I'm 3 months post microdiscectomy/laminectomy of the L5-S1. I've been going to PT for about 7 weeks now. I returned to work full time Monday on desk duty - no lifting, etc. At the end of each day my back is killing me. Today seemed to be the worse! I couldn't even get through 3 hours of sitting, standing, and walking with out my back really hurting. For some reason I'm having alot of pain to the left of where the neurosurgeon performed the surgery, right above my left buttock. My leg pain is gone but the back pain now feels like it did before surgery. Pain above left buttock, muscle pain, back pain etc. I'm at a loss. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow to find out if this is normal. I was just hoping to get some feedback from some people here.
are you taking ANY meds at all? I don't mean just narcs either. I had some pain after my discectomy at L5-S1. You have to expect to still have some. I found ways to manage by taking Ibuprophen (advil, aleve etc...) and warm baths, as well as stretching. I had some sciatica and occassional burning, but the pain was MUCh less than it was prior to surgery. I had a life again.
I too am 3 months post op microdisectomy/laminectomy for L4--S1! Like you I am undergoing PT too, and also like you, I am still in terrible pain. I kept telling myself that it was residual nerve pain and that with time it would get better, but it seems to be getting worse. I'm having pain however on the oppisite side of my surgery. I was herniated to the right, now am having pain on the left. I spoke with my Dr. the other day and he suggested I have another MRI done.
My suggestion is to call your Dr. and also advise your physical theripist. The excercises you're doing may be causing an inflamation. Good Luck!
I had endoscopic discectomy in 2001, for a couple of years after I still had back pain and pain in the left buttock
I always told myself that was probably the sciatic nerve
I could never stand for over 15 mins at a time and when I did out of necessity I had a real bad night after
It is now 2004 (obviously) and have just has a re-herniation and trying to get over that
in all hindsite, I would say that you probably will always have some troubles standing for long periods, I mean, "I do", but of course everyone is diff
try to stay unstressed, and walk everyday, do your best to keep your legs and "trunk" in shape
that way, all of those things do most of the "work" instead of an already bad back.
I had an L5-S1 in December of 1994. I started going to the PT in January about two weeks after the surgery. My PT at the time had me do several things the first day including a leg press/lift machine to see how much strength was in my legs/back. I was in severe pain after he had me do this. I would not go back to PT after the first day. I thought for sure I had re-herniated my disc. The pain was as bad, and many days worse than before surgery. I did go back to my neuro and had an MRI done in the middle of January. There was no re-herniation according to the MRI. I asked my nuero at the time why so much back pain. He said that your back Muscles are very large and if they start to Spasm you will have some very severe pain. He put me on Muscle relaxants for about a month, along with pain killer. I can remember that it was about the end of March before my severe pain went away, but I still had some pain issues for probably another 6 months after that. I will say that I started to walk and did take warm baths and a hot pad for about 4-5 minutes at a time to relax the back Muscles. I am not knocking anyone who goes to PT, but I have never been back to one. If my back has a flare up, I just go for a 2-3 mile walk and it almost always calms down my back.
I was wondering about the pain right above the buttock? Did you have that pain for a long time? I find that the pain comes from sitting for too long. I don't know, I'm just paranoid and scared. RIght now, I'm at work and the pain is beginning to get worse and worse. Please provide some info as to when this may lessen.
I am a semi-professional dancer with multiple back problems including scoliosis and lardosis (swayback). In 1992, I had microdisc surgeryfor an extruded disc. It took over 6 months of working on a regular basis before I felt strong again.
Many of you said the pain had moved from the leg to the buttocks. This is a good thing. The nerve is less compressed
You will probably need to use anti-inflammatories as part of your recovery. Take them before you workout to minimize swelling. I still need them ocassionally. I take 3 ibuprofen with food (4 is prescription strength).
1. StairMaster. Set it on low level and do not press down with your knees. I sometimes left work to use the StairMaster. I eventually got back to running but used a StairMaster for 5-10 minutes afterward to stretch out the area. Shorten your stride when walking/running to minimize stress your lower back.
2. Stretching. You need to lengthen you back to give the disc space. Ask your doctor about seeing a physical therapist to give you specific stretches. I recommend getting the book Back Care Basics which was written by a doctor. It gives fundamental yoga streches and relaxation positions. Stretch at least 15 min a day. If you are having problems during work, do some stretches. I recommend going to a stretch class or yoga class to get more advanced stretches. Let the teacher know about your condition.
3. Strengthening your abdominals and back muscles is the only way to get back your life. Pilates is truely amazing. It is focused on lengthening muscles as opposed to lifting weights which shortens muscles. But you need a good instructor. I will only study with a dancer. Or find a really good personal trainer. (If you lift weights, stretch afterwards)
Good luck with your new lifestyle,
Last edited by dancer_paula; 10-18-2004 at 11:16 AM.
Thanks for the responses. One thing that I have noticed with the pain on the left side above my butt is when I rub back there to try and get relief their is a certain spot that hurts. When you touch the spot it feels hard like it's bone or a joint. I'm really not sure what this is. Is anyone else experiencing this?
bt97: Look up cysts on a search engine. It took a year and a half for the doctors to finally listen to me and to actually give me information on these. I had one on the right side, dimple. Neurologist called it a synovial cyst. PT called it a tumor, Spine Specialist called it Lympoma, not to be confused with Lymphoma. All of them agreed that it is a bundle of nerves and not to press on it. Unfortunately, mine is right on the sciatic nerve. I thought that I only had one but when I finally got the PT to feel it, he found three. He said that they were caused by my injury but that there really doesn't need to be a cause. They are fatty tissue, filled with nerves, in my case. So, I can't get a massage of the lower back because they are in the way. They are growing.
I looked them up. They should not cause pain. But, some do. They are not cancer. They don't go away, you have to have them removed, most people don't. I am going to. I can't sit back in a chair without putting pressure on them.
They didn't show up on the MRI, but the doctors have all confirmed their existence. I am not sure how entailed it is to get them out. They seem to be right under the surface of the skin.
Can you move yours around? Is yours right in the dimple? I'll let you know how easy they come out. I am scheduling surgery ASAP as I can't continue with my therapy until I get mine out.
Injured Betty - the pain I'm having is in the dimple on the left side. It feels like I'm touching bone - the point of the pain is a very hard surface. I do have some cushy things that I can feel in my back that my PT called fatty deposits. They don't hurt. Besides the pain I'm having from the disc healing, the only other pain that I'm having is that hard spot at the left dimple. Could this be the synovial cyst that your talking about? I don't go back to the doctor until the beginning of December so I won't have a diagnosis from him until then.
[QUOTE=bt97]I'm 3 months post microdiscectomy/laminectomy of the L5-S1. I've been going to PT for about 7 weeks now. I returned to work full time Monday on desk duty - no lifting, etc. At the end of each day my back is killing me. Today seemed to be the worse! I couldn't even get through 3 hours of sitting, standing, and walking with out my back really hurting. For some reason I'm having alot of pain to the left of where the neurosurgeon performed the surgery, right above my left buttock. My leg pain is gone but the back pain now feels like it did before surgery. Pain above left buttock, muscle pain, back pain etc. I'm at a loss. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow to find out if this is normal. I was just hoping to get some feedback from some people here.
Hi`I'm 5 years post op and was doing well for the first 6 weeks until I was in PT and the nerve pain started coming back. Since then, I've reruptured my L5/S1 and I'm in pain management. I have Failed Back Syndrome and my last MRI shows masses on either side of the disc. (scar tissue which presses on the nerves)
See your Dr. Back and nerve pain take a while to heal. When I went back to work, I shortened my scheduled to 32 hours. I did that for 3 years, the full time for a year, then I had to stop working. However, I'm going to try and go back 20 hours a week. I've had to learn that I can't do a lot of things that I used to.
I'm 3 months post-op L4-L5 today. I had surgery years ago and the back and leg pain was gone. This time the back pain is just as bad as before surgery. I definitely wasted my time. In fact, a new neurologist told me that my MRI looks worse now than the one performed before surgery. I have pain in the center, the left and the right sides of my back. My pain gets worse with standing and walking, however today it is just bad. Probably because I was tossing a football to my son in the yard yesterday. Well at least the Red Sox won the pennant! Maybe next year I will consider additional surgery.
[QUOTE=bt97]Injured Betty - the pain I'm having is in the dimple on the left side. It feels like I'm touching bone - the point of the pain is a very hard surface. I do have some cushy things that I can feel in my back that my PT called fatty deposits. They don't hurt. Besides the pain I'm having from the disc healing, the only other pain that I'm having is that hard spot at the left dimple. Could this be the synovial cyst that your talking about? I don't go back to the doctor until the beginning of December so I won't have a diagnosis from him until then.[/QUOTE]
The dimple is exactly where mine are. The PT told me, "Give me any person and I can locate these on them, they are fatty deposits." Another PT told me that they are fatty deposits but they have nerves in them. A doctor told me that they are not normal and that they should be taken out. Another one told me not to take them out unless they are bothering me, which they are. I can't sit back in my car. I looked them up on the net and found out that there are other ones that are related to the lymph nodes and are caused by injury and the lymph nodes not draining properly and then another site said that it is the joint filling the node with fluid for self protection.
The cysts are soft. They are movable.
If you are touching a hard surface and it feels like bone, you most likely have SI problems. Or, referred pain.