I agree with Susie, and would talk to one of your doctors (GP or surgeon's PA if he/she has one) about
trying a course of oral steroids if your pain continues. Just because they did not see any overt inflammation on the scan, does not mean that the nerve roots are not still subtly inflammed or aggravated from the surgery. If the inflammation is subtle, it may not be visible on imaging, but that does not mean that it cannot still cause you significant pain. You are not that far out and still have a lot of healing to do, and ongoing inflammation and temporary setbacks are expected at this point, particularly as you do more.
I wouldn't worry too much about
potential nerve damage at this point, unless you are having significant and persistent problems (severe pain and especially weakness). While an EMG could be done to check for nerve damage, if there were significant nerve damage from the surgery or caused by the herniation itself, one would think that it would have been apparent long ago. Why nerve damage is suddenly appearing now, when you have not reherniated or done any other kind of new structural damage to your back, and the nerves are not being entrapped by scar tissue, does not make a whole lot of sense. So even if there is evidence of some nerve damage, I'd say your chances are that it is minor and that it will heal on its own in time. Of course, that's not to say that you do not have nerve pain, and a medication for nerve pain might not help or be worth trying in the mean time, especially if the steroids fail. But don't get yourself overly stressed about
this being permanent nerve damage at this point. Nerves take a LONG time to heal (months to years, depending on the severity of the damage), but unless the damage is extensive (which it does not sound like it is), they DO heal.
Some degree of mechanical instability is to be expected after any disc surgery. If it is severe and causing significant problems, they can always do a fusion down the line. But again, don't worry about
that right now. My guess would be that it is minor at this point (even if your herniation was large), and as you heal and get stronger and build up your core and back muscles, your body will compensate for the instability. That coupled with lifting properly and limiting bending and twisting when possible (even after "healed") will help protect your back in the long run.
I know it is really easy to worry and jump to conclusions (been there), but try to remember that in the long run, you are still in the early stages of healing and have a long way to go. Things will likely get better, just give it time, listen to your body, and try not to overdo things.
Post Edited (skeye) : 12/20/2017 5:11:00 AM (GMT-7)