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I need reassurance...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know this isn't exactly the place to come to hear success stories about surgery but I need to hear this.

I am 4 days out of my L5-S1 microdiscectomy and I'm starting to get nervous. The first 3 days were perfect - no leg pain, only a little pain around the incision. However, now after a bit of walking I can feel the old pain down my leg returning. It is nowhere near as strong as it once was, but it is there.

My surgeon says that it is probably just the nerve recovering but I can't seem to get my head around that. Basically what I need to hear is...

Has anyone been through a microdiscectomy, had the leg pain flare up and then disappear permanently? That is what I am hoping for but I am losing hope.
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1

Comments

  • Hi Geer,

    There is always hope! I had L4/L5 fusion many years ago, not the same exact surgery, but i had symptoms during my recovery like that ... that went away. Recovery takes time, your body, spine, nerves have been through alot, so in my opinion... just be patient. I'm trying to think how long the shadow pain went on for... maybe about 2 months post op? but like you, the pain was nothing like my pre-op pain. I should also clarify that during that 2 months, the pain gradually eased, til 1 day it just wasn't there.

    Good luck with your recovery!
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Hi Geer,

    There is always hope! I had L4/L5 fusion many years ago, not the same exact surgery, but i had symptoms during my recovery like that ... that went away. Recovery takes time, your body, spine, nerves have been through alot, so in my opinion... just be patient. I'm trying to think how long the shadow pain went on for... maybe about 2 months post op? but like you, the pain was nothing like my pre-op pain. I should also clarify that during that 2 months, the pain gradually eased, til 1 day it just wasn't there.

    Good luck with your recovery!
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
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  • Hope,

    I have not gone threw surgery yet but in two days I will be on the operating table myself. L4-S1 fusion. I just read your story and I hope you don't mind in I keep checking in with you in case I go threw the same thing that you are. My name is Melissa and I wiah you the best.
  • One thing that many surgeons do during surgery, is hit you hard with steroids to reduce the inflammation caused by the surgery itself. So when you wake up from surgery you are still under some influence of the anesthesia and post op pain control, and the inflammation hasn't really started to kick in. After 2 or 3 days the inflammation from the doc tugging on and moving the nerves and tissue begins to show up. So many of us will experience pain similar to what we had prior to surgery. The key is to not panic, rest and allow your body to help heal the surgical site.

    Just my $.02 based on my own experiences.

    "C"
  • I was in the middle of writing a post to your thread here when for some reason my computer went nuts and I lost what I was writing before I could submit. If it shows up though half finished thats why.
    What I was saying though is have some patience with all the new sensations you are having. You are so soon out of surgery that the inflamation can cause you to feel things that are totally new or even the old sypmtoms. The good thing you said is that they are LESS than prior to surgery, and that can be encouraging. Give your body time to figure out what in the world just happened to it, its been tugged, tweeked and been throught the wringer. Have some patience and dont over do yourself. Express your concerns with you doctor. I had a flare up in my foot about a month after surgery and it scared me to death because it was so sudden and they tried a steroid pack with me and the foot although still has some pain here and there, is much improved. Even two months post op I still have some swelling, give it time and try to stay calm, but always consult your doctor with new or reoccuring symptoms.
    Hang in there, I wish you all the best.
    Erica
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  • I'm 3 months post L4-5 fusion/decompression and I still have nerve related symptoms. It takes at least a year for our poor nerves to heal. They've been put through the wringer, so to speak. It's way too early for you to become discouraged although I know how you feel. As we say on this site, back surgery makes you redefine the word "patience." I have been told by many that you can't compare improvement on a day to day basis, but on a month to month basis. I find that to be true.

    But aren't you glad the surgery is over! Good luck for a speedy recovery. Keeping you in prayers. K
  • On my L5-S1 MD the post-op pain was so bad.
    Bad enough to keep me in bed for 4 weeks.
    I mean it really was painful to move!
    Thought for sure I was in trouble again.

    As it turns out, it was only swelling, edema and inflamation.

    Lots of ice, and an ESI worked for me.
    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Thanks everyone for the support. This site has been so helpful to me. The pain is still there, but mainly only when I get out of bed after lying down for a while so I am less nervous. I will try to be patient but it isn't one of my strong suits :) I guess my back pain is trying to teach me something.
  • Just continue to be very careful. No bending, lifting or twisting for a while yet -let your disc heal. I did NOT follow those instructions and did more as I felt better, including bending over to the ground, etc. I now have permanent nerve damage. Did your doc tell you how long to lay low? So be very careful and take it easy. You should be fine!!

    Cheri
  • You are only 4 days out. You need to rest and relax, hun and don't over do it. If it starts to hurt then put your feet up and take a rest. Your nerves are probably inflammed from surgery and are just recovering. If it becomes very painful and bothersome then call the doc. However, I was in pretty bad shape for at least 1 week post op and even onto second week I still spend a lot of time on the couch with my feet up.

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