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L5s1 Discectomy, tough few days

Hi All,
I am early on after my discectomy (day 3), but I am concerned.  I see many people have immediate pain reduction, I woke up and still had my preop pain.  Now it's just pain deep in my thigh and the surgical pain.  I am also worried because I still can't stand up straight!  I haven't been able to stand straight for two months following a car accident that reherniated my l5s1.  The original injury was resolved to an acceptable level without surgery.  It was interesting that the car accident immediately stopped all nerve pain in my right leg that I learned to live with, but it moved to the left leg!

I am just getting concerned since I see so ma.y posts where people wake up painless and can walk freely.  Should I be concerned?  Any insights from people with less than storybook recoveries?


  • I had both l5-s1 and l4-l5 disc replacement 4 years ago. It was supposed to just be a trimming of the disc and bone to give the nerves room but when I woke up it was a complete replacement. I couldn't move my legs for a few hours. It took two days to walk. I was in the hospital for 3 days. Roughly a month afterwards to really start feeling better. The first two weeks were horrible. Walking with a walker and eventually a cane for short periods. At times pain was so bad from standing I would just shake all over till someone helped me down. I couldn't move. After the pain subsides I noticed I still had no feeling in the back of my left leg. 4 years later and still no feeling. Pain will probably go away after a bit but nerves may not ever heal right. Although here I am fixing to repair the previous surgery area with a 360 fusion. So keep your head up, it may still be too early to make a assumption on  if it helped or not. Good luck.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Hey Mat

    It's wayyyyyy too early to be worried about your pain.  I've had both sides of the fence.  On my first surgery I woke up pain free and on my second surgery I woke up in worse pain the pre-op and it did not go away for 4 long horrible months.  Your nerves heal VERY slowly and it will take time for them to stop firing.  At this point don't worry about the situation... what you are experiencing is par for the course.  

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • checkitupccheckitup Vancouver, WashingtonPosts: 9
    I understand your concern.  I had microdiscectomy surgery (l5/s1) on March 16.  I came out surgery and actually had more leg pain than before surgery.  I was devastated to say the least as I was very active before my herniation (crossfit 5-6 days a week).  My wife had the same surgery five years ago and came out surgery with no leg pain so I figured I would be the same.  The first five days following surgery I was having to take 12 5mg percs a day due to pain.  Its now been 11 days since surgery and the pain has eased a bit but the leg and foot pain is still there.  I'm no longer taking percs and able to get by with about 1600mg of ibuprofen instead.  I  also ice a lot and it seems to help with the inflammation.  I still can not sit.  I'm trying to stay positive as I've heard nerves take a very long time to heal (up to 18 months in some cases).      
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