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Lumbar L5 S1 surgery recovery

RealnicesuitRRealnicesuit Posts: 1
edited 12/22/2014 - 6:15 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just had surgery (lumbar discetomy) Dec. 16th to repair my disc which was resting on my nerve. I was suffering with sciatica nerve pain down my left calf area since August. I was in excruticiatng pain and had to stop working until I had surgery. I'm hoping that I didn't wait too long to have the surgery because I still have pain there 5 days later. I'm getting nervous that the nerves may have been damaged and will require a longer time frame to heal. I'm scheduled to go back to work Feb. 1. The doctor said to expect phantom pain there but it should go away but I'm not sure. My toes are still numb as well!!! I go for my walk with little pain and then return home only to have my leg pain return mightily!!! is anyone going to a similar situation?


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    there is nobody on the site medically qualified to give advice, you are still early into recovery.

    welcome message


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had my microdiscecetomy on 05/2013 it took 2 weeks for my right leg pain to go away and I was off work for 4 wks. I was pain free for 6 months and looking into a fusion. I hope you feel some relief soon. Everyone heals differently so I think all recovery times are different.
    Im 30. Had micro diskecetomy on 05/09/13. I had a herniated disc at L5-S1 that after 6 months of different treatments I was only getting worse.
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  • Hey,

    I am about 10 months post surgery for the exact same thing you had and I am still having calf pain while I sit down, but I am a lot better.
    Best thing I can say is, it gets better over a long time. First 3 months I thought this was never going to get better, but it gets better very slowly and as I said I am 10 months post op and still have this calf pain in my affected leg and I waited about 8 months before having the surgery done.
  • The lumbar discectomy freed up the nerve so it's likely you're dealing with "old" pain or as your doctor put it phantom pain.
    The 'full' recovery is a lengthy period, far beyond the point that the incision is healed and you feel "better."
    I experienced numbness across my knee cap. After a year I was convinced I would have to live with it. Somewhere after 18 months I began to notice improvement. It's 3 years later and luckily the numbness is fully gone.
    The trauma to your nerve(s) will take longer for it to heal/repair than it took for them to become traumatized.
    My 2 cents: walk as is tolerable and make it a habit to stretch daily. Your surgeon can give you a sheet with stretches that will benefit your near term recovery and long term good back health.
    Best of luck during your recovery.
  • Thanks Bucko, its barely been a year now since surgery, so it is good to hear that it will still become better over time. I do walking and bike riding and gym and even stretching every day. so fingers crossed :)
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  • Hey . I had same surgery 3.5weeks ago. I am experiencing different sensations through my back, leg and foot. I feel numbness in my toes and also had it in my calf which has subsided a little. I notice after I have a big day these pains and sensations play up more,then improve after rest. I agree with Bucko's response. Hope all goes well for you.
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