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  • Michelle j
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Dear Dr Corenman, I want to first of all say thank you for providing this service, I am really down and quite scared right now but reading some of the answers you’ve given people has given me some hope. Apologies if this has posted twice, I tried to edit due to an incorrect autocorrect but then the post seemed to disappear.

    I am currently 2.5 weeks out from having a discectomy or microdiscectomy (I’m not sure which it was). I ended up in hospital for about six nights instead of 1 to 2, which was caused a combination of nausea and liggtheadedness that impacted on my ability to get up and around post-surgery.

    Prior to surgery I had really severe sciatic pain (at times 10/10 pain) due to a significant disc rupture L4/5 right side – the pain was both shooting and deep within the calf and side of calf in particular. It began about 8 weeks ago but was preceded by several months of terrible back pain that preceded the rupture.

    I chose surgery as I’m a mum with a young toddler and haven’t been able to pick him up for almost six months and the pain was just getting worse and worse.

    I had some nerve pain post surgery still but my doctor wasn’t tooo worried. It was starting to improve but then last week my toddler leant on my stomach and I felt a sense of my spine bulging. I had a lot of shooting pain for a day or two later and spoke to my doctor who wasn’t too worried. The shooting pain is gone now but I am having terrible aching in my sciatic nerve mostly in the side of my calf but also sometimes in my buttocks. This pain is very bad when I am laying down/at rest, is there sometimes when I’m sitting but not as much, and is often non-existent when I’m walking (until I tire and then I think it’s there a bit – but not sure on this)

    I am hoping you might be able to let me know whether this kind of nerve pain would usually be due to a reherniation (potentially when my Bub pressed on me) or if it could be a sign of my nerve healing/still being sore/inflamed because it was compressed badly prior to surgery.

    The leg pain is sometimes not too bad when laying but is particularly bad tonight (a deep ache thats difficult to shift). I was up and about quite a bit more today than I have been since the surgery because I had noticed moving generally meant no pain, but I may have been on my feet a little too long this afternoon at the shops.

    Thanks so much for your time.

    Take care
    Michelle

    Michelle j
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Just a bit of extra info Dr Corenman that might help. With my rupture that led to surgery, I had foot drop fairly quickly which then became partial foot drop. This issue has been completely resolved and while I sometimes have a little numbness and tingling, my muscles seem to be working properly again.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8652

    The possible causes of increased leg pain after a period of relief post-microdiscectomy surgery are inflammation of the nerve, seroma, recurrent herniation and infection with much more rare conditions like facet fracture.

    Inflammation is common after decompression of the root. A compressed structure that was injured will “swell” and become congested. Oral steroids and time are the best treatment.

    Seroma is a common condition. Fluid exudes from surgical sites and can build up and congest and compresses the nerve root. Seromas typically resorb after some time but occasionally need to be aspirated by needle. This is diagnosed by MRI and treated by needle aspiration.

    Recurrent herniation occurs in 15% of patients and normally increase pain significantly. Recurrent weakness and a “tighter” leg (SLR) are common. If the recurrence is not too large, sometimes an epidural injection can be helpful. A redo microdiscectomy is not uncommon in the face of a recurrent herniation.

    Infection should be rare at less than 1% of all surgeries. Interestingly, many patients do not have fevers or chills but have increased back pain that translates to leg pain eventually. Lab tests are the beginning for diagnosis. Diagnosis is by lab tests and patient symptoms.

    The fact that your muscle strength returned quickly is a good sign. Maybe an oral steroid might be helpful.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Michelle j
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thank you so much Dr Corenman, I really appreciate your help!

    Michelle j
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thank you so much Dr Corenman, I really appreciate your help! Michelle

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8652

    Please keep in touch with your progress.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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