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low back pain post nephrectomy, not before

ZVM's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2017

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this board. Have been reading for awhile , but this is my 1st post.

I'm a stage 2 grade 3 chromophobe with 10% necrotic and sarcomatoid features. Margins and lymph nodes were clear.  

Mass discovered 2/10/17 after hematuria led to a pelvic scan. The same scan revealed multilevel degenerative disc disease, most severe at L4-L5. No suspicious lesions identified. 

Had L kidney removed 2/24/17. It was a laprascopic robotic procedure, and I've healed up very well.

The only thing that is bothersome is persistent low back pain and stiffness that started maybe 6-8 weeks post surgery, at least that's when I started noticing it. It's not severe; exercise and stretching helps...I don't usually bother to take anything for it (tylenol doesn't really work for me).

Is this a common thing or something I should be concerned about?

My first 6 mo. scans are in Sept. The logical explanation is I have arthritis/degeneration in my back. But why did it become a problem post surgery? What I'm concerned about is that something else is causing the pain... 

All things considered this is a minor complaint, just wanted the opinion of some experienced folks.  

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

Sorry for what you are going through. I too have chronic back issues. So have you told your surgeon about this pain?

They may want to scan it. Maybe eventually see an orthopedic if its your disc disorder. 

Sounds like you want to know why. Don't know. But you went through an amount of stress and out of your normal element. 

Who knows. There are so many factors that can exacerbate disc issues. 

Tell your surgeon first. 

Let us know how you are doing and what help you are receiving, if you want. 

We'll be here, rooting for you to feel better.

Healing hugs, Jan

ZVM's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you Jan. Yes, basically I just want to know why. I haven't told my surgeon because I wasn't sure if this warranted calling the surgeon. You are so right about back pain...so many things can make it worse. There is extra stress right now because my husband is seriously ill. My life is complicated like the rest of the people on this board!  Many thanks for your support:))

ZVM's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2017

Oops. accidental repost...couldn't figure out how to delete. 

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1001
Joined: Feb 2009

Surgery and kidney cancer-not fun to deal with; and glad you're recovering.

But let's think about what you've been thru.  First the surgery-they look thru most of your abdomen to check other stuff, too.  Fairly immobile or inactive and not using abs or back much for six weeks.  Then you start moving around, probably like you could prior to surgery.  And you have thinning disks (me, too.)

If you haven't worked on strengthening your abdominal muscles-all sets, there is extra strain on your back when you move, bend or lift.

A call to surgeon would be the place to start.  He may Rx post surgical PT to help you strengthen your core.  If he doesn't suggest it, you should.  Also what type of anesthesia was used-general or spinal?  Was your body placed in a awkward position in surgery and left that way for a period of time during surgery?

Once you can deal with the ortho part, talk to who you have for the long term care on the cancer part-Oncologist, Urologist, or Nephrologist to deal with the medical portion.

You want to recover as much of your old life as possible, not be laid up with a new problem.  So call someone ASAP and try to get some answers.

All best wishes.


ZVM's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2017


I had both general and spinal anesthesia. And yes, I'm sure my body was in an awkward position during the surgery because post surgery the thing that hurt worst was my L shoulder. I've never had a strong core so it certainly makes sense that it's worse now, starting about the time I became active again. I did put a call in to my surgeon as a starting point, but hopefully some of the right kind of exercise will fix the problem.  Glad I put the question out there, rather than denying/worrying  like I was...

Appreciate your advice:)

Lis I
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2021

Hello, i am new too on this and is good to see that, even when i don't wish this to anybody, i can search for others going throught what i am going through and that way we can get some adivse, help, etc... i had partial nephrectomy in Jan. spend a lot of time sitting due to recovery and now work.  I started to have pain on the side i had the surgery. I got scare too... the anxiety we can get from this is unbelivable but i try to manage, so due to the back pain i called the surgeon and they want to see me right away which is awesome. My follow up was supposed to be in June. i simply cannot wait as the pain doesn't feel like just back pain but i am praying that it is only that and nothing else. i am probably overthinking my symtomps  by i want to be sure as i had some nausea too and i don't know if it is because i get anxious thinking about what it can be or not.... better safe than sorry i guess. Just keep believing guys. GOD IS GOOD Wink.

Posts: 399
Joined: Nov 2016

Hopefully your back pain is healed soon.

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