Thomas and others,
It’s been a week since i posted this question and i’ve noticed the coldness and nerve issues progressing well since for most days. Here’s somewhat of a diary of what I’ve been battling.
I’m now 2 months & a week past my 2nd revised discectomy surgery.
I had been doing the elliptical for a few weeks. Tried a one mile run a few weeks ago and i felt ok running. Just really out of shape more than anything. Compression on that nerve (apparently from scar tissue) has really been aggravating. I’m also dealing with odd knee pain from my good leg for some reason along with glute and back soreness, but i expect that. I think the knee is from laying down 2 months straight and it’s just tendinitis.
I ran 2 miles a few days ago and i felt a lot better but 2 days later, cold foot. I followed it up the next day with a one mile run then walk. I’ve also been moving around a bit and added swimming and stair climbing to my workout along with walking as well. Just trying to regain strength and endurance if anything. The cold foot is annoying but i’m just trying to live with it hoping it will eventually go away.
A quick backstory of my surgery experience. Everything started pretty much 2 months after my 51st bday, January 2021.
About 6 years ago, i had another surgery that didn’t go well. I had bone spur surgery in my foot. The result took my pain away but it resulted in nerve damage. This made recovery slow as well. Took away my balance and it was a slow and painful recovery. In fact, the PT actually turned me away after so many appointments saying that at this point, it’s all about what you can tolerate. I didn’t like that answer. But he was right.
In spite of that experience, i eventually healed and got back to my old self. The foot is in fact weaker but I expected that and since then, I’ve recovered well from it.
Fast forward to my back surgery.
A few months after I completed my marathon in Oct/2020. I took a few months off. Focused on weight training. Then, when spring came around, I went for my first run and noticed swelling around my Achilles and pain in my butt the day after. Did a hurdler stretch, chin down, the Doc suggests that I go to PT with suspicion that the sciatic nerve is rubbing on my disc. PT goes nowhere. PT tells me to get an MRI before continuing. I do and it’s confirmed that I in fact have a problem with that nerve.
I then decide to get a epidural injection. I enter into a strict core training workout. No pain but I could tell i still had an issue. After the workout, I was able to play sports but I could tell I wasn’t quite right. Still couldn’t run more than 3 miles without pain. The shot was also starting to wear down.
I then get told that my sciatic nerve is touching my disc.
I stop running. I then get I high recommendation from a fellow marathon runner to see this surgeon in Aug/2021. He recommends the surgery. Goes on about the high success rate and i’m sold.
I had the minimal invasive surgery Sept 15/2021. The surgeon said that I would be up and running again after just 2 months. I really lost a lot of trust in this surgeon when i went in for my follow-up, 2 weeks after that first surgery, That day, i first seen my PT in the same building. They tell me that the pain i feel is normal, it should take a few months or more for me to feel good. I was a bit confused at that point because I knew the surgeon didn’t say that would be the case before the surgery. After that i walked over to my doc appt. I had a lot of questions. Unfortunately, my doctor never saw me. His assistant came in and did all the talking. Her reaction to how I felt was the opposite to how the PT reacted. She gasped and told me it was not normal and immediately left to talk to the Doc in another room. She then came back in and told me they were going to do an MRI to see what was going on. After the MRI, the Surgeon calls me on the phone and although I was happy to finally be talking with him, he tells me it’s worse than before. The disc is now pushing further into the sciatic nerve and recommends to go back in soon to cut more of the disc off. Sooner rather than later he tells me because he’s worried of scar tissue. I didn’t really know what he meant by that but I did know I was in a lot of pain, it was the holidays and i’m going to have to wait long for this surgery to get approved again while in a lot of pain.
My next surgery would be scheduled for Nov 18th/2021.
Needless to say, I took A LOT of time off of work. Couldn’t walk much. I had lots of time to soak. I was second guessing my decision of getting the surgery. I wasn’t really feeling any pain in my everyday life. I only felt it after running over 3 miles. I was feeling a lot of resentment from the fellow runner who recommended this surgeon while I began to disconnect myself from all my running pages on social media. My mental state was obviously taking a hit at this point.
One thing that made me so angry from my bone spur surgery years ago was the fact that the surgeon didn’t want to see me after the surgery. This made me feel as if it was an admission of guilt and that things did not go well. Even after I finally got a call from the Surgeon, his voice sounded defeated and worried. That didn’t sit well with me.
Post revised surgery follow-up Dec 15/2021-
The experience for my second surgery this time around was top notch. He even came in and seen me after the surgery to talk. That really made me feel better. (Is that too much to ask for a surgeon to at least sit down and talk to a patient for a follow-up?) My 2 week follow up was ok. The assistant made me feel better by really checking me over. I told her that I felt better and was only concerned about the foot. She checks my circulation and says I’m fine. Nerve compression is normal after surgery and that it will go away.
Final follow up Late Dec/2021-
Met with PT and Doc. Feeling better but still had issues with cold foot. Doc okays me to start working out after the new year. But this time says that the nerve pain may not go away and that “things happen.”
I think this surgery is how I was supposed to feel after the first surgery. I’m a little worried the cold foot, is a result from the first failed surgery and the in-between time. Especially when you have a PT telling you it’s normal and making me do these painful stretches making it worse during that time.
Sometimes I wonder if this incident warrants finding a lawyer. I really felt I should had done that years ago after my bone spur surgery but didn’t. Don’t want to make that mistake again.
With all that said, I learned a lot from that bone spur surgery. Give it some time. I am definitely a slow healer for sure. I’m currently doing elliptical, combined with my stretches. I mix in some stair climbing and swimming once a week. This week (Jan 26/2022), I completed my first 2 mile run and feel ok. Cold foot comes and goes but not as often. I’m just fighting through it. Trying not to push too much. I scheduled a visit to my primary care doc in a few months to look at maybe getting an MRI again to make sure things look ok. Also scheduled another PT to help me take it to the next level.
There you have it. 🙂