Background: I had a microdiscectomy 14 days ago on the left side for my L5-S1 disc. Prior to surgery, it was painful to sit, use the restroom (number 2), sneeze, stretch, bend, hump, etc. If I did any of these actions, I’d feel pain in my left butt cheek, and if bad enough, it would radiate down to my ankle. I had an epidural shot 3 months before the procedure, which helped reduce the pain (pain-free for 3 weeks after the shot then return with less pain), but because sitting still irritated me and the need to be more active physically, I chose to go through with the procedure.
Microdiscectomy and Concern: Following the procedure, once the drugs wore off (stopped taking painkillers after day two), I felt great and pain-free for 7 days. By day 3, I was walking between half of a mile to a mile around my neighborhood free of pain and feeling like a million bucks. However, on the 8th day, I felt some pains return, which I deemed to be swelling and inflammation following the end of my 7 day cycle of drugs for inflammation. Following, on the 10th day, I was walking my dog (15 pound French Bulldog puppy), and to my misfortune, a big dog across the street escaped its owner and ran towards my dog in a manner that seemed like it was to attack. I instinctively pulled my dog up from the leash without thinking, caught her in the air, and then used my foot to push the oncoming dog off me and my dog (like a push kick) to avoid being jumped on. This invoked a sharp pain at the incision site but NO sciatic pain at the moment or for the rest of the day. HOWEVER, the next day and for the days to follow, slight sciatic pain similar to what I had felt before returned to my left butt cheek region but nowhere near the level of pain it used to be. Freaking out, I immediately took a seat to test to see if the original pain was back, but I didn’t feel additional pain when sitting, however I did (and do) feel sciatic pain when sucking im my stomach or tightening my core.
It is day 14 today, and I have the same sciatic pain in my left butt region that periodically radiates at random and is felt when I move around or when I suck in my stomach/tighten my core. This pain is familiar and was not there prior to this incident or hours following the incident, so I am not sure where it came from. I still don’t have pain when I sit down (thankfully), but I am extremely concerned that I re-herniated the disc during the incident as sciatic pain now radiates periodically in the left butt region and is felt when tightening my core. Sources I’ve read seem to suggest that pain is normal following surgery and to not panic, but given the event and being pain-fee for 7 days after surgery, could my pains be a sign of reherniation or is what I’m feeling within the norm of recovery and just a coincidence that it was felt around the same time? How easy it for a disc to reherniate at this stage anyways?
It would be great and reassuring to hear similar experiences and their outcomes, whether a re-herniation scare or actual occurrence, and how it was overcome. I see my doctor tomorrow for my post op appointment, but I am almost certain he will say that it’s too soon to tell and to just wait, but I am in panic and can’t stop thinking about what has occurred.
Any information, insight, or experience will help. Thank you.