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nerve pain after surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,553
Hello all,

I'm 7 DAYS post-op from a microdiscectomy, and I feel much much better overall. Of course I'm still on pain meds, but when I stand upright now, I do not feel that pressure on the nerve anymore causing all the pain I was having.

However, I do still feel some nerve pain, although much more slight then previous, going down the back of my right leg somewhat. It's not constant, but seems to come & go depending on how much I'm on my feet.

The Doctors told me that it will take a while for the nerve to fully heal & calm down, since it was under pressure for so long, & also the surgery itself irritates the nerve somewhat while they operate. I'm being told that it will eventually go away after several weeks at least.

My question: Has anyone else had this procedure & still exp some nerve pain? How long did it take to fully go away?

Thanks for any help. joe


  • Hi Joe,

    I'm 4 weeks post op. L5-S1 discectomy. After surgery my nerve pain was horrible. Worse than before. Thought something had gone wrong, but the Dr. said it vould take up to 8 weeks or more for the nerves to heal. it all depends on how badly pinched and for how long. Now, 4 weeks later, I'm starting to feel some improvement. Not complete relief but enought to think maybe this is going to work.

    Best advice: hang in there and take it easy. Don't do more than the Dr. tells you you can do. if you push it, you'll know it soon enough. Take your meds as needed, and try to rest as much as possible. Walking helps a lot too.

    Good luck!

  • Hi, I am 7 weeks post op and the pain was there for a few weeks, but knowing that it doesnt just disappear certainly was helpful. Now i dont get the pain unless i overdo it, and it is a good warning to slow down. At 7 days, the trick is to not be on your feet except for a few walks a day, then lie down if you can.

    Good luck with your recovery and i hope it settles quickly for you.

    Oh - i find driving (just automatic) sets my leg off completely so i keep that to a minimum still
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  • I'm 3 1/2 weeks post op from a l5/s1 discectomy. I am still having pain too, can't straighten my leg, and found that I now have a stabbing pain in my tail bone that comes and goes. I've also gotten some tingling in my left foot when before surgery only my right leg was affected. I called the doc today and he wants to see me next Thursday. I think I'm over doing it, but I do not have the luxury not to work...must pay bills! Luckily, I'm a teacher and all I'm doing this summer is babysitting. I'm going to try not to stand or sit for too long, but I have to drive 30 min. one way to work each way. I just pray that i'm not damaging anything!!! Good luck!

  • My PT told me that nerves heal at 1mm a week. THAT IS SLOW.

    She said i should see improvement in nerve pain until 18 months post op, and not to stress too much till then, but obviously avoid the things i know make it worse...sitting, driving etc.

    Its nice to have a timeline actually. They sure are slow healers.
  • The last few days this thing has been getting better and better. There IS light at the end of the tunnel. i can't believe how much better I feel. I'm leaving in 20 minutes for 4 week follow up with NS. Can't wait to share the good news with him.
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  • I had a micro discectomy 8 weeks ago,I'm doing alot better as far as the muscle spasms go, but I'm still dealing with leg pain, the burning,aching,pins and needle feelings. But I can say some days are better then others.

    I think my ns thinks that I should be doing a little better, but I know that I'm better off now then pre surgery, because before I could hardly walk.

    Seems like just trying to clean house, wash my car, just little things sets the pain off. and when it starts it takes a while to calm down. I usually have to take a muscle relaxer and sometimes loratab if the pain gets too bad.

    today has been a painful day, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

    Many Blessings,

  • Cindy, did you know that little things like 'clean the house' and 'wash the car!!!!' are not little at all. Its huge!!!!

    I am about same stage as you. I was told no sweeping mopping or vaccuuming (so i assume washing the car fits that category too lol). Any housework has to be done with a straight back or dont do it....no twisting etc.

    I think you may need to take it a little bit easier and give your back a chance to settle down. I know for me, if i do something thats a bit too much i get nerve pain too.

    The physio said, if you get the pain you need to stop whatever is causing it.

    All the very best
  • Hi Cindy,

    Just to add to Formerfire's last post, I too think you should take it easy.

    I am managing a 15 min walk in the morn and another in the evening, with strolls indoors during the day. My sciatic nerve still annoys me, but it's not too bad.

    Recovering slowly.

  • I am 10 (almost 11) weeks post op (L5/S1 MicroD) and I still have some nerve pain and numbness. The pain is nowhere near what it was pre-surgery, or immediately after surgery however.

    One thing I have noticed this week at work is that by the end of the day (sitting), I have a pretty good spot of pain behind my left thigh/knee area. This is kind of new. I don't know if I am "healing" and therefore returning to my old ways of bad posture, etc. ...it is annoying, but not unbearable.

    The numbness in my left foot does seem to be slowly getting better which has been the most aggrivating part of the healing process.

    My doc told me at my 8 week visit that by Christmas, the pain and numbness should be a memory. He reiterated how long it takes nerves to heal and that you can aggrivate them as you heal...and that sets them back a little bit more.

    Good luck
  • Hi All,
    I'm new to this site and sure need to hear from others going through this nerve pain.I'm post op 8 1/2 weeks(May 08) L4 fusion and 6 1/2 years post op L4,L5,S1 Fusion. I've had siactic pain coming from the L4 again going down my right leg for a year now and had nerve root injections, but no improvement. I also have a screw that broke at the L4,which we decided not to touch at this point. My Dr. recomended the new ALIF going through the front of the abdomen. He went in on left side over the pelvic bone. Now I have no feeling in the inner part of my left leg, constant nerve pain, cannot walk without a cane,(was using a walker)PT 3 times a week and cannot sit long. My Dr. said the same things I hear from all of you about the nerves healing. I also have Muscle Atrophy in my thigh, which is taking a long time to get back to normal. Boy that is so much post op information, but It is real and I wish I did not have this surgery.

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