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Back pain after L4/L5 Discectomy
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Back pain after L4/L5 Discectomy

Greetings
2 weeks ago I underwent a lumbar discectomy operation (L4/L5) to fix a rather large disc bulge (spinal canal diameter was 2-3 mm) causing central spinal stenosis. Before the operation I had difficulty walking, pain running down my legs and I could not stand up straight.

At the moment, there is no longer any pain down my legs and no back pain unless I start walking. I find myself leaning forward (sort of posterior pelvic tilt). This causes problems when I walk: tightening of upper back muscles to compensate, reduced walking range and so on. Pain killers do NOT help with this pain, and this is my only complaint. I can sit/stand/sleep, ride my stationary bike without any pain. I have returned to work 1 week after the surgery (I was feeling well enough and still do)

My surgeon said I did not need any physical therapy, however I am concerned that I might need some. I used to be very active prior to this injury (the one causing the discectomy). I used to be a competitive powerlifter so my back muscles are very strong. However, my job is a desk job so I am sedentary for extended periods of time.

My question is a two parter:
1) Is this normal for 2 weeks after surgery or should I be concerned?
2) Is there something that can be done besides walking? Any physical therapy routine I should start?

I can exercise on my upright stationary bike for hours without any complaints, however when I walk I struggle after the first 10 minutes. Any help/advice is appreciated.

Regards
Rida
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3 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi..oh a feel for you.. I have had 3 discectomies on L4/L5 lumber in the last 3 years.  I was same at first, bent over crying in pain every day and on serious medication.. I am now in a pretty bad condition.  i.e.  my right foot and ankle permanently numb, serious nerve pain due to the nerve being damaged and have now been told that I have tissue scarring which after all the surgeries the scars attach themselves to the nerve which is now becoming impossible to live with.  Have been told that the disc does not grow back so I  constantly also have chronic pain in my spine which will lead to arthritis.  Dont want to sound miserable but I do hope that u get a bit of physio if u can manage it and please be careful with everything you do from now on..good luck..
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1684366_tn?1314074661
That's crazy! You can exercize and be fine, but not walk?
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Avatar_f_tn
Be thankful you can do anything. I had L4&L5 in March and I am in constant pain. This was my fourth surgery in the past 2 years. Pain meds either make me sleepy or keep me awake. To be able to do some of the things you are talking about would be wondeful.I have been very active all my life but the last 2 years have been like hitting a brick wall.I have been on disability for 3 mths, but I hope for thr day I can return to work. Ms.99 it sounds to me like you are doing great and I hope it continues to go that way and I pray for anyone who has had or facing back surgery that things will go well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Iam having more back pain in my lower left back area. Also pain in my left leg and foot. Stinging on the top of my left foot just behind my toes. As stated just above I've had 4 back surgeries in the last 2 yars. I fell this past week at my home and I have had some very serious pain. I had to call my Dr. in Atlanta and they said to keep on my meds until my appt. They did move my appt. up 3 weeks, which I am grateful for.I am starting to have some pain that I had before my last surgery,which is my tailbone is burning about an inch up it. Has anyone experienced this type of pain after your surgery? I am hoping and praying that I didn'y tear anything loose when I fell,although I guess that could be a possibility.It's 3:30 in the morning and this is typical that I cannot sleep. Any suggesstions would be appreciated.Thanks and hope everyone gets better with their issues.
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A related discussion, torn disc was started.
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