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What does your post op pain/nerve recovery feel like?

I am 3 weeks past my microdisectomy, L5-S1. I am pretty much off my pain meds, taking Aleve here and there if I am feeling any post op pain/aches. I still take a muscle relaxer at night to help me not toss and turn (I flail my legs around as I toss and turn in the night).

Here and there I feel pain, really a dull ache, where I had bad nerve pain. In the side of my calf, back of thigh, butt-- esp. the side of the butt. It almost feels like a muscle ache more than anything. 99% better than I was pre-operation!! I am just wondering kind of feelings/pain folks are feeling as our nerves start to recognize that they are no longer impinged and trying to get back to normal? The pain comes mostly when I have been laying down for a while-- like gong to bed at night.

So, what's your post op nerve recovery feeling like? Besides the pain here and there, I feel like I have a new life! Chronic pain had a larger toll on me and my life than I realized, now that I am feeling 99% better!
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13

Comments

  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,314
    edited 11/04/2013 - 2:34 AM
    as a bad back .veteran of many years 17 .....3 major operations and countless painful procedures ,can I give you some advice ??
    first a micro discectomy is one of the smaller spinal operation BUT its still spinal and that's always serious ..so take care of your new back and I would say from experience that the leg pain that you suffer with will more than likely reduce BUT I should imagine that I won't go completely ...don't do stupid things when feel better because you will hurt your back .I can't tell you have many people I know that have had spinal operations ..feeling like a new man/woman a few months after then they do something and end up back in theatre .only this time its worse because your fragile back is now suffering with even more damage and that's when the hell starts .every time you have another operation on your back your back will weaken {not my words but the words of one of the uks finest orthopaedic consultants]
    if you feel that you have achieved 99% recovery then class that as a fantastic result .look after your back and remember ITS A REPAIR and you will probably require follow up surgery within ten years ..buy yourself a top end bed and good recliner to rest in .always follow healthy back procedure if you are well enough to work .I wish you well and a continued recovery ..don't do anything to screw it up !! .my life is spent on a recliner or bed and i am many pain killers ..you don't want to be like that ...take care
    ton{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
  • Totally agree with backache99! The feeling you have are normal but please please be careful! I went and did too much after my microD and I'm right back to the drawing board.
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
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  • Initially I had pain in the same sciatic path I'd had pre op but it was more of a dull ache and only noticeable if I were sitting too long. This gradually receded a little bit at a time and moving towards my trunk until now I have none. All of my current pain is around the incision site where all my back muscles were retracted, along with a heavy feeling in the same area. My main concerns now center around my difficulty walking any longer than 15 minutes without my thigh muscles acting like they want to give up. I had severe compression at L4-L5 for a long time so I wonder if that weakness is indicative of nerve damage that shows in other ways. Sometimes I think I will need PT to teach me how to walk again! My surgery was on Oct. 18 so it's still early times for me but I have twinges of anxiety when I read about other people walking miles and so on, because I know I can't do that yet and worry that my progress is slower than normal.
  • I am 7 days post op for l5s1 fusion. My pre op pain is gone. I have a dull ache near my incision site and I get tired pretty easily but that's it. I had a lot of leg pain pre op and now my legs twitch a lot. My muscle relaxer helps a little but its pretty annoying.
    Alliso
    PILF of L5 S1 on October 29, 2013. Psoriatic arthritis, spondylolisthesis L5 and fractured L5 and DDD
  • I had a fusion at the L5/S1 level just over 6 months ago and have had nerve pain since about 10 weeks out or so. I've been on Lyrica for a little over 2 months and my surgeon states that I am 100% fused. However, the nerve pain is still there, not nearly as bad as it was before surgery. However, my surgeon said that I need to give my severely damaged nerve time to rebuild and heal, so let's give it some more time with a higher dose of Lyrica and see where we go. The nerve pain I have now is NOTHING in comparison to what I had before surgery.
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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  • 6.5 weeks out of PLIF with hardware at L4/L5/S1. After surgery, all pre-op symptoms were gone. Stopped pain meds at3 weeks. Two weeks later, i noticed numbness (but not pain) in inside of my right calf and across my toes. Nothing compared to pre-op! Surgeon says this can happen but will likely diminish or disappear eventually, can take a year or more. I was worried because it started up after weeks of nothing. But apparently this is normal. I may start taking gabapentin again for awhile to manage it...long term I wouldn't keep taking it for this, but at this point I don't want the niggling worry that comes with any little anomaly!
  • Jessica11JJessica11 Posts: 70
    edited 11/22/2013 - 5:11 AM
    2 weeks out of L4/5 MicroD
    The muscles in my back from the end of my ribs to my pelvis just ache and feel tired all the time.
    The sharp stabbing pain and cramps along the nerve path is gone, which is wonderful. But I still have numbness/pins and needles in my lower leg and foot.
    My foot and ankle have been sore.
    And I've had some minor, deep cramping in my thigh.
    Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
    Major Herniation - L4/L5
    Bulging Disc - L5/S1
    "no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
    MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013
  • MollyAkMMollyAk Posts: 114
    edited 11/22/2013 - 7:58 AM
    So funny you would mention others walking for so far and feeling anxious about it! That's been on the top of my list too! I can't walk as far as others even though I'm feeling so much better than pre-op. I got a treadmill specifically for recovery and I'm walking an hour total, give or take in several sessions throughout the day but I'm only walking about 1 mph. Strolling speed. I tried to speed up and increase time because I was feeling behind the curve and it made me feel horrid! So, I stopped doing that. It's always nice to not feel like the only one!
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
  • Our surgeries were one day apart (mine on Oct. 18) and similar (mine a one level fusion at L4-L5 after laminectomy for spinal stenosis) so I'm glad to have a buddy to share notes with about my progress. I've been cleared for water based PT and am going for my evaluation on this Monday. My walking abilities are my main concerns right now. I have a treadmill as well but like you I can't go any faster than a stroll. My muscles really need reconditioning. But my pre op neuro symptoms and pain are gone. So I just need to devote myself to rehabilitation and recovery. I'll keep updating.
  • Great! I'd love to share notes, I have some pre surgery nerve damage in my left leg and foot that has caused some other problems with walking and made a tendon want to shorten, strangly enough. I sent you a PM earlier. Thanks!
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
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