Pain after lumbar discectomy L5/S1

Posted , 11 users are following.

I had a lumbar microdiscectomy 6 days ago and the pain was okay, well I thought it was but I just tried to lift my leg and it now hurts like it did before....my surgeon said there might still be some leg pain after surgery but surely they would have been straight after? Am I worrying too much? 

i am diabetic by the way 

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  • Posted

    Hello. Pain is normal after surgery. I had mine on 20th March and I also had a few days later I had shooting pains up and down the leg as if i never had surgery. But my surgeon told me it's normal and it will fade away. Guess what ? It did! I had numbness in thr toes and ankle but now it's only very faint in the left big toe! It did come a few days later so don't worry.

    I started doing light stretches about a week after surgery while lying in bed. I have not started physio as I still have some muscle weakness in the leg and walk with a very light limp. My surgeon and physiotherapist are pleased with my progress. I have started driving but I don't lift anything over 5 lbs or bend and Twist. I would say to you to be patient. You will feel different sensations as the nerves regenerate. But don't overdo anything. Do some light walking of permitted and see if you can get some light stretches from your surgeon or physio.

    I am so happy I did this op. I would have been suffering otherwise. Good luck to you!

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    • Posted

      Oh phew I will stop panicking then! I do worry too much and I do feel that I have probably been doing too much....I just have no patience with my boyfriend! But I should stop! I have bed exercises to do and I am doing then and I have physio this Friday and a wound check on Thursday! Did you have problems getting to sleep at night? And also for the past couple of days I have had nausea and lightheadedness :S
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    • Posted

      Yes I did have loads of trouble to sleep for about 2 weeks. It will get better. I am a get up and go person who is always busy.it is frustrating but trust me take it easy. Let your body heal. Use ice pack on the back also to reduce swelling. By reducing swelling at the cut area the pain in your leg will ease up. What meds are you taking? I was on tramacet but stopped it after a week and only used if I got pain trying to sleep. I moved to ibuprofen and paracetamol. I also use an injection called Neurobine which is a B vitamin supplement to encourage nerve regeneration. I found that helped me a lot. I took the injection instead of the tablets as it works faster. Ask your surgeon About it . Not sure what they use in the UK. Could be under a different name. So... be patient! Take it easy and risk nothing. I am a major wotry wart also. I understand how you feel.😊
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    • Posted

      Phew not just me then haha! It's weird because for the first 3 days I had no problems sleeping even napping during the day but the last few days it has been horrible not being able to sleep until 2am the earliest it's so frustrating! Ah I don't have an ice pack...I don't have much In my freezer lol! I have been ibuprofen and paracetamol since I was discharged from hospital but feel it really isn't doing much, or it is and I am just so used to the pain relief I got from morphine when I was in hospital! :S
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    • Posted

      Ohhh. You definitely need an ice pack! You will feel relief in a day after using it . Just 15 mins every couple hours. Use a frozen pack of vegetableS wrapped in a pillow case!

      Maybe ask the doctor for a pain killer that would helol you sleep at night? But honestly icing will help you loads. Let me know how you are doing ok. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      I definitely have frozen vegetables...loads of them! I think I will I was on another pain killer when I was In hospital which made me sleepy can't remember the name though but it started with Ox! 

      Glad i am not the only one as I thought it had reherniated!

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    • Posted

      I didn't have any nausea. When do you get it ? I did not have much of an appetite though for a couple of weeks after the op. I only ate so I could take my tablets. If it persists then I would ask the doctor. Hope this helps.
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    • Posted

      I am in the States, but had a very sucessful Disectomy, Decompression Laminectomy and Fusion@L4-L5 Nov 11th. Knowing that I live alone and would need to drive as soon as the neurosurgeon cleared it.....also knowing all about the restrictions, I got busy on the Internet for Mobility aids. I came up with this really cool inexpensive swivel seat that helps you get under the wheel without twisting at all. Try it. It has been a lifesaver for me. Less than $25 at Wal Mart. I am still using it for comfort, but when I no longer need it in the car, you can also use it on dining chairs, etc.

      You're welcome! Lol

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Hi Trinigyul. Sorry if it seems that I am stalking your posts but something you said about how soon you gave up narcotic pain meds and took Ibuprophen instead caught my eye. I am in the States so it very well might be differe t than here, but the basics should not be. And believe me, For the 7 months pre- surgery, Ibuprophen 600 mg e ery 8 hrs was the only thing allowing me to remain sane as well as to remain working. I was a full time Ortho Surg RN at a Uni ersity Trauma Center pulling three 12 hr shifts per week. However, my neurosurgeon specifically warned me not to take NSAIDS of any kind for 4 months post-op. Something about studies showing interverence with bone healing. With Orthopaedic Joint surgery, especially the hip replacements a wonderful pain med named Toradol is given IV while in hospial for first 36 hrs and then discontinued. The generic for it is Ketorlac. In essence, it is an NSAID and as close to liquid Ibuprophen as we can get here in the USA. I ask for Toradol rather than a narcotic injection if injured and as I said previously, Ibuprophen is normally my go-to

      OTC pain med. All of this FYI of course.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Put sometning in your stomach before taking any of these medications. That usually helps with nausea, but a word to the wise. Pain pills are notorious for causing nausea. The med you were given in the hospital after tne Morphine pump was likely Oxycodone

      I'm an RN, retired since last May. Start the ice...it will help more than you k ow. PS....I had my fusion Nov 11th, so I am just 5 1/2 months post op. I stuck to the restrictions religiously and pretty much still do except I am able to bend at the waist very well. I am not saying that I am 100% because I am not. I was told to expect to get back 80% of my normal activity level by 6 months and I am there. I am grateful for that 80% compared to the horrible pain I was in pre surgery. Currently I am swimming at the YMCA (on my back only or treading water which uses and strengthens the lower back muscles and I am gardening for 1-2 brs at a time. The problem I have is that I am no longer able to sleep on my stomach with comfort, so I don't. I hope this has been helpful. Feel better soon and whatever you do do not let yourself become impatient with the process of recovery.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Hi

      That's good news about the naseau. It takes some time for pain to ease. If you ice it will.help. Give it s go. My pain began to ease about 2 weeks post op. Don't go without pain relief though of it is really bothering you. Ok.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nicola, you only mentioned pain medications. Did your surgeon happen to order a muscle relaxer too? I have spoken to so many folks on this forum from the UK that were given Valium. This is totally my own personal opinion, but Valium is a depreesant and addictive, therefore a controlled substance here in the States. It makes me loopy, so I prefer something else. Flexeril also makes me loopy and puts me to sleep. Baclophen does nothing, but Methocarbamol or Robaxin does the trick. Take care.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      hello, Nope not that I know off the only medication I've been on is morphine, the oxy one and paracetamol and ibuprofen that's it! The leg pains are really worrying me but I do need to ice it! How long for?
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    • Posted

      Hi. Ingot that pain also. It will eventually go or at least it should. But speak to him if you are worried. Perhaps he can give you another pain killer. Do you have nerve pain? It also happens. Ask him about the B vitamin shot I told you about. That helped me a lot.
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    • Posted

      Hi

      I took tramacet or tramadol for the first week then only took it if i was in discomfort to sleep at night. I did take ibruprofen but not regularly. I mostly stuck to one voltaren and one norflex a muscle relaxant and sometimes only paracetomol.My surgeon didnt say anything about NSAISs but I must ask him. I am based in Trinidad but my surgeon is British and Canadian Trained. I hope you are doing well.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi I am not familiar with the drug so cannot advise. If you are still getting a lot of pain then see your doctor. Have you started the icing? It really would help you a lot tp reduce swelling near the wound area which in turn would ease the pain down your leg. Hope this helps.
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    • Posted

      Hello sorry for the delay! I need to see him I think because my leg hurts and also aches by the knee...icing it as we speak....kind of well I forgot I put a bottle of drink in the freezer so I have that on it it really hurts today! sad 
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    • Posted

      Hi Trinigyul, Trinidad, huh? You are so lucky being from there. My go go statement teasing my children when they were young

      was, " If you girls don't stop all of this bickering between you, Mommy is going to run away to somewhere exotic so I will have some peace in my life again!" Lol. They never believed me. But on to the subject at hand.

      Your listed medications sound like the usual that might be ordered. I am glad that you are doing well, as am I. We are blessed. No?

      Take care now and stay in touch.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Good afternoon Nicola. If using frozen peas, etc, wrap in pillowcase and remove after 15 minutes. You can refreeze the vegetables for use at a later time. Repeat this no more than every 4 hrs and never put frozen objects directly on the skin as it will cause cell damage and possibly death...better to wrap in Pillowcase. I used a gel cold/warm pack that I purchased at the pharmacy. It never really freezes in the freezer, only stays colder longer......but it worked well for me for pain, and I could place it under my bra c e at work and that is what allowed me to stay employed as long as I did. I also had a hot/cold belt that tied around the waist.....I believe it is filled with dehydrated beans of some sort. In my opi ion, even though is does the trick when you need a substitute, I preferred the gel pack. These do not carry the strict time on time off rule. Why? Simple....no real ice involved. Hope you are doing better. Hint: we all woke up from pain. Please try to keep in mind that

      those nerves were terribly irritated before surgery and typically they don't just stop giving out pain impulses right away. be patient. This takes time. If you push it, you are surely going to impede your progress And I know you don't want that. Take care.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      It's 22:40 here hehe..so good evening lol! It has actually helped a bit! I am going to buy an ice pack tomorrow! Don't worry it wasn't directly on my skin it over my top and only for 5 mins! 

      I know I am being silly I think where I was on morphine it just hid it all...silly me! I have my first lot of physio tomorrow....stupid Velcro on my corset is coming off already sad 

      i am am trying gabapentin/neurotin for pain relief for now!

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    • Posted

      Hi. Put ice packs in a pillow case first!!

      I also have knew ans hip.pain at times but remember because of the pain in one leg we tend to reply on other muscles which then ache. So don't be alarmed. Take it one day at a time. But keep that icing For 15 mins!! Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I am.rather alarmed by the excruciating pain in my left side of my back now and finding it hard to walk I had physio 5 hours ago and its just suddenly come on!!! sad
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    • Posted

      Calm down Nicola. Let's review...you are about 2 weeks out from a microdisectomy and had PT earlier today and suddenly pain returned left back.. mind me asking if you were lifting anything at the time, or whether you mace any sudden moves? When was

      your last Neurontin as well as the last time you iced? Are you wearing your back brace? And finally, if you have any pain pills left and everything else fails, eat somethi g and then take one. Lastly, how have your finger sticks been lately? Please let me know. It doesn't sound serious but I do remember how scary the unknown was.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      But my leg pain was my right side this is weird. You are probably right though, neurontin I think I am due to take it

      Wasnt lifting anything I was sitting down! ;(

      Finger sticks???

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    • Posted

      Ok don't panic just yet. You might hsve overdone it in physio and twisted Something. How is the pain now? Did you ice it and take your tablet? If it gets worse over thr next fee hours instead of better then contact your doctor but continue to ice. you are sort of relearning to use some muscles so pain might occur.

      I am not sure what finger sticks are though?

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    • Posted

      Originally didn't you post that you also have diabetes? I just assumed that you might check your blood glucose levels, usually done at home by pricking your finger and then testing by meter -ie- finger stick. Sorry if I was incorrect. This pain came upon you while you were sitting? Wasn't your disectomy L5-S1? The Sacral joint is most effected by sitting. Did your neurosurgeon advise you to limit the amount of time you spend sitting? If not then I apologize and the L4-L5 surgery to remove the disc and stabilize the spine is altogether different. Seems to me that they might discourage you from sitting so as not to encourage further herniation of the same disc. That happened to a 30 yr old fellow nurse...reherniated x 3 totalling 4 Micro-Disectomies in a 16 month period. Please take care. And best to eat and then take a pain pill if the Neurontin doesn't help.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Yes. I also find if I sit for more than 20 mins my back hurts especially if in a situation where the chair is soft. You need to be careful. But try not to worry too much as yet. Ice it and take your painkillers. Patricia you are giving sound advice Here.
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    • Posted

      TY. I went through so much pain myself that I hate to see anyone suffering. One can al ost understand all of this with the older beneration like me, but not when it is a 30 something or 40 something with so many more years ahead of them. If I can use my education and my experience with Ortho and Neuro patients to help others, then so be it.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      TY. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. I hope we helped nicole in some way. It is a very worrying time. I am 4 weeks post microdiscectomy and if I overdo it my body tells me I am 46 so I listen to my body. Sometimes after physio its tired and I do get a bit of pain. My physio says it's normal and usually ice and pain relief helps. Nicole I hope you get some relief Soon.
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    • Posted

      Ahhh lol yes I do but we dont call it finger sticks over here...never heard of it ha! Sugars are a bit haywire at the moment!! :S I had been sitting for about two minutes and now it is just a constant pain! I was told to sit for no longer than 20 minutes! 
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    • Posted

      I do too. That is the diffefence in types of surgery as well as what country the surgery was done. For my single level decompression Laminectomy and fusion, there was no PT. When I asked the neurosurgeon I was told " walking is your therapy. If you need it at 6 mo ths, we will discuss it at that time." I had the best surgeon ever!!! Your Physical Therapists sound like real professionals. Not in any way to infer that there aren't really good PTs in the US. Just saying that almost everyone from the UK and elsewhere that gets on this forum, states that they see great deal of their "Physio". I must go now. Take care and I hope you feel absolutely no pain very soon. Nicola also. Have a good e e ing.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Sit for no more than 20 min? I was told no sitting at all for the 1st 2 weeks for any longer than it yook for me to get i to a standing position or to use the toilet. The second 2 weeks I was told no more than 15. In at a time every 3-4 hours but that I could walk as much as I could tolerate. Hmmmmm. I would try lou gimg instead of sitting. -ie- put your feet up and lay on some cushy pillows. It is worth a try. And remember....no lifting over 5 lb (a bag of sugar) no bending at the waist ( I was allowed to squat rather than bend at the waist,) and no twisting at the waist or hips. I realize that these are so very hard for you at 20 yrs old if they were for me at 67, but if you want your life back you have to listen to the docs. Good luck.

      PS......do you have anything else in your home that you can use as a cold pack? One is not enough. If you have an actual cold pack, freeze a bag of vegetables that you can trade off. If no bag of veggies, you can always fold a wet wash cloth into a square place it in a zip lock bag and freeze it. And what about that frozen drink bottle? You are a very smart young lady. Keep up the good work and take care. I wish you a wonderful knight.

      Patricia

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    • Posted

      Hi-I'm about to have a micro discectomy/laminectomy to relieve a large herniation which has made my foot numb. I am currently only experiencing foot numbness and more rarely pain. The leg pain has subsided quite a bit. I'm wondering if I should cancel the surgery? Is it worth the pain just to relieve the numbness?

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