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My Son - third diskectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am writing this on behalf of my 29-year old son (no computer).
Eight weeks ago, he had surgery on a very large herniated disk on his L-4 or L-5 (not sure). This is his third surgery on the same site....his NS called it a "re-do".
He is still in as much pain as he was prior to the surgery, but the nurse practioner he has seen for his post-op, just keeps telling him this is normal and he will get better. He cries out in pain occasionally with movement, and is very depressed. He cannot work; he can't really do much of anything. He is going to physical therapy twice a week. He tries to go for walks, but it's painful for me, as his mom, to even watch him walk, as he walks like an old man (no offense to anyone, please).
He thinks he should get another MRI, but the NP just dismisses his concerns and says that there is no need for one.
Does anyone have any suggestions?? Is this normal?


  • I'm so sorry to hear your son is in so much pain. I just had a fusion on my neck and I am still in a great deal of pain, same as before surgery. The surgeon says it's not normal and the pain management doctor says it can happen. I did have an MRI 4 weeks after my surgery.

    Your son is right, he should be getting another MRI to see what is going on in there. It's possible something went wrong with the surgery. He shouldn't be in this much pain. Have you thought about going to a different doctor? I've heard that depression can make the pain worse too. I hope your son gets the helps he needs.
  • I think your son should call his neurosurgeon and clearly state the amount of pain he is in. You say he has had this surgery 2 times previously? Is this pain worse than the other surgeries? Has the same surgeon done all three surgeries?

    I would be concerned that scar tissue might be a source of the pain if it is different from the other surgeries. Every time a surgery is done the chances for the development of scar tissue increases. Sometimes it will form along side the nerve or even grows around it, causing pressure and "squeezing" the nerve.

    Is your son taking any pain meds at this point?

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  • It concerns me that NS is not wanting to get another MRI. Perhaps he can get a 2nd opinion.

    I can only imagine watching your son in pain and feeling helpless. You have come to the right place. There are plenty of people who can give you helpful advices.
  • gwennie17 said:
    Sometimes it will form along side the nerve or even grows around it, causing pressure and "squeezing" the nerve.
    It can adhere to the nerves as well.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • You should demand the MRI. (be sure to find out if it will require contrast)
    If not the NS, just about any health proffesional can write a prescription for one.

    Has your son tried an ESI?
    (epidural steroidal injection)

    After my L5-S1 microdiscectomy, I was absolutely crippled. I couldn't move.
    An ESI into the surgical site resolved all the pain.
    (took 3 days for the relief to kick in, 7 for full relief)
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • is-working-with-the-Surgeon.Try-to-get-a-hold-of-the-Surgeon.-I-hope-he-starts-to-feel-better-Is-he-using-a-cane-or-walker?-Take-care
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am so thankful I found this board! This ordeal is so frustrating. The NS doesn't see his patients after the surgery; they see his Nurse Practioner. She simply tells him "the pain should be decreasing; give it more time. It could be scar tissue....give it more time. No, you don't need another MRI; the likelihood of anything being wrong is very, very slim to almost nil." Basically they seem to treat him like some kind of a whiner. I can assure you he is not. He tries to put on a brave front, but it's very difficult. He can do nothing right now....barely walk, sit for any length of time, ride his bike (with his 4yr old son). He truly is in misery. He had been given Lortabs, but doesn't want to take them anymore. He just wants to get better!
    I had suggested to him a second opinion might be in order; now that I have heard others suggest it, I will let him know what others think. I also think it's time for another MRI as well, but that idea has been pretty much pooh-poohed by the NP.
    He did not feel this way after his last two surgeries; he keeps telling me that this just doesnt' feel right. I wish the NP would listen to him. But thank you all for your support; it helps to know there are others who care!!! and listen!!!
  • My nurse practioner always listens and communicates with my orthopedic surgeon. It is frustrating not to see my surgeon after the procedure until 6 weeks later.

    Just yesterday I had a consultation with another surgeon. He spent almost 30 min. talking to me. His nurse actually had to get him to keep him on track. He calls himself a "dinosaur" because he is one of few surgeon who only see his patients (meaning you don't see a nurse or NP after a procedure).

    I think your son's NS is not being sympathetic. My mother's surgeon gave up on her and basically ignore her complaints. He should just have referred her to someone else if he was at a loss.

    My doctor that I consulted said that any doctor who does't like you getting a second opinion should be avoided.

    Have your son see another surgeon!
  • Wow, I'm shocked that so many surgeons don't follow up with their patients...makes me grateful for mine...he has always pulled up a chair & spent a lot of time (20-30 mins or whatever I needed) with me at every appt.

    You really should get another opinion...there are Drs that do care out there.
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