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2 Months Post L5-S1 Microdiscectomy, Looking for Shared Experiences

rdavis1087rrdavis1087 Posts: 1
edited 02/01/2016 - 7:53 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi all, I am now a little over 2 months post L5-S! microdiscectomy surgery and am hoping to hear from some of you with similar experiences. About 4-5 weeks after surgery my symptoms started gradually returning and worsening, including tingling/numbness down my left leg and glute area. A full day of being active and moving around, standing most of the time and sitting for shorter periods, increases the pain and discomfort in my lower back and elsewhere to the point where its basically unbearable. I experience what feels like a lot of muscle tightness but is probably caused by increased nerve irritation as the nerve is healing. Sitting is the worst thing I can do by far as the tingling/numbness comes back right away.

The only thing that seems to help is to lay down on my bed, either on my back or on my side. I had a few days off work where I walked for 30 min. on the treadmill in the morning, stayed off my back and rested for most of the day, and then walked for 30 more min. on the treadmill at night. This seemed to help the symptoms decrease a good amount. However, a full work week where I cannot keep this exact routine worsens the symptoms more and more.

It seems that others may have experience similar things post surgery, so please let me know if you have and how you handled it. Walking increases my tightness a bit but then the next day I feel better than the previous day, as long as isn't a work day. Should I be walking even more than have? Is there anything else you may have done to help with these symptoms?


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,768
    edited 02/01/2016 - 7:54 PM
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    liz, spine-health moderator


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • That procedure seems to help a lot of people but for me in the end had to have those levels fused.. I had 3 microdiscectomies in the beginning. 2 at L5-S1 and 1 at L5-L4 and they relieved some pain for awhile but later had those levels fused. After any back surgery it takes time for everything to finally settle down and I'm talking months so give it some time. I would lay on ice as often as you can and it may help. I also am a firm believer in following every doctors orders to a T or it will set you back. I have always worked in production and had to do lifting which I think contributed to my having to fuse those levels later. That procedure does weaken that level in some ways so watch all lifting and twisting. Good luck!
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
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  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 150
    I had a microdiscetomy back in 2013 at L3/4 and it was my experience that it took almost 2 1/2 years to feel like my back wasn't pulling. I initially only had leg pain prior to the surgery and the back pain started after the procedure. I tried everything from ice to acupuncture to working with a DO and eventually it was time that helped it heal. Now of course I have a new herniation at the same level and probably am going to need another microdiscetomy! Not looking forward to the healing process. I do think time helps with healing. It is hard to find patience during that time.
    good luck!!
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