8-mos Post-Op Microdiscectomy & Laminectomy - recurring lower back pain
Hello all - Here's my background story and then a current question:
In Dec. 2011 I had a microdiscectomy and laminectomy (L4-L5). Prior to surgery I had lower back pain for almost 2 years, plus radiating leg pain in my left leg for the second of the 2 years. I had one incident of incontinence. My initial surgery went well enough, the spine surgeon said that I had a narrow spinal canal which was congenital, hence the laminectomy. Unfortunately, my incision got infected and I had to have a second surgery (I & D), which required a lot longer hospital stay and then 2 months of hardcore antibiotics through a PICC line (2 different antibiotics, with the treatments lasting a total of 5 hours/day). After about 4 weeks of this treatment, my body started to have a bad reaction to the antibiotics and I ended up back in the hospital with a high fever and body rash. They took out the PICC line, gave me anti-histamines and kept me in the hospital for a few more days. They wanted to put another PICC line in and send me home with more IV antibiotics, but I put my foot down. I left with oral antibiotics. After 2 months of weekly blood tests, I was finally cleared. Long journey for sure. And I definitely hit the lowest point so far in my 34-years of life.
Anyhoo - this brings me to today. I woke up with bad lower back pain. The exact same spot that initially hurt a few years ago. I've feel stiff after sitting during the day, and feel like I could "throw it out" (if that makes sense). No nerve pain though. I am concerned that this is a bad sign. I don't want to go through back surgery again! After 8 months, is it normal to have a day where the pain is there, or is this a warning sign of things to come? I'd love to hear any insight from people out there.
Welcome to the board. I can well understand why you'd never want to set foot in a hospital again....What an ordeal you've been through.
Not to scare you, but it is not uncommon to reherniate the same disc after a discectomy. Whether this has happened to you, you will not know unless you have a new MRI.
It is also fairly common to have some pain here and there for months after any spine surgery. It is not unusual to have stiffness and pain if you sit without getting up to walk or stretch at least every hour. Sitting puts 30% more pressure on the discs than either standing/walking or lying down. After a spine has had surgery, it isn't happy sitting too long at one time!
It may be that you need to strengthen your core and back muscles if you are feeling somewhat weak or unstable. I would suggest you examine your activities, posture and body mechanics to see if there are things you are doing that are hard on your back. You may need to make some adjustments to ensure that your back stays healthy.
I have had 5 microdiscectomy and laminectomy,,In all honesty I think it weakens your disks because of removing partial disk,,I have had fusion S1 to L5 hurts all the time,I have severe nerve damage,I also have alot of pain,I am on alot of meds.It really doesnt help.I am 46 and have been having back problems for 17 years.My legs are cold and if I stand to long I get weak and if I sit to long my legs go numb.It has changed my life,I was always skiing, boating,snowmobiling ect..In my opionon fight it for as long as possible.Once they go into your back your never the same.I am just trying to be honest
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Hello I have read your information w/ great interest. I am 6 weeks microdiscectomy post op. My problem began in Jan 2011 by taking a fall when a desk I sat on collapsed. Long story short; Family Dr, Chiropractor, on to a Pain Dr, for three steroid spinal injections, then more chiroprator and accupuncture,,,,,hello! SURGERY TIME.
My MRI had indicated the presence of a cyst near the L4 L5 area the fall compressed the discs and the cyst was now touching the sciatic nerve. The greatest amount of pain was felt in my lower leg and ankle. There were times I could barely stand and / or walk.
So now 6 weeks post op sciatic pain is gone but stiffness and pain near the incision continues. I can stand erect again and walk w/ no pain....I am a lazy *** and I am not walking as I should be however. I was told I would be sent for therapy but this has not yet happened.
I am curious to learn what your Dr says about your situation?