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Microdiscectomy L5/S1 - Right Foot pain

petite39ppetite39 Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a lamectomy/discectomy L5/S1 done on 6/30/07 and 8/20/07. First the right side then the left side. The fragment had broken through the disc membrane and it was an emergency surgery. Then a fragment broke through the left side and had another emergency surgery. This caused me to have this excruciating right foot pain after about the 6th week after the second surgery. The pain was so bad that I couldn't even swing my leg to walk. I was in a wheelchair for over a month then walked with a cane. The pain started to reduce ever so slowly, but I've been unable to find a medication to relieve the pain. I've tried all kinds of therapy. Hot/cold, acupuncture, decompression therapy. Anyway, I finally got a weight bearing MRI done because I finally was abele to convience the doctor that the MRI's being done laying down aren't showing thing....I don't have pain laying down. I have all the pain in my right foot when my feet hit the floor in the morning. so the MRI showed a herniation again at the same level and foraminal stenosis. So he said he was going to go in and "clean it up". He did a microdiscectomy on my on 2/12. I guess I was expecting a miracle. I was thrilled I was able to get up out of bed and walk on my own but I still have right foot pain. It's not worse, but it's not better. He said it could be upwords of 3 months before I see any relief because the herniation was under the nerve and scar tissue was above the nerve. So it was impinged for a long time. I don't have any sciatic nerve pain in my leg...I never did. Just this foot pain. Has anybody ever had this? The doctor's post op instructions say that the second week I should be up for half the day and walking. But I can't seem to do that. Is that normal? My foot just feels like it's on fire. The only pain meds I'm on is vicoden, because tylenol 3 didn't do diddly. The muscle relaxer puts my lights out. I don't know when to take it either. I can't tell when I need it. I don't know what to expect now...will I get out of pain? It's been like 20 months of firerery foot pain. Am I expecting too much too fast or ever?
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Comments

  • Hmmm....
    while I did have a MD at L5-S1, my L4-L5 surgery more closely resembles your situation.
    Except, that it was numbness not pain.
    For about 6 months after the MD at L4-L5, I still had unresolved numbness on the top of my right foot.
    it finally resolved.

    Oh yeah, the right calf also shrank before the surgery.
    About an inch and a half.
    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hi petite39, I have also had multiple herniations at one level. I herniated L4/5 4 times and L5/S1 twice. After my 3rd discectomy I had no relief and was told I had permanent nerve damage. Most doctors will wait 6 mo. to a year (or more) to make this determination. When I herniated a 4th time my surgeon wanted to do another discectomy. This didn't seem like a good idea since the last one was a failure. I got 3 other opinions that told me my discs had collapsed,my options were fusion,pain pump,or spinal cord stimulator. I chose fusion and it's been a whole year since I've needed my cane! I still have foot flare ups from permanent damage though. Like someone has lit a match under my toes, just a breeze on my foot can send me reeling. At it's worst it feels paralyzing. I feel for you. It's a very good sign that your leg is better and the nerve effecting your foot really needs more time to heal. I am a bit suprised your Dr. wants you walking so soon. I can relate to the leg pain too, I dragged my leg around with a cane for years. I had a fragment that couldn't be seen on MRI. I have found that Lyrica works best for nerve pain, it helps take the edge off. I also use a flexible moist heat pack that I wrap around my foot(if I can stand it)and I elevate it. Keep in touch, let us know how you're doing. Good luck to you.

    Keep Hope,
    Faith m
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  • The doctor wanted me walking that day. Although when he finally sent me home, he wanted me to be a couch potatoe for a week. It's over a week now and I walk around the house when I can. The pain is mostly in the right portion of the right foot, from under the ankle up towards the little toe, but not that far. The Gabepentin takes the edge off, but not completely. The Vicoden has helped a little with dealing with the backache. But that's all it is in the back...just an ache, thank god! I guess flare up after surgery is to be expected. I can't take Lyrica, made me physically sick. I tried it. I tried Cymbalta too...makes me nauscious (abc's?). I just wish I had a time table as to when I might have this stabbing, burning pain go away. I think I can deal with the numbness if that's what the outcome is...but I want the pain to go away and no meds seem to help. Is there a med that someone has used that I should ask the doctor about?
  • There is a topical numbing patch called lidoderm, it's no miracle but it might help ease your pain. I think you could probably put it right on your foot where it hurts. The only side effect I had was it made me tired. I hope your foot is feeling a little better every day, that burning pain is the worst. I know it can make it very difficult to walk, when mine flares up I can only put my heel on the floor. I hope you feel better soon.
  • There is a topical numbing patch called lidoderm, it's no miracle but it might help ease your pain. I think you could probably put it right on your foot where it hurts. The only side effect I had was it made me tired. I hope your foot is feeling a little better every day, that burning pain is the worst. I know it can make it very difficult to walk, when mine flares up I can only put my heel on the floor. I hope you feel better soon.
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