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Post op from L4, L5, and S1 discectomy, laminedectomy

tree_hallttree_hall Posts: 1
edited 12/04/2015 - 6:35 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all, let me tell you a story. I hurt myself at work unloading truck. The test I had done are x-rays, mri, and aemg. I had 3 moderate to large bulging discs in my L4, L5, and S1. I started seeing my primary doctor. who sent me to an orthopedic, and ended up with a neurosurgeon. I tried all the preventive surgery measures ( physical therapy, epidural shots) with no luck. The final straw was when my legs started going numb. I was told by a neurosurgeon that if my legs continued to go numb that I could develop nerve damage and end up in a wheel chair. I opted for the surgery. After the 1st surgery in the recovery room I felt instant relief. The only pain I had was that from my incision, but that was short lived. Four days after the surgery I developed a leak in my spinal sack. I would get the mother of all headaches ( and I used to get migraines, they had nothing on these headaches), nausea, and it felt like my back was a cable that was wound to tight. I could feel it at the base of my skull. The surgeon expected the leak to heal itself and my body to absorb the fluid, it did not. 30 days later I was back in for a 2nd surgery. while the surgeon was in my back repairing the leak he took more bone and rapped muscle around my spine. (By the way I was just told he was going to repair the leak) In the recovery room from the 2nd surgery I hurt worse that I did for the 1st surgery. As soon as I was transferred to my room the medicines from the surgery wore off I felt like I was the worst patient in the world. I kept complaining about lower back pain and leg pain. I told the nurse that something was going to have to give that the doctor was going to have to change my medicines because it was not helping. The doctor said to give me my medicines every 4 hours instead of every 6 hours. The nurse then put pillows under my legs to elevate them and that eased the pain immediately. One week after the 2nd surgery I called the surgeons office to complain about the leg pain still and his nurse said it was most likely due to the fact of having 2 surgeries in 30 days. Four weeks after the 2nd surgery the surgeon said the pain was probably due to scar tissue. Four months after the 2nd surgery the surgeon has no idea why I am still having leg pain. How the pain feels is in my lower back on both sides of my incision it burns, I have a dull ache that radiates through my right hip and sometimes down my right leg to my knee, and when it is at its worst I get both of those and it radiates through my left hip as well. I am now a side sleeper (used to sleep on my back) and wake up every night from pain and have to readjust. sometimes it hurts so bad that I can not physically roll myself I have to grab my headboard and pull to move myself. I am now back at step two. I am back seeing the orthopedic. I am now doing physical therapy and I just (today) got another epidural to see if it makes the pain go away. Through all of this aside from right after the surgeries the only medicine I was taking was lyric for the nerve pain which did not work for me, Tramadol, and Motrin. For the most part the medicine works for me for the back pain but I have found through all of this that nothing touches the nerve pain. Right now I have lower back pain and it feels like a pro boxer punched me in my right buttocks. If the epidural does not take care of the pain they will do another MRI to see what the problem is and possibly have a 3rd surgery. This is not the life I signed up for, either in constant pain or on pain medicine everyday to cope with the pain. If there was a wonder drug that would numb this pain I would gladly take it. The thing is, I am not sure if the pain is from my operations or if it is from my S I joint. The sad part is I am so young I am only 37 I really don't want this to be how it is the rest of my life.

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
  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- General pieces of valuable information

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 : 11/19/15 22:15est

Teresa Hall


  • Where o' where should I begin? My first spinal surgery was in 2004. A anterior cervical fusion., then in 2007 I herniated 2 disks in my L4L5S1 region. Had stenosis and they fixed that as well. 2010 I had a disk break off and embed itself in my nerves, and had stenosis again, so they repaired that as well. At 6 week following my 2010 surgery I began having a lot of pain in my tail bone. After MRI, CT, X-rays, I found out that it was scar tissue that became connected to my tail bone and I only had options for possible relief. I could have a Neuro stimulater or a pain pump connect to my spinal cord by having them implanted. ( I feel like a alien ). I chose neither and decided to live with the pain and wait for something new to come along that could help me without having to have something implanted in me. ( once again I think alien) over the years I've herniated disks by doing nothing but living life the best I could/can and having root nerve blocks, steroids about 3-4 times a year and plenty of physical therapy appts. In the last month I have been getting more and more pain in my lower back, tail bone region, hip frot, side and back of my legs and radiating pain in the bottom of my foot. And the foot pain hadn't gone away, in fact none of it has. I cannot get up from bed or even roll on my own without help from my family. The pain is excruciating and nothing is helping with all of my pain( Lyrica, muscle relaxers, Tylenol, OxyContin w/Benadryl , ice nothing works. My husband is at church right now but when he gets done I will have him take me to the hospital. I've been putting it off because they just might send me home and all the movement it would take me to get there would be more than I can handle; and I've handled enough. Does any one have any ideas as to what's going on with my back? I'm literally falling apart and it's no fun.
    Bonnie Carstens
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    edited 12/14/2015 - 4:40 AM
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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