Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking

///Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking
Early Post-Discectomy Sciatica/Limp with Walking
Viewing 5 posts - 7 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • Avatarwmiller
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Thank you. And one part I left out—I am pain free all night or after lying on the couch, but when I first stand up I feel almost like something “filling up” on the right side of my back. It is definitely gravity dependent. It’s like a rush of something in my back, and then it settles and the leg symptoms show up. It doesn’t get any worse, just that initial change in position. As soon as I lie down it goes away. Is this likely normal post op swelling that is gravity dependent?

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6759

    With swelling, normally the opposite will occur. Prolonged lying will allow the surgical region to swell and standing reduces the fluid pressure. Nonetheless, symptoms so soon after surgery are unpredictable and will change with time.

    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. I called NS today and told them that I continue to have sciatic pain, mostly in my calf, and mostly after about 5 minutes of walking, as it feels very tight and then may spasm. It will calm down after I stop but then I’ll feel it at a low grade for a while. They told me to continue walking through it as long as there is no swelling and that this is normal as the nerve calms itself down. I know it has only been six days, but I’m very concerned about a remaining fragment, seroma, or reherniation. I still have a positive SLR (mostly pain in calf) at about 30 degrees. Prior to surgery, I could not tolerate NS even doing the SLR.

    I don’t know if it’s because my L5/S1 discectomy was done kind of urgently (two weeks after symptoms started and day after I saw NS) because I had significant weakness, but none of these post op feelings were explained to me. I was told they needed to do surgery given my complete inability to do a toe raise and that they would go in, relieve the pressure on the nerve, and that it was not major surgery. At what point should I ask for another MRI? I see him July 1, 3 weeks post surgery.

    Avatarwmiller
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    As an update, I am now 10 days post op. I was prescribed a medrol pack two days ago for the calf tightening, and it helped for two days (and allowed me to walk more) but the pain is now getting more severe again.

    1. How is it that I can still experience this nerve pain if there is no more compression on the nerve? Is it really just a matter of time for the nerve to calm down? Is this an atypical post op course, or something many patients go through on the road to an ultimately successful outcome?

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6759

    The root might have been very swollen and is now inflamed. Your course is not typical but does occur in about 5-10% of cases. Give it another 4-5 days. If is does not improve, you can ask for a new MRI to look for seroma or even recurrent HNP.

    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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