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"Locking" or "Freeze" feeling in lower back after surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have had two laminectomy/disectomies on my L5/S1 due to herniations. My surgeries were 17 months apart. My last surgery was in August of 2008 and my pain has increased. Does anyone know what I mean by a "locking" or "freezes in place" feeling exactly in my L5/S1 disc area? Could this be because disc material is gone? :?? My OS said that between the two surgeries he has removed about 75% of that disc material. Is this a normal procedure? :? Anyway, my sciatic pain has returned in my left leg and I am scheduled for a repeat MRI on October 10th. Does anyone have suggestions or comments on what I might be feeling or what I might be facing? :SS Thanks for any input!


  • Unfortunately there's no way to know what might be causing your feeling of locking or freezing. So many things could be causing nerve compression which would bring about the return of your sciatic pain. It could be something completely unrelated to your surgical repair at L5-S1.

    The best thing to do is to wait and see what the MRI shows the surgeon. Since the MRI is on Friday, at least you don't have to wait long, which is cool. When is your appointment with the surgeon to find out the results?

    As far as what you might be facing ... again there's no way for any of us here to know.

    We can offer you support and encouragement, but as far as figuring out the answers to your questions, that's for your surgeon to do.

    Kindest regards,


  • Thanks "C". I will be seeing my surgeon on Monday October 13th for the MRI results. Thanks for the reply!
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  • Hiya >:D<
    I have problems in the L4/L5/S1 area , and i get quite a bit of pain :''( . In the mornings when i wake, my back is in a spasm, its so painful :''( . What you descibe sounds like spasms :? .
    Do you have any other symtoms? :/ Keep me posted about what the surgeon says :) !Good Luck! >:D<

    Angie x :H
  • Hi Angie :)
    The other symptoms I am having is sciatica in my left leg that runs from my hip/buttocks area down to the outside of my left foot. Always feels as if it is in a pinch :''( Thanks for your reply. I'll be sure and post what my surgeon tells me. >:D<
  • I know exactly what you mean by your back locking and freezing up. In my case it is my facet joints that cause it.
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  • Hiya, >:D<
    I also get pain in my right leg that radiates, it is extremly painful :''( . Yes it will be interesting to know what the surgeon says :? . Keep us posted! PM me anytime! :)

    Angie :H
  • Hello everyone! Yesterday I went for my MRI and then returned in the PM to get my CD of my images and results. RECURRENT L5/S1 DISC EXTRUSION :''( This is the third time this particular disc has herniated and I had my second surgery only 8 weeks ago ~X( I see my OS on Monday and I am very curious as to what he will suggest. Does anyone think I may be in need of a fusion at this point? I just can't believe it happened again so quickly. Take care, all.
  • Hello,
    About 6-7 years ago I had 2 dissect/lamis L5/S1 at about 6 month intervals - same thing recurring. The 1st procedure they found a large segment pressing on the nerve. On the 2nd they found lots of small disc fragments imbedded in the tissue that encapsulates the nerve. I also had kind of a locking sensation right at the affected area fairly consistently when I was going down stairs. It was not painful, just disconcerting. It felt a little like my leg would give out. The facet joints are altered to gain access to the disc area plus it's likely that disc spacing is now less so the anatomy is altered. My conclusion, after going through too many years to mention, discussions with too many excellent doctors and reading everything I could understand, is that once this stuff starts to happen, the disc eventually dies out and basically vacuates and eventually one ends up with bone against bone or vertebra, then a natural fusion usually takes place. The dissect/lami actually speed up this process. In many cases the procedure is absolutely necessary to prevent permanent nerve damage. I have some loss of sensation on the top of my foot and shin area, but I am sure it would have been worse without the procedures. Dr. Banco in Boston explained all of this best. He also said as the vertebra fuse together my pain would likely lessen, which it did. I live a "high impact" life so I went and had the disc replacement to hopefully protect the surrounding disc. I ultimately had a ProDisc installed which I would rate as an overall a success. My opinion is I would have had even better results, but because I had to wait so long (long story), the L5/S1 segment had really started to fuse together and the facet joints had taken years of abuse and I think the area is sensitized. 4 years out I find that, if I do everything right, sit ups, stretch, exercise and keep moving I am pain free 80% of the time. Years ago 6 months of religious PT had no positive effect.
    I hope this was somehow helpful.
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