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Worried about reherniation

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum am glad to have found a community of people with which I can learn and share experiences.

I had a microdiscectomy 2 weeks ago tomorrow at L5/S1 after suffering on and off for almost 3 years of firstly back pain and then severe sciatica down as far as my left calf. Unusually my herniation was caused by an impact injury; landing heavily on my lower back after jumping and being knocked over playing football.

After numerous physio appointments, chiropractic treatments and doctor visits I decided to get a referral to a private specialist in Reading.

I had an MRI that revealed the herniation and tried an unsuccessful epidural cortisone injection.
I then opted for the microdisc op. Afterwards my surgeon told me that the situation had gotten worse since the MRI and that he had removed a 'a lot of grotty disc material that had gotten wrapped around the nerve' and also that he had had to detach the nerve from the material but that all had been successful.

Immediately post-op I felt great. The pain in my leg had gone, no numbness. However, after a week the pain in my left buttock had come back and now it's progressing steadily down my leg and I now have pain in my left calf. I'll be honest, I'm terrified that I've managed to re-herniate the disc.

I have been doing the prescribed exercises, stretches and walking without any problem. Could this just be phantom pain? I keep thinking that if it were, it would have been there immediately. My surgeon is on holiday until next Monday so am anxious for some peace of mind in the meantime. Has anyone else had a similar experience with the delayed onset of pain akin to pre-op?


  • Sorry to hear about your problems .I had my first microd
    in 07 and I felt great afterwards I had a little burning in my leg not really pain but just a little something it went away after about a month .On the other hand when I had my second microd I never really felt any releif by the 2nd week about when the surgery pain went away I felt a POP one morning and it was right back to pre surgery pain.If your dr is on vacation maybe you can talk to whoever is taking his calls. This site is great theirs alot of people with alot of experiences just remember we are not dr it's all opinions . I hope everything works out ok for you.
  • I wouldn't worry that you reherniated. I had a really bad herniation at L4-L5 and had a MicroD in May, due to severe Sciatica... Went away for a little bit post op, but then it came back. There was no reherniation. I DID, however, reherniate in September, but I KNEW something was wrong because I bent over shaving my legs and felt something in my back give away, then the worst pain ever go through my back and down my leg and almost fell off the side of the tub. Luckily I already had a fusion scheduled, and they just ended up moving it up a lot closer, but I wouldn't worry, especially this soon, about rehernation. Sometimes surgery doesn't cure the problem. My MicroD wasn't so great. I feel awesome after my fusion, though. So it all really depends. Don't stress, though, it's more likely than not just inflammation in the area. I am REALLY surprised they have you stretching and exercising this soon after a MicroD. All the inflammation definitely isn't gone yet, and in that case, the stretches and exercises can irritate the nerve. I was told not to do anything until 6 weeks post op from my MicroD, then went to Aquatic PT.

    If it were psychosomatic pain, no, it would not necessarily be there immediately. It IS possible to have psychosomatic pain post op because psychologically some people are so used to the pain that when they don't feel it anymore, it hits them differently. I talked to both my doctor, physical therapist, and psychologist about psychosomatic pain.

    If I were you I wouldn't stress yourself yet. Wait until your doctor returns,... Better yet, put a call in now and leave a message for when he/she returns.

    Good luck :)
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