Pain Concern
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Had a dissectomy l5s1

I'm 4 weeks post op from my dissectomy although I still get the odd pain in my leg it's my back I'm worried about it hurts so bad like it's going to snap I'm driving myself insane with it I suffer with depression so this is intensifying everything I can't sleep because I'm so worried it's not going to get better I've been to see my gp so many times I'm pretty sure they are sick of me

17 Replies

GP is there to help.

What has he told you?


To just leave it and see how it goes but I've tried every painkiller available and nothing works

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Well if it has only been 4 weeks you won't have given any of them enough time to work.

I would suggest, on your GPs advice, to start on one mild to mid strength - something to build on and give that a decent length to work

It isn't like having a headache where you take 2 paracetamol and it goes.

What have you been prescribed over the last 4 weeks?

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Tramadol 50mg

Cocodamol 30/500mg

Voltarol suppositories 150mg


Diazipam 4mg

Amatriptylin 10mg

Diclofenac 50mg

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Some strong drugs.

But as I say none have had a chance to work.

You must have been living with pain pre opp so know it is about managing that pain . Sometimes with several compatible meds.

How long did you try each med before dismissing it and going for another?


Not long at all but some I've taken pre op and knew they wouldn't work but the dr wouldn't listen the only thing that worked was the voltarol but they stopped them last week

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Still too many.

Why did they stop or was that just for post op?


Because they said they wanted to try me on the oral side of diclofenac which didn't even touch it

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Well you will have to try alternatives if nothing really works.

Start by doing nothing. Yup nothing. It it hurst to do something then don't do it! Give your body time to heal. Stressing about pain meds not working make your muscles stressed and caus more pain.

Maybe thats what Doc meant by nothig more he could do.

Let your body work on itself. Maybe hot water bottle for comfort.


I'm more worried it's not healing properly

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Amitriptyline made me really sick but before the op I was on codine and paracetamol aswell as oramorph and diazipam for a good while but my body grew tolerant of them all

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Oh pet, try not to stress 😔 You are only 4 weeks in, that's not a long time for your back to heal.

I had the same, dis L5/S1, and it felt very sore a stiff for a long time. You need to give yourself a break. You can only do so much. I always likened it to having a concrete brick across the Base of my back. I had very little flexibility for a long time.

What helped me were Pain Management classes and physio. They gave me exercises to do every day and a diary to record everything. I won't lie to you, the exercises were very tough at first but you get better. You must strengthen your core so that your back isn't under as much pressure. Your core needs to take on the work. On the positive side, I ended up with a killer 6 pack for a while! lol!

As for the depression, it's part of lower back pain, they come hand in hand. If you are already a sufferer of depression then you will need to address that issue straight away. It makes recovery a lot harder. I know, I've been there x


Well they have just put me on pregabalin I'm praying it works


Also, it can take anything up to 2 years for your back to fully heal. Some people heal in a few months and some take longer.

You NEED to mind yourself. Do absolutely nothing, nada. If it hurts, even a little, stop. Invest in a good mattress and lie down frequently for a while. I cannot stress the importance of rest here! I was a very busy lady, always on the go. But I had to learn the hard way and just stop...not easy but it's necessary.

I use a heat blanket which I lie on. It's especially for back pain and the heat is intense. It's been my life saver. I'm also on plenty of meds but my symptoms are a little different to yours.

Another thing, make sure your doctor actually 'listens' to you! Don't be fobbed off. But it will take time, lots of time. You've had a serious operation. You need to give yourself time to heal properly, otherwise you will do more damage.


I'm a 'warrior' of discectomy surgery recovery!!

As has already been said, reduce all those meds slowly and start all over again with Paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory. Move little & often; a walk around the house, garden or street - just a few minutes at a time. It's so important to keep moving and to take the Paracetamol REGULARLY as a baseline.

Take a stronger med if needed but not 'just because' as you'll get into the same spiral you're currently in. Diazepam will help you keep those tight muscles a little more flexible to enable you to move. Gently stretch; arms up, out to the side & down. You don't need to produce gymnasts manoeuvres but you do need to stop your back seizing up!!

You're still in relatively early stages of recovery; you've had invasive surgery but now you've reached the four week stage, you need to be proactive in getting back to some kind of normality.

Rest, move, rest, move; the worst thing you can do is 'do nothing' but walk to the toilet & back!

Don't 'beat yourself up' though if things are seemingly taking a long time to change; try & try to persevere and teach yourself to recognise when you've done too much by taking a mental note of what brought on an increase in pain. Keep telling yourself that you're allowed to 'make mistakes' in this whole process of recovery but don't let that mistake stop you from doing the other little movements & exercises.

I've read that you've been given Pregabalin; this alongside regular Paracetamol & whichever anti-inflammatory you're taking will hopefully settle things down for you. I know what it's like, I really do and understand that having people lecture you in 'helping yourself' get better can wind you up even more! Everyone is different thus cope differently with pain but honestly, you need to be positive about this 'being ok' in order for it to be ok!!!

When's your follow up appointment with the surgeon? If you're genuinely concerned that something isn't 'right' or you're not coping, you could maybe speak to his/her secretary to see if you can get an earlier appointment? Are you due to have physio soon? You'll get an idea of 'where you're at' once they see you; they're the experts in which exercises to do.

Keep us updated......



Well yesterday I was taken to A&E after suffering a bit of a break down where a doctor examined me and also did an X-ray and told me it all looked OK

My surgeon wrote me off after 2 weeks so they have given me a new appointment for the 21st of July bit far away but better than nothing

The pregabalin is a bit much for me I think last night it gave me a raging headache and make me feel like Crap but no pain relief from it yet

I think because I was on the suppositories for so long and they worked it masked how much pain I was in so now I'm off them I can feel how much pain I'm in and it scares me I wasn't given the proper aftercare mainly because the hospital is one of the worst in Wales

I do walk a fair bit and see my physio again next week the excersises he gave me are actually impossible to do so I've just been doing what I feel is right

I'm also with a new therapist to shift some of these dark clouds as sometimes a good cry is just needed


Well I am now nearly 2 months post op and have reduced my pain meds to 15mg co codamol every 4 hours I had a really good week or so then boom I came crashing down and the pain has been awful the past few days I've been walking more attempting my exercises from my physio and today did 5 mins on an exercise bike I've also stopped using my crutches as it was making my body a weird shape. I went to see my surgeon well I say my surgeon but it was someone I'd never met before on the 21st who just said yeah keep doing the physio your healing fine and sent me on my way. I don't want to be the person that complains about every ache and pain but when your in it 24/7 it's hard not to currently my back hips thighs all hurt and original pain in my right leg is returning i think I've reached the limit of what I can take


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