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how should you feel after lumbar disc surgery?

(3 Posts)
badbelinda Sun 21-Apr-13 20:24:05

My Dad had micro disc surgery on Friday. He felt great when he first woke up but by Saturday was in urine retention (had to be catheterised overnight) so couldn't get out of bed and didn't get the usual post-op physio being Sat. By the afternoon his leg was really sore (like the pain he had pre-op but more intense) and he can hardly walk. The urine retention has resolved but he is still in a lot of pain despite strong pain-killers. Neither the nurses or neurosurgeon seem able to reassure him that this can be normal initially after surgery (it seemed likely to me that there could be quite a bit of swelling and inflammation following the surgery that might put pressure on the nerve initially but should improve with time). Dad is now convinced that the operation has gone wrong and he's going to be much more disabled as a result than he was before and seems to be very anxious and negative about it. I wondered if anyone had experience of this type of surgery and what it felt like afterwards as we can't seem to get a straight answer from the hospital (the nurses just say "most people get home the next day so we don't know why you're not" and the doctors just write him up for more painkillers.

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 18:43:17

Had same op and was warned by surgeon might have all sorts of odd twinges and pains while it settled down - exactly as your theory of inflammation etc. Very surprised they aren't reassuring him! Also heard that if a nerve has been crushed sometimes releasing the pressure can cause temp aggravation. So tell him not to worry yet (it's very early days) and to make very very sure he gets into a good rehab programme. I didn't and didn't do well as a result. Good luck!

Forgetfulmog Mon 22-Apr-13 18:55:21

Hi, I have had a dischetomy (not sure if its the same as your dad) & had probs re urine retention too. I also had lots of twinges & jittery nerves as things settled down so that's completely normal.

Your dad shoukd be getting Physio in hospital & encourages to walk around. When I had mine (2 years ago) you weren't allowed home until you could walk up & downstairs unaided.

Re the nurses not reassuring him, tbf they may not actually know - disc surgery (if that's what your dad had) is quite unusual - I was the only one in a ward full of hip replacement patients. His surgeon should do daily rounds & will answer any questions your dad has.

Tell your dad not to worry, I was in excruciating pain after my OP but it did disapate fairly quickly. I had a lovely cocktail of extra strength painkillers (including tramadol). Your dad can request more painkillers if what he has isn't doing the job.

It is extremely rare for an OP to not work - in fact a surgeon will only usually operate where the success rate is greater than the non- success IYSWIM.

I hope your dad feels better soon thanks

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