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2 surgeries within 7 days and still in pain

The_JeansTThe_Jeans Posts: 1
edited 11/08/2015 - 5:38 AM in Recovering from Surgery
so a quick introduction. my husband went in on 10/23 for a l4-l5 microdiscectomy at an outpatient surgery center. we were discharged about 3 hours after surgery. we got in the car and on the way home stopped through a drive thru to get something to eat and in the line my husband started screaming. he was grabbing his butt. he though maybe it was just the nerve being "angry". the intense pain lasted for about 5 seconds and then left him with this dull pain in his butt. again 5 minutes later he screamed, same process...dull pain remained. over the next 3 days the pain only intensified and suddenly he was unable to put any pressure on his left leg and the pain was constant in his left butt cheek, under his left thigh, and in his calf. his big toe was numb and he was having this circling pain around his calf. by tuesday afternoon he called me at work and said he couldn't take it anymore, so i left work and took him to the er. they did another mri and sure enough there it was an even larger herniated disc in the exact same location. they transported him by ambulance to the hospital downtown that had a neurology department and admitted him until he was able to have surgery again 3 days from then on 10/30. they went in and preformed the same surgery through the same incision and once again said it was a success. we left the hospital in 2 days and went home. my husband said he no longer felt the sciatic pain but his big toe and the 2 next to it remained numb therefore he was having a hard time walking and keeping his balance. then on tuesday 11/3 he called me once again at work crying. he was unable to sit or lay without his butt and hamstring "catching" . it breaks my heart watching him, someone who i have only seen cry twice in our entire relationship. on friday 11/6 he broke down, he was unable to stand any longer and his body wouldn't let him sit so i leaned against the kitchen counter and let him lean on me and he finally fell asleep. is this "catching" pain normal at this intensity? he said he is starting to feel nerve pain along with it and is so discouraged that once i go him in the bed yesterday he refuses to get out of it. i can hear him at times back there moaning and then a loud grunt following and when i go back there he tells me it is starting the "catch" without him moving at all. he does understand that the muscles are probably reacting to protect the nerve but is this amount of pain normal? is the fact that it happens about 20 times a day normal? he does take percocet and a muscle relaxer every 6 hours. he has taken far too many steroid packs and injections that they have started to really mess with his stomach. should i take him back tot he er? the nurse at the neurosurgeon finally called us back and i quote she said "you sound like you weren't thinking surgery is painful so just in case you weren't told, surgery is painful so expect pain"

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
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please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
as such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 11/08/15 11:38 est



  • Of course pain is part of the recovery process but if I were having such pain that it brought me to tears or I was moaning in pain or having stabbing pain...I would demand some resolution. Have you discussed different meds or maybe different a dosage of his current meds with his surgeon? Have you contacted your primary physician for help or advice? If this were me....or my husband....I would go to the ER and try to get help and answers. Our pain should at least be managed well in the early days and weeks after surgery. I wish you all the best.
  • brandis77bbrandis77 Posts: 193
    edited 11/08/2015 - 2:47 PM
    .. I'm not a doctor, but in my experience (2 L4/5 microdiscectomies), this kind of pain seems very extreme. If I were you, I would look for another opinion, even if it meant driving to the ER in a different city. I was once advised when looking for a second opinion not to disclose which doctor was the "first opinion".
    Take a look through the different microdiscectomy stories on this message board and see what you think after reading other experiences.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
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  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    My surgeons nurse was always very kind and compassionate, very thankful for that.

    The fact that your husband was in pain after the first surgery, and for a reason, you'd think the office nurse would have enough sense to know something may have gone awry already again. If your husband needs to have yet another surgery, possible fusion, if it was me, I'd be looking to have another surgeon do the surgery.

    Hope your husband gets some relief soon! He sounds like he's fortunate to have you!
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