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Microdiscectomy - 5 weeks post op - set back or worse ?

Richmond_TigersRRichmond_Tigers Posts: 15
edited 12/12/2013 - 9:24 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi,

I'm a long time lurker of these forums and have finally joined up. I have a few questions...

I'm a 27 year old male and I had a microdiscectomy for a large l5/s1 herniation on the 9th of November this year (I'll be 5 weeks post op tomorrow).. I was in a lot of pain for a few weeks, I finally got off the meds and started feeling good but then I had a setback on Monday the 2nd of December after I stupidly decided to kick a football with a relative. It was just one tiny kick and I didn't feel any pain at all when I did it.

The next day (and every day since then) have been pretty bad. I've had terrible pains in my back, legs, feet and hip. I've had to get back on my 5mg oxy contin and that's all I'm taking at the moment. I'm having 1 every 2nd day and they seem to last for 2 days before the pain comes back. Pre surgery I didn't have a problem with leg pain at all, it was all unbearable lower back pain and I would go crooked and stay that way for a week and not be able to do anything. Sitting was incredibly difficult and painful and I just could not do it (and still can't). I was like this for about 2-3 years. I tried everything including an epidural before finally agreeing to surgery.

I just hope that I haven't re-herniated and that I've just irritated the nerves/muscles and that it's just a set back but it has been almost 2 weeks since the kicking incident happened. I have not been in PT yet (because it's a large herniation) as my surgeon said to wait until I see him again in January and we'll re access the situation and see if I'm ready for it.

Thanks for your time guys
L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
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  • LizLiz Posts: 9,693
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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  • First let me start by saying "Welcome". orry to hear that you are having pain again. Have you contacted your surgeon about the pain? You really should. They can help even over the phone. What they most likely will do is put you on a 6 day steroid pack that hep with inflammation of the nerves. You really should call because they can help you more than what we can on here. We are here to morally support you and to give sugestions from our own experiences. I hope you can find some answers and relief.
    Kristy

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
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  • Richmond_TigersRRichmond_Tigers Posts: 15
    edited 12/13/2013 - 3:27 PM
    Mama-Schue said:
    First let me start by saying "Welcome". orry to hear that you are having pain again. Have you contacted your surgeon about the pain? You really should. They can help even over the phone. What they most likely will do is put you on a 6 day steroid pack that hep with inflammation of the nerves. You really should call because they can help you more than what we can on here. We are here to morally support you and to give sugestions from our own experiences. I hope you can find some answers and relief.
    Hi Kristy, thanks for the reply. No I haven't contacted them after the 'kick' that I did that has made me have pain again. I figured I'd give it some time to recover. I've been icing it and just resting. I have taken 5mg of OxyContin every 2nd day, it seems to work for 2 days and I don't have to take it on the second day but on the third day the pain has been too strong to not have it again.

    Regarding the steroid pack, can they prescribe that over the phone somehow because I can't get to the surgeons rooms as it is 40 mins away from my house and sitting is not possible at the moment.

    Does anyone know what the symptoms of re herniation are? I figured that if I did reherniate I would've immediately been in unbearable pain and would not be able to move.

    Again thanks for your reply and I hope you're doing well

    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
  • Yes the doctors office can call in a script for a steroid pack without seeing you. Mine has done it twice for me. Long story short, I herniated my L4-L5 Feb. 2013 by slipping on the ice. Aug. 7th had a MicroD. Which after 2 weeks, of abiding by the restrictions, it re herniated. I knew something was wrong when I was woke up in the middle of the night with the worst calf pain I have ever had. I of course waited to see if I had just over done it the day before but nope the pain woke me up again, once my meds wore off in the middle of the night. As long as I stayed medicated it didn't have pain but the minute the meds started to wear off the pain started back. I called the surgeons nurse and after explaining what I was going through and answering a few of her questions she said that I would have to try the steroid pack. It is suppose to help inflammation because the nerve could just be inflamed. Well after the first 4 days there was no change and I called again and a MRI was scheduled to see what was causing the pain. Results if the MRI showed re herniation of the L4-L5 disc. So I had a MicroD Revision of the L4-L5. And this time 10days later the same thing happen all over again. Just like the first re herniation. So now. I am 11 days post-op L4-L5 Fusion.

    Please do not think that this is what is going to happen to you. Even my Neurosurgeon is, for a lack of better words, dumbfounded at what has happened. He told me during his rounds while in the hospital, that he has ever in all his years of being a NS has he seen this. But I am happy to say that other than the typical incision site pain and muscle aches I am doing great.

    As for re-herniating your disc, the symptoms could be like what you would have experienced before but may or may not be as intense. The re herniation may not be a big as the first and not cause as much pain. All in all you should call your surgeon just to find out what they think. And they can help you in more ways then you think.

    Good Luck I hope you can find relief and answer to your pain soon.
    Kristy

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • Mama-Schue said:
    Yes the doctors office can call in a script for a steroid pack without seeing you. Mine has done it twice for me. Long story short, I herniated my L4-L5 Feb. 2013 by slipping on the ice. Aug. 7th had a MicroD. Which after 2 weeks, of abiding by the restrictions, it re herniated. I knew something was wrong when I was woke up in the middle of the night with the worst calf pain I have ever had. I of course waited to see if I had just over done it the day before but nope the pain woke me up again, once my meds wore off in the middle of the night. As long as I stayed medicated it didn't have pain but the minute the meds started to wear off the pain started back. I called the surgeons nurse and after explaining what I was going through and answering a few of her questions she said that I would have to try the steroid pack. It is suppose to help inflammation because the nerve could just be inflamed. Well after the first 4 days there was no change and I called again and a MRI was scheduled to see what was causing the pain. Results if the MRI showed re herniation of the L4-L5 disc. So I had a MicroD Revision of the L4-L5. And this time 10days later the same thing happen all over again. Just like the first re herniation. So now. I am 11 days post-op L4-L5 Fusion.

    Please do not think that this is what is going to happen to you. Even my Neurosurgeon is, for a lack of better words, dumbfounded at what has happened. He told me during his rounds while in the hospital, that he has ever in all his years of being a NS has he seen this. But I am happy to say that other than the typical incision site pain and muscle aches I am doing great.

    As for re-herniating your disc, the symptoms could be like what you would have experienced before but may or may not be as intense. The re herniation may not be a big as the first and not cause as much pain. All in all you should call your surgeon just to find out what they think. And they can help you in more ways then you think.

    Good Luck I hope you can find relief and answer to your pain soon.
    Thanks

    I'm sorry to hear what you've been through. I hope you'll be pain free very soon.

    I think I will wait a week to see if my symptoms improve and see whether I can get well enough to again stop the pain meds completely. If it doesn't I'll be contacting the surgeon and see what my options are. I'm happy to try the steroid pack if these symptoms that I've had for almost 2 weeks don't go away or at least improve this coming week. Really hoping I hadn't kicked that damn football.

    One of the symptoms I'm currently experiencing is cold feet which I had before my operation. They were quite warm after my operation until I kicked the ball and now it's returned. Also, the day after I take a single 5mg ocycontin pill the pain is bearable without taking another pill. Can the pain relief from the pill actually last that long ?
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
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  • Richmond_TigersRRichmond_Tigers Posts: 15
    edited 12/17/2013 - 1:04 PM
    Ok bit of an update

    I had some Valium yesterday and it really helped with the back and leg pain.. Could this be a good sign that it's all just muscular and irritated nerves? I'm almost 6 weeks post op.
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
  • The Valium helps muscle spasms. I'm no doctor but you could try it for a bit and see if you notice a difference, of course as long as it is a med that your doctor prescribed for you. You could call your doctor just to let hime know what is going on.
    Kristy

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • Mama-Schue said:
    The Valium helps muscle spasms. I'm no doctor but you could try it for a bit and see if you notice a difference, of course as long as it is a med that your doctor prescribed for you. You could call your doctor just to let hime know what is going on.
    I was prescribed Valium before my surgery and had some left. I was just thinking that if it helped the back and leg pain that it could be muscle related due to me kicking the football. If I had reherniated I kind of figured Valium wouldn't do anything for the pain.

    Anyways, last time I had Valium was on Monday and today (Wednesday afternoon) I haven't needed anything as the pain is pretty bearable. I think I'm improving slowly. My last OxyContin pill was on Sunday.
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
  • Ok

    Today and yesterday I did not take any meds at all. Pain was still there but bearable. I guess I have a high pain tolerance.

    Today I have no leg pain but I have some pain on the left side of lower back and I am pulling to the left (crooked torso) just like before the surgery. Pain seems to be around the left buttock and just above that area. I guess I am improving but the crookedness scares me a little bit. It is also pretty hard to walk with this kind of pain
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
  • I learned from experience that there still could be lots of swelling and fluid built up around your surgery site.

    I thougut I had re-herniate since my pain was getting worse
    So doc ordered an MRI 16 weeks post-op
    ( they usually need to wait 3-4 months post-op to order an MRI because there is too .much swelling to see what is clearly going on)
    And WHALLH! No re-herniation as I thought, problems, but no-reherniation!

    I think as we all start feeling better we start doing more and more activities
    This increased activity "pulls" on the tissues healing and we feel new pain or pains like before.


    MamaShue (Kristy) gives great advice! Call your surgeons office, a round of steriods is usually what they will try first.
    (Medrol Dose Pak)

    I am now 18 weeks post-op, still can't sit without pain or stand for more than a few minutes, but feel stronger everyday.

    It stinks! But this healing really takes a very long time

    Patience is truly a virtue because I am lacking in that area LOL

    Take care and God bless
    Rose



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