Backstory: On January 3rd I had a microd to fix a herniation between my L5/S1. The disc was herniated to the left side and caused excruciating pain to the point I couldn't stand or walk. I had sciatica from my buttocks down into the 3 smaller toes on my left foot. In fact the only way I would be pain free is if I laid on my right side and pulled my left leg up into my chest.
That's the side view. My NS said is was a herniated/fractured disc with severe nerve compressed.
After surgery I felt great. The sciatica pain was gone but I was left with numbness which I expected so it was no big dead. I was literally on bed rest for a month and a half afterwards. Anytime I needed to move I did it slow and deliberate. A month and a half into recovery my NS lifted some restrictions allowing me to walk and drive short distances. Still everything was fine. When walking I always wore my hard shell back brace. if I needed to pick something up I always squatted and make sure to not bend or twist.
2 weeks ago my NS finally lifted all restrictions. He had me do some mobility tests in his office and checked out how the scar was healing. He said I no longer needed the back brace for day to day activities but to still be mindful not to bend or twist. Life was good. I was pain free and the numbness in my leg was finally starting to subside.
Fast forward to this Monday. My gf and I were driving home and a car in front of me locked their brakes up which in return caused me to do the same thing. For the remainder of that day I felt no different at all. No pain, nothing. The next morning I wake up and start getting ready for work. I sit on the edge of the bed and put my socks and when I stand I feel a slight soreness on the RIGHT side of my lower back. The opposite side of the herniation. I proceed to continue getting dressed and by the time I'm done its even more sore. I get to work 45 minutes later and by this point I'm starting to develop a list. I tell my boss I need to leave and head back home. I've been in bed since Tuesday. I called my NS head nurse on Wednesday and she says that this is common and that from bracing myself when braking quickly it would have put too much strain on my lower back and that now it's flaring up and this will most likely last a week. She mentioned that by the end of the week if the swelling hadnt gone down I would need a medrol pack. So since this issue has began the pain has moved. It is now across my entire lower into my hips. This pain feels "different" then when it was herniated. There is no sciatica pain whatsoever. I do get random sharp, shooting pains when walking or if I'm laying in bed and try to flex my pelvis forward or backwards. My back is most sore in the mornings after I wake up. I'm able to walk around when needed but if I'm up too long my list and the swelling get much worse.
Yesterday I spoke to my nurse and she prescibed the medrol which I began at around 10pm last night.I'm not really feeling any change as of yet. She also mentioned that once this "flare up", as she calls it, is over that she will be getting me into PT to strengthen my back muscles.I remember talking to my NS after surgery and this type of thing can be expected after microd, especially in the first 6 months post op. Honestly I'm just looking for advice from other people who have experienced something similar. I know I wont know for sure unless it gets to the point where another MRI is done. The nurse says if medrol doesnt cut it I will need a ESI. Does this sound like a re-herniation or just a nerve/muscle flare up? Sorry for rambling, I tend to do that when I'm nervous.