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16 Yr Old Having MicroD

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey everyone im new to this forum and would jst like to explain my history. I was only in grade 8 when i started having brutal burning pain down my leg and most noticably inmy right calf and i went to my doctors and he had sent me to physio. aftr about two weeks of physio i was relieved of all pain. about 6-8 months later it had returned and i did the same thing by going to physio for 3-4 weeks and all pain was gone. now i am in gr 11, 16 yrs old and have had the same pain return but its lasted for 3 months now ( it started right at the end of Aug) and had gone to physio since but have gotten no relief. my doc ordered a CT scan and it showed a major disc herniation of L5-S1 and nerve compression of my L3,L4,L5,S1,S2 nerves. i was then sent for a MRI 4 weeks later and went to see a Spine Specialist in London,ON(i live in Windsor,ON,Canada. he is going to perform a MicroD on me by December 15-17 since i am getting nerve damage(progressive weakness and numbness in my right leg) and because it hasnt gotten any better. I am just wondering how bad the surgical pain is going to be once i wake up and the next day and the day aftr(since those are usauly the worst days) and in your opinions what pain meds will he be giving me(i was on Tylenol 3 and Percocet for the herniation and only the Percocets brought me some relief) thanks all and i know its a long post i just wanted to explain myself.


  • Hey there, funny my first post here also! I had my first Laminectomy (done by a Orthopedic 12 years ago) which is the same thing as a MicroDiscectomy. I just highly recommend lots and lots of rest afterward with some good pain meds, Percocets are good.. Tylenol 3 wouldn't do a think for me :P

    If I hadn't had my surgery at 16 I would be in a wheelchair by now. I am 29 and have since had two more microdiscectomy and a spinal fusion that went bad about 2 months ago.

    Good luck and I am sure your procedure will go well, its very routine these days. Like taking an appendix out :P

  • hey thanks for the reply and yeah im gonna jst rest up for a while i think the OS is making me stay home from school for a minimum of 4 weeks and then aftr that i can start going half days for about 2-3 weeks if the recovery goes well. im jst happy hes approved me of playing football next season since i missed all of this season and had to sit on the sideline while my team played in the finals
  • Welcome to the forum! I think you will find the surgery is a piece of cake compared to what you have been through already. I woke up from my MicroD with no pain left at all; just left over numbness in my right foot. I didn't take any pain medicine after I was released from the hospital except regular old tylenol every once on a while. It's likely you will have to remind yourself not to bend or lift anything (since the majority of the pain will be gone), and you may have "twinges" of pain but otherwise be fine. There are lots of success stories. Once the pressure of the disk is off the nerve, the pain level for you should go way down.

    I went back to work the second week after surgery for a few hours at a time. Are you going to home school or anything to make sure you don't get too far behind? Hopefully you will have a successful surgery and this will put you on the road to where you won't have further problems. Keep us up to date on what happens.

    Best wishes,

  • You have to stay home from SCHOOL for FOUR weeks? That's craaaaazy. MicroD's you shouldn't have to be out more than two max, being so young, and in otherwise good health regarding your spine. You should be fine when you get home from surgery. They'll probably give you Percocet. I highly doubt they'd give you anything stronger. Percocet is kind of the standard for post op pain, unless you've had like, a billion ops and are too tolerant of most meds already.

    After my MicroD I needed help for the first 2 days, then I was fine, did everything on my own like normal. It was like getting a tooth pulled. Hurts for a little bit, then it wears off in a couple days and you're totally fine. Nothing major. I have a high tolerance to pain, but I also have a high tolerance for pain meds, so it kind of evens out. Haha.

    Good luck with your surgery. Don't worry too much, and don't prepare yourself for hell... It won't be. You'll be pleasantly surprised :) It's a good thing they're going to do it now because once you get weakness and numbness it can become permanent.

  • I find it so funny to say only two weeks! I was definatly not able to go back to school that soon. Think I was home schooled from Sept till after X-Mas. Though things change a lot in 13 years.

    Ajay is it being done by an Ortho, Neuro? Laser or incision. Just those factors alone make a difference in my opnion
  • My doctor releases pretty much everyone back to work after 2 weeks unless they have complications. And it's mostly just to make sure all the anesthesia is out of their system, and they are usually off pain meds by then. With a MicroD it's done through retractors and little tubes... It barely upsets any tissue at all... The healing process is extremely fast. I know lots of people who had MicroD's and they were all back at work and school within 3 weeks... Except one who did construction because he had to do heavy lifting and stuff and they wanted to be sure his disc wasn't going to reherniate or anything like that. He had a quick round of P.T. first.

    Just my experiences with it, that's all. School really isn't straining, so I can't imagine being out a whole month from somewhere where you just sit. Just surprised, that's all.

    The incisions for MicroDs are generally not even half an inch these days...
  • I had a laminectomy in two levels. I couldn't go back to work for 5 weeks because it hurt so bad to sit. plus I was a tv news reporter and had to be very very alert to go live! I think we're all different. I was in my mid 30's... but still the recovery was brutal. that plus the fact that my NS said the ortho who did the laminectomy took out more bone than he should have. I just don't want to give you, Ajay, false expectations. for me the pain was brutal. felt like I'd been stabbed in the back. I needed perc every 4 hours for 2 weeks. it was way worse than having a tooth pulled for me. for me, they "sculpted" a total of 4 bones (3 vertabra & one facet) which is more than they had planned to... but once they're in... they could find more problems. oh, and I also have a high pain tolerance. I just want to share my experience that unfortunately a laminectomy can have a very hard recovery. I was a single parent with 2 kids when I had it, (ages 3 and 9 at the time) and I was able to take care of them... but it was hard... and that's about all I could do... I certainly wasn't able to go back to work as much as I needed the money.

    I hope your recovery will be easier, but if you're hurting like hell afterwards, don't freak out! know it can happen. good luck to you!
  • I think one of the biggest issues may be sitting for long periods of time. That may be why Ajay will be out of school for that length of time. Ajay, just be sure to follow your doctor's instructions exactly. Everyone is different, and only your doctor will know for sure what is best for you. There are instances of reherniation after a MicroD, so be sure not to overdo things, even if you aren't in a lot of pain.

    I hope you will keep us updated on how thigns go!

  • yeah its because he wants minimal sitting cuz its my third herniation and such. its being done by an orthopediac surgeon also. im not really too nervous just want it done already lol
  • also im probably going to have to take one of those medical transport vans which u can lay in cuz i live 2hrs away from where its being done and jst spending 1 night at the hospital
  • I'm sure you'll be fine. I'm going in on the 15th as well for a fusion
  • thanks RGerrish best of luck to you as well
  • i was wondering if a mojority of ppl who get this done have they're nerves go haywire while healing cuz ive read that its pretty bad lol
  • I had a MicroD L5 S1, I recall waking up from the procedure and immediate relief from the nerve pain, I had most of the feeling back in my foot and leg, but it still took those nerves a long time to heal. They did not get worse for me before they got better. They were not happy, there were some new strange things happening internally, but the pain never got worse (for me - I can only speak for my experience).

    Be kind to your body as well after the surgery, again I can only speak from experience but 11 months later I re-herniated and after a year of conservative treatment getting me nowhere, I am having ALIF (fusion) surgery in January. I will always need to be careful of my spine.

    Please you must remember - your doc's guidelines are just that - guidelines. We all heal at different rates. One person may be back to work/school in 2 weeks, another in 6-8. Listen to your body and let the pain be your guide. That was the best advise I ever received.

    Good luck to you.
  • Hi Ajay,
    Wishing you all the best for your upcoming microdiscectomy. How many levels will you have done? I'm a 31 yr old F and also have chronic disc herniations (L3-S1) for 7 years. This past September I ran into some major problems - excruciating pain and bathroom issues. I just happen to get a consult with a Neurosurgeon at Sunnybrook (in Toronto) in August. So, luckily I was just able to call him - he saw me @ the ER and was scheduled for a L5-S1 in October.

    I was also really freaked out about having back surgery. I have been avoiding it for 7 years but the thought of permanently losing bladder and bowel function was scary, so I had no choice. I really put a lot of trust in my neurosurgeon - given the complications of surgery - although it is minimally invasive. He was really nice & supportive through everything - never forced the whole surgery thing at all in August. Everything so far has worked out well - I'm 7 1/2 weeks post surgery and the pain has definitely decreased. I'm not saying that it is totally gone (it felt like it disappeared for a few weeks post surgery) but now it is the result of the nerves healing. I am still having some residual pain, tingling and numbness on my right leg up to my toes - but it's much more bearable than before.

    I assume you'll be having your surgery at the U of Western Hospitals in London? I'm sure things will work out fine. Be sure to take the pain meds prescribed (even if you feel better) because the pain can come back. Spending 1 night at the hospital isn't too bad - take some favourite candies and snacks to make you feel comfortable. Don't forget the mp3 player too :) Walking is also a good form of exercise and pool therapy also helps a lot too. Take care and best wishes for a speedy recovery!
  • kitty12kat where do you live? toronto? and nah its not at the U of Western its being done at Victoria Hospital. i dont know if you know my doc his name is Dr Kevin Gurr. i guess hes supposedly one of the best around so if you need a 2nd opinion id go and see him hes very thorough and all i like alot
  • 4 weeks is not at all crazy. That is probably a much more realistic time than 2 weeks. Especially with all of the compressed nerves that you have. Be prepared to not be able to bend, lift or twist for awhile. So, think along the lines of a handheld shower massage and back scrubber (to wash below waist. You may also want to get a grabber in order to do things like pick up something (underwear, etc) from the floor. You may wake up and feel just great but, I was totally unprepared for my recovery after microD and it made everything so much harder. I listened to people saying that it would be a piece of cake, back to work in 2 weeks, etc. While that may be the case for some, it does not happen that way for everyone. I could not even lift my right leg for about 4 months after surgery. Please, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. You are very young and will probably bounce back easily. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Most of the time the recovery time is based on how long the issue has been going on for. At 16, you can only have had back problems for so long. Chances are, the damage to the nerves at this point is minimal, and also, being 16 you will heal much faster than a, say, 45 year old. Kids bounce back a LOT faster than adults. That's just how it is. They have less wear and tear on their bodies.

    You are right, it does take a different amount of time per person, but it's better to set your sights high and maybe have to adjust them later on, than it is to basically damn yourself to a longer and harder recovery process than normal. When people have limitations placed, they tend to feel like they need them... They tend to use it as an excuse to NOT to what they could be doing, etc... Once people have the freedom to use their own judgment by listening to their body, and aren't given timelines by doctors, they usually heal a LOT faster. I wasn't given ANY recovery time guide at all. Only instructions were to wear my back brace for minimum 6 weeks, and not to lift anything over 10 lbs for the first two weeks. I am fusing already at 2 months post op, and I am climbing rocks, hiking, moving furniture, running, etc... After my MicroD I had surgery at 5pm, got home at midnight, and was up at 8 am the next morning sitting on the floor, getting up and getting my son dressed and ready for school, running him down the stairs to the bus, etc... And maybe I'm just a really tough and strong person, but my honest opinion, based partially on my doctor's views on it, my physical therapists views on it, and my psychologists views on it... Is that since I was not given expectations or time frames, my body was 100 percent my guide.... Not any numbers from a doctor. The mind has more power than people realize. If you THINK you will be healed in 2 weeks, chances are you will be feeling a heck of a lot better 2 weeks post op than if you were expecting to feel better at 6 weeks post op. The psychological aspect has nearly as much importance to the recovery as does the physical. Any good surgeon and good psychologist will tell you that. You HAVE to have a positive outlook or you will NOT be doing as good as you can be. So you might as well set your goals high and go for it, than to just damn yourself before you even begin. Just my opinion... So no need to respond and get defensive or try to prove anything I said wrong... It's my opinion, so it can't be wrong... It's just that, my opinion. I am very young to be having major back surgery from natural wear and tear, no injury.... So I can relate to this kid, and our situations are probably a lot more similar than most people on the board. Most people here are a lot older than us. Being young, I know how easy it is to be swayed by things people say, or to handle issues that most people don't face until their elderly, at this age, and the psychological aspect of that alone. I am only offering my views because I want to instill some optimistic views in his head, maybe... I know that I had an awesome experience, and most of it is related to my positive outlook that I have kept through everything, I have never ONCE felt defeated or felt like giving up... And it's made a huge difference. I am hoping that he can find that same peace I found, and his recovery can be as great as mine. That's it. So..... That's just that. The end, really.

    Good luck with your surgery, kiddo. I'm sure you'll be fine and up and at em' in no time. It will be a relief to have it over with... And I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how well you feel, sooner than you think. First couple days, though, yes..... You are right, it is very common for the nerves to go haywire and those first couple days may be rough for ya. But just for mental preparation... I had terrible nerve issues 2nd day post op, was given steroids and muscle relaxers, and that fixed the problem very, very fast... So if that does happen to you, just know that it is normal, and there are things they can try that may help you... Keep us updated & let us know how it goes and how you're doing!!
  • I can almost guarantee they will not give you Tylenol 3 after surgery... That would be almost cruel. Lol. I know how you feel... I was given Tylenol 3 for a while and it's like regular old OTC Tylenol. Muscle relaxers help quite a bit, too, especially post op. Flexeril and Valium are awesome at doing the job. Don't worry about the post op pain meds... They will take care of you, and if you are being admitted for the night, then they will definitely make sure your pain is able to be controlled by the oral medication before you are discharged. They won't let you suffer!
  • yeah thanks for the input Lo and yeah everyone is entitled to their own opinion:). just got my official date and its the 11th so im happy about that since thats next week. i go for my pre-admitting on this friday
  • That's awesome you got such a quick surgery date! My scheduled date for my fusion was 7 weeks away. I ended up having it 3 weeks early on an emergency basis, but even waiting 4 weeks sucked. I'm happy for ya that you're getting in right away! Sooner the better... Get it over with, ya know? Good luck with surgery! Let us know how it goes for ya.
  • yeha i know im so lucky to get in fast its mainly because of the nerve damage i think and its starting to get worse. ahaha i know i cant wait even with it being so close i just wanna get it done 2morrw so i can start to rehab and be fine again ya know. i really love this forum its such a big help :)))
  • Hi Ajay,
    Yes, I'm in Toronto. I'm sure everything will go will @ Victoria Hospital. Good to hear that you're comfortable with your surgeon - it's important to feel that way, so you'll have confidence in yourself and him. Take care - take some comfort items with you (even if you only plan to stay 1 night @ the hospital). It's better to be prepared - although people make think otherwise. Your items make a difference in making you feel better while you're there. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! :)
  • wth it says theres a new post by kitty12kat but i cant see it anywhwre???
  • Hi Ajay,
    Great to hear that your surgery date has been moved up (this week) Good luck with everything and hope that you'll be out of pain ASAP! Best wishes for a speedy recovery! :)
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