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Pain and walking 8 days post-Op

Hello all, I had a Microdiscectomy on L4-L5 on May 16,2016. The Dic said surgrey went well. I was in a lot of pain before the surgery but the pain after surgery has been all most unbearable. I have to take pain meds (Percocet 10) every four hours. I don't even have to see a clock to know when 4 hours is about up because I start hurting something awful. The Doc called me in Neurotins for the horrible leg pain but I haven't noticed any difference yet. I'm also on a muscle relaxer. The pain is SLOWY getting better for the most part during the day but at night it's awful. I'm in tears the pain is so bad at night

.***** Anyone else in this much pain 8 days out and pain much worse at night?? How much walking am I suppose to be walking right now. I walk to the bathroom, kitchen to fix me a sandwich or get a drink, a quick walk out back to just look at my animals. Is that enough? Walking hurts after just a few minutes. Thanks for any advice********



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello daniellalasha !
    welcome to spine-health
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    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971


    Walk whatever you can tolerate... maybe break it up into 3 times a day.  That will help you walk further without lots more pain.  It's pretty common that after surgery your nerves will fire as bad or worse than before surgery and they may calm down in a week or two... or it may take a couple months.  There is no way to really predict nerve healing and it is truly different in everyone.  Nerve healing is a SLOW process.  Hang in there... you WILL get better.

    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
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  • Welcome to the forum and so sorry you are experiencing post-op pain. A lot of people think the operation will take away all pain and are shocked that it has to keep worse sometimes, before it can get better.

    I hope the medication will kick in soon to help with the nerve pain etc. I was advised to lay at a 45 degree angle after surgery as this takes the pressure off the lumbar. I used a back pillow, with a small rectangular cushion at the bottom of this, with a normal pillow laid down the bed instead of across. And always to log roll out of bed, never sit up in bed and use pillows between my knees if it helped when on my side.

    My physio told me to walk to the bathroom etc up to day 5, and not to just lay in bed for long periods of time, as this would allow my body to seize up and make moving even more difficult. Only one trip up and down stairs to allow everything to settle down. He then instructed me to walk to the first lamp post and back on day 5, then extend that at a pace my body would allow. Any flare up indicated too much and to adjust the distance if necessary. My surgeon told me to listen to my body and work with it.

    If you are experiencing nerve pain that is awful but if your nerve is trapped at all, you may find the walking is very difficult to achieve. Report everything to your team and get advice from your physio on the walking and your current conditions. We are all so different during recovery so just sharing what I experienced.

    You are in very early stages of recovery and I recall everything hurting at that point as the wound and everything inside is trying to heal and adjust. Well done for getting out to your animals, I bet they are as pleased to see you as you are them :-) . Animals are a good stress reliever so keep up the visits if you can.

    I was one of the unfortunate people to end up with numbness in my foot and leg, caused by a damaged nerve, which then led to nightly nerve entrapment and severe calf cramps in one calf. The neighbours probably thought I was being murdered by the noise I created!! The pregabalin nerve medication has helped with that, so not as frequent as before.

    You are doing really well, even though it probably doesn't feel like it. It is major surgery even though sometimes classed as Micro and this causes confusion. The micro is about the incision size and procedure but the recovery is still hard going, so keep going and praise yourself for what you are achieving

    Healing hugs



    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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