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Old 12-09-2003, 07:26 PM   #1
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backpainz HB User
Unhappy Post Discectomy aches

It has been 2 weeks since my lumbar discectomy on L4/L5 to fix a herniated disc that was also fragmented. After trying alternative methods to cure the ache in my left foot for over 6 months, I decided to proceed with surgery before it got any worse. I wasn't in too much pain, but the ache was pretty annoying and would increase into pain after being on my feet for too long.

Immediately after the surgery, the pain was gone! Within the next 24 hours, the pain came back to both feet this time. My diagnosis (I had to figure this one out on my own since the doctors office was closed for Thanksgiving) was that my nerve was inflamed from the surgery. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis when I spoke to him on Monday. He told me that this was totally normal . . .

I am curious what others have experienced post surgery. I am hopeful that the pain will subside when I am totally healed. I still have a bit of tenderness where the incision was made -- since I am tender outside, I'm sure that I am tender inside as well.
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Steve
Lumbar Discectomy L4/L5, Thanksgiving 2003

 
Old 12-09-2003, 08:20 PM   #2
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mspsub HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

Backpainz:

I had a microdiscectomy on June 26th and it has taken until this week for my postop pain to reduce to a comfortable point. Each person is different and there are many factors that dictate how long it will take to recover after surgery.

I guess what I am saying is....yes it can be "normal" to have post op inflammation. I had a postop MRI 10 weeks after surgery because my pain was really unbearable. I had the best neuroradiologist in the world (literally) look at my films and she said that my nerve was extremely ticked off and that I would feel better in 6-8 months. It has been 3 months since then and I am I can finally see I light at the end of the recovery tunnel.

Good luck....

Mark

[QUOTE=backpainz]It has been 2 weeks since my lumbar discectomy on L4/L5 to fix a herniated disc that was also fragmented. After trying alternative methods to cure the ache in my left foot for over 6 months, I decided to proceed with surgery before it got any worse. I wasn't in too much pain, but the ache was pretty annoying and would increase into pain after being on my feet for too long.

Immediately after the surgery, the pain was gone! Within the next 24 hours, the pain came back to both feet this time. My diagnosis (I had to figure this one out on my own since the doctors office was closed for Thanksgiving) was that my nerve was inflamed from the surgery. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis when I spoke to him on Monday. He told me that this was totally normal . . .

I am curious what others have experienced post surgery. I am hopeful that the pain will subside when I am totally healed. I still have a bit of tenderness where the incision was made -- since I am tender outside, I'm sure that I am tender inside as well.[/QUOTE]

 
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Old 12-10-2003, 05:28 AM   #3
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Mistina HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

Did you have a microdiscectomy or an open discectomy?
I had an open discectomy/laminectomy 3 months ago and it is a long long road I know that. I had leg numbness and weird feeling for several weeks after surgery, some of it I never experienced before the surgery. It was because of all the inflammation in there around my nerve it has since subsided. I was doing really well a couple weeks ago then I returned to work and it has been hard on me. Sometimes I feel like my surgery didn't work but I have to remain positive because I know it can be a long recovery. I just get really frusterated sometimes. I had mostly back pain and I had alot of bone growth removed along with the disc being trimmed. I can tell you, you still have a ways to go. What you are experiencing now is normal. You've gotta hang in there and focus on getting better. I have to talk myself into it everyday. I still have swelling and all where my incision is and where all the work was done. I guess it because of the ligaments and muscles being cut.
I wish you a great recovery and keep us posted on your progress!!
Mistina
[QUOTE=mspsub]Backpainz:

I had a microdiscectomy on June 26th and it has taken until this week for my postop pain to reduce to a comfortable point. Each person is different and there are many factors that dictate how long it will take to recover after surgery.

I guess what I am saying is....yes it can be "normal" to have post op inflammation. I had a postop MRI 10 weeks after surgery because my pain was really unbearable. I had the best neuroradiologist in the world (literally) look at my films and she said that my nerve was extremely ticked off and that I would feel better in 6-8 months. It has been 3 months since then and I am I can finally see I light at the end of the recovery tunnel.

Good luck....

Mark[/QUOTE]

 
Old 12-10-2003, 10:39 AM   #4
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backpainz HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

From what I gather, I had an open discectomy. When I asked my doctor which one it was, he gave me a different answer all together using terms I had never heard of. I think that due to the 3 inch incision in my back that this was not micro. . .

Thanks for the insights. When I spoke to the doctor's office this morning, we are thinking about moving to anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce some of the pain. I guess I was just feeling hopeful that right after surgery, all the pain would be gone!


[QUOTE=Mistina]Did you have a microdiscectomy or an open discectomy?
I had an open discectomy/laminectomy 3 months ago and it is a long long road I know that. I had leg numbness and weird feeling for several weeks after surgery, some of it I never experienced before the surgery. It was because of all the inflammation in there around my nerve it has since subsided. I was doing really well a couple weeks ago then I returned to work and it has been hard on me. Sometimes I feel like my surgery didn't work but I have to remain positive because I know it can be a long recovery. I just get really frusterated sometimes. I had mostly back pain and I had alot of bone growth removed along with the disc being trimmed. I can tell you, you still have a ways to go. What you are experiencing now is normal. You've gotta hang in there and focus on getting better. I have to talk myself into it everyday. I still have swelling and all where my incision is and where all the work was done. I guess it because of the ligaments and muscles being cut.
I wish you a great recovery and keep us posted on your progress!!
Mistina[/QUOTE]
__________________
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Steve
Lumbar Discectomy L4/L5, Thanksgiving 2003

 
Old 12-10-2003, 06:27 PM   #5
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beckyboo HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

I'm so glad (in a funny way) to hear it takes a while to recover, because I'm at 5 weeks post discectomy, and am a little concerned with my progress.

Immediately following surgery, I was great, but upon returning home from hospital (4 days later) I noticed numbness in my other leg (previously no pain). My DR commented that was unusual, and sent me for another MRI as soon as the staples were removed. More disc has prolapsed, but not to the point where it was, however it seems to be irritating nerve roots on both left and right sides now.

Now at the 5 week mark, I have returned to work a few days ago, and am finding the pain in my legs returning - very subtle, but definately more frequent and intense. I'm still on VIoxx (anti-inflams), and have now started taking oral hypericum for nerve pain .I'd be interested to hear anyone else's experience with hypericum?

I just hope it doesn't get any worse and I end up back where I was, but I am trying really really hard to be positive and hope this is al just part of the healing process - not the start of Round 2...

 
Old 12-11-2003, 07:24 PM   #6
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jodawa50 HB User
Exclamation Re: Post Discectomy aches

[QUOTE=backpainz]It has been 2 weeks since my lumbar discectomy on L4/L5 to fix a herniated disc that was also fragmented. After trying alternative methods to cure the ache in my left foot for over 6 months, I decided to proceed with surgery before it got any worse. I wasn't in too much pain, but the ache was pretty annoying and would increase into pain after being on my feet for too long.

Immediately after the surgery, the pain was gone! Within the next 24 hours, the pain came back to both feet this time. My diagnosis (I had to figure this one out on my own since the doctors office was closed for Thanksgiving) was that my nerve was inflamed from the surgery. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis when I spoke to him on Monday. He told me that this was totally normal . . .

I am curious what others have experienced post surgery. I am hopeful that the pain will subside when I am totally healed. I still have a bit of tenderness where the incision was made -- since I am tender outside, I'm sure that I am tender inside as well.[/QUOTE]

I agree, everyone is different. I have had two ectomies now and the first was a complete success while my condition has only gotten worse since the second. The spine is a very fickle thing with what seems to be a mind of its own. I would suggest that now is the most important time for you to be taking good care of yourself in order to facilitate proper healing. Don't over do it. Its been 18 years since my first and I have never really been without some pain. Good Luck and be Good. John D. sends.

 
Old 12-15-2003, 10:10 PM   #7
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ricebird HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

To backpainz:

Sorry to hear about your post op pain. I too had added pain after my diskectomy, but also extreme weakness to the leg/foot. I went home with no pain only to wind up unable to be upright for more than 15 seconds without terrible pain down my leg after 1 week. I too was told I had irritated the nerve. (Note: the irritation was blamed on me.)

Because of something else this surgeon said which I knew was insincere, I went back to my primary doctor. He had be do an MRI. THE MRI showed my back was full of fluid. So much for the quick determination that the pain was due to irritated nerve!

I was told I could have had the fluid aspirated, but after my first visit with a second surgeon in the area, and his "coutesy call to the surgeon who did the surgery, he refused to aspirate it. I think the courtesy call took care of that. From that point on all I did was wait for a CT SCAN and doctors appt. The 2nd doctor also had me have a cortesone epidural. Anything but take that damn fluid out. I later found out that there's a good chance that fluid made a diagnosis of my damaged nerve by CT SCAN impossible because it blocked the view.

It's been 6 months since the surgery. The pain has improved greatly. But I still have great weakness and find it difficult to walk. But you know, whenever you have a surgery, they can say whatever they like about what is causing your pain and you'll never know for sure why your are hurting or what happened during the surgery.

I think in my case blood was purposely put in my back to block the view of the surgical area until scar tissue would normally cover the injured nerve, so that it would be impossible to positively connect the damage with the surgery. I think I was given a nerve block so that I wouldn't feel the pain until I was home for a while. Blood will cause a burning type of pain that will subside once a person is off their feet. I finally went to a neurologist after I was well enough to travel and was told I had nerve damage, not nerve irriation. I was also told that the CT scan/Milogram the next surgeon had me do would have been blocked even if I had swelling in my back from the surgery. So that test was a total waste of time.

I hope you aren't being fooled with like I was but if you have any doubt, the only way to find out is to go to a surgeon out of town, without giving the name and place where you had your surgery and ask for help to find out what is happening. Also, MRI's are best in distinguishing solf tissue. They are the best tool for seeing what is causing your pain after the surgery. CT's are best for seeing bone, not soft tissue. If you have fluid in your back an MRI is the way to find out.

Best of Luck, Lucy



I've been taking Neuronton and it seems to help the most. Hopefully your pain will fade in time.

[QUOTE=backpainz]It has been 2 weeks since my lumbar discectomy on L4/L5 to fix a herniated disc that was also fragmented. After trying alternative methods to cure the ache in my left foot for over 6 months, I decided to proceed with surgery before it got any worse. I wasn't in too much pain, but the ache was pretty annoying and would increase into pain after being on my feet for too long.

Immediately after the surgery, the pain was gone! Within the next 24 hours, the pain came back to both feet this time. My diagnosis (I had to figure this one out on my own since the doctors office was closed for Thanksgiving) was that my nerve was inflamed from the surgery. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis when I spoke to him on Monday. He told me that this was totally normal . . .

I am curious what others have experienced post surgery. I am hopeful that the pain will subside when I am totally healed. I still have a bit of tenderness where the incision was made -- since I am tender outside, I'm sure that I am tender inside as well.[/QUOTE]
[FONT=Arial]

Last edited by ricebird; 12-15-2003 at 10:32 PM. Reason: more info

 
Old 12-19-2003, 08:36 PM   #8
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hawks066 HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

I have felt every kind of sensation after my surgeries. My doc's told me that around day 7 to 21 you may have some symptoms return which is inflammation. Hang in there, give it atleast 3 months to feel somewhat normal. All these sensations and pains are normal.

 
Old 12-19-2003, 09:07 PM   #9
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standingman HB User
Re: Post Discectomy aches

beckyboo--Just a word of caution. Hypericum is St. John's Wort. There have been some reports of liver problems/damage with the herb. Of course, there are dangers and side effects for everything, but you want to be sure you know what you're taking and what the risks may be. Supplements aren't regulated or tested in the same way that prescription drugs are (and even for prescription drugs, the testing leaves much to be desired!)

Good luck with it all!

Standingman

 
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