I went for a checkup today for my L5-S1 discetomy. I told him that I had
done some extra walking and maybe stretched wrong with some of my
back exercises, because of that left butt pain and going down leg. He
told me to quit exercises for awile and take 2 ibuprofen 200mg, 3 times
a day and that should help. I asked if I could have possibly have a
pinched nerve or something that would cause me this pain.
He said that with taking this ibuprofen that should relieve most of
the inflamation in my back. I have to realize since a had a very large
ruptured disc, that would cause alot of inflamation too. He was very pleased
with surgery, said he got all of the fragments from the large disc. I still
might have pain for up to 6 weeks or so, from surgery. Just be patient,
take things easy for awhile.
I went in and told my supervisor today that I have to see my doc. again 4 wks from now and please don't be mad at me, since she was working
on the new schedule. She said she's not mad and to take it easy, let
her know what going on later. Maybe before Dec 1st, I can get back to
work? Who knows? Only God.....................................
I would be concerned. My husband had a fusion two weeks ago and has no pain. He is not taking pain pills. He had two herniated discs out and then two cages put in. We kept waiting for the pain, but other than minor discomfort at the incision site, no pain. He was told that he may experience more pain than before the surgery, less, or the same. He lucked out with less. He told me today that there is no pain at all. He can't wait to get back to work. His largest concern right now is if he will fuse.
The pain should be subsiding right now if it is going to. Did you have a nerve involved? By removing the disc, it should have taken the pressure off of the nerve. The surgery will cause inflammation, but that should be over, shouldn't it? I would be in there asking questions.
I met a guy in the doctor's office who was seven days post op, discectomy of the L5/SI, who was also pain free.
I am sending you prayers and hoping that you fall into the "less pain" catagory.
It is a catch-22, you have to do PT but you also need to heal.
I still had some pain after mine, even months after, but mine was manageable with Ibuprophen. You may have pain too if a nerve was "bothered". That won't necessarily heal. I had sciatica after surgery, and was told to expect it, especially if I did any unexpected movements like slipping on the floor. Give yourself some time, don't expect things to happen so quick. It is true, not all bodies are the same, not all heal the same, and not all react the same to surgery. From a veteran of the same surgery as you, give it six months. If you still have an abundant amount of pain (where it hurts enough to interfere again), then get another MRI. I too had another MRI after my surgery, and it was negative for anything. Don't be in such a rush-wanting to get back to work is stress and stress can slow healing.
Cna, I would NOT be concerned. This is very normal. I had a microdiscectomy at L5,S1 almost 9 weeks ago. I still get what I call echos. It is not as bad as the sciatic pain I felt to begin with, but it is a reminder to slow down and take it easy.
About 4 days post op, I developed alot of foot pain. My nerve was crushed for so long, it is now trying to heal. I have to take neurontin but that helps a tremendous amount. I went back to work after 8 weeks. You will have set backs and plateau at times but do not get discouraged. All of what you are feeling is normal and part of the healing process.
You are doing great and keep walking when you feel up to it. I do recommend several short walks as opposed to one or two long ones. It seems to help more. Hang in there because better days are ahead!
I agree, I am not a doctor, I will relay what each doctor that I have seen for myself and with my husband has said, *At least it is not your lumbar or lower back". They have been really upfront in what they tell you about possible outcomes. I have seen MDs. DOs Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, spine specialists, PTs, and PMs. All of them have had the same remark, paraphrasing, "the lower back is the hardest part of the spine to help cure and most people live with pain the rest of their lives."
We were also told that by removing the disc, it removes the cause of the pain that they have the abilityto control. Herniated disc causing pain on nerve, disc removed, nerve no longer involved, the pain should go away. There is always the possibilty that the pain was not caused by that nerve, you end up with post surgery scar tissue, or it was referred pain from another area. It is not exact science.
My husband's pain dissipated almost immediately after sugery. The disc was gone and was no longer on the nerve. Like I have stated before, he was one of the lucky ones. I have yet to meet a doctor who will tell anyone that the pain will leave with surgery. That is why we had to sign release papers stating that we understood that fact.
The surgery is done, not so much to stop the pain, but to stop nerve damage. Stopping the pain is a bonus, just like when you get an ESI and the pain stops. They are using them as a diagnostic tool to find the cause of the pain.
I am no expert, but I do my homework and question each professional that we have seen along the way. None of them gave us any hope of relief of pain if I had lower back surgery. I have a bulging disc at L5, arthritis at L4 and have no plans for surgery.
Doctors get pushed into surgery when they can't find anything that will help the patient for pain and a nerve is involved. They want to stop the nerve damage.
Pessimistic? Realistic. If I thought that surgery would make my pain go away, I would do it but no doctor has offered me that guarantee yet.
I can only share my experience with you. I had my microd 2 and a half months ago and I still have pretty bad back pain above my left buttock. Eventhough its there, my leg pain is gone and I see improvements.
I too am a little impatient with this entire process and it scares me to death. As for work, I share our concern. I was hired as a police officer one year ago and worked 8 months and had this happen. At 25 years old, I had to re-evalute my life. Now I'm back at work in the office unsure of when I will be able to return to my regular duties.
Hang in there. I know that I'm hoping for better days as you should also.
Cna, I may be wrong but I think the people that have actually had a micro-d, especially at L5,S1 can best relate what to expect and when to get concerned. Surgery does not magically stop all problems with your nerves. If your nerve has been impinged for a while, it is most likely damaged. It takes alot of time for that to heal. I still have alot of pain in my foot that I take Neurontin for but I know this is normal. I am almost 9 weeks post op and I think I am doing great. I have spent the past few days packing up a bunch of unneeded thing because I want to sell my house and I can tell I have been working things alot because I can feel some pain in my leg alot the same path my sciatic pain was. I overdid things is all and I will feel better with rest.
Keep a good attitude and take care of yourself. Pain is a part of recovery but it should be better than what you experienced before.