7 weeks post microdiscectomy l4 /5 herniation 6mm, ongoing , burning sensation still shins

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js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 12/30/2017 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again Straydog, hoping you are continuing to heal well also.

js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/1/2018 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
the future is bright..

https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/new-surgical-breakthrough-repairing-damaged-spinal-discs

js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/2/2018 1:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Update : Pre 9-10 week physio appt tomorrow; Managed 10k total walk today including hills, 3x 3.5 ks, full day with kids at home, 1 core strength / stretching sessions as per physio orders...nerve and back pain stayed level going from 1-2/10 over the day...Planning a rest day tomorrow after big three days , will decompress in hydro pool after physio to recover... My recovery is so up and down..feel great some days..shocking the next but in terms of capacity, minus the gym work and heavier physical work around the house im 80% back to what i was doing prior to surgery accept for sitting....thats progressing very slowly..still only about 30-45 mins before im needing to a rest. (drivings the worst !) Well im staggeringly exhausted, Off to bed now with an ice pack and shot of my xmas whisky to rest.! .Hope everyone else is going along ok.

js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/4/2018 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Well i have managed to work out that losing my lumbar arch when moving is a key irritant of my nerve pain flare ups. I walked up a slight hill yesterday and was using a heel strike first which flattened out my lumbar and according to my physio puts the sciatic nerves at full stretch...ouch im paying for it today with a light increase in nerve activity in my legs... letting it settle down now . So ive learned from my physio that uphill, go flat footed slightly on your toes, down hill stay straight and use your heels to relieve nerve tensions, and it does work! This makes sense as if im stretching a damaged nerve trying to heel, want to avoid that!

js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/8/2018 12:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys update...now 10 weeks post op.

Still doing normal daily activities, full pace walking , cooking, looking after kids etc, went out for dinner, driving for 45 mins, light gardening, core /physio exercises etc. Nerve pain about 1.5 out of 10 same as back pain, at its max at night../ mornings..probably stiffness causing that.

I should be feeling great but for some reason I am not. A few things happening atm, Feeling very uptight and anxious, my three month post op appoint with surgeon is in 2 weeks and im afraid he's going to say, sorry, 3 months is here that's all the healing there is..i know nerves can take a long time to heal and my current nerve pain is still around 2 10 back pain 2 10 also.

I know considering it was 8 / 10 prior to surgery i should be very happy , but i guess i was hoping for full pain free recovery/life like before the gym injury, i seem to have platued.. think my anxiety is on overdrive again worrying about my future..

Also in the last few weeks, I have developed low nerve pain pins and needles across my low neck area and arms, hands..???? My spine centre physio assessed me and said its likely mild thoracic outlet syndrome due all my swimming back ground and weigh training via upper body... its not bad ...but geez, it never rains it pours. Of a night time, my palms get like hot and a bit burny and sweat but that goes away???

My GP tried to tell me its my anxiety..i know its not, although it worse when im anxious.....Feeling a little stressed atm!

straydog
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Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 1/8/2018 4:12 AM (GMT -7)   
JS, what you have going on is normal. You still have a lot of healing left to do. You are very lucky to be doing as well as you are right now, this does not happen for a lot of people. To be honest, you seem to have it in your mind that once you had surgery everything would be perfect within a few months, it just doesn't happen. It is rare to see someone ever go back to their pre-op days. Perhaps, in time you can lower the bar on your expectations & be very glad that you are progressing so well.

Your GP may be correct, you do appear to be somewhat anxious because of your expectations after surgery. As you said above, think my anxiety is on overdrive again worrying about my future, GP says anxiety, I know its not, although its worse when I'm anxious, feeling a little stressed. Don't get me wrong, having a positive outlook after surgery is a must, but we have to be realistic at the same time.

I have seen thousands of every type of spine surgery over the years. Recovery is a long. Even with all of the new techniques being used today with surgery, drs have not learned how to speed up the recovery time. They never will, our bodies are a unique piece of machinery. For what its worth, I think you are doing great at this point.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 1/8/2018 4:35:26 AM (GMT-7)


js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/9/2018 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Straydog, unfortunately im not coping well, or doing nearly as well as my posts state, i m really very sore every day both my whole back and my nerves and have developed nerve pain in my arms since surgery which they cant diagnose but its hurting really bad.It may have been the way they had me face down in surgery. I have young kids and i cant fix my body, feels like ive gone from healthy and fit to this in 3 months. Sorry to go on, just very sad. I and do very much appreciate your advice, feedback

Ive never had any serious health issues, and my surgeon i guess set up these expectation saying you ll back to normal duties in 6-8 weeks, max 3 months.

thanks again

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 1/12/2018 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
JS, I have been a little hesitant in replying but here I am, lol. You have raised a valid point about the positioning of your body during surgery. This is really a possibility. There are old threads here about people having various surgeries & later developing symptoms in other areas not related to their surgery. And yes, it was how they were positioned during surgery. The spine is an intricate body part, these new symptoms could very well be related to surgery itself & hopefully will go away in time as you heal. I look at it this way, knowing you are in the healing process & your particular surgery, you could very well have nerves that are just now waking up & coming alive in areas not related to your back.

The fact that you are physically fit & healthy aside from the surgery is a huge plus for your recovery. But, at the same time never having any serious health issues such a surgery like this, in a way this is working against you. Unfortunately, with your high expectations & the dr giving his usual speech about the recovery time frame you feel doomed at the moment. Your dr gives the same speech to every patient he does surgery on because when he learned how to do micro-surgery this is what he was read & was taught during the learning process. Those books do not apply to real people!! If he is doing an open surgery such as a 2 level fusion on a patient, I assure you he will give every patient the same spill about recovery time from a fusion. IF, these surgeons were truly honest about the recovery from these surgeries, believe me, they would be doing fewer surgeries. Most people are not financially able to be off work for months at a time, many had no idea how long & hard the recovery can be too. Personally, I wish each surgeon would undergo one of the surgeries they perform. They need a reality check & then let them see what surgery is really all about.

Again, even with the problems you are dealing with now, you really are doing remarkably well at this point. Instead of concentrating on what you cannot do right now, remind yourself constantly of what you are able to do. Best piece of advise I can give you is this;

(1) lower the expectation bar on yourself. Beating yourself up over this is not productive, this was not
self inflicted.


(2) the no pain, no gain thing, lose that theory. That was proven to be wrong decades ago. Listen to
your body, you know your body better than anyone. The idea of pushing yourself too hard will not
speed up the healing process.

(3) Time & patience will go a very long way with your recovery.

In the meantime, when you feel like venting bring it on, we are pretty good listeners.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

js100
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/12/2018 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you so much, i am trying hard to take it easy..

I have some news that actually makes sense from my radiologist. The new MRI report, its very scary, it actually states that my l/4/5 neural foremen is slightly narrowed and touching the nerve, but not compressing it which is why im still getting nerve problems especially when sitting or bending (even correctly). My spine centre physio has said more surgery is not the long term answer as im only 40 and will cause lots of other serious issues for me up my spine, but how long can i put up with nerve irritation and is it causing more nerve damage.

I desperately dont wont another surgery as both my l/34 and l45 discs or not in good shape but my l/5 s1 is fine and i cannot afford time off work. From what i understand, I dont think you can fuse l3/4 - l/45 as it needs to move. I knew straight away after surgery the nerve pains were not all resolved as some had stopped but when i sat or moved it came on differently.

Its very to know what to do, the surgeon will likely say yep, replace the dodgy discs and fuse it....im like no way...

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 1/12/2018 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
JS, do you have a copy of your MRI done prior to surgery? If so, compare the two reports. If you don't have both obtain a copy. The term "slightly narrowed & touching the nerve", would not send me back into the operating room any time soon. Now, again I am saying if this were me. I would be much more comfortable letting things settle down & continue to heal. Having multiple surgeries close together increases the odds of not having the perfect outcome. Sure they can fuse those two levels but there is no guarantee this is going to alleviate the pain. I am not surprised that when you woke up you still have nerve pain, thats normal.

Sitting puts a lot of stress & strain on the back & most drs will tell a patient to avoid bending for awhile. I don't know when you see the surgeon again, but perhaps after seeing the recent MRI he will talk about a medication to help with the nerve pain. There are several medications that can be tried that are non-narcotic, narcotics have little effect on nerve pain.

Keep doing what you have been doing with your PT & everything. Try not to let this new MRI derail your thought process. That will serve no purpose except kick up the anxiety a notch or two. Getting stressed out puts a body in a tensed up state & that will not help anything.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 1/12/2018 7:45:56 PM (GMT-7)


js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/12/2018 11:04 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks Susie, yes i have both reports, it appears in comparing them that my problem maybe compression as "statically" the MRI shows L4 nerve touching, but its more likely compressed upon sitting , driving and bending or physical activity..i can actually feel the sensations change from general 'sensations to sore nerve pain.

i see the neurosurgeon for roughly three month check on 6 of Feb.(3 months two weeks) HE has scheduled me a 15 min appointment ..great! I did discuss Lyrica or Gabapentin with my spine physio but they said if the nerve pain is only happening via activity or compression mechanically meds cant stop that and would be not worth serious side effects....

I did have a question for you Susie with your experience. I seem to get quite a lot of relief, not 100% but quite a bit from ice packs and anti inflams on bad days and on the bottom of my MRI report the radiologist recommendations stated: 'correlation with inflammatory markers recommended, aetiology may be linked to small post surgical para spinal tissue fluid collection (4mm) a surgical site with inflammatory fluid signal present??. I did ask my GP but he thought it wasnt related , i wonder what this means, any ideas?

Post Edited (js100) : 1/13/2018 4:41:59 AM (GMT-7)


(Seashell)
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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 705
   Posted 1/13/2018 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Js100:
Hold on. And take a breath.

Your MRI report is not dire. Do not let your internal thoughts and dialogue derail you.

Inflammation and swelling is a normal component of the healing process, for surgery involving the spine and most other body areas. “Swelling” is the body’s normal and expected means of bringing to the surgical area restorative white blood cells, macrophages, collagen, fibrin, and more that constitute the framework of the healing process. That you have an MRI with inflammatory markers and fluid accumulation is to be expected.

I would be extremely reserved and cautious in looking at an additional surgery (at this time) as providing benefit and reducing or eradicating your residual postural related nerve pain. Additional surgery = added trauma = additional inflammation, fluid influx, and swelling. You could very easily find yourself in a worsened state post- operative.

The resolution of the body’s normal healing flotilla can be 4-6 months for a simple, fairly superficial surgery. His timeline can be extrapolated to 6-8 months for a moderate surgery (laparoscopic appendectomy) and 10-12 months for a major/complex surgery (open abdominal surgery). I would casually place your procedure in the mold-moderate classification. You have lots more healing to do before you know where your bod/ healing process will leave you, your equilibrium point. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Have faith in your body’s instrinsic abilities to deliver you to a better place than you are today.

Trauma to a nerve (compression of a nerve root, as an example) heals on a trajectory uniquely different than other body tissues (bone, connective tissue, as an example). Nerves have memory. Nerve pain post operative is often nerve memory pain. The nerve is hyper-excitable and the sound volume of pain set at a higher octive. Nerve pain takes time and patience to recalibrate. A physical therapy program that is individualized to you can be immensely helpful - incorporating strengthening and flexibility and purposeful sensory input to modify errant pain signals.

Bottom Line: The utmost of caution should be exercise in looking at additional surgery(ies) for post-operative lingering pain. Added surgical trauma, alone, can cause grave harm.
Karen
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 1/13/2018 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a thought, I am not a dr, but it sounds like you have a small collection of fluid. My thoughts are this pocket will self absorb. It sounds like the you need some labs to check for inflammation. I would be surprised if it came back normal, especially since your surgery was not that long ago.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

js100
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Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/14/2018 12:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much Karen, i hope you are going ok 2. I will definitely try and slow down , relax if i can and take your advice and straydogs to action and give myself a 12 month window at least to see where im at with massage and physio therapy ongoing.

I dont think it helps that we see in the media ( im a sports minded person) that eg Tiger Woods has had his fifth surgery (fusion) and now is 100% pain free in 9 months and training for the pro tour again. Three micro d's and he kept getting injured so now a fusion. I think this gives some people the impression surgery is the "fix it all better" situation all the time and you can be better then ever.


You both give very good sound advice and i am eternally grateful, thank you both. I hope others reading this post will get a real world perspective, not a forced positive one of the challenges and reality of spinal surgery. Thanks sincerely to the people on this site for volunteering there time during there own healing processes to help others, so greatly appreciated.

Post Edited (js100) : 1/14/2018 1:22:58 AM (GMT-7)


bigecase
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 336
   Posted 1/14/2018 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Isn’t Tige Woods the one recently in trouble for being under the influence of prescription pain meds? Didn’t i see mugshots or something? He may be pain free but he is having to take meds to get ther and abusing them. That’s if i am correct in what i recall. I may be wrong. I do not watch a lot of t v.

Take your time and give your body time to heal.

(Seashell)
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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 705
   Posted 1/14/2018 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Tiger Wood’s would not be a sports figure that I would read about and trust what is being stated or reported.

Tiger Woods has been arrested on DUI charges related to abuse of prescription opiates (in combination with other medications). He is a broken soul who is trying to reclaim a lost status in golfing’s professional circuit.

That you read in a sporting publication that Woods’ numerous lumbar surgeries have been 100% successful and that he is 100% pain free, I would be cautious in accepting this as accurate. Tiger Woods is in desperate need of a public relations re-do and getting the word out by his publicists that he is 100% is part and parcel for the times we live in.

Golfing places tremendous stress on the lumbar spine from a bio-physics standpoint. The torque forces are substantial. For professional golfer, the day-after-day repetitive traumas takes a toll over years of sustained high intensity play. Their passion for the game and potential for substantial tournament pay makes the lumbar injuries worth it, at some level.

Bottom Line: Do not read about Tiger Woods and his lumbar injuries and purported recoveries with complete faith that what you are reading is accurate. Tiger Woods is human, just like the rest of us. I am sure that his surgeries and recoveries have encountered bumps in the road. And I would suspect that he has some level of post-operative pain and limitation simply because the body is never its original self after any surgery - let alone multiple spinal interventions. Tiger Woods is seeking to make a re-entry into the realm of golfing’s elite, and he needs you (from a public relations perspective) to believe that he is 100%.

I think you are doing better in your recovery than you are giving yourself credit for. Practice patience. Above all, Be kind to yourself.

The process of gradual aging, alone, will find you greeting new aches and pains. Adapting and adjusting to what is at hand is a skill that will serve you well over time. Look at your recovery week to week, rather than to what you did or did not do yesterday. I honestly sense that you will be A-OK a few months from now. An occasional twinge or pain that reminds you of where you have been, but that you will be fully functional and comfortable.
Karen

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 1/14/2018 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Karen has posted some very valuable information. As far as the athletes are concerned the public is not privy to the real facts when a player is injured. Many of our football players that has injured their backs & require surgery, guess what surgery is done, micro!! It is the least invasive, drs will claim recovery time line is a few months & yes you can return to playing!! So, given that speech they think ok, I can still play & not ruin my career. At the time of surgery they are injected with steroids to help with inflammation & pain. Once surgery is done & they complete rehab the pain level is often not less, sometimes worse. So, the good drs pump them full of steroids so they can play. Steroids used in those doses & frequency will cause horrible problems they never had before. All the athlete is thinking of is returning back to play, they will risk it all just to play. Countless ones have lost their career as a result.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

js100
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/15/2018 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks guys, i hope so, having found so many disc issues on mri is scary. Dont know i got thss far on my posts but i have minor bulges at c/5 c/6 T8/9 T/9/10 with no canal or thecal sac, or impingment noted tho..god feels like im falling apart. My physio mentioned this is normal findings on 40yrl sports or physical person.....gawd 5 bulges far out, doesnt seem normal

Apparently the c/5-6 small bulge is what's causing my arms tingling but the mri says minor bulge with no nueral impingement.....
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