My surgery on L5/SI was on 12/13/11; recovery was good right after for the first 5-6 weeks; neurosurgeon was very pleased with my progress and told me I could resume all activities. It's now about 15 weeks, and the lower back achiness never goes away. The achiness pain starts to get to me after a while. My question to all of you, addressing achiness, not severe, but annoying, ...Do you try to endure and go on without ibuprofen or Excedrin back and body, or do you take the above named medications? I know it's better than Percocet, but I'm not sure whether I should try to be comfortable and take the medication, or try to avoid taking NSAIDs if I can. How do you manage it? Of course, when the pain or achiness is bad, you take the medication. That is Not the discussion. I'm talking about persistent, low grade, uncomfortable achiness that drains you. The problem is you don't know for how long you will need to be taking these medications. Please advise on your experiences and thoughts about pain relief. Thanks
If possible I would suggest you not get in the habit of taking something every day. You might try taking it every other day or on days when you have activities planned. Then on slower days, try to tough it out. I think you'll find that as you are further along in your recovery, the pain will gradually go away.
Are you getting some exercise every day? Usually people find that they feel worse on days when they don't do anything.
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I walk 6-7 days a week, usually about 1.5 miles daily. Exercise doesn't make the ache better or worse. I tried swimming at 10 weeks post op; first time I was good; the following week, after 12 laps, I felt fine, but at night I got achy and it took a week to get that to calm down. Now at about 16 weeks, achiness has not gotten any better. I'm concerned about long term use of NSAID's. I know lots of people take them for arthritis, and if the pain is bad enough, you don't have a choice. But for me it's walking around and feeling drained due to the ache. But I do what you said--when I go out to do anything, I take an Advil or Excedrin so I'll be in the best shape I can be. The achiness is made worse by sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time. I used to love to sit and read, but it's not fun now. Will this ever get better? Thanks. Any other feedback would be appreciated.
Hi....I had the same surgery on12/20 but it was my second surgery on the same disc. I feel like you but alsonhave nerve problems and after 3 months my surgeon said I would need a fusion to get rid of nerve problem. Like you I cant sit for a long time or it hurts. Keep in touch....good luck to you...I think exercise is better than being inactive....did you do pt?
I did a few weeks of PT about 2-3 weeks after surgery; isometric abdominal exercises, and hamstring stretch, and piriformis stretch exercises; I did not think they made me feel any better, so I stopped, but continued to do them at home along with a lot of walking. Now because of the persistent achiness, I go back to the surgeon next week, and the plan is to try PT. Interestingly, my hamstring muscles are almost as good as before I ever had this problem, even though I didn't do much hamstring stretching. Also, standing, I can arch my back backwards, which I couldn't do before surgery. So the operation was definitely a benefit. But the achiness, at times, seems to be at the disc area, and this is my concern, that the problem is still there, with the disc, L5.
How did you need a second microdiscectomy? Did the pain go away and then come back or did it never go away after the first surgery?
I was fortunate not to have nerve damage, because when the disc herniated, the pain was so bad, I couldn't live with it; I was on Percocet, having epidural shots. So my surgery was done in December, and the bad pain didn't occur until September. So the nerve wasn't irritated as long, and that's why I think I didn't have pain after the surgery, because the nerve wasn't irritated as much as in a patient who walked around with the condition a longer time.
Last edited by arlenebt; 04-11-2012 at 07:42 PM.
Reason: Additional information
I should have clarified my situation. I had my first lam/disc. 15 years ago when I was 40. When I retired this past June I thought I was superwoman again and did it all.....yoga step aerohics.you name it. Well I ruptured l5 s1 again. I had another lam/disc this past Dec. When I went in for my 3 mth checkup I thought I was doing great but still had some left leg and llower back pain. They had prescribed neurontin for nerve pain. I thought this painwould go away because I knew that nerve pain took a long time to heal. He said it would not go away wiithout a fusion.....I thought....well. that is why I had This surgery....to get rid ofnpain! So nowni am going to wait it out and live one Daphne at a time. Some days are great with little pain....others have some pain. I walk and plan to swim soon after pt. I as a trip planned to Europe in July so I need to be healthy.....well. keep in touch and hope you get better!
Had L4/L5 microdiscetomy 3 weeks ago and finding the recovery tough going. This is my 3rd operation, had similar on l5/S1 8 years ago and do not remember the recovery being so bad. Whilst the original sciatica has gone, I have very disturbed sleep due to "aches" in left front shin. Latest progression is my left buttock getting sore (due to increased sitting no doubt). I am told it is "nerves" settling down - any feedback would be appreciated.