zlwalkerParticipantDecember 12, 2020 at 5:41 pmPost count: 31
I recently had a microdiscectomy, and I am really struggling with my recovery; I was hoping that I could gain some answers from a source outside of my own surgeon.
For some background: I am 28 years old (M), and I am in great shape for my age. However, I had been having massive flare-ups, and I was getting these stabbing pains in my ribs and hips/butt. I went to a doctor, and I discovered that I had a massive herniation at my T11/T12 that was compressing my spine. Two different surgeons noted that surgery would be my best option, and I agreed.
Six weeks ago, I had a successful thoracic microdiscectomy on my T11/T12. My surgeon actually noted that my disc was in two huge pieces, and he could see the compression ease up when he removed the pieces. However, my recovery has not gone according to plan. After coming out of the hospital, I felt really good: I was walking around, but I still had stabbing pains in my ribs and hips. On Day Two, I fainted when I was in the restroom. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, but apparently, I hit my head on the bathroom counter. Long story short, I suffered a concussion.
Since then, my recovery has not gone well. I am noticed that I get my nerve pains in my ribs, hips, and especially my lower back. Sometimes, I have no pain, and sometimes, I get the same pains as my original flare-ups such as the stabbing pains. In the hospital, they did a CT on my back, and it showed no damage. My wife called my doctors, and they both noted that it was unlikely that I reherniated my disc. They also noted that I would probably know if I reherniated, and they encouraged me to be patient. They told me that it is not uncommon for people to have the same types of pains that they did prior to surgery for days or weeks after surgery. Also, my incision site still hurts terribly, and if I am being honest, my mental state has diminished rapidly. I have severe anxiety and depression, and I think the concussion is not helping my case. I have given up, and I believe that I have reherniated my disc–even though there’s no proof that I have.
Overall, I am at a loss and looking for some guidance. I know I am only six weeks out out, but I think that my surgery might not have worked because I still have these pains. Every post I read talks about the “instant relief,” but no one talks about the after-effects.
I will say that most days, my pain levels are better. I used to have whole body pain from my ribs down: Everything from my ribs to my spine to my legs would hurt. At this point, I get “floating” pain that goes to different body parts, but it is never all at the same time like before. Additionally, I’m getting a lot of pins and needles feelings, which my doctors believe is a sign that the nerves are coming back. However, I still get flare-ups that knock out me out for an hour or so every couple of days.
I am just trying to find hope or light at the end of the tunnel, but I honestly feel as if my fall messed everything up/that the surgery failed. I have an MRI next week and a follow-up in two weeks, but I am so scared that I have reherniated/am not healing properly. Is this all typical for a thoracic discectomy, or does anything here look off in your opinion?
Thanks for any help or guidance. It is appreciated. Also, thanks for providing such a wonderful service to internet strangers. I am so thankful for you!zlwalkerParticipantDecember 16, 2020 at 12:58 pmPost count: 31
I appreciate your timely response in regards to my surgery and the possibility of a reherniation. I do not have the actual imaging itself, but I have the results of my MRI, and I do not know if they are good or bad. I was wondering if you could look at them to see if the results seem positive or negative! Thanks!
TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar, multisequence MR imaging of the thoracic spine was
obtained without contrast. Image quality is adequate
Alignment: Unremarkable. No vertebral body anomalies.
Bone marrow: Unremarkable. No fractures. No nonfat containing geographic marrow
Thoracic cord: The cord is intrinsically unremarkable without intrinsic signal change or
syrinx. There is flattening of the thoracic cord at the T11-T12 level as described below.
Disc spaces: There is a persistent asymmetric broad-based disc bulge, right greater
than left, at the T11-T12 level. This produces mass effect on the ventral portion of the
thoracic cord and moderately narrows the central canal. Previously noted epidural disc
material is improved when compared to the prior exam particularly in the right lateral
recess when compared between the prior study (axial image 61) and the current exam
(axial image 24). There is post surgical change at this level from a right laminotomy. The
remainder of the disc spaces are preserved.
Soft tissues: Axial imaging redemonstrates a round lobulated T2 hyperintensity in the
medial aspect of the right hepatic lobe. Differential is as before.
PERSISTENT MASS EFFECT ON THE THORACIC CORD AT THE T11-T12 LEVEL
THOUGH SLIGHTLY IMPROVED FROM THE PRIOR EXAM.
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