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Back pain eight weeks after discectomy - what is normal?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all

I had my discectomy almost 9 weeks ago. Now my leg pains are a lot better but I have stiffness and pain in my lower back, which pulls right up my spine and down to my hips. Feels like either some muscles are in spasm or a nerve is tethered or both.

Did anyone else have this? Is it best to try and stretch through it or does stretching just make it worse? Did anyone use muscle relaxants or painkillers? Which ones? How long did you have this problem for?

My PT doesn't seem to be very sure about it at all which makes me nervous.

Thanks for your help!




  • call your surgeon. They can best tell you what to do and perscribe meds for pain. They should know what is going on anyway. Sorry I cant help more. I had fusion, but know I always direct all questions to my surgeon if in doubt. Good Luck. Or call hospital if you are in severe pain that is new.
  • I agree...discuss this with your surgeon. If this feeling has started recently, it may be scar tissue setting in.

    You might want to look for a medical massage therapist who is experienced with orthopedic patients and works with epidural fibrosis. Sometimes just by putting you on a table and handling your back and soft tissue, they can tell if there is scar tissue building up.

    Are you walking a bit several times each day? That is the best way to keep those spinal nerves stretched out.
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  • Thanks. If it is a scar tissue problem, is there anything I can do to reduce it? Did anyone else with a discectomy have this problem? Did it get better?

    Thanks! Yours panickingly...
  • i also experienced pain after having my discogram. it was really weird. i couldn't roll over on my side when i got in bed. that was a tremendous bummer as i have always been a side-sleeper. fortunately for me, i had spinal fusion/full lumbar cage surgery about 2 wks after my disco. so i only had the 2 wks to deal with it. it was corrected once i had my surgery.
    but i do remember that was a real struggle for me.

    best of luck. hope your problem gets corrected.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,362
    I sent you a pm about a similar problem. Hope you're feeling better today.

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  • I had a 2 level diskectomy November 2006. My back still hurts. My orthopedic surgeron only promised leg pain relief. My back pain is better but at the end of the day the pain is always there. I have spasms from time to time if I've done too much also. I swim a lot because I own a pool and I get a lot of relief there. I walk a half hour at a time and rest many times a week. I don't bend or lift inless i squat and the lifting is counter top height always. I do most of my exercises in the water because I fear I'll re-herniate the disks again. I would do what the above posters have suggested and call your doctor. You asked if anyone else is still in pain, well I am always in some kind of pain where my back is concerned. I take anti-inflammatories every day that also helps. good luck:)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • I felt sharp pain in my right lower back around week 2 and 3, and my surgeon said it was due to the surgery. When he first explained the possible cause for the pain I was alarmed because he hypothesized that he was from having less disc material (had 2 microdiscectomies at L5 S1). I think it was from not having used certain muscles before the surgeries.

    Now I do not have the sharp any longer. The physical therapy that I am in focuses on strengthening the core muscles (back, stomach, buttocks, quadraceps, and hamstrings) that have alleviate the pain.

    First, call your doctor.
  • there is no normal, I believe, for one we are all different, 2. we all go about it differently with exercise, rest stress, nutrition. 3. I have learned that I will not have a normal day or body, any procedure done surgery, injections PT will cause different issues. Just as each day the pain discomfort mobility changes. I had surgery I thought I was getting to some Normal life, but it has all started to come back, and yes it is not following the same pattern, as last time pre surgery. Good Luck, dont make any haste decisions and I like to say try to minimize it in any way you can.
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