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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi All - I decided to start a new thread to post updates/progress for my upcoming surgery tomorrow. The support and experiences on this board have been very helpful on the process of getting to this point. Thank you all! Hopefully my experience may be helpful for others. The surgery is a minimally invasive microdiscectomy foraminatomy (spelling?). The nuero says it's an hour long procedure that will be outpatient. With surgery scheduled for 1:30 PM I hope to be home for prime time TV. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Sookie, I'm just wondering if you could post your current progress, and which pain meds you found most helpful? It gives me great comfort that this has happened to others as well, and since I'm in the same situation, it would be great to find out more about what helped you. (My Dr. seems very top-notch but he's not so great at communicating things that are going to happen.)

I am 3 weeks post-microdiscectomy on L5-S1, and like you my symptoms are in some ways worse than pre-op. Like you I had back problems for years that finally went down my leg after a weightlifting incident, resulting in sciatica pain. Then 5 months later, I hurt it even worse, giving me numbness in outer right toes and crippling leg pain, especially when standing up after driving or lying down.

My neurologist and a pain doc both thought my herniation was bad enough to require surgery, but I got a steroid epidural (with flouroscopy) as a last-ditch effort. That helped a lot, but not enough; just bought me enough time to meet with four surgeons to find someone I felt comfortable with.

A month after the injection, I finally got surgery since it was getting worse, not better.

Right after surgery I was obviously hurting pretty bad in the incision area, but my leg felt totally great and I thought I was cured! Problem is that after the post-op steroid pack finished, my leg pain started coming back gradually but strongly. Slightly different pain, more tingly and in some new areas in addition to the old ones, but nonetheless pretty scary, and bad like pre-op. I had Hydrocodone 7.5mg pain meds, which helped but didn't cure.

Two weeks post-op, by the time of my first post-op doctor visit when I got the staples out, my leg pain was approaching crippling again. Not as bad as before the epidural, but really bad. I basically never sit down since that makes it even worse: I'm always either standing or laying down. (As I write this I'm in bed with my laptop on a stand.)

My doc gave me more steroids and Lyrica, but neither seem to be doing any good (it's been 5 days now), so in addition to those I'm still doing constant hydrocodone (7.5 every 4-6 hrs) and occasional Soma (muscle relaxant).

Anyone had experience with better pain meds for this post-surgical nerve pain? Luckily I'm a tutor who only HAS to sit for one-hour chunks 10 times a week, but even that is killing me.

Thanks to everyone for all the experiences you've already posted! And since this pain seems pretty common, any pain med recommendations that would help during regeneration would be greatly appreciated. Also, any PT exercises would be great as well.

chris :)

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