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Old 03-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

Mri in september 2011 before i had surgery.

Injured back in september 2010. Reason for mri scan beacause i had pain in feet and ankles plus pain in lower back around l4-l5 region.

mri showed the following

l4-l5

disc space narrowing with broard based posterior disc protrusion and annular tear which is indenting the anterior thesac sac narrowing the thesac 7.5mm dieameter and crowding nerve routes. Ligamentum flavum hyperttrophy and minor degenerative change in the facet joint.

L5-s1

There is posterior bulging of the annulus indenting the thecal sac without canal stenosis or focal disc protrusion. normal width of the neural foramina.

I had surgery in october 2011. A nerve route decopression on l4-l5 on both sides. surgeon said operation was a complete success without any complication.

nearly 5 months later.
Pain in both legs from thighs down to feet and into ankles. Pain in all toes apart from littke toes. Pain is a buzzing sensation with a strong aching pain in both legs. Also sharp pains in legs and some times sharp pains in back. very bad back pain. Pain three times worse than before surgery.
i am on 400mg of tramadol per day that takes off 85% of pain. I have tried to come of tramadol several times and can only last a maximum of 2 days without the tablet and then i am in pain that brings tears to my eyes.

I have got another mri booked in 2 weeks

can any 1 tell me why i am still in pain? will it ever get better? please help

 
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

First, were you in pain like this right after surgery, or was there a period after surgery where your pain was mainly surgical? If this is "new" pain, at what point did it start? Is it the same as pre-surgery?

 
Old 03-13-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

My pain was straight after surgery . Pain could of been mainly surgical to start off with but difficult to say because of been on high dose of tramadol. Noticed the new pain 8 weeks after surgery when i first tried coming off tramadol and was in a huge amout of pain so went back on the tablets. tried several times to come of tablets since and same pain in legs come back at same pain level. It is a different pain from pre surgery. although the original pain, the reason i went in for surgery seems to have gone and now i have a different new pain in both legs that is three times worse. Please help with any ideas?????????

 
Old 03-13-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

I cannot guess what might be causing the pain, but one thing that is known to cause pain post surgery is the formation of scar tissue that envelops or presses up against a nerve.

The formation of the scar tissue generally begins anywhere from around 10 days to 3 weeks post surgery and it can continue to fill in for the first 10-12 weeks. The reason I asked about when the pain started is because people usually notice some relief from the pre-surgery pain for a bit post-surgery, and then their pain returns. It can be the same pain or it can feel like something different. But there is usually a period of a couple weeks where the person feels he is getting better, and then notices the pain coming back.

The only way you have a chance of finding out what is causing the new pain is with a new MRI. But, sometimes the surgeon isn't really able to find a reason. Things appear to be clear on the MRI; no nerve compression is visible, and yet, the patient still has nerve pain.

When do you see your surgeon again?

 
Old 03-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

i have a mri in 2 weeks and see my surgeon a week after(in 3 weeks time)
What are the possibilities of a fragment of disc or bone been left in after surgery? that as been missed or torn off within the first few hours after surgery?

also i suffer from keloids, basically if my skin gets cut i have a red swelling that appears and scars my skin. they look like skin that is swollen and raised above skin level. they are quite hard and lumpy.

i have one were the surgeon cut me.

could a keloid form inside my body aswell?

 
Old 03-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

I think it is possible that there is a fragment that escaped the surgeon during the procedure. A disc fragment can cause an inflammatory reaction that can irritate the adjacent nerve root. It can also migrate.

Another possibility is that the disc reherniated. The disc doesn't really heal to the point that it has toughened up for the first six months. During that time, it is more vulnerable to reherniation. From hearing people's stories, it doesn't seem to take much for it to happen, and people usually aren't aware of any "event" that caused reherniation. People have reherniated a disc by sneezing and even bending over to brush teeth.

But I think a fragment is a good possibility in your case. Sometimes steroid injections are tried in an attempt to get the fragment to reabsorb.

I'm sorry but I do not know about keloids and whether you can have the same type of thing inside the body...and whether it is the same type of thing as the epidural fibrosis (scar tissue) that forms inside when something is cut away inside the body.

 
Old 03-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

my surgeon told me i could go back to work after 13 weeks. i am a builder, and regulary lift the maximum of the manual handling weight, 25 kg, maybe sometimes more. i only went back to work for 5 days because my back was hurting and legs after the first 3 days of work. I was lifting cement bags , plasterboards and other heavy items after 13 weeks and my surgeon told me i would be ok. he also told me i could run a mararhon if i wanted??????. Could this have caused a re herniation or other problems?

 
Old 03-14-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my surgeon told me i could go back to work after 13 weeks. i am a builder, and regulary lift the maximum of the manual handling weight, 25 kg, maybe sometimes more. i only went back to work for 5 days because my back was hurting and legs after the first 3 days of work. I was lifting cement bags , plasterboards and other heavy items after 13 weeks and my surgeon told me i would be ok. he also told me i could run a mararhon if i wanted??????. Could this have caused a re herniation or other problems?

 
Old 03-15-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

Your surgeon clearing you to lift so much weight seems like it was rather quick!

I also tend to get keloid scars, and when I have had revision surgeries, the doctors have found a lot of internal scar tissue. I did talk to a dermatologist about scar tissue and she advised that doctors can inject cortisone into keloids as they are forming to help to break them up. This might be worth pursuing, if the MRI doesn't turn up a disc fragment.

I hope your MRI goes well. Remember to walk, walk, walk. It will help to keep any scar tissue from adhering to the nerves as you heal.

 
Old 03-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: pain in legs 5 months after microdisectomy(decompression)

Hi, I am 5 yrs post L5-S1 hemi laminectomy.....I have the exact pain you describe 5 yrs later, they say it's Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and scar tissue. At this point Things for me are as good as they get. I take Lortab, Neurontin n Flexeril, I get 90% relief for 3 hrs after each at 5xday the rest of time pain is from 5-7 on scale of 1-10. If I miss just one pill my pain is a 9-10 pretty quick, I walk slow and deliberate, stepping down off a curb is hard, walking or standing or sitting more than 25 min starts pain, my life is very different. I want to caution all back pain patients to take ESI and Steroids with caution, they can cause extreme weight gain, diabetes, migraines, elevated triglycerides n cholesterol among other things like Cushings, Adrenal Failure etc, pain meds are hard on the liver n kidneys, but if your liver n kidneys are healthy to start if taken as prescribed even over long term they usually barely raise the enzymes. My advice talk to your doc, get several opinions if you have that option and be your own best advocate in your care, research but be Leary until you are convinced, best of luck
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