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CES Surgery - questions about recovery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone! I'm new to this site and am so glad to find it. I have just been diagnosed with CES (Cauda Equina Syndrome) and am thankful that it seems to be an acute case, as of now.

I just had a baby 3 months ago and never regained feeling in the "saddle" portion of my body ever since labor and my epidural. Ruling the epidural out, they have found 2 herniated discs leading to the numbness, lower back pain, sciatic pain, etc. I am scheduled to see the head surgeon on Monday in the morning.

I have been researching this condition for months because I had a feeling this is what was wrong with me. I cannot find ANYTHING talking about the recovery after this surgery. I know everyone with this condition has different issues and I'm sure everything is different after surgery but I was hoping for someone to give me an idea of what to expect. I don't know how I'll be able to take care of a 3-4 month old, and not being able to pick him up will just break my heart. If anyone has any information I would really appreciate it!!

Thanks sooo much in advance!


  • I forgot to mention. I've had hand, elbow and shoulder surgery as well in the past 2 years so I'm getting to be a pro at this lol. I also have TOS in my neck and had to cancel surgery because I found out I was pregnant.
  • Wasn't sure what the surgery was for CES to know what to tell you, if I had any info? If they are going in through your back to do decompression only, where they take out some bone to release the nerves or thecal sac so that you have feeling back, then the recovery would be 3 weeks to 6 weeks. But if they are doing hardware and disk replacement on the herniated discs also, the recovery is probably more time.

    Do you know what procedures they are doing on you? Will you have a vertical incision or horizontal on your back or stomach?? I'm assuming lumbar discs were hernitated?

  • Hi Candle! Thanks so much for replying so quickly! At this point all I know is I have a herniation of L4-5 and L5-S1. I won't know until Monday exactly what they're planning. I was assuming decompression but I'm not too familiar with CES or back surgery at this point. This is the first time I've ever had to deal with this. I assume after decompression surgery you can't lift anything for weeks, right? lol
  • The first time I just had a microdiscectomy of L4-L5 and the doctor said I would go back to work in two weeks, but really I ended up like going back to work at 3 weeks because I wanted to be off the painkillers before driving. I was the director at a daycare center when I was injured at work. I had a no lifting over a certain weight, but I could lift the little babies. As I healed from the surgery all of my sensation came back too. When I woke up in recovery the sciatica was gone. That was the best part because I felt like I was being tortured. I think my first words were "The sciatica is gone... oh thank you Jesus."

    My surgery was outpatient and my husband drove me home and stayed with me the rest of the day. The next day my mom was with me just in case. I think I needed help with showering and other hygeine issues for about 5 days. Ten days later I was doing pretty good unless I sat for too long and took painkillers at night or if it got cold.

    So you are going to need a little help taking care of yourself for a few days if you just have a discectomy if you get hardware and your discs replaced it will be like weeks. Fortunately your baby is little and I bet you will be able to hold your little one a lot sooner than you think. If you can't your baby can still lie next to you and it can feel just like you are holding little one (as long as you are not all drugged up of course) :)
    I have a fusion coming up in a couple weeks and I have a very rambuctious 2 y/o boy who isn't likely to stay still and lie next to mommy anymore!
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