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  • 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

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    Old 05-30-2004, 10:30 PM   #1
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    22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    Hi all, just discovered these boards after searching for information on back pain and scar tissue.

    I'm 22 years old and still dealing with lots of pain in my leg after a hemi-laminectomy/discectomy at L4-L5. Back in the winter of 2001 I took Neurontin for a couple months, then went through physical therapy, and tried some other medicine before heading to surgery back in August 2002. This was all for the pain in my back and the numbness/pain in my left leg.

    Immediately after the surgery, I felt pretty good about my back. A month later I started physical therapy again, and it seemed like each week my back was getting worse and worse. And now the pain was going down my right leg instead of my left. After PT, my doctor suggested 2-3 Ibuprofen every day and that I should learn to deal with the pain. I went to my family doctor who sent me to get some epidural injections. They helped to relieve only the tiniest fraction of the pain.

    So now, almost two full years later, I'm still in a lot of pain. I've been told that it most likely has sometime to do with scar tissue build up, but the MRIs were inconclusive. Anyone have any advice for a 22 year old suffering from pretty bad back and leg pain still?

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    Old 05-30-2004, 11:02 PM   #2
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain


    That sucks that you have had to deal with pain that long!

    I recommend you get a test done on your nerves on your leg. This will show what disc area is pressing on what nerve.

    Last advice-

    Know one should have to have pain that long, even if it is scar tisue and the MRI doesn't show anything. You could get another surgery to explore what is wrong and remove some scar tissue. (Get a different Doctor) What type of doctor did your surgery?

    If your in that much pain there are alternitives!

    Take Care!

    Old 05-31-2004, 06:17 AM   #3
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    I had a neurosurgeon for the surgery. By a year after the surgery he told me that he couldn't do anything for me anymore and that any surgery to remove scar tissue could cause more scar tissue to build. In other words, he gave me some pain meds and told me to deal with it. That's when I went to my family doctor who sent me to a spine car clinic and got the epidural injections.

    I've been really busy with school over the past year, so now that I'm on break, I'm starting to wonder about going back to the doctor to get some work done again. High time to stop hurting.

    Old 05-31-2004, 08:31 AM   #4
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    I don't have any suggestions Mike, just sympathy. I have a bulging disk at L4 and L5 and sciatica and spinal stenosis and terrible, constant leg , foot and back pain. I'm trying a chiropractor right now which is not working out . I have tried massage therapy that did not work either. I'm calling my Dr tomorrow to see where to go from here. I'm afraid of surgery for the very reasons you have just stated. I'm sorry for your pain , you are so young . Just keep looking for the answer. Lia

    Old 05-31-2004, 01:56 PM   #5
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    Have any of you tried using a TENs unit, or better yet, an interferrential unit? Basically the units are like the electrical stimulation they use in physical therapy, but a smaller mobile unit. My understanding is, the electrical impulses block the pain receptors, so the pain doesnt get to the brain. Not a cure, but at least a non-narcotic pain reliever. The TENs unit is a constant level of elec stim, and the interferrential unit is impulse levels.
    Personally, I prefer therapy for strengthening of the back muscles to help support the bulging disc over a chiro. I'd think those "manipulations" could completely herniate a disc that is presently merely bulging.

    Old 06-01-2004, 06:53 PM   #6
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    I was really interested, but sorry, to read about your leg pain Mike. I had a laminectomy (L5/S1) last year August. Before that I had lower back pain and my calf muscle in my right leg was always tight (felt like it was shortening). After the op I found I couldn't use my right leg properly (tighter calf muscle and had no feeling underneath parts of my right foot). This hasn't improved with time and a recent contrast MRI showed that I have re-herniated the same discs. I now spend most of my days sitting down as the pain associated with walking is terrible. Even my hamstring muscle pulls when I stand up and I've recently noticed that when I stand flatfooted (both feet) in front of a mirror, my right shoulder is stooping downwards. I'm going to see another (much better I believe) surgeon in August but I think I have permanent and irrepairable nerve damage and that I'll never walk without pain again (as the condition has been left untreated for so long). My original surgeon ignored my complaints about the muscular pains!

    Old 02-18-2011, 08:32 AM   #7
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    Mike, I know it has been several years since you posted about your back pain. I'm a 24 year old male that had been having similar problems and recently had a discectomy and am still experiencing sciatic pain. I'm curios how your recovery went? I know it has been several years, but I'm curious when you have done to help with the pain. Thank you

    Old 02-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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    Re: 22 y/o, post-discectomy L4-L5 and still in pain

    have your MRI and get a second opinion from a spine specialist.....they look after your personal desires. PT will make you sore, no doubt about it, still have decent days and bad days...Learning how to deal with the pain and try not to be so negative....THe way I see it, If I had not done the surgery, and lived with the pain pre op,,,,,would rather have been paralized wast down and use a wheelchair......Did the surgery and now it is different type of pain, but will learn how to go about my daily routine of life as best as can be.......think positive, could always be worse.....Michael

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