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  • LA_Frankie
    Participant
    Post count: 21

    Was diag. with right subarticular disc protrusions L4/L5 & L5/S1 in February. All symptoms were Right sided; gluteal, bakc of leg and calf.

    Underwent microdisc & decompression in May for L5/S1. L4/5 was left in place since there were no symptoms.

    Shortly after surgery I started noticing symptoms similar to those on the right but now mildly present on Left side. Mainly in the gluteal and back of leg. Not below the knee.

    Re-herniated L5/S1 10 weeks after surgery. But symptoms have been totally different. MRI confirmed right sided protrusion again at L5/S1. Same size, displacing S1 similar to before.

    Symptoms following re-herniation have been mainly in back of both legs, and right heel/ankle.

    I re-herniated 10 weeks ago and LEFT sided symptoms are more noticeable now. Not pain per se, but a pinching or burning that comes and goes. Surgeon still chalks it up to ‘post surgery recovery’ and S1 decompression.

    Questions: what could be causing the LEFT sided symptoms this long after injury? The disc protrusion has not worsened, or at least I haven’t felt any episode of severe pain. Is this still inflammation from the surgery 20 weeks ago, or is this irritation from the current displacement? I rarely notice shooting pain down the leg. It all feels like nerve irritation.

    Am I at risk of permanent nerve injury with inflammation/irritation going on for this long?

    Thank you, Dr. C.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8460

    You note you “Re-herniated L5/S1 10 weeks after surgery. But symptoms have been totally different. MRI confirmed right sided protrusion again at L5/S1. Same size, displacing S1 similar to before….Symptoms following re-herniation have been mainly in back of both legs, and right heel/ankle”.

    I assume that there is no left-sided shift to the recurrent herniation. You might have a condition called “cross-over phenomenon”. The pain tracts from the leg cross over to the opposite side at the spinal cord level (about T10-T11) before they ascend to the brain. This cross-over includes both sides (right to left and left to right). The area of decussations (cross-over point) is where the separate sided tracts come in contact with each other. The thought is that they can cause “feedback” where the right tract can induce left sided symptoms.

    The nerve root on the left can also become inflamed from prior surgery or even from tension on the opposite side.

    Dr. Corenman

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