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Post op Microdiscectomy (Surgery 7/10/13)

I am still very new to this (posting on messageboards) but found it to be the only way I can truly vent, gather my thoughts, and find any advice whatsoever.

When I was a child I slipped down some stairs (playing tag) and took the impact on my back. As a child I shook it off and didn't seem to mean much since it merely knocked the wind out of me and didn't seem to cause any pain. As a young adult I received my first MRI (after a car accident) showing a herniated disc in my lower back (no pain and doc told me to keep continuing living my life normally). Shortly after I hiked in and out the Grand Canyon (I love hiking). I also had a side job landscaping. A couple years after the hike and me ending my side job ...I started noticing the pain. What seemed to really trigger it was my morning workouts (specifically situps) ...So I worked out less and less until no workout at all. Then the pain starting really getting to me while i was sleeping sometimes not being to sleep the whole night even after taking motrin and ambien (I also have insomnia). Since sleep was already rare for me I asked my doctor to refer me to a back specialist. After another MRI it showed a disc degeneration at L5S1. After several months of popping norco and an injection and no relief, I asked for the surgery.

9 days later after the surgery, no relief in site. Infact the pain is worse prior to surgery. I know what everybody is going to say, you have to give it a lot more time for a nerve to heal. I'm not a patient man so to say (lol) but this right now is more for me to document my thoughts and look for advice. Hope for the best but expect the worst is my motto so to say. I'm 32 and the pain medication does nothing for pain whether it be norco or percoset. I am also taking Neurontin at its lightest dose since it makes me feel brain dead half the time. I will be seeing my surgeon again on Tuesday ...I cant walk without pain right now.

Feel free to comment ...anything on recovery time, best case scenarios, worst case scenarios. I hear 3 months is the basic time they give you until they reorder another MRI if the pain persists. After I see my doctor I might post my MRI findings ...but I want to speak to him first.

Also If I'm on the wrong forum feel free to redirect me.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    here are just some of the highlights:

    - detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal conditions and treatment

    - the wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - under the resource tab, there is a section doctor advice health center which can be invaluable.

    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - as a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. you should read forum faq

    here are some you should take a look at:
    read before you post
    tips for newcomers
    understanding the rules

    all of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to contact any one of the moderators on my team:







    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 07/19/2013 - 2:42 PM
    Welcome! I had a microdiscectomy for a herniated disc at L5-S1 7 day ago. I know how you feel with the disappointment!!! My leg pain returned just 3 days after surgery and again keeps me laying down 90% of the day. Sitting and walking are very short term things until the pain, burning and aching return. I just got off the phone with my brother who went thru this about 4 years ago. He said his leg pain was still there after surgery for about 2 weeks and gradually improved and finally went away. gave me some hope. Just stinks I know to go through all that and not see results.....yet. I'm hoping to start PT soon and get some strength back.

    Feel free to go on the July or June surgery buddy boards to read and or ask question. Pam
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
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  • thnx for the heads up Liz...

    And much thanks for your info Pam, I can always use a tag team partner to fight the pain so to say. I also have numbness on my 2 baby toes of my left foot, so bizarre since I didn't have any numbness prior to surgery. This has me worried, but then again I've read so many stories that also says this can be normal. I feel like a junkie as well with all these meds I have in my possession and I know how difficult it is to get clean when it's all said and done (hope). So right now i'm taking my narcotic meds every other day ...lol it really is a test for me. I see the doc on tuesday and then he might schedule my pt then. I wish the very best for you Pam, lemme know how the pt works out for you =)
  • I see my doc on Tues too. Will come back on here and post what he has to say.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • So yeah I saw my surgeon and he encouraged me that everything was healing well. And from the looks of it I do have to agree, it's not as swollen and the scar is not as visible and red as it once was. I saw my physician as well and pretty much said the same thing. I did express how much pain i was still in and the numbness in my left leg/foot. He said this was all normal. I see my surgeon again on August 23, by then I'm hoping the pain will be barely noticeable. I mean I am noticing a significant drop in pain as time is moving ...but the sciatic pain is still clearly there at night and in the morning and at certain times when i sit and stand. I'm shocked that they never scheduled pt for me ...but then again I can get around the house just fine without my cane. I walk to the supermarket next door almost everyday and lately seeing a bunch of doctors and pharmacies I guess can almost count for my pt, plus I'm still young, maybe that played a roll. But nevertheless I'm going to be patient in the next month (going to have to be) .....anyone please feel free to comment. =)
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  • I had a lamenectomy at L4-5 way back in 1994 and had severe sciatica before surgery which took a few months after surgery to calm along with a steroid pack. It has been 19 yrs and still have numbness in two last toes and up side of foot and around ankle bone on right foot. Used to it now and it does not bother me in anyway.

  • I too had a microdiscectomy (a far lateral left L5-S1) recently (on 7/18) and I still have significant leg pain (check some of my posts for further descriptions as I've described a lot in more detail). I was told 2 days ago at a followup visit that this continued pain happens more often with a far lateral (as opposed to a central procedure) because a lot more manipulation of the nerve root is needed for that route. Do you know if you had a central or lateral herniation? And they told me that usually by 4-5 weeks the radiculopathy improves. I actually do feel a bit better today than I had (keeping my fingers crossed) . They also had me increase my Neurontin to 300 mg 3 x/day and maybe this has helped (for me the Neurontin made me groggy in the beginning but after a day or 2 that effect wore off) so maybe it's worth giving that more of a try. I also have different pains and other sensations than I had before surgery including my toes burning at times (although my big toe is more affected). I also find that my discomfort is worse late at night and especially for the 1st few morning hours.

    I hope you find improvement so as I know this is all very frustrating.
  • My dr is not ordering PT for me until 8/12, 1 month post surgery. Im really ready for it now so I am going to call tomorrow and ask him to move it up a week. My herniation was far lateral (right). My leg pain is really nill, but still have toe numbness and general weakness of the whole leg.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Pamhoffca said:
    My dr is not ordering PT for me until 8/12, 1 month post surgery. Im really ready for it now so I am going to call tomorrow and ask him to move it up a week. My herniation was far lateral (right). My leg pain is really nill, but still have toe numbness and general weakness of the whole leg.
    When did your leg pain go away? And what kind of leg weakness do you have? Do you have foot drop?
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    have patience. I have been thru what you are all living now post op. Walking will be your best pt unitil your Dr. thinks you are ready. Why the rush? Healing takes time. My numbness took a couple months to subside.
    Good luck!
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