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Lower back pain that radiates down leg and into foot



  • This microdiscectomy was my first surgery ever, except for having my tonsils removed when I was 5. I have read and heard that if you are more prone to scar tissue issues that having them go back in and do more surgeries to remove scar tissue can be just about a continuous process. If this shot works for a long time, or at least awhile I think I will prefer that over getting the scar tissue removed. I know that you can not continue to get steriod shots either. I don't know if there is a good long term answer. That worries me quite a bit.
  • on the micro, where is the scar tissue forming besides the incision site? Its my understanding that the only thing removed was the jelly like inner disc which doesnt scar. But obviously the incision site will scar, but how would that effect the nerve?
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  • I'm not very familiar with scar tissue, but it can cause problems like impinging a nerve or worse like arachnoiditis. It is however common to have it after surgery and it may not cause any additional problems.

    I have read some of the recovery times from having a microdiscectomy and it sounds a bit too optimistic. I probably have that opinion due to my experience. When I woke up from surgery, my back pain was intense and so was the sciatica. It wasn't like how I was told it would be. However the nerve is swollen and irritated and it can take a long time to recover. The longer it is compressed, the longer it takes and there is risk of permanent nerve damage. Mine was compressed for 6 months before I had this surgery. I spent 3 days in the hospital and went home. I continued to have a lot of pain and had a post op MRI and 2 post op ESI's. I wasn't aware of the new problems til later. After the 12 weeks have passed, I was discharged from the surgical service and then went on to pain mgt. I found out I had reherniation and retrolisthesis on L4-5, nerve compression from L5-S1, severe DDD on both levels, and other problems listed below.

    To sum it up, I never had an improvement with the pain so it's hard for me to fathom someone going to work in 2 weeks. I was so incapacitated by my pain. My last surgeon mentioned doing a fusion at first but went for the least invasive microdiscectomy in hopes it would be enough. I did wind up having a 2 level fusion/laminectomy a few months after. I do believe in starting small first before going to the major stuff, depending on the circumstance of course. I just wish things would have turned out different for me, I'm facing the same scenario again with the fusion- no relief and chronic back pain with sciatica.

    If you decide to have surgery, I hope it goes well and that you can go back to doing the things you love. It won't be easy but if you commit to following your doctor's advice it should turn out okay.
  • Scar tissue sometimes will grow inside your body. The area where the disc was bulging and compressing the nerve could have the scar tissue grow and trap that nerve. My husband had the scar tissue [adhesions] grow around his intestines and it had to be surgicaly cut away. He then has more adhesions form and eventually it causes enough problems that they have to go back in laporscopically and cut the internal organs free from the adhesions.
  • Black - all I can say is take it easy. For at least 3 months. After that - don't be stupid. L5/S1 herniation January 07. first surger january 08, re-occurence and 2nd surgery oct 08.

    I am 40. I am functioning, but I have a lot of foot/ankle discomfort. Good for you for not waiting too long for the surgery. IMO, the sooner the better if you are opting for surgery. I waited 1 year because I was always getting better, but then leveled off.

    Anyone reading this, change your life for at least 1 year after surgery - make sure you are ready for activity. It is not worth extending your problems because you won't change behavior. Hang in there!!
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  • hi, i'm female and 20 years old, currently at university studying counselling. i have had back pain for 6 years now, and doctos have never been able to put it right. Last tuesday (13/10/09) i had to phone for an ambulance; i was putting cusion covers on and my back completely went and i couldn't move at all, and couldn't lift my left leg.Ambulance man gave me morphine, and i chose not to go into hospital.
    On wednesday i was taken into hospital, as requested by my doctor, they did x0rays and bloods, which showed nothing. i was seen by a very busy doctor that rushed me quite a lot, and said i need to go back to the doctors to be reffered to the spinal clinic, i am back on wednesday for her to do this.

    I am in a hell of a lot of pain. and no medical professional seems to want to do much about this. I have also seen a chiropractioner for nealr a year now, he found that my right leg is shorter than my left leg, so i now wear wedges in my shoes, he puts my pelvis back into place. but he was recently (before the emergency on tuesday) suggested i could have slipped disc.

    Could anyone please please give me any advise on this. i feel that because i'm 20 and not 60 medical people just don't want to take me seriously, and i really am in a lot of pain, and missing university because of this
  • I'm so sorry for your pain. I'm not sure if you are new to the forum, but I would suggest you post your concern as a new post. I'm not sure if all of the members will read your post, since you are responding to a post that was originally created in January.

    I hope you get some answers on Wednesday. You definitely need a proper diagnosis and adequate pain control. As you can see from my bio, I have a herniated (slipped) disc, and know how painful that condition can be!

    Lisa :)
  • My dad was 27 when he had a Discectomy which was now 27 years ago. When he had it done there was much less knowledge and expertise than what there is now. Your symptoms sound very smiliar to mine, I have two herniated discs l4-l5 and l5-s1 and an anular tear in l3-l4, pain killers do nothing but make me feel spaced out. I am positive surgery is the right option to take, dont mess with your back. Good luck with what ever you choose :)

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