Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking

///Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking
Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 11 total)
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  • Avatarwmiller
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Dr. Cornenman,
    Thank you for providing this service. I had a labral tear repaired by Dr. Philippon at Steadman, and wish I lived closer…had an excellent outcome!

    I had a microdiscectomy of L5/S1 13 days after herniating my disc slipping on stairs. My surgeon elected to go with surgery soon because I had significant weakness and inability to go up on my toes. I was also in excruciating back and leg pain. I had the surgery June 11 (just 3 days ago). When I woke from surgery, my leg pain was completely and totally gone. The weakness remained.

    On my first post op day, I began to have some recurrence of leg pain and calf cramps (which I had prior to surgery). I also had some sciatic pain occur while straining slightly for a bowel movement. This pain has remained and has gotten more noticeable,and I continue to feel it with any bearing down motion, even just to urinate. It is worse with walking. I was told to walk as much as tolerated, but I cannot do so without a limp (and very slowly) and the leg pain being worse. It is not at all the same level of pain that I had prior to surgery, and my back is much better, but I am concerned about having zero pain waking up, and now sciatica coming back, especially with walking. Is this likely just inflammation/swelling at this point, or should I be concerned about reherniation? I have been diligent about not bending, twisting, or lifting, but did strain going to the bathroom once.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by Avatar wmiller.
    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6759

    Recurrent pain after relief from a microdiscectomy can occur from inflammation, seroma (a pooling of fluid that builds up after surgery) or a recurrent HNP) with some other rare exceptions. I would suggest a short course of oral steroids 1st. If that does not work, a new MRI would be called for.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Avatarwmiller
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Thanks so much! I called my surgeon. I was told since I’m only 3 days post op he wants to hold off on oral steroids until at least two weeks unless something would get worse. He thinks it’s inflammation that should settle. Am I likely to regain the strength in my calf? I still cannot go up on my toes at all.

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6759

    I thought you were 13 days post-op but if you are only three days, then you do need to wait to determine symptom relief. You did undergo a decompression which is the treatment of choice for motor weakness. Now you have to wait to see what strength you regain. See https://neckandback.com/conditions/peripheral-nerve-anatomy/ and https://neckandback.com/conditions/how-muscles-recover-from-nerve-injuries/

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Avatarwmiller
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Thank you. One last question—-I am typically pain free lying on my back or my side. When I stand up, I feel pain in my back but not the incision. The incision doesn’t hurt. It is the area to the right of the incision (same place I had back pain when I first herniated). Once this pain starts, I get the residual leg stuff. Is it normal to have pain to one side of the incision (where herniation was) even though no cut there? It is also sore to the touch of pressed on.

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6759

    It is normal to have pain on the side of the original nerve compression at it takes time for the nerve to “calm down” after significant compression.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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