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  • KB32
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    Post count: 12

    That’s what I figured. This recovery is just going to take longer for the residual pain to subside. Thank you for the confirmation.

    What’s your thought on starting PT even if I am still experiencing residual calf, buttock, and occasional sharp lower back pain? I have PT scheduled to start around week 10, which is two weeks from now. If my nerve sensitivity could last for quite some time, should I try to push through with PT even if I feel it gets irritated slightly?

    KB32
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Dr. Corenman,

    Thank you for your quick reply. Your website has been a wonderful source of information for me this past year!

    I have one more question for you. I am now 8 weeks post-op from my revision l4/l5 microdiscectomy. Overall I am still a lot better than I was before surgery. I still have nerve pain in my left calf and buttock as well as some lower back pain, but it’s minimal compared to before surgery. How long does the nerve root take to heal with a revision surgery that occurred within 9 months from the prior surgery? Should I expect this residual nerve pain to stick around longer since its a revision? I started feeling really good about 12 weeks after my first surgery.

    KB32
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Thanks for your prompt response!

    I have one more question for you that has recently come up. At the start of week 4 I recently started experiencing dizziness. I have never had any issues with dizziness or vertigo before. It’s been persistent for 7 days so far. I feel like I am “swaying back and forth” for the majority of the day and feel like my equilibrium is off. The feeling is similar to getting off of a boat after you’ve been on one all day. Spatial awareness is slightly off and I’ve been having difficulty concentrating. My neck has been sore, but could be related to sore muscles from lying down a lot lately. Overall, I feel better when i am lying Down.

    Is there any chance this would be related to the surgery?

    KB32
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Hi Dr. Corenman,

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on one of my symptoms. When I’m getting up from laying down on the couch, getting out of the car, or trying to get out of bed, my left leg will lock up. I have to reposition myself and sometimes i have to call for my husband to help move me or use a cane for assistance. These severe episodes of muscle tightness also result in a pronounced limp when I walk. Sometimes I can walk normal, but then other times I have a very severe limp and can barely walk.

    I am scheduled to have a redo discectomy surgery in a few weeks, but in the meantime I am wondering what exactly is causing this issue? Is it the way I’m lying down or sitting which is putting too much pressure on the L5 nerve root and causing severe compression? Is it that severe compression that causes my leg to “lock up”? Have you come across something like this before?

    Also, would a severe limp like this classify as weakness?

    Look forward to hearing back from you.

    KB32
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Thanks for your responses. I really appreciate it!

    Results from my CT scan a couple of weeks ago:

    L3-L4: There is mild loss of intervertebral disc space height with a mild disc bulge
    resulting in some mild spinal canal narrowing in conjunction with mild bilateral facet joint
    OA.
    L4-L5: There has been a mini laminectomy on the left with some postsurgical change seen.
    There is a left paracentral disc bulge that effaces the left lateral recess at this level
    that likely irritates the descending left L5 nerve root which appears slightly flattened.
    There is mild narrowing of the neural exit foramen on the left without compression of the
    exiting left L4 nerve root. No significant foraminal narrowing on the right.
    L5-S1: Mild diffuse disc bulge is present. No significant spinal canal narrowing or
    foraminal narrowing.

    Question:
    1. What does it exactly mean when they describe the left L5 nerve root appearing “slightly flattened”? How severe is this? Is surgery necessary to relieve this flattening?
    2. Yesterday I went for a short walk and I started to get some shooting nerve pain into my left calf. I’m almost 7 weeks at this point with symptoms and I feel like I’m not getting better. I feel like I’m in “limbo” and wondering if I should just schedule surgery?

    KB32
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Hi Dr. Corenman,

    It’s been 6 weeks now since my symptoms started due to reherniation of the L4/L5 disc. Over these past 6 weeks I tend to get better, then have a severe flare up, then I tend to get a little better, then experience another severe flare up. Flare ups would include extreme lower back pain and nerve pain in my calf. I also notice a hint of nerve pain in my other leg as well. I do not have any motor weakness. I recently started experiencing severe butt pain and tightness again.

    I find that sitting really upsets the nerve and causes extreme lower back pain which then leads to nerve pain in my leg. I talked with my surgeon and he is willing to do another microdiscectomy. We both agreed to continue conservative treatment for a little while as I’m not in too much pain at the moment. We also discussed an l5 nerve root block or epidural. I did find out my most recent ct scan showed that my herniation was larger than my first herniation. My first herniation before surgery was 2 cm.

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. How long should i give the conservative treatment? Another 6 weeks? If I have another severe flare up within these next 6 weeks, I was thinking that I would move forward with surgery. If i continue to feel better, then obviously no surgery would be necessary.

    2. With a huge herniation that is greater than 2 cm, does that mean that conservative treatment will take longer than say a 5-7 mm herniation? Do larger herniations suggest that surgery is more likely necessary in the future?

    3. What are your thoughts on nerve root block or epidural? I feel like the nerve root block will mask the symptoms too much and I will then become more active. Which could result in not healing. Currently, I am not in too much pain. But that is because I have been laying down a lot and not moving much these past 6 weeks. The more active I become, the more aggravated my nerve gets. So Ive kept everything to a minimum. But I worry inactivity will start to lead to other problems.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts

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