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  • zzab
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Today is my 3 week mark since I have a microdiscetomy on my L4/L5. I had a herniated disc for roughly 1 year. My pain consisted of sciatica down my left leg and low back pain on my left side. After about 9 months of rehab I was able to get pain free and stayed this way for about 3 months until I flared up again. After another month of rehab I threw in the towel and had surgery.

    Roughly 4 days after the operation I had very mild sciatica on the inside of my left calf which I never had before my surgery (mine was outer leg pain) but this faded after 5 or 6 days. After about 1.5 weeks the stiffness and pain in my back was gone completely and was feeling great. After the first 1.5 weeks I started to get numbness in both legs, even though my sciatica symptoms prior to surgery were only on my left leg. I was told this numbness is normal and should fade in time.

    2 days ago I started to experience a minor ache around my right hip/upper butt. Pain wise it is a 2/10 and feels like someone is just lightly pressing on me. Also two days ago I started to have an intense burning sensation around where my nerve root was. This did not travel down my leg. Consequently I started working from home this week and this burning started while I sitting at my desk working. I took the rest of the week off to avoid any more prolonged sitting but had a hard time falling asleep last night because of the burning.

    I most concerned about the ache on my right side since this has never given me issues. Is this normal or did I possibly re-herniate my disc? Also is this nerve root flair up normal to happen around the 3 week mark? It’s no where near the pain I had prior to the surgery but it is noticeable.

    zzab
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Hi doctor I wanted to add one more comment. This morning I woke up with a similar pressure/pain on my left side as well. Again 2/10 pain wise however it has me a bit concerned. During my morning walk my right side felt fine until the last minute of my walk where the pressure kicked back in a little. The first week of recovery my incision site and back muscles were very sore but my low back felt good. Second week my low back felt perfect, it had an “airy” feeling like there was not excess pressure on me. However halfway though week 3 are when that “airy” feeling changed with my right side acting up Wednesday and my left side acting up today. Is this likely inflammation from surgery, moving around more and sitting much more often? Should be there cause for concern or is still too early in the recovery stage to be hitting the panic button?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    First, remember that you seem to be significantly better than prior to your microdiscectomy. The various new but mild symptoms (“minor ache around my right hip/upper butt..very mild sciatica on the inside of my left calf which I never had before…etc”) are simply irritation symptoms from the same compressed nerve root, but just different fibers in the root are involved.

    As long as you are better than prior to surgery and have no new motor weakness and no fevers, chills or sweats, you are on the right track. Nerve roots are persnickety critters and will take some months to “calm down”.

    Dr. Corenman

    zzab
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Thanks for the response doctor! Yes I feel a night and day difference from how I felt prior to the surgery.
    Just so I am clear, your saying the nerve irritation can also cause other symptom such as minor low back aches, not just sciatic symptoms? Also how long into recovery do you typically see patients feeling 100% again?

    zzab
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Thanks for the response doctor! Yes I feel a night and day difference from how I felt prior to the surgery.
    Just so I am clear, your saying the nerve irritation can also cause other symptom such as minor low back aches, not just sciatic symptoms? Also how long into recovery do you typically see patients feeling 100% again?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    Patients all vary regarding recovery. I’ve had patients tell me immediately after surgery that their pain is completely gone and some say it took them 6 months before they felt very good.

    Dr. Corenman

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