Post OP L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

Hello everyone, 

 I'm a 27 year old male just would like to share my concerns and experince with this recent post op surgery. I'm creating this discussion about a MD I had on my L4/L5 4/10/2020. 

 A little back history I had a MD on my L5/S1 back in 06/2017. It was a severe, central/right herniation that I dealt with for 3 months and was the worse pain I've dealt with in my life. I got a MD and recovered amazingly. Immmidiate pain relief, had comcerns and doubts in the healing process but I would say the overall healing was easment. I would say I healed 98% from that herniation and felt amazing. On the first MRI it also showed non-problematic herniations L3-L5.

 So time goes on and I started to look in to working out maybe around 12/2019 running, weights, cardio, etc.(I'm a firefighter so I was thinking to myself about staying in shape.) Then I got this great ideal of "I'm going to load my spine a do back and front squats," thinking that this is going to build my core and help with my back in the future. Did a couple a couple months of that felt great, stronger, building muscle, my wife was digging it and caused issues. So as of end of May/2019, I started to have lower right back pain for a week then it went to sciatica down to my toes. Did a MRI in June/2019 and showed my L5/S1 was perfectly fine but my L4/L5 was the problem child. At this time it was just a constant burning feeling and numbness with only relief was lying supine in my bed. I tried at home excercises everyday, physical therapy, ESI shots, inversion tables, some yoga, almost everyting I can do I tried, thinking it would heal to point a of tolerance.

 I've dealt with this herniation for about 10 1/2 months and I would say around the 5-6 month is when the sharp pain in the right buttock, right thigh,right calf started more constantly. During this whole time around I never had pain when I coughed, sneezed, laughed or even lying on my back and raising my legs up. 

 To fast foward in this post I got a MRI on 3/26/2020 and it showed the L4/L5 worse than before being a central right and left moderate protrusion(which makes sense why I started to have more left leg pain than the usual.) Amazingly the L5/S1 was still fine. Had the MD 4/10/2020, and now here I am; I know I'm only 8 days post op from surgery but so far it's concerning because of the last MD it was a breeze on a beach compared to this. I'm at a point where I try to see if I'm better than prior of operation. In ways yes and no. As I'm typing this I'm sitting in a chair and I feel this dull painfull ache running down my leg and it its slightly different them prior surgery. My right leg does appear slight weaker and I'm unable to raise my right leg up while lying supine sue to pain, which before I never had this issue. The surgical area in my back feels pretty good. Little odd but nothing untolerable. My main thing is the inconsistent pain in the legs some days it's in the left and some days it's in the right. There is always the fear of reherniating but I'm being smart and following the isntructions that were given to me. 

My questions for everone is has anyone had a similar experience like mine? I read a lot of post of people not having any nerve pain after surgery. Has anyone dealt with nerve pain in the legs post surgery? If so how long? At what point in recovery has anyone felt like the surgery was a success?  Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.It will be appreciated. 

Thanks- John 



  • Welcome jdchills247 we’re glad you’re here!

    I have had 4 micro's and all of them have been different, from waking up with no pain at all, to having more nerve pain after the surgery for 4 months, in the end, they have all worked out pretty good with different levels of relief, you are only 8 days in to recovery, it might take some time to get there this time around, but give it time. 

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read the article Practical Advice for Recovering from Back Surgery on Spine-health? It offers a lot of practical tips around what to expect before, during, and after surgery. You may also want to check out the video How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery, which also has some great tips.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Hello, sorry for the long reply back and thank you for replying. The main affected leg which is the right leg is much better! But now I'm getting pain on my left leg. I would get this pain before the surgery because I had a midline herniation and it would last a couple days. I had this pain around 6 days post op and it only lasted 1 1/2 days and subsided. Now it came back and its been almost two days of it.  It goes from the left thigh to calf and at times it will go to the pinkie toe. I have no back pain. When I sleep it is barley noticeable and it gets angry when I stand. I would decribed it as a burning numbness feeling and only on the left side of leg. I had my follow up the other day and at the time I didnt have the pain at the time but they said the after report from surgery showed multiple fragmemts on both sides of the disc which were successfully removed. Have you this happened to you in any of your MDs or any similar situations? The fear of reherniating is real, but I have not done anything to cause that and been following instructions. The operative sight feels great so does the right leg. If the left leg pain would go away. I would feel amazing.  

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  • I have had similar situations, when I would tell my surgeon about it, he would shake his head and say nerve pain, give it time for the nerves to calm down, he's been right so far, but as I said before, every surgery and recovery has been somewhat different.

    Take care and keep us posted


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