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Worst pain ever after lumbar discectomy

I had a 2 level acdf surgery in February and coped really well with the healing process, besides some residual neck pain I am doing well on that front. However, I had an L4/5 discectomy last week and I am not coping at all! I expected pain after surgery but this is unbelievable. I have more leg, hip and foot pain than I thought possible. My hips and lumbar spine are burning intensely all the time. I'm reduced to tears everytime I sit on the toilet from the pain of getting back up. I feel like I need to say that i always felt I had a pretty good pain threshold but this has got me going crazy. I am taking tramadol and paracetamol every 5 hours and I'm topping it up with codeine when I'm at my worst. Can anyone tell me if this is normal.
Fracture L1/L2, Osteoarthritis of lumbar, cervical spine and coccyx, wheelchair bound, ACDF C3/4 &C5/6
Discectomy L4/L5


  • Couple things...

    Usually this is totally normal, but you need to make sure you don't have nerve damage. A doctor will not admit to this, so keep an eye on this if it doesn't get better.

    1. Keep a journal of your daily activity and pain levels.
    2. Have you been back to see the surgeon and talk? When is your follow up?
    3. If this persists longer than 3 weeks, see your doc again, if he doesn't give you answers or do tests etc, get an opinion from a second doc.
    4. Those drugs you are on are as good as taking skittles for pain. Everyone is different, but ask your doc for something new. The combo of norco and ms Contin do wonders for me.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I would think you need to continue to tell doctor how you are feeling
    The awful pain you describe while standing using the bathroom...well that's not an activity you can lessen or postponed until you feel better.

    Did you ask doctor about possibility of using an elevated toilet seat? If he says okay, that might be one area that could help you feel somewhat better as you recover.

    I don't know , but would a walker or cane be useful to reduce any of your pain when up? I would ask doctor.

    Do keep him posted of all you are experiencing. Please let us know if doctor thinks your experiences are normal for you.
    I wish you very best on your continued recovery?
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • Michelle99MMichelle99 Posts: 57
    edited 09/06/2015 - 4:39 PM

    I've had two discectomys within 4 months at the L5/S1 level, although uncomfortable I did not experience anything like that. Keep an eye on your wound, is it red or inflamed. I would go and see your GP or get in touch with your surgeon to see if this is what you should be experiencing. Definitely ask for an elevated toilet seat, that did help me but I don't remember a continued intense burning in my hip or back. I would get it checked out just in case there may be an infection, which I was told to watch out for. Let us know how you go on

    Good luck
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