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2 weeks out from surgery and am afraid I may have re-herniated the disc

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had a discectomy L5 S1 on November 14, everything went great. I've been home with little pain except for the incision site along with some numbness, which I'm told is normal. Starting two days ago, however, I've stated to have progressively worse pain down the back of my leg, at least to the knee, sometimes to the ankle. I saw the post-op nurse today; she wants me to try Valium to see if it's muscle spasms. If the pain isn't better/gone by Monday she'll schedule another MRI. What are other people's experiences with this..is it common to reherniate so quickly? I've been very good, following the doctor’s orders (almost) exactly. Please tell me this is a normal part of the healing process!!
Thanks for any advice, Happy Thanksgiving!!


  • No... It isn't common to reherniate soon after surgery. It happens, but not often.

    After my MicroD, I had Sciatica come back and forth for a while afterwards. It's common... It's the nerve healing. It can go a little haywire. It could be inflammation at the surgical site... Maybe they can give you some antiinflammatories or some steroids.
  • It is really not common to reherniate...however, I was a case that it did happen...twice. My first lami/diskectomy I reherniated within 6 mos. had another lami/diskectomy and reherniated again in 2 weeks (it reherniated about 5 mm. almost as far as it was herniated before the surgery.)I finally had a 2 level fusion. I do want to reiterate that every doctor I have says it is VERY uncommon, so it is probably unlikely, but it is something that can happen. I think for piece of mind you should ask for an MRI, atleast then you will know what is going on in there!!!!In both cases when it happened to me, the doc wouldn't believe me then they did an MRI and saw that it really did happen.
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  • I realized my comment may freak you out, so I wanted to also say that following surgery your muscles and nerves are VERY upset with you so it is also very normal to have weird pains/sensations and it is just a normal part of the healing process..I was just a random exception.
  • common to rehernieate your disc again so quicly or at all.
    Sure it is possible but it also could just be muscle spasm.

    When you think about it our sciatic nerves run between all the big muscles in our buttocks, so when these get tight and crampy they squich the nerves that are between them. So often pain felt as sciatica simply comes from muscles and not necessarily discs.
    Try some heat packs on your back and buttocks, rest and do gentle walking -nothing too strenious and dont sit too much.

    Some gentle massage could also help and you could probably do this by running your knuckles over your bottom.

    Hope you feel better soon.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Is this an Aussie word? Love it! =)) =))
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  • You've all been so helpful! I'll take the nurses advice and use the valium as directed. Hopefully this will help.
  • Recurent leg pain is not uncommon. Often times your nerve root is damaged and the pain will return when that nerve is "waking up". In our practice, we probably wouldn't order a new MRI so quickly - unless you did something traumatic that may have obviously caused a re-herniation. We would recommend high doses of anti inflammatories or something like Lyrica or Neurontin for the leg pain. Maybe even a Medrol pack to help with the inflammation. Good luck. Hope you improve!
  • Originally she was going to give me that patch, however, I'm not able to take any NSAID, steroids or the lesser Advil/Alleve because of stomach problems from them that landed me in the hospital. I feel a lot better after hearing some of these posts. Thanks!
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