Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
178 Doctors are Online

Pain in the foot after the spine operation - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Brain and Spine
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3621 Questions
User :   I had a discectomy/laminectomy 2 years ago on the l4-l5 level. I have been having cramps in my right calf, pain in my right thigh/knee and pain in the top of my right foot/right ankle for about 4 months now. After having an MRI 3 weeks ago, I learned that l4-l5 re-herniated. I now have a large disc herniation in l4-l5 and a much smaller herniation in l5-s1.
The surgeon who operated two years ago is recommending another discectomy/laminectomy or a fusion of the affected levels. Due to accepting a new work position, I am not able to have the surgery. The new job requires a semi-intensive physical training at a federal law enforcement facility for 5 months. Some of this academy includes running, ground fighting and physical activities of the like.
I do not feel as I did when I needed the first surgery. My pain level is about 2/10 and is controlled w/ IB profen and Lyrica. My right foot is affected the most and feels less stable w/ pain on the top and around the ankle.
I feel as if I am a walking time-bomb. Am I over-reacting? Do people have large herniations that never progress to get worse? Is it safe to have the above sympotms and delay any surgical intervention for 6-8 months?
Doctor :   Hi,
User :   hello
User :   good afternoon doctor
Doctor :   Let me read the qury
Doctor :   very good afternon
User :   did my question make sense?
Doctor :   yes, i get it
Doctor :   and it is called Failed back syndrome
Doctor :   surgery is a must without delay
Doctor :   as it could worsen on time
Doctor :   sometimes in a matter of weeks too
User :   is it possible for 5 months?
Doctor :   i do not think you can give that time , its not safe
Doctor :   the reherniation can worsen
User :   do they ever just stay where they are
User :   not getting further onto the nerve?
Doctor :   its dfficut to say
Doctor :   some donot progress fast
Doctor :   but some do
User :   are physical activities what would worsen the herniation?
User :   or do they just progressively get worse over time?
Doctor :   physical activities are the ones which worsen the condition
User :   would cortisone shots "buy me time?"
Doctor :   no,
Doctor :   if it was inflammation of the nerve yes , cortisone would have helped
User :   inflammation from the herniation?
Doctor :   but here its herniation , mechanical presure here has to be corrected
User :   does the fact that i'm 30 years old change anything?
User :   I respect your position, but this job is contingent on passing this academy.... is there anything i can do besides surgery?
Doctor :   i am sorry, there is none
User :   if the herniation stays put and i can make it thru the 5 months, will this cause permanent damage?
User :   or the possibility of it?
Doctor :   a Lumbosacral Belt may restrict the movements and can reduce the affect to soime extent but not completely reliable
Doctor :   yes permanent damage the common undesirable effect
User :   i know you can't see the MRI, but is it possible that inflammation is causing the symptoms and the herniation is not pressuring the nerve?
Doctor :   and also you have symptoms , its nt a good sign
Doctor :   i agree the fact
Doctor :   a datiled examination with the view on MRI one could be able to tel whether its due to inflammation or pressure effects
User :   understood, i have had these symptoms for about 4-5 months now and continue to live a good "quality of life"... it is this new added physical training that is worrying me....
User :   however, I do get relief from ib profen and ice
User :   i guess that's why i was hoping it was inflammation
User :   and make it thru these 5 months
Doctor :   But you have to take risk
User :   if fact, sometimes i don't even feel any discomfort
Doctor :   then thats more in favor of compression than inflammation
User :   the fact of pain coming and going leads you to believe its compression?
Doctor :   yes,
User :   due to movement?
Doctor :   yes,
User :   i'm guessing putting any type of percentage on finishing this academy would be impossible?
User :   if you were a betting man ;)
Doctor :   Finishing the academy at the cost of what ?
User :   understood
User :   just that i do not have a fall-back profession
User :   or job
Doctor :   a resurgery can help you better
User :   understood
User :   i appreciate your advice
Doctor :   You are welcome
User :   i see my time is nearing an end w/ this conversation
Doctor :   Thanks fr consulting me
User :   have a good day doctor
Doctor :   Wish you the same
Doctor :   and wish you al good health
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor