I've had two disc surgeries, and I guess since I've had two, I would have to say that I did have a recurrence. The second surgery was about
4 years after the first. BUT, I have also had uncountable episodes of pain, numbness, tingling, stiffness, etc. that came and went and didn't mean additional disc problems. To be completely honest, I don't think you ever totally recover from back surgery. Just from my own experience and that of people I know, it just seems like it will forever be a "weak" spot - not necessarily susceptible to additional disc problems, but susceptible to weakness and discomfort.
I've also found that the muscles in my back and hips tend to spasm A LOT, and sometimes that mimics sciatic pain. I also have piriformis syndrome on one side that developed right after my second surgery. That tiny little muscle can cause a lot of discomfort, and it also mimics sciatic pain.
My last surgery was about
10 years ago, and while I have additional back issues (stenosis, arthritis, sacroiliitis), I haven't had any more primary disc problems. I just try to be careful, but I've also, with time, stopped living in fear of "hurting" it again. I think it does take time to get over that fear.
I hope things are better today. For me, when I have a back pain flare, I just try to take it easy, use anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, and use a heating pad or icy hot. If you find a particular sore spot (like the piriformis muscle), sometimes massage helps.
Let us know how you are doing. I know how frustrating and scary it can be to deal with pain after surgery, but I do believe it is pretty common. At least it has been for me.
Edited: I forgot about
steriod shots and/or predinisone dose packs until I read another post. I have used those intermittently over the years when I'm having pain, and often they do help, especially if you have something important (like a graduation) you have to do soon. They can help take inflammation down pretty quickly.
Post Edited (AustenFan) : 12/5/2012 9:19:27 AM (GMT-7)