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Back Pain ans Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hi, Recently injured lower back (ruptured L4-5) and had surgery to clean up disk debris 9/4/08. Pain level has returned, post-surgery, to a 9 consistently. New MRi shows nothing re-herniated. Have just had ESI procedure (several days ago) and pain is still 9. Can't sleep, am afradi of continued Steroid exposure, and can't function at employment while on Percocet and Vocodin. Can't handle the ongoing leg pain, weakness, numbness. I am male, had a been very active, great condition, 54 yrs young.

Has anbidy been thru this, similar situation. They cancelled my PT due to pain levels. What options do I have to look at?

Thank you!


  • You may want to get a second or even third opinion. If it comes down to controlling your pain with meds, there are long acting options that control your pain and still let you function OK. There are also several types of nerve pain meds out there that may help. Welcome to the forum and you can always count on us to listen, understand and support you. You are among people that are going through the same things that you are. I am sure that others will come along and post also and maybe even have some better ideas for you. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • I had L5 discectomy in April and had severe pain about 3 weeks after surgery that lasted about a week. It went away for a week then came back again for another week. But since then I've felt great. I was told it was fairly normal and like i said I'm pretty much back to normal now. A minor amount of leg pain and numbness every now and again but nothing that holds me back.
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  • i havn't had this procedure as i am a fusion patient.
    but i have found by reading and others on here. sometimes it takes longer for one person then another to recover.
    it pretty much is that way for any type of spinal surgery.

    my ESI took several days to know if it worked. sorry i cannot remember the correct time frame. plus it caused me more pain before it got better.

    so relax the best you can. REST if allowable.i know its frustrating.
    call the dr and see if you should stay on some post op restrictions.
    i know how hard it is when you are active and you have to do the waiting game.
    your still early out from your procedure.

    ice /heat whatever the dr told you , you can do.
    keep up on your med regimine.

    another huge issue for alot of patients is going back to work to soon. mabye your body was not ready??? im not sure as i cannot answer that question in full.
    especially in these times everyone needs to go back to keep things going.

    hang in there we are here to support you in anyway we can.
    we cannot give out medical advice just our own personal experiences and opinions.

    terri O:) O:)

  • I am sorry you are having so much pain. Did your doctor give you some idea what might be causing the pain?

    While I am not sure exactly what kind of surgery you had I do know that nerve pain, muscle spasms, etc are not uncommon after spine surgeries. They sometimes start when you start being more active after surgery. Both can be very painful but I think there a number of options for pain control. Sometimes it is a matter of finding the medication (or procedure) that works for you.

    As Terri said recovery times and experiences are so different for each of us - is it possible you became too active too soon and need to give your body a bit more time to recover?

    I hope you find something soon to alleviate your pain.
  • I have had severe left leg pain(9)since several days before Thanksgiving. I've been taking a bold pain reliever that kills the pain to a dull ache. I stay on the couch and move around with a cane, sometimes crawing, just to stay off my feet. I keep my left leg bent at the knee and the other leg straight. This lessen the pain. I have been able to get around for the Dr. appiontments and tests.

    I have had two surgeries on L4-5 in May & Sept 2005 to correct spinal stenosis with excellent success. The surgeon said L 4-5 are involved again. I did not have this leg pain previously, just lower back pain.

    I was raking leaves and lifting medium weight storage cartons.

    I have had X-ray and an MRI that indicate additional surgery. I will be doing a CT (spinal tap with dye) on Friday, Dec 12th.

    I'm agreeable to have surgery immediately. Is this the best thing to do? Are there other options? The pain is unbearable without the medication. I have not begun physical therapy because of the pain. Should I? I have taken some predisone (Steriods) with out success but the pain relievers have massed any real results from the steriods.

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  • I had a microdiscectomy last year for L4-S1 herniation. I woke up from surgery still having leg pains. I had PT, but had to cancel some sessions due to severe pain flare ups. I had a post op MRI and x rays and I wasn't told much, only that it was okay. That wasn't the whole story, I later found out. I had 2 post op ESI's which did nothing and left me miserable. I was finally shipped off to pain management.
    Here I am , six months out of a 2 level fusion, and still have the pain. They had to fix a recurrent herniation of L4-5, a disc bulge with nerve compression on L5-S1, retrolisthesis on L4-5, I have severe DDD and chronic degenerative changes on the endplates on L5-S1, severe DDD L4-5, and benign hemangioma on L2. I do have DDD in the cervical and thoracic and disc bulges, but it is nothing like my lumbar spine.
    Well, I hope things turn out better for you and that the injections help. If you continue to have pain, your next stop may be pain management. The best ones are the ones that provide integrated care which offers a variety of treatments. Take care
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