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Sciatica pain and inflammation after discectomy
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Sciatica pain and inflammation after discectomy

My husband had a discectomy done on his L4/L5 on January 8th.  He is still having the sciatica pain running down his left leg and left hip over a month later.  At his 2 week check up the Dr. put him on the 6 day pack of Prednazone.  It has now been over a month and he is still having the same pain as before the surgery.  At his 5 week checkup the Dr. put him on Lodine which is an antiinflammatory drug.  So far, no results.  Is this normal or does it sound like the surgery just didn't work?  We are so discouraged.
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Avatar_f_tn
i am 8 1/2 weeks since L4/L5 surgery and still seeing some inflammation - sciatic pain and severe numbness in my calf muscle.  My neurosurgeon said it may take several weeks for this to resolve but he's still almost positive that it is inflammation and not another disc herniation.  i am finally noticing that the numbness is decreasing a little bit this week.  He told me at my six week check-up that the disc was calcified and hard to get out of there - so it makes sense there would be inflammation.

Hope this helps.  Other than this, i'm feeling great and hopeful!!!  Hope he improves soon :)
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Avatar_m_tn
The pain and numbness should ease up after a few months, but it may never go away.

I had an L4/L5 microdisectomy in March 2007. Before the surgery, my left foot was totally numb and I had terrible sciatica. After the surgery, it felt much better, but there was still some lingering numbness and slight muscle twitches in my calf.

I re-herniated the disc and had a 2nd surgery in July 2008. My back pain is almost totally gone, but I still have some noticeable numbness in my left calf and foot. I get tingling in my left knee and slight muscles twitches in my calf and foot (very very slight....feels like there are some ants crawling up my leg). I also get a warm sensation every now and then (feels like my foot is in a hot tub).

My surgeon and physio don't think I have herniated again and don't feel the need for another MRI yet. According to the surgeon, this is how things might be for the rest of my life....which is totally fine with me considering I was in terrible discomfort before the surgery.

I find that I have a tight glute muscles and muscle knots in my left butt cheek. When I push on the knot, it sends some tingling down my leg......so it's quite possible that tight muscles could be causing the pain/sciatica and not a disc.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your input.  I feel a little more hopeful now.
After my husband had surgery he had some numbness in his foot but it gradually went away about 3 weeks after the surgery.  Hopefully, yours will also.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a microdiscectomy on 12/11th on the L4/L5 lower lumbar.  The pain I started experiencing was right after a vacation where I was on an airplane for many hours. It started out with pain in my left buttock, radiating down the leg (excruciating pain) and down to the right side of my foot.  After conservative measures; xray, physical therapy, prednisone, nothing was helping.  I finally demanded an MRI and is showed a herniated disc.  After more prednisone and Hydrocodon to ease the pain, I was finally referred to a neurosurgeon for his opinion.  It tooks six weeks to get in, ridiculous.  After looking at my MRI, he basically said I can see if it continues to improve on it's own, or opt for the surgery. That weekend, I went for a bike ride with my husband and after that little excursion, it felt like my back had been hit with a 2x4 (extreme pain and bed ridden for 2 days). I called the doctor's office on Monday, was in on Friday, and had my surgery the following Tuesday, 1/211/12.  The surgery went well, larger incision than I had thought and 10 staples pulling it together.  Rested the rest of the day, was up on Wednesday, moving slow.  On Thursday, that's when the calf pain started, like someone was stabbing me in the calf with a knife!  Called the office and the nurse knew immediately that the nerve must be severely inflammed and a regimen of prednisone would be required over the course of 2 weeks.  Started the predisone on Saturday, 12/15 and 2 days later, the pain has decreased dramatically.  Pain scale from a 10 down to a 4 in 2 days!  Still on the Hydroconon 5/500 but I feel that I am on the road to recovery.  Getting the staples out this coming Friday and my post-of follow up visit with the doc on the 1/28th.  At the age of 53, I had no other choice but to have the surgery.  Could not live with this pain any longer....bottom line, I'm glad I did.  Patience is required and being your own healt advocate is a must.  Document your recovery and if the pain is not easing or something doesn't feel right, let your doctor know.  They are there to "fix" you and help you out :)  Sorry to ramble on but I felt it important to get my experience with this on this board for others who might be facing the same type of condition and are on the fence about the surgery. My pain started in July and I lived with it for over 5 months.  I did find out, the longer you wait, the worse the condition will become as far as continued aggravation to the sciatic nerve.  If nothing is helping, it's recommended to get the surgery within a 6 month timeframe to prevent permanent damage and numbness.
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Avatar_m_tn
This comment is generally for people experiencing sciatica soon after surgery. I blew the disc at S1-L5 about three years ago and had surgery. I blew L4-L5 recently and am 5 weeks post surgery. After the first surgery, my sciatica and numbness never returned. However, after this second surgery my deep hip pain and numbness returned about 5-7 days post surgery. I thought for sure I had re-ruptured and was extremely depressed and distraught. After a week I was feeling pretty good so I did some light exercising (I'm a bit of a fitness nut) against doctors orders. The pain started after that. Now it's 4 weeks later and the pain is almost completely gone. I think there was inflammation and nerve  damage causing the pain, probably exacerbated by being too active. My advice is to take ibuprofen, ice frequently, rest a lot (laying down), walk as directed, and follow the doctors orders. It takes time. My sympathy to all of you who have had it harder than I have. Good luck.
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