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Had to lift after discectomy l4/l5 - did I do damage?

rolorrolo Posts: 52
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a l4/l5 discectomy just over 3 weeks ago. I was at a birthday party with my 40 pound 5 year old (with many other 5 year olds) at a bowling alley. Long story short, she was goofing off, the balls were coming out of the ball return, and i ran up, grabbed her and pulled her away. I probably moved her 4-5 feet in a slight twisting motion.
I did NOT feel any nerve pain when I did this, in fact I didn't really feel anything bad immediately. A sign that I didn't screw things up badly?
Over the next few hours the muscles got tighter and a little painful, but nothing horrible. I went home, iced, took anti-inflams and rested, felt pretty good.
Woke up this morning and not feeling horrible, but some of the reminders of nerve pain are back. Quick twinge or burn in the hip or calf, lil ankle weirdness - then it's gone for a bit. I am hoping this is muscle soreness/swelling and causing the minimal nerve pains that I feel.
I wanted to find out if people out there who have re-done damage to their disc or back can look at my story and see if they think I am going to go downhill from here as if I re herniated the disc. I don't think the disc issues are back, as I can do an ab crunch and not feel it down my leg - but things are definitely not the same since I did the lift yesterday.
Am I just getting a "you did too much" next-day warning and in a few days I should expect it to subside? Is this the beginning symptoms of all the sciatic pain coming back?
Anyone do something similar?
Ps - I know the only way to find out is to see the doctor, get an mri, etc, everyone is different. I understand that but am just sending out a feeler to get an idea how I should know for sure when to see a doc.


  • I sure hope you didn't do anything to damage your spine. I'd be sure to report this to the surgeon or doctor and get it checked out.
  • You probably didn't feel it at first because of the adrenaline rush you got fearing that your child would be hurt. It's a parents' instinct and no amount of pain can prevent us from protecting our children. I hope it's just because of the quick motion, movement and twisting that you are having a flare up and it will pass with rest, ice and pain meds. However, if you continue to feel more pain or nerve issues I would call your surgeon. As Nicole said, you may want to call your surgeon just to report this to them and have them document this in your file. Then the doc can decide whether or not you should be seen.

    I pray you didn't not do any harm to yourself and that you will heal with time. Keep us updated on this.
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  • If it isn't better in a few days call the doctor. I accidentally forgot about my L4/L5 fusion a few weeks after surgery and lifted my German Shepherd into the truck and I was fine. Not smart but fine. I hope the same for you, be careful.
  • Do you recall having a sore back or nerve pain after lifting your dog?
    I am doing 'ok' today. I did a one hour drive to a play, sat for close to two hours, had a near 2 hour supper, then drove back home for an hour. Not much nerve pain, no pain when sitting at all, and am icing now with minimal back soreness and just a minor off and on calf twinge. I will keep you posted, but nothing alarming today so I am hopeful this flared me up and will pass. Plllllllleeeeeeeeeeeasssseeeeeeeeee!
  • Its amazing how badly we DON'T want that awful nerve pain to come back! I think you'll be fine. Minor twinges are possibly just the nerve getting back to normal...it can take awhile. Try not to worry too much, and remember not to sit for too terribly long.
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  • More than likely you are fine. I heard that it's the first two weeks that you have to extra careful...not to say that you shouldn't follow your doctor's order and still be careful.

    I know exactly what you are going through. When I tripped over my husband's work bag and sneezed for three days, I was worried.

    Try not to think about "what if" until you see or talk to your doctor. It's easier said than done. I worry.

    Hoping for the best!
  • Thank you for your words and wishes. I will let you know if things get better or worse soon.
  • 2 Days after "The Lift" - not feeling horrible but still feeling the quick flare ups in the calf and ankle mostly, comes and goes fast. Did a long walk without pain, and icing now. Not feeling very positive even though pain is minimal. I feel like it should be better now. Overly high expectations I presume.
  • Probably you have just suffered a setback. You were moving along on the healing path. Then you did something that has caused a bit of a flare-up which no doubt has caused some inflammation. It will take a little while for this to calm down, and then, hopefully, you will continue on down that path to a full recovery.

    Try not to worry. Continue walking and being mindful of practicing good body mechanics...and, try to be positive and patient...the two most important qualities for a complete recovery!!
  • I left a message for the Doctor just in case he wants to see me or do something about it.
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