Three weeks ago I had a microdiscetomy for a herniated disc at L5-S1 level. Immediately after surgery the leg pain I was having was gone. For two weeks I felt good, I was progressing and only had stiffness and some post-operative lower back pain. A few days ago I must have moved the wrong way because I aggrevated my lower back. Now I have significant lower back pain when I stand up straight and when I go from sitting to lying down flat on my back. Also it hurts to bend forward just a little while standing. I don't have any leg pain but I am concerned about the amount of pain I am now having. My surgeon doesn't seem concerned. He said it is probably just a set back in the healing process. Could this pain be from inflammation, a muscle problem or could I have reinjured the disc?
Hi there, and welcome! I have heard of many people, including myself, who felt very good for the first couple of weeks and then had some sort of set back in the healing. Mine was triggered mostly by something I did myself (and shouldn't have done) but I know it is pretty common to have some sort of set back in the weeks after surgery. I know this isn't the best of news, but I'm pretty sure you're not alone. I would agree with you dr and try not to worry to much about it. Just try to relax more and take it easy for the next week or so.
this happened to me too after my partial diskectomy. I got very concerned and went to see the doc who did my surgery, here is what he said:
After surgery your nerves are no longer flexible due to the scar tissue around the site. So, anytime you have an unexpected movement (slipping, jarring, bending wrong etc...) your nerves become inflammed because they can't move and stretch like they could prior to surgery. It is very common. Anti-inflammitories are good, if you don't get good results from those you can ask about neurontin (expensive though). I asked for a new MRI which didn't show anything, and eventually the pain lessened. YOu have to be very careful about movements. Even getting out of the car slightly wrong can cause pain, including daily movements like washing your face or vaccuming. So, think about this stuff and see if any of it helps. If you are still concerned, you can always ask for a new MRI. Make sure you get it with and without contrast.
Best wishes, Melissa
Sorry, I couldn't resist!! Just a suggestion, if you have agitated the area and perhaps it is somewhat inflamed, I recommend icing your back. This helped me imensly after surgery. Ice for 20 minutes at a time. Some of my old-time healthboard buddies during my recovery found that a bag of frozen peas worked wonders. Hope this helps! Dee
I'm in the same boat as of yesterday. I don't know exactly how I overdid it, but somehow it did. It's hard to know when you did it if you don't feel a specific reaction to some sort of movement. I'm calling the doc again today. But alot of people here say the same thing happened to them and rest, rest, rest. Which is what I'm going to be doing for a few days.
Good luck, hope you feel better very soon.
APLIF T4-S1 on july 19, 2004
Harrington rod T5 - T12 1982
Thank you for the input. I woke up today and was in the same pain as the past few days. One thing I did notice is when I sneeze now the pain hurts so much my knees buckle. That's why I am concerned because the two weeks after my surgery I could sneeze and would not have any pain at all. I am going to take everyone's advice and rest. But if the pain does not go away in my lower back after a few more days should I be concerned?
I've been resting and icing my lower back the past couple of days. I really haven't had any change in the way I've been feeleing. I don't know if I'm being impatient or not but I felt better two weeks after surgery compared to the way I feel today. I've been reading the responses that I've gotten (thank you) and other posts regarding people who also have pain after surgery and it looks like I'm not alone. I'm just afraid of reherniating the disc so soon after surgery. I don't have any leg pain but the lower back pain is the same as it was before surgery - hurts to cough, sneeze, to stand up straight, sit up straight, when I go to lie down, etc. I've been contemplating calling my doctor because I really don't know how long this set back should last. How long should I continue to ice and rest before I feel improvements?
Hello, I agree with Dee ICE, ICE and then ICE!!!!!!!!! I did a lot of that and still do. Gives me more relief than anything. Even use it when I'm at the computer. Like now! Seriously, it really does help me more than anything else. Give it a try, I think you will agree with us. Hope you are feeling better real soon!
It's been a few days since I last posted. I've been resting and icing my back. The pain isn't as bad as it was since the last I posted but it's still there. I sneezed yesterday and the pain came back so much it made my knees buckle! After that I continued resting and the pain decreased a little. I spoke with my doctor and he's not concerned because I don't have any leg pain. His advice is the same as I've been getting here - continue to rest. Hopefully, the pain will eventually go away or be so minimal that I won't worry about it.
i've had seriously bad leg pains since post-op day 4, the pains are 10x worse than before surgery!
is now 3.5 weeks since discectomy and no improvements what so ever...still cant sit, cant drive, pt causes extra pains and i dont sleep much more than a few hours if i sleep at all
have tried different meds but nothing seems to touch it and because i am 40 miles away from my work and on base doctor i have to go to a local gp who hasnt got a clue!
spoken on the phone to my doc who says it takes time to heal.....lol...how long tho?
wouldnt be so bad if i could get out and about or even do simple things like was the car but cant even do that at mo
lol...thats my winge for the day over
hope every 1 else is well
I just had to respond a bit to give you a little encouragement. I had horrible pain in my legs after my surgery too. It didn't happen right after surgery, but a few weeks out. I thought I had messed up badly. They did an ultrasound to be sure I didn't have any blood clots. My ankle on the left totally swelled up as well. I spoke to my surgeon and regular Dr about the swelling and they said it was totally unrelated to my surgery. It quit swelling after about 6 months. The zinging pain in my leg, I now believe was the nerve waking up after almost a year of being tramatized. It was very painful and scared the "you know what' out of me. The more I read on outcomes on this board, the more I believe that the pain is a good sign that you will regain some of the feeling or sensations that you lost prior to surgery. Most who do not have the nerve pain afterward, do not have improvement in their leg issues. Many do find that drugs will help the nerve pain. I did not go that route, but have read from others on the board that they have gotten relief from the leg pain using them. I am sure someone will post a few suggestions for the type of drug, i just can't remember the name of them.
Please don't get discouraged. I know how boring it can be to not be able to do anything, but you need to give yourself plenty of time to heal. Take lots of short walks and post often for support. You only get one back in a lifetime. Dee
I'm really at a loss. I posted the other day that my back was starting to feel a little better with the rest and the ice. I've been going stir crazy so I decided to go out in the car for a while with my wife and then get out and walk around a little. Later that night I had intense pain in my lower back. Same thing today. Nothing in my leg, it's all concentrated in my lower back. My microdiscectomy for the L5-S1 was a little over a month ago. I'm scheduled to start PT in a couple of weeks. Will this help? Is there a possibility that I have reinjured or is this still part of the healing process? At this point, I just don't know. I'm scheduled to go back to work in a few weeks but I'm not sure how I'm going to do this.
Mine hasn't gotten all that much better either, at least not like it was before I tweaked it. I finally have a doctor's appointment Tuesday, I have to find out what I did. Have you talked to your doctor? Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post op. We had different surgeries, so I doubt our causes will be the same, but I'll let you know what I find out. I really think you should get into see your doc. I know how demoralizing it is to be doing so great after the surgery, then to have a setback. I'm supposed to go back to work in two weeks and that kind of worries me too. Let us know what happens.
APLIF T4-S1 on july 19, 2004
Harrington rod T5 - T12 1982
thank you kindly for the encouragement dee......am just impatient here and fed up not being able to do much more than physio,walking dog and lying here in front of pc!
i think its lack of sleep which is doing me in the most.....since leaving hospital i've only managed 4hrs sleep a night at best and some nights am still awake when the wife gets up for work in the morning!