Post L4-L5 microdisectomy MRI

Would 3+ weeks post surgery MRI show anything? I'm struggling with stabbing pain and burn in my legs 1 week after the surgery. As soon as I walk for 10 minutes this burning sensation starts in my legs below the knees. I got started on prednisone and that helped for 2-3 days but now I'm back again with the same pain in both legs even though my issue was only left leg prior to surgery and I never felt this kind of pain. Evenings are the worst and I can't do anything as once the burning sensation starts, laying down doesn't help, can't sleep either.

I asked my doctor if this could be reherniation and he asked to wait 2 more weeks as MRI would only show surgical inflammation at this point. If anyone has any experience or can elaborate on it, that would be very helpful.


  • heffehheffe Buffalo, NYPosts: 5
    I would see if your surgeon would allow you to try an epidural steroid injection, that may reduce the inflammation better than the prednisone and if it works it may provide you some relief for awhile til your Dr figures out what is going on with you. It's frustrating I know, I had fusion of L5/S1 in August of 2016, I'm still not 100% and still very uncomfortable at times. I have rods and screws as well so I may be feeling discomfort from those. Good luck to you. Keep us posted. 
  •  As soon as I woke up from a microdiscectomy, my leg pain was still raging on, on top of the post surgical pain at the incision on my lower back. The nurse thought it was anxiety and only gave me a Valium tablet. She soon realized the distress was real and brought 2 Norcos. One month later an MRI showed the same disc reherniated. I'm not sure if it was immediately after surgery. I also developed instability at the same level. Months later I had a fusion at L4-S1 because of severe DDD as well.

    Sometimes people can feel relief after surgery and then the pain will hike up again. I hope this is not the case for you and it's only a post op pain flare. It takes 6 months, I think, to recover from a microdiscectomy and up to a year for a fusion. I was given a Medrol pack after the microdisectomy but it didn't help.

     I was scared and confused as to why I wasn't getting better. My orthopedic surgeon referred me to pain management after seeing the post op MRi, and said he couldn't help me. I thought pain management was the end of the road but I was mistaken. After a few months, they sent me to a neurosurgeon to see if more surgery would still help. My pain clinic has always been good about referring me out to other specialists, as well as handling my pain care needs.

     I hope you won't need another spinal surgery and that you recover fully from this one. 
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  • @heffe @Meydey thanks for sharing.

    I got done with the prednisone few days ago and now at 5 weeks post op I finally feel like I'm recovering. Even though both feet/knees have some pain and discomfort I think it's going in the right direction now. My doctor gave me lyrica for nerve pain as they still want to wait before the MRI. I also have DDD on the same L4-L5 and that's why I was so concerned that for sure I reherniate as I only had less than a week of feeling better and then this burning, bone pain in the heel started like everything below the knees is on fire. Doctor is super confident that I didn't reherniate and it's common to have this kind of pain due to nerve compression and inflammation due to surgery. It was so hard to believe though as the pain was horrific.

    I really wish there were other ways than surgery and nobody has to go through this excruciating pain. I've suffered back pain since I was 15 and was told it was due to DDD and kept getting flare ups every year and now at 32 had my first surgery. I'll keep you posted on the progress and hopefully if I had to get the MRI it  doesn't show re herniation. Thanks again!
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