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Four months post surgery - pain returning

tarin520ttarin520 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everybody,

I just wanted to check in to see if this is considered normal. I had a discectomy (L5/S1)on October 5th. Other then a spinal fluid leak, the surgery seemed successful and my pain was gone. I started PT after Thanksgiving and have been going 2x a week. Two weeks ago, while touring a preschool, my left side went numb and cold, which my Doctor's Assistant and I decided was from my carrying a heavy bag on my left side. It went away, but since then, I have had recurrent pain in my left hip, left calf, a toes. It is in no way the same level of pain I had before. I spoke to my PT and she thinks I probably tweaked the nerve, while one of the other PT's said it could be a possible reherniation/new herniation. The pain is mild - more of an annoyance. It's just noticeable in the left calf (the electrical current sort of pain. I plan on calling my surgeon on Monday, but wanted to know if anyone else experienced this sort of thing during recovery, and if so, how long should I expect these little flare ups? Will the be a part of my life now, or do they subside as the healing continues. Thanks everyone!


  • Hi,

    Sounds like things went well with your surgery. It's tough to tell if something is wrong or not but glad to hear you are going to call your doctor. Honestly, if it's a flare up, rest and anti-inflammatory should help.

    Everyone's recovery is different. It could be some scar tissue or could be inflammation from the increased activity and lifting. But worth calling the doctor especially since you are only 4 months out of recovery. But if it continues, ask when another MRI would make sense.

    For me, I do get flare ups but my situation is very different than yours.

    Good luck...keep us updated on what the doctor thinks
  • I agree, having another appointment with your doctor to discuss your ongoing issues is the best thing you can do. At least if further investigations/tests need to be done, he can arrange them for you.

    I think it's true that nerves can get 'tweaked' during discectomy procedures and therefore it could take quite a while for it to all settle down.

    Also, if you are prone to back pain, then making the decision to carry a heavy bag on your injured side wasn't the best idea. It would have been better to carry two bags so you could have evened up the load. You're the only person who can protect your back from further harm.

    My discectomy experience wasn't all that good. I had to have it done again after one month because the first one failed. The surgeon said afterwards that he had to go in twice because he noticed a fragment of disc had 'slipped' into the space he'd just removed a piece from. Sometimes, through no fault of the surgeon, these things can happen and that's why it's always best to get it checked out to make sure nothing else is going on in there.

    I hope your appointment with your doctor goes well and that you can get some answers soon ok.
    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 !!
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