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Old 01-19-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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pepper girl HB User
Angry Pain after microdiscectomy

Hi
I wonder if anyone has similar experience or advice? I am 3 months (14weeks) post microdiscectomy on L5/S1 and still suffering nerve pain in my right leg. It has improved since the surgery but the pain is about 50% still there. It is holding my life back. I still am unable to work and on over the counter pain meds. This is an improvement since all the prescription meds before surgery but now I am at 3months post op I am worried this is it for me. I have to lie on my back after about 2 hours of any activity and get relief from this bit then it all starts again. I am only 30 and was otherwise fit and normal weight. I waited 5 months to have the surgery and so scared that this was too long and that is why I am suffering. What is next for me? Does an ESI work in my case post op? I had one injection 2 months before surgery but it had little effect? I see the surgeon again in 10days and will ask for another MRI as I am worrying now that I hay have scar tissue that I have read is unresolvable. I have weekly physio and do my exercises 3x daily but no noticable improvement in the pain, although spinal mobility better. I struggle to find hope anymore. Thanks for any help.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Hi....I am 55 so much older than you but also had a disectomy on l5/s1....like you I also still have pain but it was my second surgery. I take neurontin which helps with nerve pain.....do you take anything for nerve pain? It does take a long time for nerves to heal. There are wonderful people on this board that are very knowledgeable. You are still early in the healing process....be patient and I wish you the best! Others will give you great info......just wait!!!!

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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Begora HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=pepper girl;5119842]Hi
I wonder if anyone has similar experience or advice? I am 3 months (14weeks) post microdiscectomy on L5/S1 and still suffering nerve pain in my right leg. It has improved since the surgery but the pain is about 50% still there. It is holding my life back. I still am unable to work and on over the counter pain meds. This is an improvement since all the prescription meds before surgery but now I am at 3months post op I am worried this is it for me. I have to lie on my back after about 2 hours of any activity and get relief from this bit then it all starts again. I am only 30 and was otherwise fit and normal weight. I waited 5 months to have the surgery and so scared that this was too long and that is why I am suffering. What is next for me? Does an ESI work in my case post op? I had one injection 2 months before surgery but it had little effect? I see the surgeon again in 10days and will ask for another MRI as I am worrying now that I hay have scar tissue that I have read is unresolvable. I have weekly physio and do my exercises 3x daily but no noticable improvement in the pain, although spinal mobility better. I struggle to find hope anymore. Thanks for any help.[/QUOTE]
I, too, am 3 months out. Same surgery. I'm 48 and in otherwise good shape. Waited a year to finally do surgery. Feel worse off than before. I knew there were risks that no change could occur but didn't think I'd be worse! Sciatic pain is back and I am constantly fatigued. I realize this isn't really helping you but I do "feel your pain"! Headed to neuro on 23 JAN and hope to get answers/plan. So far, I have not been prescribed PT. I did do all that and injections before surgery. Please take care and hang in there. I am new here as well

 
Old 01-19-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=pepper girl;5119842]Hi
I wonder if anyone has similar experience or advice? I am 3 months (14weeks) post microdiscectomy on L5/S1 and still suffering nerve pain in my right leg. It has improved since the surgery but the pain is about 50% still there. It is holding my life back. I still am unable to work and on over the counter pain meds. This is an improvement since all the prescription meds before surgery but now I am at 3months post op I am worried this is it for me. I have to lie on my back after about 2 hours of any activity and get relief from this bit then it all starts again. I am only 30 and was otherwise fit and normal weight. I waited 5 months to have the surgery and so scared that this was too long and that is why I am suffering. What is next for me? Does an ESI work in my case post op? I had one injection 2 months before surgery but it had little effect? I see the surgeon again in 10days and will ask for another MRI as I am worrying now that I hay have scar tissue that I have read is unresolvable. I have weekly physio and do my exercises 3x daily but no noticable improvement in the pain, although spinal mobility better. I struggle to find hope anymore. Thanks for any help.[/QUOTE]

Hi pepper, Welcome! I was 26 when i had my first back surgery & post op i remember the weakness in my back, a deep ache with any over 15 minute activity, nerve pain down my legs that was more severe than even before surgery but was intermittent. This gradually got better over a 1-2 year period for me. My dr said it was because i waited 4mths before having a L4-5,L5-S1 laminectomy & was very inactive so my muscles were out of shape & with my surgery alot of muscles were moved, bone removed, & the nerves had to have time to heal etc. Im not sure how much of this applies (the muscle, bone) to microdisectomy but my discs herniations were just lasered off or lopped off leaving disc material to reherniate because it did so i think that a new MRI is right thinking but when you see the dr he will do a neurological exam that goes along with your history, symptoms as well as any testing. Though ive"seen" over twenty post op pts on this board with these same issues that did resolve on their own & I hope that this is true in your case & its just a matter of recovery time.Its surely good news that you no longer require prescribed pain medicine & i know its been a long time but have hope & scar tissue is prevented by exercise, walking and you have done that! And, i had "tummy" trouble from otc analgesics, ulcers.

Last edited by gmak; 01-20-2013 at 06:29 AM. Reason: info

 
Old 01-20-2013, 04:51 AM   #5
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Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

I am 11 months from 2nd microdisectomy. I too still have left back leg number & partial left leg numbness. I also still deal with daily pain. Mostly when I sleep or when waking. I stretch before getting out of bed w/ specific exercises from Dr. I also was able to get off the prescription pain meds like you. But take aleve every morning & advil pm before bed. I walk now & do leg strengthening exercises learned In PT.
Remember your body is still healing but discuss w/ your Dr all your Issues & concerns.
Try not to do any lifting or bending/twisting. It may be months / year before feel stronger. Your back will always be weaker now at that spot. Try not to do too much. (Cleaning /lifting/ etc)

Good luck.

 
Old 01-20-2013, 11:51 PM   #6
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pepper girl HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Thank you so much for replies. It really helps enormously to have others in a similar position who are going through or have been through such a long recovery. I wasn't expecting this and after the surgeon at first telling me '4 weeks and I'd be back in work' I keep feeling so frustrated and disappointed about it all. I am so fearful that I won't improve now and feel so sad that people have to deal with daily pain. My family are as fed up with it as me and with my 8 month old baby to look after, life feels tough! My heart goes out to all that are suffering in pain everyday. I am glad I found his site and will continue to use it for support. Thank you.

 
Old 01-21-2013, 06:38 AM   #7
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Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

One never knows for sure if an ESI will work -- it is always just trial and error...but it is common to give them when there is still residual pain post surgery.

Sometimes there is a stubborn pocket of inflammation that keeps the nerve flared. The steroid will help to reduce any inflammation, so it would be worth a try. You also might want to check to see if the disc has reherniated.

 
Old 01-21-2013, 10:24 AM   #8
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pepper girl HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Thanks teteri66. I have tried to think I haven't rehernitated as the pain improved since surgery but has plateaued in the last month really and is far from manageable still really. I assumed that reherniation would be pain back to where it was prior surgery but is this not always the case? Do they do a second discectomy if reherniated do you know, or is second surgery on the same disc not a good idea? Also, do you know if inflammation shows up on an MRI scan?
Huge thanks for help!

 
Old 01-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Usually a second surgery is performed if a disc reherniates. Most surgeons do not like to operate on the same disc a third time, fearing they would create instability at that segment. The pain can be the same or different if the disc reherniates. It all depends on where the bulge occurs and which nerve root it is affecting.

Since MRI is particularly useful in visualizing soft tissue, you can see inflammation quite well.

 
Old 01-31-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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pepper girl HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

So I've been back to see the surgeon and he said it is not 'usual' to still have pain 4months post microdiscectomy.....how rubbish! So another MRI ordered to check if scar tissue or more disc material. Scared of both and gotta just sit and wait for the scan now. I've been put on Gabapentin (which is what I think they call Neurontin here in the UK) which feels like a backwards step as had come off prescription meds. I'm so reluctant to take it but may help me with the pain I'm having.

Alida- do you find the neurontin to help with post op nerve pain? How much do you take?
Begora- you mention you were seeing your surgeon on 23rd- how did it go?
Gmak - thanks for your reassuring reply. Even though you say it took a year or so, did your nerve pain at this level disappear totally after this surgery. Or did it stay problematic?
Best wishes to everyone

 
Old 01-31-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=pepper girl;5126051]So I've been back to see the surgeon and he said it is not 'usual' to still have pain 4months post microdiscectomy.....how rubbish! So another MRI ordered to check if scar tissue or more disc material. Scared of both and gotta just sit and wait for the scan now. I've been put on Gabapentin (which is what I think they call Neurontin here in the UK) which feels like a backwards step as had come off prescription meds. I'm so reluctant to take it but may help me with the pain I'm having.
Alida- do you find the neurontin to help with post op nerve pain? How much do you take?
Begora- you mention you were seeing your surgeon on 23rd- how did it go?
Gmak - thanks for your reassuring reply. Even though you say it took a year or so, did your nerve pain at this level disappear totally after this surgery. Or did it stay problematic?
Best wishes to everyone[/QUOTE]

Hi pepper, Its hard just waiting & waiting but answers are coming soon for you & the gabapentin helped me but i was allergic & take lyrica now. The nerve symptoms completely resolved( few numb spots like a toe, patch on thigh) until a couple of years ago, in 2012 was told why. I have a condition where my spinal nerves are scarred down to my dura. If i were you i would start the gabapentin because it could help & hopefully with the medicine & time the nerves Will heal! Im sorry that you are having these problems though & its frustrating when we just want to be well again.

Last edited by gmak; 01-31-2013 at 03:11 PM. Reason: wording

 
Old 01-31-2013, 09:35 PM   #12
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Begora HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=gmak;5126064]Hi pepper, Its hard just waiting & waiting but answers are coming soon for you & the gabapentin helped me but i was allergic & take lyrica now. The nerve symptoms completely resolved( few numb spots like a toe, patch on thigh) until a couple of years ago, in 2012 was told why. I have a condition where my spinal nerves are scarred down to my dura. If i were you i would start the gabapentin because it could help & hopefully with the medicine & time the nerves Will heal! Im sorry that you are having these problems though & its frustrating when we just want to be well again.[/QUOTE]

 
Old 01-31-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
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alida1234 HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Hi again...I am taking 1200 Mg right now.....I tried to go down but it was too painful and life is too short to be in pain every day!!! So I went back up. I have heard that your body adjusts to it and you have to continue to take more.....I was also told lyerica might help me more if I have to continue to increase the dose. I plan to give accupuncute a try soon as suggested by TTeri....good luck to you.....this board is wonderful!!°

 
Old 01-31-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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Begora HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Pepper, I understand your misgivings regarding prescription meds. Remember, Neurontin is not a narcotic. Thanks for asking about my appt. She increased Neurontin and put me on a muscle relaxor (not like Valium but it's Metho---something and I'm too cozy in bed right now to go to see...). I found out I have a scar tissue problem from surgery causing pain. Having another EMG on Monday, Physical Therapy (again) on Tues ( but I have not done it since surgery), and a nerve root block on Weds. I am hoping it works. I'm getting worse! Anyone out there ever had a block? Experience with that? Hang in there, Girl! Let's fight the good fight ! God Bless.Oh and I'm also having some kind of pin-point nerve stimulation done due to muscle spasms. Those spasms are what kill me .

Last edited by Begora; 01-31-2013 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Forgot something!

 
Old 02-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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pepper girl HB User
Re: Pain after microdiscectomy

Thank you for advice once again, it real does help to know people out there understand and help eah other with advice. thank you!
So, I haven't yet taken the Neurotonin but began taking diclofenic again (was on this before surgery) I'm taking 2x 50 mg a day and I have noticed a difference in pain levels since taking this. I'm confused because if this means the leg pain is reduced taking an NSAID does that mean I must have inflamation? Does it work like that? My MRI to check for reherniation or scar tissue isn't for another 3 weeks and then more annoyingly the appointment to discuss results with consultant isn't for another 3 weeks after that. How the waiting game continues! Beogra - EMG thing go?
Best wishes to all

 
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