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    Old 06-14-2005, 02:50 AM   #1
    colleen b
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    Permanent Nerve Pain

    Does anyone know when your nerve pain becomes permanent? Does this really happen or is it just a way of saying that you were not "cured" by your surgery? I hope everyone has a pain free day!

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    Old 06-14-2005, 05:25 AM   #2
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    [QUOTE=colleen b]Does anyone know when your nerve pain becomes permanent? Does this really happen or is it just a way of saying that you were not "cured" by your surgery? I hope everyone has a pain free day![/QUOTE]

    I had my discectomy a year ago last March and I'm truly just now coming to grips with the fact that my life has changed permanently. Even though my surgeon said it can take up to 2 years for the nerves to heal, I think I've healed the most I'm going to heal. My leg hurts everyday from nerve pain. It's not bad enough on a daily basis to require medicine or on the outside nobody would really know that I'm hurting, I've just really slowed down in my daily activities and I don't have the energy to do like I used to do. We went to a museum on Saturday and by the time we got back to the car I was very grateful though that I had brought some pain medicine with me. We're going camping this weekend and I know by the end of the day I'll be hurting. But for me, my back never hurts, only my leg from the nerve being compressed.

    I was not 100% cured from surgery, but I will take the pain level I have now vs. the pain I was in before surgery. If they had told me the only way to be painfree was to amputate my leg, I would have done it!!

    I don't know if I've really answered your question but I would guess that if you are a year past your surgery what you are experiencing now is how it will be.

    Kim in Indy

    Old 06-14-2005, 07:23 AM   #3
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain


    Last edited by Quietcook; 07-15-2005 at 11:04 PM.

    Old 06-14-2005, 08:26 AM   #4
    MARY G
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    My nerve pain is gone after my two leel fusion. I do not have foot drop anymore. I had those symptoms for three years prior to surgery. I read that it can take up to three years post op to have nerve improvement. I have weakness in the leg that had the foot drop. I am still hoping for more improvement. I see tiny, tiny improvements. I was told as long as I continue to see any improvement, healing is still taking place. As Quietcook says, everyone's body is different. Good luck, and more healing to you, Mary

    Old 06-14-2005, 04:38 PM   #5
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    Nerve regeneration and I believe that the three year period stated above is close to the truth. It depends on a lot of things. The state of the nerve prior to surgery, the handling of the nerve during surgery, scar tissue and the amount of inflammation created by these conditions.

    I have permanent nerve damage and pain but then again I have 40 years of back attacks and surgery behind me. It is so hard to be patient when you read of other people up and running around saying how great they feel. Just remember everyone's speed of healing is so individual. Good luck and I sure hope that you feel better.

    Old 06-14-2005, 05:14 PM   #6
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    My nerve was only compressed for 3 weeks before I had surgery. My doctor said it was so bad that I may have symptoms always. It keeps getting better each day. I don't have to take any pain medication anymore but I do take it easy. It's been 5 weeks since my microdiscectomy. I would think that since it was only compressed for 3 weeks that I would eventually get completely better but he did say it was really bad. If the nerve is compressed severely like mine was then I am probably lucky it works at all. I was getting weaker and weaker in my left leg. It now is getting stronger and stronger. I think part of it is they need to cover themselves. Him saying I may always have symptoms he is telling me about something that may happen in case it does. I may get completely better. They can't really predict the future I don't think. They can go in and uncompress the nerve but predicting how your body will react is another thing. Everyone is different. I think it also depends on a persons over all health and diet. If someone takes care of themself eats healthy and doesn't drink excessively or smoke then they have a higher chance of full recovery.

    Old 06-16-2005, 10:42 AM   #7
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    I had a compressed nerve and got drop foot. I am one year post op. My doctor said it would take 3 years for the nerve to heal about one inch a month all the way down the leg to the foot. I was told to walk and get the blood moving and develop the muscles in the leg as that all helps the nerve to heal. It needs blood supply to heal. It gets that from muscle too, so the catch is we have to exercise and develop our muscles while we are in horrendous pain.

    At one year post op, I take neurontin as my leg and foot pain reached a level 10 about 7 months after surgery. When it hits like a butcher knife over and over again, I'm left screaming out loud. I hope you don't have this level of pain.

    i still take percocet when it flares up bad and I get breakthrough pain, otherwise, vicoden twice a day.

    For me, the healing process of that nerve is more painful than it was prior to surgery. I do see small improvements each month. The leg is getting stronger but the foot is not. Though the surgery was considered successful because before surgery I could not walk and after I could. I am not dragging the foot behind me, usually, but can now put it out in front of me but still limp bad.

    I too wonder if after a year we will see any more improvement or if I'll be disabled the rest of my life. It's horrible. The disability is hard enough, but the level 10 pain is just too much. The neurontin fries my brain but without it I cannot stand the pain. For me, I will try to hold out another 2 years but may not make it due to pain. I seriously do not see a future.

    I find that increased pain though usually accompanies an improvement in strength in my case, so I try to look at the pain as good. 6 months after surgery I had increased pain in the back and leg and it got so sensitive the PT couldn't touch me or do massage or even ice on the back it was that sensitive and I wondered what was going on, then went to bed and overnight the leg went from 20% strength to 50% strength and then that bad pain let up. I'm hoping for another overnight improvement of that sort.

    I was told the nerve can learn to be hyperactive and won't quit so hence the neurontin to calm it down and retrain it to stop being hyperactive. Plus the med tones down the pain considerably (for some anyways, I'm lucky there).

    It sounds like you are well on the way to recovery. I think you are going to be fine. For some of us, the pain and disability can be horrendous.

    They say it takes 3 years even longer, up to 5 to heal, and as long as you continue to see small improvements each month, it is healing.

    Hope that helps. Also, I was told that most people have their nerve bruised and they are the ones who heal quickly, who have no weakness or pain in the leg after surgery or they heal real quick. In my case, he said the nerve sheath was punctured and no longer exists and has to grow back one inch a month all the way down the leg to the foot. The sheath is what sends the nerve signals and protects the nerve. He said to look up nerve sheath and read about it. There's a name for it beginning with an M.

    Old 06-17-2005, 05:47 AM   #8
    colleen b
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    Re: Permanent Nerve Pain

    Good Morning to All,

    Lady Bird, I am sitting at my desk crying for you. I feel so bad that you have to suffer that way. I am so sorry, I will pray for you. I believe that is all we can do. Throughout my life I got away from religion, although I do teach my little ones about it. I am back now and in full force. I pray all the time for myself, and now I belive that it is time to pray for others. No one should ever have to be in pain like that. Yesterday my son and I were driving to Home Depot to pick up a few things and I told him that my pain was bad and I needed someone else to help me put the things in the car. He responded " Mommy, you know that I will help you, I can do it, I am strong" " Mommy, why did this have to happen to you, why not the lady in the car in front of us, why not someone else? I am so sad that this happened to you?" All I could do was cry. He is only 8 and very smart. Why does this happen to us? You have to ask yourself that.

    Ok, Sorry for the sappy stuff. My internist has me going to a Chinese acupuncturist at the National Institute of Health. She said he is the best in the country. He has healed many of the people that she has sent there and she wants me to try. She said that I should do everything possible before surgery. That is the last resort. I have my cervical as the worst problem and my L4/l5 act up occasionally, but I can fix the lower back with exercise. I have been so busy with work that I stopped exercising and my lower back is now killing me. I thought that only my neck was going to be the issue, but I now must find the time to get back to the gym and do it. Yes Lady Bird I belive your are right. We must exercise even though we are in horrific pain. What is one more hour though? Right????

    I thank all of you that have responded to my question. You have helped me a great deal. I am aiming for the last week in August for my surgery. Maybe I will be one of the people that walks out of the hospital almost pain free, you never know.

    Have a pain free day!


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