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How do I know if I re-herniated?

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:59 AM in Chronic Pain
Aside from the obvious (repeat MRI), how do I know if I re-herniated?

I guess I should give you a brief rundown. Had a two-level thoracic discectomy (posterior) in July, lots and lots of pain afterwards, repeat MRI showed multiple herniations on the other side but NS wanted to wait to see what happened. Then dx'd with ankylosing spondylitis in November and started on Prednisone for now, until I start treatment. I actually go to the rheumatologist tomorrow to discuss what medication I'll be taking...likely Enbrel or Simponi.

Anyway....in the meantime the pain on the other side is about 95% better. I was initially on Neurontin and then Lyrica, neither of which did anything for me, except cause me to gain 20 lbs. The Prednisone added another 10 on top of that. Well, I finally decided I wanted to work on getting into shape in order to manage the symptoms of the AS, which means losing weight. I have begun eating healthier and started exercising. I am doing all cardio, but nothing too strenuous. I modify a lot of the activities so as not to do too much twisting, and I am being careful of my posture.

Earlier this evening, I began noticing some pain on the side I had my operation on. I rode the exercise bike for about 45 minutes and went to the store to pick up milk. As the night has progressed, the pain on that side has intensified. It is not, by any means, unbearable, but definitely a nuisance. It hurts to cough, sneeze, lift, bend...basically anything I do hurts. I came home and took a Flexeril and an Oxy, both of which I haven't taken in forever...at least not for my back. Occasionally if my joint pain gets bad, from the AS, I'll take an Oxy, but it's very infrequently. I plan to give it a few days and see what happens. I think I'll hold off on doing anymore exercising until I see what happens. But naturally my first thought was what if I re-herniated.

Thoughts? Advice? Insight?


  • Obviously, I'm no doctor, so my observation is purely from what you have already said in your post.

    You mentioned: "I am doing all cardio, but nothing too strenuous. I modify a lot of the activities so as not to do too much twisting, and I am being careful of my posture" so it seems to me that you are being very protective and careful.

    It doesn't sound like you've reherniated, but maybe your muscles are just letting you know they're there!?

    I can only advise you to discuss it with your health professionals to see if any further investigations are required.

    I hope it all settles down very soon.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    I tend to agree. Sounds more muscular in nature.
    Re-herniation, especially for thoracic discs takes a lot of doing.

    Your plan in holding off a bit to see how you feel in a couple of days is ideal.

    Almost anytime we get back on to the exercise routine, there is a period of adjustment.

    I've finished up my Physical Therapy for my hip replacement, and I've started back into the pool for Aqua therapy. After months of not doing a heck of a lot, the pool has been leaving me real sore. In a couple of weeks, I should regain some of my stability and the soreness should stop.

    I know our medications help us, but I do hate that so many of them just seem to add pounds on us. Compound that with not being always able to exercise... Dont like that at all..

    Take care, hopefully in a few days, you will be back to your normal self
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • I am hoping it is muscular. My concern is that the pain feels almost like an electrical shock in that area, every time I move a certain way.

    I have a call in to the surgeon's NP, just to run it by her. I am hoping it is just a fluke and it's just that my body needs to get used to this. But this pain feels eerily familiar.
  • Kim, I can understand why you are concerned with having the electrical shock type pain.

    I know that type of pain all too well :(

    Please keep taking it easy and update us how you are doing and what the NP tells you. I hope she/he gets back to you today - being Friday and all :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.

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    Post Edited by Moderator Numbskull
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