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TexasWildRose04 07-16-2004 10:34 PM

Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
:confused: Hi everyone, I am new to this board but hopefully someone can shed some light on what I am experiencing, I haven't been experiencing my problem as long as some I have seen on the board, but the time I have had it is enough for me........ Anyway here it goes........ I stepped in a hole in my backyard back in March of this year (2004) stumbled, twisted and fell.... started experiencing sever pain, in my buttocks, and right thigh, and calf, numbness in my right calf and foot, tingling and crawling feeling in right calf... Went and saw a orthopedic surgeon, had MRI done, showed a disc buldge of approx. 9mm into my spinal canal....was referred to Neurologist.... he told me I needed a discectomy/laminectomy done, back on June 2, 2004 I had the surgery,He said the part of the disc had actually broken off inside there and that there was alot of scar tissue in the nerve areas both left and right.... after the surgery the pain in my leg and such immediately went away.... doctor has me walking a mile and a half twice a day.. and basically resuming my normal daily activity....swimming as well....but about a week or so ago, I started experiencing pain in my lower back, down into my thighs, and up into my upper back....when I am up walking alot or being active for extended periods of time, I also experience a great deal of pain when sitting for extended periods of time.... went for a checkup on July 6.....just a couple days over 1 month after my surgery... told Doctor about the pain and such, he told me to take 2 advil twice a day, that it was only muscle pain, but that I would be fine, I go back to see him July 30, and he had told me he may think about sending me back to work on light duty, catch is, I work at Home Depot on their freight team, stocking, and I can imagine the pain I will encounter being on my feet on hard concrete floors for 8 hrs straight....even if I am limited to the weight I can lift, the constant standing and walking around is very painful for me..... as of today... July 17, 2004 the pain I have been experiencing has gotten much worse, the walking a mile about kills me... cant sit for very long at all, and have been experiencing terrible spasms in my lower back, even turning over in bed is a killer, have had to start taking my vicoden again to sleep throughout the night..... I am at my wits end, I know I cant possibly go back to work right now.... and I hate to think I am going to have to deal with this pain forever....I have been very careful, with everything I do, but What could be causing this pain?? Any insight anyone can give me would be so greatly appreciated.....

Discectomy/Laminectomy L5-S1 - June 2, 2004

Help! Thanks All!


lori j 07-17-2004 04:00 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Get your doctor to write you a prescription for physical therapy. Even though you had the surgery, scar tissue can build & cause the same pain as you had before. PT actually can prevent scar tissue. I'm sorry you were advised to have the surgery, there are many other methods you could have tried first. Sounds like you are having SI or hip problems now. I am in PT for that right now & also was just over 4 years ago for a herniated disc. The disc is fine now due to great PT. I didn't have any surgery for mine. I injured my hip & si joint by lifting when doing yard work. I am in my second month of PT & I can now sit without pain.

einie131 07-17-2004 08:45 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Sounds like you did too much too soon. I am on my second laminectomy. I had the symptoms you are speaking of. I went at everything with fervor. Walking, swimming, etc.

It re herniated and the disc pressed the scar tissue into s1nerve root. Ouch!

It is now 17 days post surgery, and I am feeling much better. I saw two doctors before and they said that surgery would not help the nerve damage done the first time.

Definitly, PT helps. However, on the days you go to PT do not do everything else. That was my problem. If your symptoms do not get better with PT then have your doctor request another mri.

Not uncommon for reherniation.

You are on super strong pain meds. You might want to try a newer anti inflamitory drug called Bextra. That is all I take. For the spasms in the past there is a drug called Skelaxin.

I hope you find some relief. I hope your doctor will work with you.

I went to another doctor as my first doctor said the same things yours did. I was in so much pain, and the numbness did not go away.

It is much better now. Still some residual, but not enough to do anything more drastic.

Let me know how it goes.


brekka 07-17-2004 09:43 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Hi Texas :) I'm so sorry to hear about your condition. I have a recurrent herniattion at l5/s1. I have had 2 surgeries for this exact same thing. i found out after a month of getting worse after the first operation that i had Chips from the first operation against the nerves. Now I had had a chronic problem for over 20 years so i had a lot of calcification(?) that had to be scraped away during the first surgery. I hope you are able to find some relief from the pain the PT is amazing tho I still have numbness in my right leg and foot pain in my right leg lower back and at times running down my left leg so i know how aggravating it can be.... good luck and god spped to recovery i'LL keep you in my prayers

carol632 07-17-2004 12:50 PM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
[COLOR=Red][I]Please do not let your doctor brush you off. This pain needs to be investigated before he even thinks of returning you to work! I think it is much too soon for scar tissue to be a sounds more like a possible re-herniation from doing too much, too soon. Especially the swimming. If he does not or will not order another MRI, I suggest strongly that you find another doctor....this pain is not normal after surgery. I had the same experience, doctor wouldn't listen for 3 months and I ended up having another laminectomy of the same disc because it had re-ruptured just 1 day after the first surgery. He should have done a fusion instead of another laminectomy as too much disc was removed, I ended up with bone on bone and had to have a fusion (different doctor, believe me).
Let us know how it is going with you, please. I really want to hear from you again.


jnjwood1995 07-18-2004 09:35 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Your story sounds so similar to mine. I am also from Texas. I had the surgery in 2002. Was great for 2 years. Now the pain is back, all the same symptoms as you. Mine is the left leg though. I tried walking also, but the pain has progressively gotten worse. Do not let them send you home with the Advil prescription...That will do nothing. I finally had to get nasty with my Dr. and his nurse. I called both of their supervisors. They were going to put off the MRi I requested. Well, I knew better than they did. I have the same exact disc herniation that I had 2 years ago.. We know our bodies, and we will never forget that pain... Be assertive.. I hope that we both will get through this quikly. I am supposed to go back to work in August. I wonder how I am going to get through the day with this pain.....Please let us know how you are doing. I am so glad to know that I am not in it alone.....


TexasWildRose04 07-19-2004 06:00 PM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Thanks for the replies so far everyone....I sure hope it isnt a reherniation... thats all I would need....It just seems when I was telling my Doctor about the pain, that he didnt want to believe me, because he told me in my consultation that.... keep in mind, this is what "he" said... "He has NEVER in the 30+ years he has been doing back surgery had to ever redo one... so its almost like, God forbid I am still having problems after my surgery, almost like, he did the surgery so its not possible for me to be having problems again.... if that makes any sense to everyone...

I honestly didnt think I was doing to much to soon because I was doing everything he told me to do, when I went for my checkups he would tell me, start walking a mile twice a day... then he told me to start swimming since it was getting hot outside.... and to start basically resuming my everyday routine... but I guess I must have done to much to soon, because this pain is terrible, Kinda depressing since I thought after the surgery I was going to be pain free... or atleast I was for the first week or so.... now a month and a half post surgery I am in pain again......Like I said in my original post its not the same pain.. not in my buttocks, back of my thigh, calf and foot, with the tingling and numbness.... but in my lower back, radiating up in to my upper back... and a pain that shoots down the front of my right thigh.... also had pain lastnight that felt like it was shooting out the bottom of my right foot.... but anyway... Thanks again all for the replies ...I will definately keep you all informed of what is going on with me...

Thank You.


mattzbadback 07-21-2004 09:55 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
I can really sympathize with you. I had a laminectomy/discectomy at L4-5 and a ruptured disc at L5-S1. The operation did not do anything for me, the pain seems to be worse now than before the surgery. One thing I can say to you is that you have to make it clear to your nurses and then the doctor that you are still in a tremendous amount of pain. I called them every other day for a month untill they got the pain meds to work. I don't know how bad your pain is, but if it's as bad as you say it is you may wish to have another M.R.I. It is easy to re-rupture a disc post laminectomy/discectomy. My doctor told me that there is a hole there that has to heal with scar tissue before anything too streious can be done- typically three months. Otherwise the disc can seep out of that hole if too much pressure is placed upon it I hope that that did not happen to you. It is worth looking into though. I am w/c too and I would not go back to work untill I felt as close to 100% as possible. I feel for you, I really do. I hope that this helped you. Good luck!!!!!

Hang in there!


einie131 07-21-2004 11:44 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Hi! It is Einie again. Just checking up on you. You got a good response from the people here.

I have my first post op apt on Friday.

Yesterday I did too much walking and the pain and numbness came back.

I rested and it subsided. You sound to me like your dr is playing god. You need to find a new one and start over. It is so common to reherniate a disc. Hopefully there is enough so that you won't need a fusion.

If I were you I would get some reccomendations, and if it is not worker compensation, make an apt. with someone else.

I had workers comp so I self payed. It costs about 100-150. Bring in your old MRI and tell him about your pain.

He will be able to reccomend another MRI or let you know his findings.

MRI is typically done when pain persists for more than one month. You have to have neourological problems that exist. You do. The numbness etc.

Insurance will pay if the doctor reccomends.

So far, I am doing ok. I know my life is going to change a great deal.

Take care.


TexasWildRose04 07-21-2004 01:06 PM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
Hi All! :wave:

Once again Thanks everyone for your reponses, it is a big help knowing there are others out there that are dealing day to day with what I am, and I can alteast post on here and get some words of advise or support.... It means alot....

As for my injury, condition, whatever we want to call it... It's not a workers compensation thing....but my Doc did say that the kind of work I do did not help it any, I do have good medical Insurance through my work which is Home Depot.. and I am off on a medical leave with them, I also took the long and short term disability when I started to work there, so when all this happened I have been able to get my short term disability to pay me while I have been off, and If I am off for 180 days then my long term will kick in, so that is a good thing, it is just the idea if my Doc thinks I am well enough wanting to send me back to work eventhough I am in pain still....I know he is thinking I am getting well enough because he said I did remarkably well in surgery and the week following as far as the pain being gone, and healing etc...How I followed all his instructions started walking a mile in the morning and a mile in the evening, started swimming etc..... But like I said in my original post on my 1 month post op visit I told him I was having pain and he just told me to take advil....That it was just muscle aches.....I also called the other day and told him I was experiencing stronger pain... but not much was said, just that we would discuss it at my next visit, which is the 27th..... I have already made up my mind I will not go back to work until when and if I am feeling 100%... :nono: but what scares me is ... What if I never do feel 100%? Then I have not idea what I am going to do...

Thanks again ya'll for all your support.


halleck 07-22-2004 05:06 PM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
I had a discectomy of L5-S1 (9mm herniation) on May 19th. I was doing great but about two weeks afterwards I was doing some stretching and I felt a pop in my lower back. I had another MRI done and it turns out that I have another slight herniation and a fair amount of scar tissue pushing on the nerve. The combo of the two is producing pain way worse than before I had surgery. My surgeon gave me two options. 1) More surgery. He'll go in and cut it all out 2) Put me on the drug Neurontin. It is suppose to help with nerve pain. He hopes that with the drugs help the swelling of the nerve will go down and through Physical Therapy I can deal with the scar tissue and herniation. So I just started the Neurontin. We'll see how it goes.

Don't know if Neurontin is an option for you. Has anyone else tried this? Or am I destined for another surgery.... UGHHH!

Take Care

Rhonni 07-23-2004 08:33 PM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
I had my lami/disectomy in June 03 and now I'm headed for a 360 fusion on Tuesday.

My doc tried the neurotin route too, but it didn't even phase me.
According to my new surgeon, the old surgeon just didn't do a thorough enough job the first time. I should have had the fusion back in June.

Everyone is different. Maybe the meds and PT will help you, but prepare yourself, just in case.

Josephine66 07-24-2004 05:47 AM

Re: Experiencing Pain again after discectomy/Laminectomy of L5-S1
JMHO, but you need a different doctor! I can't even imagine the arrogance of a Doctor who says he has never had a bad outcome after surgery! My Neurosurgeon is a big wig at a major metro hospital and he just told me there are no guarentees with this type of problem. Your Doctor should be actively trying to find out what has happened to you and to deal with your pain!

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