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New pain after revision discectomy

queendeagleqqueendeagle Posts: 1
edited 08/05/2014 - 1:58 PM in Recovering from Surgery
I'll try and keep this brief. Just over a year ago I had an L5/S1 herniation with numbness and complete inability to stand on tiptoe on that side. Within 5 days of the weakness starting I was in surgery. I had a complete and full recovery - weakness took about 6 weeks and numbness about 6 months.

Then one year on I re-herniated in a big way. I ended up in a&e with acute urine retention. I didn't have true cauda equina but the herniation was so large (32mm) it was travelling down the spinal canal and pressing on the S2 nerve root as well as S1.

It took a while to get my scans as they were done courtesy of the NHS. I took them to my private consultant and was operated on 4 weeks after the re-herniation.

I came out of surgery fine, but after about a week it started. First, neuropathic itch in my foot. It felt like the bone was itching. Then it moved through burning to now, hypersensitivity, pain and some burning. The pain is getting worse and keeps me awake at night. It's only in my foot.

I don't exactly know what foot symptoms I had before. I had excruciating stabbing pains in lots of points in my legs and buttocks, so bad I couldn't stand. I don't recall anything specific in my foot but then I was on amitriptyline and later on switched to pregabalin.

My physio says it's difficult to progress with this whole foot thing is going on, although my neural glides continue to improve. She's going to write to my consultant and is thinking that some neuropathic drugs maybe the way to go.

The thing is, my consultant is on holiday for another 2 weeks.

I feel that there's probably 3 different causes of what's happening - the nerve waking up, reherniation or scar tissue.

Would you wait for your consultant to come back from holiday in 2 weeks or would you try and see someone now?

It is early days and the neural glide improving is a positive sign. That makes me think wait.

But then if I have re-herniated then I'm aware that my nerves have had a battering and I don't want this to end up permanent.

Seeing someone else in the meantime will involve a bit of hassle with my medical insurance although I think they'll probably be OK.

I trust my consultant, I'm not so sure about the other guy but it's not like he'll be cutting me open.


  • A flare up of nerve pain is common after surgery.......and since it is changing , those are typical signs of the nerves starting to recover. That being said, I would wait and talk to your surgeon about possibly trying one of the neuropathic pain medications, such as Lyrica, cymbalta or gabapentin to see if that helps to ease the nerve related pain .
    Nerves recover at a rate of 1-2 mm per month, so be patient .
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