arboc50MemberJanuary 9, 2012 at 12:11 pmPost count: 7
I had a discectomy on Dec 1, 2011 for an L5/S1 herniation causing awful sciatica down my right leg. About a month later, the sciatica is gone. The sciatica virtually disappeared within days after surgery with minimal occasional flare-ups that lasted for short periods of time.
However, in last 10 days I’ve noticed some pain along a portion of my spine when I lean forward, relax the lumbar area, or rub the area. The pain is about 1-2 inches above the surgical incision area and encompasses an area about 2 inches long. The pain seems to come very narrowly from the boney center of my back (i.e.: there is pain when I rub the boney middle, but no pain rubbing the muscles around it). It seems that facet joint stiffness and pain? Or just muscle pain?
Due to my fear of re-herniation in this initial month after surgery, I’ve sat with extremely good posture with no real bending twisting or stretching of the back. It seems logical to me that this could be due to some of my facet joints having so little flex or movement in several weeks. The only exercise I’ve engaged in is a lot of walking.
Could this pain indeed be from these muscles or facet joints sitting idle and not moving much for the last 4 weeks and therefore relatively benign and temporary? Or could reduced disc height from the surgery be putting new stress on a couple facet joints? Or could it be something completely different and is there anything to do about this? It’s not severe pain at all, but I worry about future problems and want to address anything before it gets worse. I’m set for a follow up visit with surgeon in 3 weeks.
Thank you for any direction, and thank you for writing such a great and helpful book.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 11, 2012 at 3:28 amPost count: 8507
You apparently have had a good result from a microdiscectomy. Most patients awaken with significant relief of their leg pain. You are now about a month out and have noticed or developed pain above your incision site and worry about facet pain.
First, have you undergone a rehab program in physical therapy? Some surgeons want you to keep the back quiet for some time which is understandable. Most likely, this may be disuse discomfort and when you return to activities, the symptoms will abate. Ask your surgeon when you see him about rehabilitation.
Most likely this is not a facet problem. Facets typically radiate discomfort off to the side of midline and cause more pain with bending backwards than forwards.
Dr. Corenmanarboc50MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 10:51 amPost count: 7
Thank you Doctor. I called my surgeon and visited with him. I’m Starting physical therapy this week per his orders.
I am curious for future reference (as I’m sure many else here are), once you know you have a buldging or herniated disc and it’s causing sciatica, is there anything chiropractic manipulations or treatments can do to help? Or can it actually make it worse?
Thanks again.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 12, 2012 at 11:52 amPost count: 8507
Will chiropractic manipulation cause harm with a disc bulge or herniation? That is a good question. In general, chiropractic treatment can yield some relief from nerve root compression if performed correctly. There is a very small chance that a manipulation can cause a herniation to get bigger but that is not common.
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