Hello SH. I had a L4-L5 discectomy on November 26, 2008. Leading up to the surgery I was seen by about four doctors. Three of which said I need to lose weight and I sprained my back etc. After several long days and nights of crying and not understanding how I was supposed to exercise I decided to get another opinion. We tried the med dose pac and volteran with no luck. In fact my pain was so bad that I could not do anything anymore without extreme pain. Once my doctor gave me an MRI, it all came together. I had a large disk herniation and surgery was my only option. My doctor’s exact words were “you will feel great in a week or two after surgery.”
He was half right, I woke up from surgery and walked to the bathroom right away. I was in an out of surgery and the hospital in less than 4 hours. Even the next week or so went well. Then…
I started noticing the numbness in my lower leg that I did not notice before surgery. It could have been there but with all the pain it’s impossible to know.
My surgeon continued to tell me this was normal and it could just be from residual nerve damage. He asked that I give it more time to heal. I gave it a few more weeks until I was walking and my knee gave out. I lost my footing and broke my ankle/foot. The sad part is I did not feel the break and the pain with the break, I just heard it. What a bummer.
Since then I have explored the numbness and pain in my right leg. EMG shows acute chronic nerve and muscle damage. The doctor who did these tests told me that I will just need to get used to it and it seems permanent. GREAT!
I have electric shock pains, stabbing pains (just to name a few) and when it rains I literally have pain from my head to toes. My calves hurt really bad, they are sore when I walk and very sensitive to touch. I would really like to know why? Also, can some of the veterans recommend what I should do now about my ‘permanent’ nerve damage? I am willing to do whatever it takes! Thanks.
One last thing, can anyone offer some advice for how I should communicate with my employer about ALL my problems. I thought I would be back working after two weeks following surgery (per my surgeon). They are being understanding but they same some pretty heartless things at times when I need off for doctors appts. Also, they expect me to heel fast so that I can return to work full time (I remain on part time duty). The fear of losing my job is very real!
All the post I have read at SH has really helped me. You all are so strong!
L4-L5 discectomy 2008 (after 4 opinions)
Broken foot and ankle 2009
EMG: Acute Chronic Nerve and Muscle Damage
3 epidural injections (L4 and 2@ L5)
Meds: Darvacet 500mg 3xd, Skelaxin 800mg 3xd, xanax as needed, Neurontin 900mg daily
PT: Massage therapy, aquatic therapy, psychological treatments, nutrition therapy, and a fair amount of love and respect for myself.