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Worse than before surgery

I have herniation at L4 L5 S1
Started in September. Had S1 injections, didn't help. PT, no help, many medications, nope. Finally had a discetomy
On July 30th. For 3 days post op I felt like a real human! Day 4, BAM. Leg pain returned, 100% worse than prior to surgery. I went to ER bc I couldn't take the pain. Another MRI, steroids......day 2 and 3 with steroids helped...but pain is now back with a vengeance. I had my post op appt yesterday and my Dr wants to try the injections again...said sometimes the nerves over react after surgery from being compressed for so long, they need to wake up....but new MRI showed S5 possible issues.

I walk with a pretty significant limp now, never did prior to surgery....I'm spending my days in bed, because after I'm up for more than 15 minutes the pain is too much. I sit and cry all the damn time because I want my normal life back and people just don't get it...

Any ideas? Please...this is all too much
Discetomy 7/30/14
L4 L5 S1


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 08/12/2014 - 5:35 AM
    Nerves that were compressed prior to surgery can become and often do become inflammed post op, once the compression is relieved. It is a good sign that they will recover, however that doesn't happen overnight . It can take some days and weeks for things to settle down.
    Laying in bed isn't going to help , as much as you may not want to hear that right now. You can talk to your doctor about trying Lyrica or gabapentin or even cymbalta, all medications commonly used to treat neuropathic pain. A word of caution though, these class of medications need to be titrated up in dosage, slowly and not stopped without tapering back off of them. So if he gives them to you, you need to follow the directions he gives you for titrating up in dose slowly and decreasing slowly.
    Opiates don't treat neuropathic pain, unfortunately, so that is the best suggestion that I can make.
  • I stopped taking all narcotics because they weren't helping anyhow. Dr did mention gabapentin which coincidently I've been on before for migraines so I know about tapering. I am trying hard to get out of the house and move around, it's just that my leg starts giving out and then I'm afraid of falling, so back to the couch / bed I go. I guess baby steps. The pain just becomes unbearable at times..so discouraging
    Discetomy 7/30/14
    L4 L5 S1
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  • I had a L4/L5 fusion and a laminectomy on July 25. I felt great for 2 days after but have been dealing with much worse sciatic pain in my right leg and foot since. I can't even walk . I'm already on 1800 mgs of a Gabapenton I'm so worried that I erred in having this surgery. At least prior I could walk. I too am very discouraged
  • I know how frustrating it can be. I also had a Microdiscectomy last month, on July 15 only to have my leg pain slowly return in the weeks following surgery. I am now at four weeks post-op and have leg pain in the same spot which had progressively worsened over the years. I am wondering if I am left with some form of irreversible nerve damage. I called my surgeon last week, who did have any definitive answers. I guess I will just have to ride it out.
    microdiscectomy 7-2014
  • I'm beginning to gather nerves are mysterious to doctors still. I have had a disectomy and a flattened sciatic nerve too. I'm on recovery week 4 now. I didn't have the pain you describe.. Just a dead foot. Know this: peripheral nerves are connected to your central nerves (the spinal chord) which is connected to your brain. I had excruciating pain prior to surgery. Then my foot dropped replacing the pain with a numb dropped foot. Keep hanging in there. Play your favorite music for therapy and walking. Force yourself to smile in the mirror and get outside. Try and find peace... Even for a few minutes and dwell on it when it happens.. And it will
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