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RE: 7 weeks post-op microdiscectomy still in pain



  • To clarify I did not get a second MRI, at least not yet. I have PT now before we opt for another test. Did anyone have luck with PT? No one I know has...scary odds...
  • I was cleared yesterday to do the treadmill; I just did twelve minutes no incline at a slow but steady pace. My back is screaming as is the sciatic pain. It hurts as much now as before surgery. Should it be like this?
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  • I am sorry you are going through so much pain. I have had 5 spine surgeries and all I can tell you is the 1st year you can expect almost anything. I have become very good friends with ice packs and heating pads depending on what feel the best. I have been on narcotics for so long I can not remember what it feels like to be pill " free". I am still under the care of my spine surgeon. My last surgery was 7-'06. Well one minute.. I had a THR march of 2011. I am now on the list for a SIjoint fusion. For me I have to take all this one day at a time. I rarely make plans anymore, or socialize much. I make sure my bed is clean and always near by. The Spine is clearly one tough disease to have. The nerve pain is what always gets my attention as well. I would love to offer you some clear advice but really it is one day at time.. Give it a year and please let us know how you are doing.
  • Well, this is the first full week of PT. I finished and while I feel a sense of accomplishment I can also tell you that my pain diary for this week reads:

    April 22, 2013

    Today was better--more mobility
    Slight Numbness in right leg and foot
    dull ache bottom right side of my back
    Treadmill x 20 minutes--very painful after 12 minutes but pushed thru
    Stretched at work
    One pain pill at 9 AM
    Missed PT b/c of cracked tooth/dental appointment but did Pilates stretching after cardio
    Pain directly in spine
    Old, hot pain remains in spine when I move my leg just right
    I feel like a big block of discomfort/pain exists on my right side of my back a lot of the time--this is not muscular pain
    Some muscle spasms today--tiny
    April 23, 2013
    Moderate sciatic pain all day
    I knew it was raining before I got out of bed
    Moderate pain in my spine all day
    "Block" feeling right side all day
    Old, hot pain on the right side when change position while seated at my desk
    Had to stand several times and stretch or simply stand rather than sit
    Twenty minutes on the treadmill; painful after 8 minutes
    Lower back pain consistent
    Lots of old pain late in the evening; had to have assistance to get off the couch. Hot, sharp pain lower in my back not quite in my rear end but below my waist
    No foot pain today

    April 24, 2013
    Significant sciatic pain--right side
    Popping feeling--right side
    Grinding pain--right side
    Old, hot pain in spine, especially when raising my foot from below my waist line or above my waist
    "Block" feeling--right side all day
    PT today--tolerated but significant pain afterward and restless sleep
    Bent at the waist several times to endure daily activities
    No foot pain

    April 25, 2013

    Significant sciatic pain--right side
    Popping feeling--right side
    Grinding pain--right side
    My back feels like a cluster of mismatched puzzle pieces
    Old, hot pain in spine, especially when raising my foot from below my waist line or above my waist
    "Block" feeling--right side all day
    PT today--tolerated but significant pain afterward and restless sleep
    Bent at the waist several times to endure daily activities
    Foot pain returned--right foot--soul of my foot thru to my toes

    I have been assured it will get worse before it gets better. Every single symptom I have prompted me to have surgery in the first place. I'm scared. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should trust them or my body. Am I feeling my instincts, or fear? Anyone?
  • I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. Is there any way you can squat or go from standing to one knee vs bending at the waist?? That's what I do. Also, don't push yourself through the pain!! If you are on the treadmill and you start to hurt, STOP IMMEDIATELY. If your physical therapist is telling you to push through the pain, get a new physical therapist. I would suggest seeing your orthopedist/surgeon and giving him your pain diary to see what he thinks. Good luck!
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  • 4life44life Posts: 35
    edited 04/26/2013 - 7:16 AM
    ok so I am now 14 weeks post op. I returned to work after seeing my consultant after 6 weeks after the op. he told me I could consider returning to work on a phased basis in the next few weeks. at this point I felt that I was doing well and was looking forward to getting some form of normality back in my life. so I started working for 2 hours every day for 3 weeks. I was fine while I was recovering and doing nothing but now I am trying to normal tasks I seem to have taken a massive step back. I cant sit or stand for more than 20 mins I have constant pins and needles, my lower back pain has seemed to have returned with as much force as ever and the pain and burn in my right side from my glute to my thigh starts as soon as I try to do everyday tasks also with this I still have a lot of swelling that doesn't seem to be disappearing any time soon. I am now in the process of returning to see the consultant. I completely understand the anxiety your feeling and the frustration and worry you have. I too didn't know whether to just keep powering through or listen to the warning signs, but I now am going with my gut instincts and going to see the consultant. if i have learnt anything from all of this is that the body lets you know when it has something wrong with it. how much should you push things before you give in to the underlying signals your getting. the way i weighed it up was that this is my health and i cant go through this again so im not risking it, if it is all part of the process( and i really hope it is) then that's fine. but if there is a problem then it needs to be identified and sorted. im sure you will do whats best for you all i can say is listen to yourself. you are the only one who can really answer the questions you ask. i gave in to those feelings and hopefully will get some reassurances from my consultant soon. i hope whatever you do you find progress and get some positivity from your situation. keep in touch, ill try and follow your progress and let you know what happens with me. keep smiling. its tough at times, but be assured you are not alone in your situation.
  • Well, I started today with minimal pain. As time passed and the rainy weather moved in that changed. Now I am tight and stiff with snapping, crackling, and popping in my back when I inhale, walk, etc. how can I tell if this is my disc or muscular? It's all so jumbled together. Last week was so rough but Monday and Tuesday were less this my disc or the effects of PT? Am I being a wuss? I do not see that my endurance has increased. I have yet to be pain free. I still cannot walk for more than about five minutes without pain, or sit for long. I feel hot, electric pains. And sometimes, for moments, I feel ok, but then it comes back. I have not been w/out pain meds at least once per day since the day of surgery--February 22, 2013. I was told I have arthritis in my back; I can now predict bad weather. I have been relieved of a good bit of the sciatic pain that once gripped me. But the lower back pain remains after the microdiscectomy. I didn't know that procedure is not usually effective for lower back pain, or that the longer you wait to fix the problem (I waited 18 months or so) the harder it is to fix things. I am on mobic and neurontin and lortab and I am tired. I am not yet forty. I know I am physically dependent on the opiates--who wouldn't be?--but I do truly take them for pain. I read others' stories and know mine is nothing. The pain is a blip on the radar some days, and others it's horrible. I'm tired of researching it and trying to understand but w/out questions and reflection my doc isn't offer info. So, that's where I am right now...feeling defeated. I'm not opposed to the PT but it isn't taking it all away. And the rating of 2 to 4 on good days is with pain meds. That cant be good right??
  • Jenni2876JJenni2876 Posts: 27
    edited 05/19/2013 - 2:06 PM
    Amylynn: I am wondering how you have been doing?

    I started taking anti-inflammatories again because I was in such pain and I definitely have noticed a difference. I have been on them regularly for a week now and, although my legs have been better, I definitely been feeling some stomach pain today. I also started P/T this past week and while I leave really sore, I find that I feel better by later in the day or the next day. I am supposed to see my doc in two more weeks.
    Hope you are feeling better!
  • Well, after a month of PT and three months post-op with increased numbness, pain, and tingling the neurosurgeon ordered a repeat MRI today. I do that next Thursday. He also ordered blood work to rule out infection that he does not believe is the problem. He said the blood work could infer inflammation as well. I'm stunned. I don't know why I keep getting surprised by the whole damn thing but I do. My symptoms are worse than before PT that the physical therapist basically encouraged me to push through as if I was being a baby. When I refused to do the cobra press (google that image...she wanted me to do that and hold it for five minutes) I knew I was going to be documented as a noncompliant patient. I anticipated being scolded but when I told him today that I was having numbness in my foot and sciatic pain on both sides he said i could have RE-herniated the disc and that the pain switching sides could be a sign of that. So...we shall see...:(
  • As I typed that my arm was numb...I'm not sure whats happened...I wonder if I have nerve damage that won't go away or if this is an injury from PT or what. It's scary to contemplate...maybe it's nothing. I told him I thought it might be a muscle strain at first but he said that muscle strains do not involve pain that goes into the leg like sciatic pain does...point taken doc...
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