BikingenjoParticipantSeptember 16, 2022 at 11:43 amPost count: 14
First of all, thank you very much for maintaining this forum. You’ve done a tremendous thing for people around the world who have used your advice and counsel.
I originally herniated my L5S1 5 years ago but managed it conservatively with PT and Epidurals. I reherniated twice over that time and the most recent time (5 months ago) it was bad enough that I couldn’t walk and decided to look into a microdiscectomy.
Had the operation done about a month ago, and was feeling quite good just 2-3 weeks out. I still had some persistent glute tightness on the side of the herniation but was able to walk and move around without pain or much sensation.
I went back to work and was sitting 12 hours a day. Additionally I am a big biker and I tried biking at around the 3 week mark – just an hour ride nothing crazy – and since then my sciatica has come back. It’s mostly located in the uppermost part of my glute, and my back. I don’t think I reherniated as I never experienced that sharp shooting pain, but I’m not sure.
The sensation is somewhere in between tingling and painful, but it’s more distracting than anything else. I’ve taken time off work as I literally cannot focus on anything with this buzzing going on in my glute— however I’m still able to walk 10ish miles a day without problem. I’ve never had numbness or weakness and even prior to surgery my sciatica never went past my knee.
You recommended to others on the forum to take an oral steroid – I requested this and was prescribed MethylPREDNISolone. Hard to tell if it’s doing anything, I still have that buzzing in my glute but was relatively pain/sensation free for a decent amount of time last night.
Just curious what you think might be going on, or if this is normal. I guess I’m worried I’ll have the sensation for a long time, or even the rest of my life!
TLDR: 5 years of compressed nerve, got surgery a month ago. Was feeling better initially but pre-op symptoms returned on 3rd week, potentially caused by a short biking trip. What might be causing this? Did I complicate my recovery by going back to sitting at work and trying to bike? When might I expect to feel better by?
Bonus: my surgery was on my left side. When I bend laterally to the right, I hear some crackling on my left side around where the disc is. It sounds like pouring milk over rice crispy treats. Additionally, when I squeeze my glutes really hard I can hear something pop near my sacrum. Any idea what these are? Are they potentially related to my pain?
Thank you doctorDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorSeptember 16, 2022 at 3:06 pmPost count: 8459
For a root that has been under compression for the last 5 years, it could take 6 months for improvement. If the symptoms are at least 50% better than before surgery and have not substantially become worse, you can afford some time to allow improvement. If after another 4 weeks, there is no improvement, it might be worth it to get another MRI with gadolinium. Seromas (fluid collections) can cause mild compressive symptoms and if necessary, can be evacuated with an injection.
You note: “When I bend laterally to the right, I hear some crackling on my left side around where the disc is. It sounds like pouring milk over rice crispy treats. Additionally, when I squeeze my glutes really hard I can hear something pop near my sacrum. Any idea what these are?” These are probably joint (facet/SI) releases, similar to what a Chiropractor’s adjustment sounds like. If they are not painful. you can ignore them.
Dr. CorenmanBikingenjoParticipantOctober 18, 2022 at 6:29 pmPost count: 14
Thank you for the response. I am 2 months post op now and there was a period where I felt no symptoms (a few glorious days!). However, I’ve started to feel mild sciatic symptoms on the opposite (right) side which has been perfectly fine while my left side suffered from sciatica for 5 years!
Looking online, sciatica switching sides seems quite common though I’ve yet to come across an explanation as to why that is.
Summary: I had a microdiscectomy at l5s1 on my left side after suffering from sciatica for 5 years. My right side has been perfectly fine my whole life until 10 days ago when the sciatic symptoms seem to have migrated. Any idea why this is?
(I am getting a new MRI tomorrow and am considering sending to you for your review via your service)
Thanks againBikingenjoParticipantOctober 18, 2022 at 6:46 pmPost count: 14
I should note that while my symptoms may seem mild they are bad enough to prevent me from running or biking.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorOctober 19, 2022 at 8:44 amPost count: 8459
With new contralateral symptoms and some return of your original symptoms, a new MRI is warranted. When you get the radiologist’s report, cut and paste it here. We will discuss it.
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