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Ongoing left leg/butt pain after microdisectomy! going crazy!!

YoungL5S188YYoungL5S188 Posts: 81
here is my original forum post before surgery...

i had the microdisectomy done on march 21,2012 on the l5-s1 disc. 3 days after surgery, i was back in the hospital because of severe pain worse then before surgery. it has gotten better then it was then but it is about just as bad now as it was before surgery.

when i went back in hospital 3 days after surgery, they did a post-op mri and found only scar tissue, and it seems to the surgeon that the nerves are clear so he is not sure why i still have pain.

i have the same exact left leg nerve pain in the same spot i had it at before the surgery.

because of the surgery, i also have back pain most of the time, sometimes it is very severe while other times it is tolerable.

the other issue is after sitting for about 10 minutes both of my butt checks get numb and tingly and i can't sit for longer then about 10 minutes.

i went to see my surgeon and he basically told me i'm sorry, i'm not sure what else to say. he said my case is very very rare and 90% of the time leg nerve pain is gone after surgery but at the most a month after surgery.

they had me try all different pain pills which none of them helped so i decided not to take them.

i am taking 400/mg of neurotin every 8 hours. that is not helping at all.

i was out of work for a month and a week and started 3/5 days this week and starting full time again next week. i'm scared and not sure how i am going to do it to be honest. i can't afford to take any more time off though.

any idea or suggestions would be very appreciated.




  • I had a Nurse Practitioner tell me that nerves have "memories" and carry the pain impulse or 'remembers' it. Not sure how long this lasts. I think it's similar to 'phantom pain' people feel after a limb amputation.
    I'm on the maximum dose of Neurontin - 1200 mg every 8 hours. Sometimes you also need to allow the pain meds to get to a therapeutic level in your body and keep it there. I do use Ibuprofen too - usually 800 mg every 6-8 hours and need something to help me sleep at night.
    Not sure about the numbness and tingling, could be the nerve healing? I really don't know.
    I'm sorry to hear that you're still having the same level of pain, How terribly frustrating!
    You would think that in 2012 when we can do all kinds of genetic testing, transplant organs, do brain surgery, we would be able to take care of sciatica.
    Maybe we need to start a Sciatic Pain Foundation to get the word out about how painful and debilitating a "Pinched Nerve" is - I've seen many women with the condition (me too) say they would rather go through labor and birth multiple times without epidurals or pain medications than have this pain. It is absolutely the worst pain ever.
    Anyway - See if you can start increasing your Neurontin Dose - you can work through the side-effects; I know if I miss a dose, I pay for it several hours later with increased,horrible pain. I like using Ibuprofen because of the anti-inflammatory effects. You could try Aspirin - maybe buffered so it doesn't irritate your stomach - An oldie but a goodie. I've found good relief using 3 - 325 mg tablets.
    I hope some of these suggestions help.
  • Thanks for your reply. Im waiting for my surgeon to call me back this afternoon. The neurotin so far 3 weeks taking it, is not helping at all!

    I dont see the other end of the tunnel. I feel like at 24 years old, I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life.

    I'll try to take some aspirin tomorrow and see if it helps at all. I just hate taking them because I know how bad they are for your liver and stomach.

    I'm so suprised noone else have any comments to add to my post.
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  • I had a microdiscectomy 7 weeks ago for a herniated disc (also L5-S1). I however was feeling quite a bit better immediately after the surgery. However, I still have some residual pain in my butt and my right leg and some numbness in my foot. I believe it's still nerve pain. I have heard of others saying that the scar tissue can sometimes cause as much pain as the herniation. I will occasionally take a small dose of ibuprofen and ginger root for the pain and inflammation and it does help. I also go on a lot of walks as that is supposed to minimize scar tissue build up. I'm also sorry to hear that your pain is still so severe. Prior to my operation my pain was also severe and immobilizing. My pain now is not nearly as bad as before the surgery. I returned to my work 11 days after my surgery. I work with computers so I set up a standing workstation so that I wouldn't have to sit for long periods and this has also helped. I am waiting a few more weeks and I'll probably start seeing a chiropractor and/or a physical therapist to see if I can strengthen my core muscles and get rid of my residual pain. Good luck, I hope you and your health providers can help you find a solution to your pain.
  • Hi,
    Did you hear back from your surgeon?
    I went to the maximum dose of Neurontin about 3 weeks ago. I started having better relief around a week ago and I'm holding my breath waiting for the pain to return.
    Now, as I said, I'm still on Neurontin, Ibuprofen, Tramadol, and the other meds I mentioned.
    Yes, at 24 yo I can understand why you're feeling so discouraged. I'm 55 yo and wonder if I have to live like this another 30 yrs as well.
    I have had this since last July, it got worse about 5-6 months ago.
    I most likely won't opt for surgery right now, but if you had asked me 1 week ago, I would have been in surgery the next day.
    I wouldn't worry about the meds and your liver at this point - you're young and likely have a very healthy liver. Take Buffered Aspirin - it's coated so it doesn't dissolve in your stomach - it's released in your large intestine - protecting the stomach.
    I didn't think the Neurontin worked at the lower dose either. Let me know how it went today. We're here for you!!! I found this site a week ago and it has made such a huge difference.
  • My surgeon called me back 3 days ago. He said I am on the max dose of Neurotin and he usually does not even need to prescribe people with close to what I'm on daily. I feel like it don't really even help much.

    Surgeon told me he wants me to do Physical Therapy and seek pain management. he said i should definitely be 80% better by now. My surgeon said he could open me back up again and examine the left side really well again.

    I'm running out of ideas. My left leg is unbearable, just as bad as it was before surgery

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  • I'm sorry you are going through this. I need to have the discectomy but am really scared of it not working and the pain and recovery of the surgery. I have had my herniated disc at my L5/S1 for 21 months and get the injection but they don't last. I take motrin and nothing else but now I am getting desparate.
  • Oxygen-ozone therapy is a useful treatment for lumbar disk herniation that has failed to respond to conservative management.
    Live to Pray
  • Nick I'm so sorry you are going through that. My son-in-law had back surgery for a little bit different problem - and I can't think of the medical term, but basically he was born with a problem that could cause part of the pars (this is what I'm remembering) of the vertabra to crack or break if he did anything like heavy lifting etc - however there is no way to know that unless it happens and it usually happens in young adults. He was in for the fight of his life to get it fixed but did and it took a while for his pain to go away, but it did eventually. And he had one flare up years later which ended up being only muscular.

    I have a problem understanding doctors that won't prescribe effective medicines. I know there is a problem in this country with people trying to get pain medicines - but neurontin? Seems like he should be increasing your dose to see if that will help. I hear your frustration, my husband and I have a great new surgeon and he tells us we need medications........but he doesn't prescribe them. Before either of us have surgery, I'm going to have to ask him if he'll be giving us medications to help post-op - and I"m sure that will result in a long lecture. It is a shame to say this, but like mnrn56, I'm 55 and one thing I've learned especially these last few years as medical care seems to be changing, is that it seems we have to figure out how to do a psychoanalysis on our doctors so we can figure out how to talk to them. A lot of surgeons that are very good and know it do have that 'I'm God' attitude, unfortunately. Always remember and never forget, even though what they do for us is much more important, really it is no different than hiring someone to cut our hair, give us a massage, or any other service - it's your body and you are in charge - and the doctor is someone that you hired.
    I am who I am!
  • And I forgot to say - why is it so many doctors offer pain relief but don't get to the source of the problem?!? That's one thing I won't stand for! If that's all the patient wants, then fine. But if the patient wants the source of the problem fixed and there is a way to try and do that, then we shouldn't have to fight for it. And we shouldn't have to fight for adequate medication, especially when it is meds like neurontin, etc........but even pain meds when we really need them. There are a lot of pain clinics out there now and I used to think geez every person going there must be some kind of addict or drug pusher - and that's the stories we hear from the media. Going through back and neck problems - and the problems with doctors treating me like I'm a cash cow, although I will never do it, makes me understand why people give up and end up going to a pain clinic to get narcotics. The medical society needs to take the blame for part of this and they need to make sure they are providing adequate care so people have no legitimate reason to go to those places!!
    I am who I am!
  • My 2-cents worth. Can you ask for another MRI?
    It sounds like either the nerves were irritated and/or are waking up but I had an MD and never really got relief. I was told it was probably post-op inflammation. After 5weeks, I thought I was no different if not worse. At 6-weeks post op I still couldn't get another MRI and they put me on prednisone.

    That did nothing. The surgeon was ready to send me on my way and said give it time, 95% of people do well. And, my herniation was so big that the surgery should be gratifying. I told him I would be mad at myself if I didn't insist on an MRI to double check. So he agreed. I had lost another chunk.

    I had the revision and while I didn't feel much different, I was moving better and after 6weeks, I could see a difference and at 3-month mark I continued to see a difference.

    If he won't help, ask if there is another surgeon that he might suggest to review the case.
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