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Had surgery, no pain for 3 months, now new pain - suggestions?

ZendingZZending Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. This is my first time posting.

Some history:
I am 33 years old and I have had left leg pain for about 10 years and late last year it started to get unbearable while standing or walking. The MRI showed a bulge at left side L4-5 and right side L5-S1.

This year I had a discectomy (I think that is what it is called), and everything went well. The pain was gone upon waking up from the surgery, and other than the general recovery from the surgery itself (aching, "twinges" upon standing up, etc.) I felt great. After 2 months there was no pain at all (or so little it didn't register). Even the post-op physical therapy exercises didn't cause any pain at all.

It has been over 3 months, and the surgeon said I could do whatever I wanted (except riding a bike) but to try to take it easy. I went to a wedding recently and danced a little bit at the reception (maybe more than a little bit, I was drinking. I know, I am STUPID.) The wedding was on a Saturday, and Sunday and Monday I still felt fine. Then on Tuesday I had soreness in my lower back and significant stiffness in the surrounding muscles. In the next few days, the stiffness has gone away, but I have soreness in the left side of my lower back. I am getting twinges and "hot feelings" in my left ankle. I have a weird pain in my right "ball of foot" and a pain in the left side of my lower back that seems to be getting a tiny bit worse every day. I am very worried that I somehow injured myself again.

I have an appointment with the surgeon as soon as possible, but it is still 2 weeks from now and I am really worried. Did I royally screw something up because of stupidity, or do you think it is just a flare-up that will go away in time?

If anyone can offer some reassurance it would be appreciated. Or even if you think I am messed up again a general "you're screwed now" would work so I can at least plan for future surgeries... Not knowing what is going on and what I should expect is the worst part.

I know many of you probably have it much worse than me but I am worried and I don't really have anybody to talk to who understands or is able to offer the type of support I need.

Thanks for listening.



  • we all have to live and don't beat yourself up for enjoying yourself .you could just have inflamed something and it should go away .BUT at about 3 months things are starting to knit together and some epidural fibrosis inevitable {scar tissue} this is your enemy!! the dready scar tissue .many of us on here have needed revision surgey to remove the scar tissue ..your consultant should be able to give you your answers .unfortunately you wont be able to be re MRI..ed as it not yet been a year from your surgery .i think that you can have a CAT scan .you may find that certain parts of you leg {normally the inner thigh tends to go numb and your toes tend to feel strange post surgey ..this my go away or you may be stuck with it for ever..it not a failure its just something that can happen after back surgey ,try a good TENS unit for lower back pain .a good bed will help .even the way that you sleep can help .try a pillow in between your knees and lay on your side with the legs slightly bent .also a must with back people is a decent recliner ..most of us on here have one if you can afford it a good electrical rise and recline is about the best { you can get all styles now ..they don't have to look like hospital equipment} mine is a leather traditional hampton celebrity twin motor costing 1500 pounds ..but look in the small adds or eBay i have seen excellent recliners go for a few hundred pounds {high quality ones} that people don't want .there was one like mine if 200 pounds ! a friend of mine bought it and its like new .so look around !
    tony {uk}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thank you for the info Tony, and thank you also for saying that we all have to live and not to beat myself up over having a good time - I've been telling myself that but I think I needed to hear that from someone else.

    I will talk to the surgeon and ask questions, and keep doing my strengthening exercises. I'll try to stay positive and work through it. If I need more surgery for new injury or for scar tissue, so be it I will cross that bridge when I come to it so to speak.

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  • Don't beat yourself up. Many of us, well I know I have, gone through back surgery so we could take back some of our lives...just doesn't always work out that way. Were you doing something you specifically told you couldn't do i.e. lifting a 150lb bridesmaid?

    Lets keep fingers crossed its just a pinched nerve or muscle spasm from partaking in a little fun and something an epidural or tincture of time can heal..We all worry about the "what if's" and the potential for second surgeries, we were told up front that's part of accepting the deal..just think positive and don't go booking the OR just yet.
  • Thank you also for the helpful words. I was not lifting a bridesmaid, sadly those days are long behind me. ;)

    The "what if's" and "why me's" are a part of it, just the way our brains work I guess. I try to stay positive but it is difficult.

    I feel better though due to both of your replies. Thank you.

    -Bryan (US)
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