L5/S1 microdiscectomy 3 week post op pain

Hello Everyone, 

I’m new here but have found this forum very helpful prior to surgery. I had a L5/S1 microdiscectomy for a fairly large herniation 3 weeks ago. Immediately after surgery the sciatic pain along my right leg was completely gone aside from foot tingles. During my recovery I would walk 30-40 minutes a day and would either be standing or lying down on my back. I rarely sat down. Fast forward to the last two days. I have been experiencing pains similar to what I have felt prior to surgery but not as intense. I started feeling lower back pains then the next day calf pains, front thigh, and now inner thigh. I am supposed to start my period within the next few days. Is this normal pre-menstrual cramps? Is there a correlation with your menstrual cycle and sciatica? Has anyone else gone through something similar? I know 3 weeks post-op is still pretty early to be fully recovered but I am starting to worry. I don’t bend, lift, or twist, and honestly just lay on my back on the bed or couch. I cant seem to think of anything I could have done to reherniate the disc either. 

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!  



  • Welcome momo11 we’re glad you’re here!

    If it were me, I would contact the surgeons office to report the new pain. I have had several surgeries and during recovery I have had the same thing happen, nerves were compressed before surgery, during surgery they were decompressed, moved and stretched and it shocks them, at some point during recovery they start waking up and looking for their new normal. I have also needed a steroid pack for inflammation in the past to help calm things down.

    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

  • Thanks Chip! 

    After my initial post the pain was less the next morning then completely went away the following day. I’m keeping a daily record of my symptoms and plan on giving them to my surgeon at my 6 week post-op or sooner if the pain comes back. 

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  • Glad you are feeling better

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Glad you are feeling better. The re-herniation fear is a tremendous stress point for all who get surgery. Surgeons often do not prepare us for the recovery period, and the variables are endless, leaving patients to wonder if they have done something wrong.

    I'm approaching 2 years post-MD surgery and life is great. Take care of yourself and the investment of surgery. The recovery road, even if the bumps are minor, can be over a year.

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