcolax and it worked great as a nurse told me about them and I used them in the hospital. I could not take any pills as I was nauseous and the abdominal cramping hurt too much.
    I also drank hot black tea with honey/lemon and that seemed to help as well. I also drank more fluids and only ate food that was easily digestable like puddings, soups, broths, powerade, jellos, hot fudge sundaes, tea with lemon/honey.. :) jade
  • :) i see this a only your second post and i want to welcome you to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. Call your doctor and tell him what you are worried about. he can best tell you what to do next. he may tell you to rest for a few days and let things settle down back there. good luck and don't expect the worse before you hear the good news! Jenny :)
  • advertisement
  • I'm sorry to hear that you are having a problem but let's hope that there's nothing wrong. In the meantime, I would suggest stool softeners the same as Jade did. This soon after surgery you shouldn't be straining. Good luck!
  • The default answer is, of course, call your surgeon and check in with them, especially since it's so soon after your procedure.

    That said, I wouldn't necessarily be concerned. With both of my microdiscs (ay yi yi, "both"), I experienced nerve symptoms of various manifestations in the weeks and months after the procedure whenever I did "too much." Now, what "too much" was varied in my stage of healing. Initially, it would be simply being on my feet for more than a half hour. Now, it's from starting a new school year and I'm on my feet 8 hours a day. It's possible, maybe even probable, that you've simply irriated tissues healing around the injured nerve root via muscle strain.

    8mos+ post op, and I still have healing tissues that tell me loud and clear when they've been overworked. The muscle spasms in my left calf are ANNOYING!

    Go get yourself some generic OTC stool softeners and take them daily for at least the first two weeks of your healing. I did that after both of my microdiscs...plus after the birth of my son (felt like a good push would turn me inside out, yuck!). Pain meds can have constipating effects, too, so that is a totally unfair side effect all things considering.

    Hope you feel better soon!
  • They should have told you never to strain after any surgery. With any incision there is a possibility of reopeing the incision site. Strong pain meds slow down the digestive process and caused constipation. I am sure there is a possiblility of reherniating your disc if you were pushing to hard. Hopefully it isn't to bad. Let us know what happens. I really hope everything turns out for you. I am sure you have been through a lot.
    Best wishes,
  • advertisement
  • I was told after my L4-L5 microD that I might feel some different pains or numbeness or tingling in my leg... The nerve is moved around a bit during the surgery, so it can go somewhat haywire after that. I don't think 3 days would lead to a reherniation... Generally it takes a little bit of time for the disc material to spill out again.... You could just be having some issues with the healing, as scar tissue begins to form, and that can actually compress the nerve, as well. Definitely call your doctor, better to be safe than sorry... But I don't think you should stress too much and get yourself too worked up... Put a call into your surgeon, and then just take some time to relax. I wish you the best!
  • Now I have to decide if I should have a second microdiscectomy. Anyone have thoughts on that? I don't feel like I have any other option at this point. My pain/discomfort is more pervasive and I can't really function.
  • If I were you I would give the 2nd microD a go but then again I am not sure what other options are out there. What does your Doc recommend or haven't you seen them yet to discuss possible outcomes?

    best of luck with whatever you go for,

  • Are you deciding between MicroD or NO surgery? Or MicroD or a bigger surgery? If you'd like to try to go on without surgery that would make sense.... If there is enough of your disc left to do another MicroD without making the spine too unstable, I'd say go for it, if your nerve is being impinged again.
  • so far so good - leg pain initially gone. Thanks, Lo, for your posts.The surgeon said there was still 80% of disc left after my 2nd micro today. He showed me the fragment he took out and said it was big. Now I am very nervous about ANY movement I make, so I need reassurance I will not reherniate again just because I am walking around and getting in and out of bed.

    51 years old empty nester
    microdiscectomy L4-5 on 9/3/08
    redo of discectomy for reherniation of L4-5 on 9/17/08
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.