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Is sciatic leg pain after a microdiscectomy normal?
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Is sciatic leg pain after a microdiscectomy normal?

Hey I am 16 years old. I have been a basketball and football athlete all my life and last September I started to feel pain and numbness down my right leg and into my foot, i told my doctor about it and he had me do some simple stretches to try to fix it. From then it only got worse and worse to where at one point i could not get out of bed for 3 days. My doctor said it was a pain tolerance thing and that playing sports would not make it worse. So i played my basketball season through it, my day to day pain was around a 7 out of 10 and it hurt most when i would sit down and trying to get comfortable would be the most painful part, and then when i would stand from sitting i would go through extreme pain just to start walking. But once i started running in basketball the pain would go down to a 3 or 4 unless i tried to bend over or when i would come out to sit on the bench (which luckily didnt happen much for me).  in that time i went to countless P.T. appointments and 40+ chiropractor appointments. I received 2 spinal injections to try to calm the inflamation (inflammation) and nothing worked. After my basketball season. my doctor recommended surgery. so i received the microdiscectomy on march 12 of last year. 2 days after my surgery my pain came back full throttle and worse than before. No one really knows how much you take the easy things in life for granite untill they feel what extreme never ending pain and not being able to do normal things like sitting, standing, or bending. The worst was people always asking me if i was okay when they would see me stand up clinching all the muscles in my body to try to lessen the pain. I went through the whole summer hoping that the surgery would somehow kick in, it didnt. My doctor said that another surgery should fix it. I received another microdiscectomy on august 27 2010. This time the pain never went away. the weeks following my surgery were torture and till the day, september 30, a month from then... i have to take large doses of ibuprofen or aleeve just to make it through my day...

My question is... what should i do? should i wait? get a different doctor? any workouts/stretches that helped any one else? please any tips would be amazing. I missed my football season already because of this and i do not want to miss my basketball season too... it's my life... i want my "normal" life back...
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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1461944_tn?1286031542
till this day*
and it was a pinched nerve from a herniated l5/s1 disc i got surgery on
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Avatar_m_tn
You're definitely right about that taking it for granted part. I don't think I've ever heard of a 16 year old having back surgery. Was this a re-herniation at the same level? Has this been the same pain in the same location all along? Did you use the same surgeon for both surgeries?
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1461944_tn?1286031542
Yes the disc re-herniated at the sam l5/s1 level. The pain has moved from all the way down my but and outter calf into my foot to now after the second surgery mostly in my lower butt upper leg area. I did use the same surgeon for both surgeries also...
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Avatar_m_tn
I take it your Surgeon hasn't referred you to Physical Therapy? It's kind of an important part of the recovery process, your muscles really get out of shape after what you've been through.? Maybe you can get your Primary to refer you.

I'd give this recovery awhile longer, a month really isn't that long. If you don't see any improvement or you begin to get worse, you should probably see a specialist, a different specialist. And following up on the P.T. is important. Let us know how it's going.


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1461944_tn?1286031542
I have my next appointment on the 7th, i will definately mention p.t. if he doesn't. ill try to give it time but it has gotten worse being when i walk longer or get my heart beat up in anyway my pain will heighten hugely...

the only thing is, I did do Physical therapy after my last surgery which ended up only making my problem worse. It seems though, from what I've been reading about others, is that the only way to get better is to strengthen the imbalanced muscles which normally lead to the problem... my Physical therapist had me doing stretches on a medicine ball and primarly loosening the nerve stretches, nothing to help me strengthen my core/back....

What should I tell my surgeon (whom is my doctor) when i get to my appointment? the only thing he ever seems to say is give it time and time is all that I've given it and it hasn't helped me through this painful year of my life. Should I ask about Physical therapy? a TENS device? another MRI which would lead to him wanting surgery? or any other things i should ask or mention that would help me?

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, P.T. can definitely be detrimental if you're sent before your ready. I didn't go until 12-14 weeks, but I was recovering from a fusion.

What you've been reading is right, it's about strengthening the back muscles. The referring Surgeon should specify the type of P.T. that he wants you to have, or at the very least, the Therapist should have a lot of experience rehabbing people after back surgery.

They all say give it time, but honestly, it really hasn't been that long. Ask him if he thinks it would be safe for you to have P.T. and maybe he can give you something for your pain in the short term. Tens units work best when your pain is 65% - 75% under control, if you're at  this point it might be worth trying one. I personally have not had a lot of luck with them, but I know a lot of people have.

If he wants to do another MRI, let him. Just don't let him do anything to you until you get some other opinions.


Take Care
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey mate,
just asking how are you now? is everything okay & better? i'm 16 also, and am leaning towards micro-discectomy because i am having sciatica also.
thanks, and take care....
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1461944_tn?1286031542
It's now december and the pain is still there.
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1473936_tn?1288198912
Hello there!! My husband had discectomy and he wake up from surgery with a burning feeling on his right foot ball and sciatica pain...worse than before the surgery. But 2 1/2 months have passed and the pain and burning feeling is coming down...very slowly but it is happening...Have you tried Lyrica.... That medication is really helping my husband and he is almost back to his normal life....Of course that he is not walking normally but after P.T. he will be the same a before. I hope you get better....you are too young to be suffering like that. Have a nice day :)
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Avatar_m_tn
hello sciatic pain.

Are you still posting here? I am a little older than you and have had sciatica for 2 years.

got it first in april 2009 and its march 2011 so almost 2 years. It's horrible. not been able to play football (english football, i'm from the UK) for 2 years. i got it when i was 25 and ive just turned 27. No running or sports or barely anything for 2 years.

had a microdiscectomy in november and now in march im no better ... it probably hurts even worse....

how are you doing? I totally sympathise with your frustration about giving it time. the doctors have said give it time to me, time and time again. I have given it 2 years to this point and its still there. have you had any progress or other thoughts?
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Avatar_m_tn
Man I totally feel for u. Had my 2nd 5 days ago, def have sciatic pain still. My 1st worked like a dream for 10 days then someone made me jump and twist accidentally and it reherniated. I'm only 29 couldn't imagine what it would be like to be 16 and going through that. Stay strong buddy hope for the best!!!
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