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  • Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

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    Old 04-05-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
    Cattoes7
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    Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

    Hello!
    I had a discectomy at L4-L5 on 2-25-14 so I am just shy of 6 weeks in my recovery.

    Today was my first day back at work. I have a desk job and work 10 hour days. My surgeon suggested I work only 5 hours a day for my first week back.

    I made it through my 5 hours but am a little concerned. Halfway through, my back started to ache - nothing horrible though. By the time I hit the 5 hour mark, my lower back was burning. I've been laying down since I got home but I am still experiencing the burning sensation in my lower back.

    Does this mean I've reherniated or damaged something? Or is it a normal part of the process? I have a tendency to be a worry-wart so I don't know if I am being overly concerned or not.

    (Just a note - 2 weeks prior to surgery, I had excruciating nerve pain in my right leg, 1 week prior to surgery I developed drop foot on the right side).

    Thanks!

    Last edited by Cattoes7; 04-05-2014 at 02:06 PM.

     
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    Old 04-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

    Welcome to the board.

    Do you still have the leg pain and drop foot? Are you getting up every half hour, or so, and taking a little walk around the office? The burning pain you describe is familiar to me, and I believe, quite normal...but it is not necessarily something you should just tolerate as part of getting better. It is usually a sign of inflammation and you need to do what you can to control it. It may be that you need to move more often, or go get off your feet completely for a few minutes part way through your work day.

    You should plan on going right home and icing your back and then staying off your feet as much as possible. It may be necessary to do this for several more weeks until you get stronger and further recovered. You may want to ice several times before going to bed...15 minutes per hour, being careful to protect the skin.

    It is also important that you take short, frequent walks. This helps to prevent scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it forms and fills in during the first twelve weeks post surgery.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

     
    Old 04-05-2014, 07:03 PM   #3
    Cattoes7
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    Re: Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    I got up and walked for a couple of minutes about every 45min-1hour. I guess I need to do that more frequently while at work. I don't really have anywhere at work that I can get totally off my feet other than by sitting.

    How far should I be walking on these short, frequent walks to keep from having issues with scar tissue?

    At my two week check-up, the Dr prescribed a medrol pack and diclofenac to be taken regularly once the medrol pack was finished. I've been taking the diclofenac twice a day since the medrol pack was finished. I'm terrified of being in pain again so I take it every 12hrs without fail.

    I still have some nerve pain in my right leg but nothing like it was prior to the surgery. Before the surgery, it was unbearable, the absolute worst pain I'd ever felt. Now its more of an ache and its not constant, it comes and goes. My drop foot started to recover about 3 weeks after the surgery. Its not completly better but I can walk without a brace and without fear of tripping over my own foot.(I am doing physical therapy twice a week).

    I'm wondering if I should ask my Dr to take me back out of work. I'm sure that it will be a complete nightmare dealing with the disability people if I do though. I guess I will call the Dr on Monday and see what he suggests.

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 04-05-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

    Hi burning is nerve pain. Can you keep ice packs at work? I would do that. Also can you get up more frequently? They also make a pillow with a cut out for the spine I'd get one of those. Its like a U shape in the back of the pillow so that it takes some of the pressure off. Get the thickest one you can

    Make sure you are ergonomic when sitting, having your feet either flat on floor or on a box.

    Are you taking any nerve pain meds such as neurontin,, lyrica, or topomax? I prefer the latter as its the only one that doesn't add weight and can make you lose. But start at 25mg only at night for two weeks then move up to 50 and I always take it at night. It can make you a little drowsy and forgetful but the side effects level off. I'm on 200 I take it for my back and migraines.

    Did you have a brace after surgery? Was thinking you could stick that on when it got bad but dont leave it on long it will weaken your core.

    Did you go to pt?

    Cathy

    Last edited by noevr; 04-06-2014 at 07:18 AM.

     
    Old 04-05-2014, 09:47 PM   #5
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    Re: Burning pain in lower back after discectomy?

    Just be aware that sitting puts 30+% more stress on the discs than any other position, including standing. Could you stand for awhile while doing your job, rather than sitting? Do you have a lunchroom or something where you could bring in one of those zero gravity lounge chairs? You could stretch out for a few minutes during a break just to unload the discs for a few minutes....

    Walking is the best exercise to stretch out the little spinal nerves...and you do not need to walk long or far...just enough to change position, get the blood flowing a bit, up a hall and back. Also, if you get up in the night to take meds or use the bathroom, pace back and forth a few times down a hall, or whatever you have available.

    Glad to hear your drop foot is responding.

    Keep a positive attitude and try not to worry. Just do not try to resume all your old routines and activities right now. If you need to go to work, do that, but let everything else slide. Try to go home after work and get off your feet. It is important to try to minimize the swelling...and all the other things can wait. Healing is your #1 job for now.

     
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