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  • AvatarSean22
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    Hi Dr. Corenman, November 15th I had a microdiscectomy on my L-5 S-1 due to a large protrusion. I’ve dealt with this for about 2 years until I decided to have surgery. Surgery went fine and recovery was going smoothly until about 10 weeks in (3 weeks ago) I woke up with acute back pain. I decided to do some stretching to try relieve it but it didn’t help. As the day continue, I gradually started to develop pain in both legs, buttocks, hips, and on my back near the flank on both sides, pain is more on the right side. Also, I began to lose strength in both legs with extreme pins and needles all around my legs and numbness in my right foot.

    Due to this new alarming and gradual pain, I got a MRI a few days later. Here’s what the report said.
    “ L5-S1: There is loss of the normal intervertebral disc height. A small disc bulge is present with a posterior annular tear. No displaced disc fragment. No evidence of neuroforaminal or spinal canal stenosis.. The patient had a right hemilaminectomy with a microdiscectomy. No hematoma. No fluid collection. No evidence of a leak or infection.

    IMPRESSION: Postoperative changes after a right L5-S1 microdiscectomy. There is a small disc bulge with internal disc desiccation at L5-S1 but no neuroforaminal or spinal canal stenosis. No acute displaced disc fragment. Overall the alignment of the lumbar spine is straightened suggesting paraspinal muscle spasm.

    Good news is that everything looks fine, bad news, what’s causing this pain? More so, what confused me was the flank pain, it never went away. Also, why would I have flank pain to begin with? That’s not a common symptom, at least one I never dealt with. So I suspected perhaps there was something wrong with my kidneys.

    2 days ago I went to my primary provider, they ran a urine sample and found blood in my urine. Went to the ER right after and suspected perhaps this could explain my flank pain. They did a CT scan and what they found was severe constipation. The doctor said my kidneys were fine and it was this constipation that was most likely causing my unexplained flank pain.

    Since then I used a laxative to help with the constipation, and I gotten most of it out. I noticed every time I have a bowel movement, I have pain in my flanks and legs, feel a slight moment of relief in regards to pain, but then the pain would come right back.

    Today, I’m still in pain. Flank pain, leg pain all over with pins and needles, loss of strength in both legs, and numbness in right foot. I used an oral steroid pack 3 weeks ago which help but the pain came right back. My doctor said no to an epicdural steroid shot because he sees no alarming concerns on my MRI.

    Entirely, I’m at a lost on what to do. Where’s this pain coming from and how to manage/ suppress it? I’m starting PT next week to see if that could help. Really hoping you can help figure this one out. This is a complete mystery to me. Thanks for your time.

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