JgoelzMemberFebruary 22, 2013 at 12:28 pmPost count: 1
I am a 23 year old who recently (10 weeks ago) had an L5/S1 microdisectomy. Prior to surgery I had dealt with symptoms for about 1 year. I had no muscle weakness but was unable to sit for longer than 30min due to back pain and could not stand for longer than 10 minutes due to leg pain. The post op rehab has been great (strict physical therapy and walking and biking). Experienced some mild aching in my leg through week 6 but seemed to diminish at week 8. Within the past 3 days I have had an increase in back pain while sitting and my leg has had an increase in pain on the lateral aspect of my thigh. The pins and needles feeling is back and extends into my calf (continuous throughout the day). My foot also feels “cold” all day long. When laying down, it feels as if there is a pulsation in my back, where I had surgery.
Symptoms are very similar to the initial onset of my pre-op symptoms. There wasn’t a specific occurrence that triggered these symptoms but they have come on rather quickly (within 3 days).
Is it possible I have reherniated my disk? Is it too early to worry? Is it advised to get another microdisectomy if I have indeed reherniated?Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorFebruary 23, 2013 at 2:13 amPost count: 8460
Reherniations occur about 10% of the time. Your symptoms might be consistent with a recurrent herniation but also, the nerve root might still be somewhat sensitive from the previous herniation. For my patients, a thorough physical examination which is unchanged (no motor weakness and no changes in sensation or reflex) would lead me to prescribe an oral steroid. If this medication reduces symptoms, then no further treatment is necessary.
If the symptoms have increased substantially and/or the physical examination findings have changed significantly, a new MRI is warranted. A new herniation does not mean surgery has to be immediately considered as if no new motor weakness is noted, an epidural steroid injection is most likely the next step. If however, new motor weakness is noted, consideration of another microdiscectomy should be entertained.
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