sierra2433ParticipantNovember 6, 2021 at 8:05 pmPost count: 1
Hi Dr. Corenman,
I am a 21 yr old female. I had a severe L5 S1 disc herniation that was trapping my sciatic nerve and I am exactly 7 weeks post op microdiscectomy today. Prior to surgery I couldn’t sit down for longer than 10-15 minutes a day without developing severely painful flare ups in my left buttock that traveled down to mid hamstring. I got to the point where walking and standing became too difficult about 2 weeks before surgery. I had the disc herniation for about 11 months from weightlifting before deciding to go through with surgery. I start PT on Monday to begin stretching the nerve and strengthening muscles and will be receiving a second MRI if the pain continues. I’ve been extremely carful not to bend, lift, or twist and maintaining a good posture while sitting. However, since week 3 I have had extreme and constant achey pains in my entire left leg. It seems like they are barely subsiding if at all. I also have mini sciatica flare ups in my left buttock that sometimes travel down to my hamstring but they aren’t nearly as severe as the pre-surgery pain. On week 2-3 I started having extremely severe tightness in my left calf. It felt as I was on the verge of a cramp everyday. I still have this pain and received an ultrasound for blood clots and none were detected. The achiness prevents me from walking long distances or standing very long. My sitting has improved however, I rarely feel uncomfortable while sitting even for long durations. Is it normal to feel this much achiness on week 7? Do you know why my calf could be hurting or why it’s so tight? I would really appreciate your opinion. Thank You.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorNovember 7, 2021 at 1:31 pmPost count: 8468
“I had the disc herniation for about 11 months from weightlifting before deciding to go through with surgery”. This worries me somewhat as chronic compression of a nerve root can have long term effects-something called chronic radiculopathy.
“since week 3 I have had extreme and constant achey pains in my entire left leg. It seems like they are barely subsiding if at all”. The four possibilities are a seroma (a collection of fluid compressing the root), a recurrent herniation (or incomplete extirpation), an infection (rare but possible if you fell poorly) and chronic radiculopathy.
If labs are normal (no infection) you could try an oral steroid. If these symptoms continue, a new MRI would be the next step.
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