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Is something wrong...?

I had an L4-5 microdisectomy and foraminectomy on 9/17 so I'm about 6 weeks out, and I am still having severe pain and spasms. I have talked to my surgeon a couple of times cause the pain is at least to where it was prior to the surgery, he doesn't seem to think that I have re-herniated but I'm still worried cause I'm still having to take 2-4 mg of dilaudid at least once a day sometimes 2-3 times. (I am prescribed 1-2 every 6-8 hours so I'm good there.) I never really had total relief of pain on my left side in the back and into the buttox but I have had initial relief of the numbness in my left leg although my foot is still numb in areas. My main concern is that since I am having pain out to BOTH sides now that I may have reinjured my back some how. My surgeon thinks that it is a flare up and inflammation but if PT doesn't help when I go in for my 2 month post op he will investigate further.
Also I seem to be 'fine' during PT but about 1 hour after I am in a living hell, where I can hardly get into a comfortable position. I live my life on muscle relaxers and while I am trying to only take the Dilaudid at night I find that NSAIDS and Tylenol just don't do the trick.
Should I be worried or am I just freaking my self out?


  • It is entirely possible that it is just a flare up, brought on in part by the increased activity levels, and physical therapy, and increased mobility.
    Nerve pain also commonly flares up post op for a few days, to a few weeks, so I would do as your surgeon suggested, and give it a few more weeks . If it doesn't start settling down, then go to the next step with your surgeon when you see him.
  • RunnerHKTRRunnerHKT Posts: 230
    edited 11/08/2014 - 10:16 AM
    which is related to a hip surgery I had, not a spine or disc surgery. I did fine with the surgery and with pain control. but when I started on PT and as the PT increased in intensity I often had pain that was very similar to the pain I had prior to surgery. It was VERY frightening to me, as every time I occurred I thought, "OH the surgery failed" It helped when I shared the concerns with my PT.

    Do they offer your Ice after your PT sessions? I found that a lot of my pain was reduced if I did a massive Ice down after PT.

    Best Wishes.
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  • AprilAApril Posts: 41
    edited 11/08/2014 - 2:48 PM
    Hey, I had a microdiscetomy on the same day than you with 16mm herniation pressing the foramena and causing severe narrowing on right side.
    Well since the surgery I thought many times I reherniated..the leg pain was away only 1 week..Ok, I did not need any painkillers since my surgery but lately if I been trying to be active I have taken a , a couple of Tylenol or ibu prof. Not every day but some...
    Week before was bad week but this week was good again and so I m now accepting that this will take time..
    Trust me I been depressed and thought my life is over. Especially luck of a support from a loved one.
    I still don't drive or d not try or I don't even sit at all, because I m afraid it d cause pain and slow things..
    Every day I wake up with no pain then more I do I start to feel 1st pain on my butt then on my leg if I m up all day.. So I guess this will take time.
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • I do get ice after pt and stim as well. I also, have a stim machine at home that I use most nights. I am really hoping that i haven't reinjured my back and it is only a flare up. I see my surgeon on the 17th and he said he would re-evaulate than. The thing that is most concerning to me is that I haven't really had significant release of pain since surgery. I do have some good days and the pain in my leg is decreased, not gone. Though I am having pain out to both sides and in my back from just above my incision to my mid thigh.
  • My horrible stabbing burning back pain is gone after my surgey and never returned.. However the buttocks pain comes and goes.. Also leg pain.. I also get time to time radiation on my other side that had no issue..
    This week I had many good days but on Saturday I went to see a house and was walking around there 1,5 hours and then went to a shop for another 1h maybe.. That all was too much. I did not take any painkillers but today I have pain on my buttocks and leg and my other side also feels weird..so I m not happy. I went to cvs to get some tiger Palm pain pads or what called and put them on my back and leg lol.. I m again worried that I reherniated for 10th times...
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
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  • I have no idea any more if I have reherniate or not.. Most days last week I was well and took like 2 Tylenol all week.. But I guess I did too much on this Saturday...I did a new MRI 2 weeks ago but did not see my dr yet to see it.. Well by then I was actually fine but righ after I got lots of pain, because I was trying hight heels and feeling happy and rest of the week I paid for it.
    All I can say is that the recovery is much more slow that nobody told me.. Even my Dr told me I d be immediately pain free..
    Ok I was since I never took any real pain meds but I did had nerve irritation and still have in week 6 if I do too much..
    I meet many people, who ask me ooh you still not driving a car questions..so irritation. No I ll not start with that, because surgeons I talked to told me it puts pressure on your spine anyways and should be avoided.. Ok, my own surgeon said me you can sit 1h on time immediately after my surgery. Sorry, I d never do that. None of the people I iniw, who had a back surgery was not told to do that.. My brother, who was operated 4y ago was told by to top spine surgeons avoid sitting as long as he can. They said sitting kills that's all. So I ll not start to making things worse by driving a car or sitting before 3moths or so..and also sitting was my main problem prior surgery not walking. I could not sit even 1 min with pain killers.
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • Also dean linn my brother was like 2 to 3moths on tramadol and viacotine after his surgery.. He had really bad pains. Worse than prior his surgery he told me. He is now fine. No pains and working. So just take it easy.. I know I m pabiding every other day and crying and preparing myself ok maybe new operation.. Like today when I could not even walk at the pharmacy without pain on my buttocks.. Also I don't know why I get pain deep in my spine ones I twist my neg.
    Do you get that type of thing?
    36y old female, s1-L5 micro discetomy 18th of September 2014
  • I don't really get the pain when I just twist my leg, but just about every thing else gives me fits. I try no to over do it but then when I do have a decent day I may walk a little more and then I'm right back to square 1, then there are days that standing for 10 minutes to do the dishes feels like an eternity. I just want to get through this week and hopefully when I see the Dr. he will order an MRI if for nothing else than just ease my mind. I am sick of not being able to do anything. My friends are like 'you are doing so good, and I cant believe its only been 6 weeks" meanwhile I feel like my back is on fire. and since im not one to openly complain they don't understand why I still need the pain meds and muscle relaxers.
  • So I went to my 2 month post-op yesterday and my surgeon referred me to pain management, said to continue PT, and wrote a script for another MRI. Hoping that my insurance will approve the MRI soon, so I will know my next course of action. In the meantime its going to be PT, pain meds, muscle relaxers, and more injections. On a positive note I went out for the first time in a long time and while I had fun I think I may have over did it, though all we did was go to karaoke and happy hour, cause I had a rough night. I'll post again after my MRI.
  • Finally got my repeat MRI approved and go tomorrow afternoon. Hope it answers some questions rather then cause more non answers.
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