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TENS after discectamy

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Old 03-20-2005, 04:48 AM   #1
Jimmy the saint
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntington NY
Posts: 12
Jimmy the saint HB User
TENS after discectamy

[B]Hi all,

I had a discectamy on the 18th of Feb. on a ly L4-L5 disk. It was herniated for just over 8 months. Obviously 8 months is a long time for the sciatic nerve to be compressed and it will take soime time fore the nerve to decompress. However about 12 days after my surgery the nerve began to re awake and started firing off sensations down my left leg. I figured some PT may help speed things along. I started about 3 and a 1/2 weeks out and did 2 sessions. The day after both seeions I thought I re hernaiated the disc. The pain was that of prior to my surgery. Then went away about 2 days later. I then connected the dots, if my nerve is still decompressing and is still in spasm, then that TENS machine would have to be the worst possible thing for me at this point. I think Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation sent my nerve into a a frenzy. My nerve has been over stimulated for 8 months then the stress of surgery. I think it just needs time to heal with no outside interferance. Any similar experiences out there? I am not mad at my PT people but I plan on letting know from my position and maybe it will help them get better at what he does.


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Old 03-20-2005, 07:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 201
gcbpgh HB User
Re: TENS after discectamy

I had a laminectomy at the same levels, where the doctor (Dr. Daniel Wecht)left the buldging disc. The pain in my sciatia, left leg, and lower back is at times unbearable. even a percocet will not take it away. This has gone on for 4 years, surgery being August 20, 2004 and I have had therapy for all that time, sometimes you just don't want to go and I would give it up for awhile but the pain has always sent me back. I never thought that the tens machine would aggravate it because with me I have less pain for about 2 hours after treatment, the relief never lasts. Right now my entire back is swollen like never before because I sat alot this week, there was no other option for me. The pain keeps me up at night too. This does give me something to think about but in reviewing the last 4 years with myself I would have to say it helps not hurts but I will watch more carefully. I don't know if this helps you or not. Hope you feel better.

Last edited by gcbpgh; 03-20-2005 at 07:12 AM.

Old 03-20-2005, 08:44 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 20
perfik HB User
Re: TENS after discectamy

I had basically the same procedure as you did, and did not start any EMS or TENS until about 2 months after surgery. The danger is that if they do not keep stiimulating the nerve then you may lose it partially or completely. The pain, you are correct, comes from the impaction of the nerve qnd in my experience there are only a few things you can do. I would wait a couple of weeks to go back for TENS again even though it takes 4 to 6 weeks for a nerve to recover, and once you do, make sure you take anti inflammatories that you know work for you and ice the area after the session to reduce inflammation.
For nerve impaction without herniated disc problems the best thing is anti-inflammatories and icing and very light exercise to make sure the muscles are forced to work to some degree.
hope you feel better soon...

l4 l5 partial discectomy dec 31st 2002
1st herniation in '92
Emergency L4 L5 discectomy 2003
Lost muscle, feeling and sense of humour

Old 03-21-2005, 12:37 PM   #4
Dealing in Pa.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 80
Dealing in Pa. HB User
Re: TENS after discectamy

Dealing In Pa. Here. If Your Nerve Was Just Compressed, 4-6 Weeks Is Normal. If Your Nerve Was Compressed For A Long While, It May Take Longer. I Personally Have A Crushed Nerve, Lucky Me, And I Am Not Even Ready For Pt After 10 Weeks!! Please Be Patient And Allow That Nerve To Heal. I Know This Is Easier Said Than Done And Trust Me The Pain Will Move Around And Sometimes Jag At You. If You Have Prolonged Severe Pain After Your Surgery, You May Have Reherniated, But You Sound Pretty Much Normal. Take It Easy, Listen To Doc, And You Should Be Fine!!!!

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