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Just had L5/S1 Microdiscectomy and I feel great

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hi Everyone,

I was requested by a number of people to post the results of my surgery. To recap, I have/had a ruptured L5/S1 that was applyiing pressure to my sciatic nerve down my left leg which was causing weakness. I tried PT and it didn't help so I had 2 epidurals that relieved the pain, but no strength returned.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and have surgery since it provided the only chance for me to get my strength back. My surgery started at 3pm yesterday and I was out of the recovery room by 5pm and out the door 4 hours later. I even walked out myself, which I was surprised the hospital would allow, but I was feeling good.

Since leaving the hospital I haven't had to take any type of medication which has been great because I'm not one that likes feeling groggy from pain medication.

So, hopefully my recovery will continue to go well and I'll be ready to hit the links and the bike paths when the snow melts.

Thanks again to all the words of encouragement and sharing your experiences, it made me feel a lot more comfortable that I was making the right decision.



  • Delighted you are feeling so well.

    Please proceed cautiously and do not try to do too much too soon. The biggest problem with a discectomy is that people feel so much better afterward that they get a little carried away, and really over-extend. Too often, they end up with a reherniation in their rush to recover. Try to take it easy and give your body a chance to heal.

  • That's great news I wish you all the best for your healing. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Glad all has gone well with your surgery. I know that I should look this up but can you tell me what the surgon did?? Sorry just thinking that if my disc's are herniated which many are why could I not have this surgery to make things better. Again good for you and I just remember what I was told after my hyster. "you only have one time to heal right so do not over do even if you are bored" G-D Bless
  • did you get your strenght back? You were not in pain before the surgery as far as I remember...
  • Thanks.

    The surgeon performed a microdiscectomy on my L5/S1 to remove the herniated portion of my disc that was compressing my sciatic nerve. The compressed nerve caused me to have a loss of strength in my left leg and surgery was the only option to try and correct this. I also have a herniation in my L4 but he said this this disc wasn't causing a problem so he was going to leave it. I'm not sure what your symptoms are but surgery was my only option if I wanted a chance of getting the strength back in my leg.
  • Only some minor improvements so far but I haven't tried pushing myself since I'm still recovering from surgery. I use to get an intense pain in the mornings when I tried to stretch (a result of the compressed nerve I'm guessing) which is gone now and I'm able to lift my weight on my toes a couple of times whereas before I couldn't do it once. The doctor told me it could take 12-18 months for it to return, if it returns at all. Due to the length of time the nerve has been compressed, the doctor said the damage may be permanent. So I'm optomistic that some of the strength is returning, now it's just a matter of how much will return.
  • Hi Darren,

    Glad to hear that you are feeling great! Please keep posting about your recovery because I have personal interest due to my recent micro.

    Take care.
  • This was the post I was watching for - a success story!
  • Hi Darren. Always nice to hear somebody's positive experience. Please heed the advice of gwennie17 and take it easy for a good while--at least 8 weeks. I don't want to scare you but please learn from my experience...I had micro-discectomy at L4-L5 on Feb 5/09. All was great for 4 -5 weeks. In fact I can't remember feeling so good in years! I thought I was home free. Then BAM, I leaned a bit to the side(WRONG!) without thinking of my body mechanics(contracting my TA muscles) and out goes my back. For the last 2 weeks my sciatic pain has returned, and my back pain ranges anywhere from mild to very bad. I'm going for a post-op MRI next week(april2/09) to see if I've re-herniated. In short, I'm almost back where I was pre-op, and I'm VERY concerned. Please understand I'm not sharing this to scare you or bring you down, but rather to encourage you to be constantly aware of proper posture etc. Go easy man, go easy. Walk, do your PT and core-strengthening, and whatever else your surgeon wants you do do and all should be well.

    All the best,
  • Hi there, really chuffed for you Darren, its been a success so far, I'm with Craig on this one I had L4 prolapse in 2006 and had surgery and felt fab after having been in horrendous pain I had been informed that there was another disc which was in the background but that surgery wasnt needed just carry on with the physio etc which I did do for so long then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and didnt continue. I'm now back to square one with an L5 S1 repture for which I'm having surgery 2nd April this time I'm making sure I go right the way thru with the physio and listen to my body. Even though I feel tempted to do all the things I've not been able to do whilst I've been in agony I'm going to take it slow and hopefully this will be the last time it happens to me!!
  • It is very nice to read a success sotry! Take Gwennie's advice...easy does it. Not much walking, sitting, BLT or reaching above. I don't even dry my hair anymore!
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