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Recovery from laminectomy/discectomy at L5-S1

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am brand new here but have been reading posts as I search for answers regarding my own health issues with my back. I have suffered with back pain for 10 years. I am F, 39 years old and I am 2 weeks P.O. from a laminectomy/discectomy at L5-S1, I still have lower back pain, probably from the incision, but I have new numbness in my left foot that I did not have before the surgery. My mobility is reall good for just 2 weeks and I am walking as much as I can. Yesterday I walked the most, about a mile and a half and since then it seems my sciatic pain on my right side came back with a force!!! I am not sure, but my right leg has been in agony since my walk, reminds me of my sciatic pain which had been totaly gone until yesterday since the op 2 weeks ago. I am taking narcotics for pain and muscle relaxers and NOTHING is even touching my leg pain. I just wonder if its just muscular from my walk or can anyone else relate to me out there??? I go back to work in 2 weeks, I am a teacher assistant and I am a little worried about the bending etc.... I work with special needs kids. Should I be well recovered by then? I appreciate any advice....thankyou so much for listening.


  • You have just has a serious piece of surgery and you are trying to run before you can walk. Sounds to me like you are doing too much and thereby expecting far too much. You are very swollen in the area of the surgery and everything there is raw. The muscles that have been disturbed are also very angry and it will take time for them to settle down. You are aggravating the situation by doing too much and that way you will hamper your recovery. You are probably creating the pain that you are getting. Back off from trying to get back to perfect fitness and give your body a chance to heal.

    Your pain killers are likely masking quite a lot of your pain and you are using that margin and more to create the situation that you have.

    My surgeon told me that it can take weeks to be rid of all the pain, but you have to be patient and careful.

    Give it a chance, you may just be pleasantly surprised in a few weeks.
    Good Lick

    John B
  • The nerves have been iratated because of surgery they are angry give them time to calm down. From past experence dont push it, it will come. there is alot of healing going on in the inside of your spine.. so far all seems normal to me. i had new pains that slowly went away with time ..good luck happy recovery to you
  • I had the same surgery except L3and 4 and l5and 6
    I am so with you.......I am using a walker and did go last week to see friends. It was way too much but of course I did not know that till the next day. I have been totally down for four days and just today have gotten out only a little. I blame my Dr. in a way as before I elected to get this surgery, he said it would be about a three week recovery time. Oh lets get real!!!!!!! If I had known that I would have taken it easy more...I guess I though after surgery I could just get up and do things as usual....!My leg really hurts as well.
    Oh, I am 65 and still think I am 39!!! Go figure!!!!
    You and I both overdid it. We must think we are superwomen!!!
    Get better and slow down and I will try to do the same. I so know where you are coming from!!!!!

  • Good advice John. I never thought that the pain killers would actually cause you to do too much and actually hurt yourself!!! Very good point!!!
  • Thanks so much to John and Dee and those of you who were so kind to write to me regarding me rushing my recovery and you know, you guys are right. The more I think about it, every day I am up, taking care of the kids, doing small amounts of housework and walking, and thinking I am just about healed, everyone tells me I look so good and moving so well so I think they expect that its ok I go to to the store or run here and there and I believe I have been superwoman and I am forgetting about what is going on in the inside of my body and I am still taking the painkillers so it is masking alot of the pain making me feel like I am superwoman when indeed I am not and I definately don't want to do any more damage because like alot of you I have suffered way to long and hoping this surgery will eventually bring some relief.

    My surgeon has told me if I re-herniate I will probably need a fusion in the future because DDD has affected that disc so badly. I have a bulging disk right above it at L4-L5 but that apparently isn't too bad.

    I do have a large golf ball sized lump of swelling above my incision site, I assume that it is normal swelling from the surgery since it has only been 2 weeks ago today!!

    I would like to hear how more of you have got through your surgeries and recovered. I see the surgeon for the first time post op tomorrow morning. I will let you all know what he says about my recovery so far.

    Thank you all so much, I am truly glad I have found this forum, I don't feel so alone anymore.
  • I am so thriiled that you have seen the light, so to speak. WELL DONE YOU!. You are clearly a mature and responsible person and I hope that you will practice what you now understand to be too much. Furthermore I am pleased to see that Dee and others here agree with my opinion too.

    You see those that you will meet here, are in general fellow sufferers or as I have always thought them to be "Spinal Warriors" and they are mostly people who not only care, but people who have been there in a real practical manner, rather than professionals going by the book. They have been in the fire in a practical way and they identify with you, as you no doubt will with them. To answer your question, you are not alone.

    I unfortunately do not personally know what your swelling is due to, but I do suspect that it may just be something to do with the fact that you have been overdoing it. Clearly you will be mentioning it to your doc this morning and perhaps you will kindly let us know exactly what it is actually due to.

    As far as recovery is concerned, every person here will have a slightly differing story as nobody will react in precisely the same way to surgery. Also we are mostly differing ages too so you will get lots of good advice to consider.
    I just turned 66 years of age on Sunday last and on top of that I had another surgery with general anesthetic this morning since I posted to you earlier today and that was for a torn Meniscus, following a bad car accident just after my spine surgery.

    I just got up the stairs on my butt and I am sitting at my computer posting back to you for a few minutes before I go to bed.
    It is well after midnight right now.

    Finally my recovery has been careful and rather long, but at least I am really out of pain now and I am happy to stay on Spine health to help people in the same way that I was helped when I first arrived on the Spine Health scene. You see many of those who have a great outcome from surgeries like me, do not stay with spine health as they no longer have a spine problem. I, on the other hand, feel a debt of gratitude to those who helped me and they know who they are only too well. I also enjoy spreading a success story it can be quite uplifting and in any event I may just need more help myself at some stage as I am 66 going on 33!

    The best possible advice that I can give you is to repeat myself once again when I say, listen to your own body if you sincerely care about it. You have a great responsibility to your family who no doubt love you very much and I am sure that they want you in one piece and in good shape. So, take it slowly and steadily, step by step and I am sure you will see the best results that way.

    We look forward to hearing from you after you have seen your doc.

    Take Care

    John B
  • Hello....wow, I cannot believe you wrote to me and inspired and made me feel good when you have just gone through another round of surgery!!! I do hope you recover from this one too and the road ahead is smooth for you.

    Just to give you a little more info about me, I am 39 and I have 3 children, daughter 14, and 2 boys aged 13 and 11. They have been helping me alot. My 11 year old just brought me a cup of coffee!

    I am a Teacher Assistant at a school for children with EBD (Emotionaly and Behaviorly disabled). I go back to work on the 17th August and I have to avoid any "hands on" with the kids for a while. They can get quite aggresive and violent at times.

    I saw the surgeon this morning and he has put me on Prdnisone for the next few weeks to address the swelling at the incison sight. He said my wound is healing well but that the swelling is normal, however the numbness on my left leg and foot is not, although he is not too alarmed, he thinks that I have very sensitive nerves and he just "looked" at the nerves on the left side, he didn't do any work on that side as he said it wasn't bad enough to touch it, best left alone, he worked only on my right side where the herniation and swollen nerves were, and that side is great, all sciatic pain is gone!! He said the prednisone will help and he fully expects the swelling to go down and the numbness to go away. He will see me again in 4 weeks.

    In the meantime, he wants me in the pool but no swimming, keep walking and I start Physical Therapy tomorrow, this makes me a little nervous as I am still a bit sore and stiff. They offered me more pain meds but I declined as I don't want to become to dependent on them, especially going back to work and the hope of this surgery was to live without being on pain meds, so i am going to try to manage as best I can but I will be taking it more slowly. One day at a time. Yesterday I rested most of the day and today has wore me out already just going to the doctors and picking up my prescription!!

    The surgeon also wants me to follow up with my OBGYN as I had a retention problem in the hospital, he says they think I have a tilted bladder and that General Anasthesia enhanced the problem, I had to stay longer in hopsital and come home with a cathetar for about 5 days! Urgh!!! So I have an appointment on the 27th for that issue!!

    John you are so very kind and I truly wish the best for you and I have noticed that this support group is wonderful, I do feel like here people understand what I am going through, definately in a way that doctors don't understand or people who don't suffer from back problems. The surgeon told me he thinks that I have such sensitive nerves that even doing anything mild or benign can aggrivate them in my case causing me problems, so does this all sound right to you?

    Get plenty of rest, take care of yourself and have a speedy recovery.
    Best Wishes,
  • During surgery the surgeon typically bathes the area with a steroid/pain killer mix. The pain usually returns 14 days or so post surgery. This is normal. I don't think you're doing too much as long as you remember the restrictions of BLT. Its good for you to keep walking. If the pain persists or is greater than a 4 - 5, you may want to call the surgeon and request a dose pack of steroids to help further reduce any swelling. Please try not to worry, the same thing happened to me and I'm fine...I seldom have pain worse than a 1 or 2, although it is that damn sciatic pain that I hate! 13 days post surgery it was at a 4-5, so I think you'll be just fine. Remember to ice and to lie down 6 times per day, and limit the amount of time you spend sitting.
  • I just updated my profile, took me a while to figure it all out but hopefully I have done it right and it gives my fellow "spineys" an idea what I have been through, which seems so mild compared to others that I have read.

    I was just wondering after laminectomy's have failed, does it seem like a fusion will follow at some point? Have others had laminectomy and discetomy's and still had to go through fusions? Do you ever get full strength back in your back?

    Thank you,
  • You sound as though you have had very similar issues with your back as I have. I guess thats why he put me on prednisone to help with the swelling. Surgeon told me to get in the pool but no swimming....I start P.T. tomorrow afternoon. Sitting is definately an issue, it gets sore, and I feel stiffness in my lower back, that makes me want to move and walk, I know I should just take little walks instead of one big long one a day. I walk around my house alot, I am in Florida, its HOT outside!!!

    I did not know about the pain killer mix in your back at time of surgery, so thats why I am probably feeling more pain now, although I would say its more a feeling of discomfort, and mild pain. The thing is the pain is there all the time, so its like a nagging dull pain always letting you know, hey, I have a sore back!! LOL

    I hope you too continue on your road to recovery, do you still see the doctor regarding your back or are you in the clear for now?

    Take Care,
  • HI,

    I had a laminectomy, and foraminotomy at L5 S1 in Jan of 2009, and I am still recovering. It takes a long time. It has been 7 months, and I am just starting to feel the strenght coming back in my legs and back, and if I overdo, it can still flare, and feel weak. It seems to be a up and down thing! Sitting has been slow to come back, but finally it is, and my lastest MRI looked really good. I am still dealing with some swelling, but I am doing a Medrol Dosepak (6,5,4,etc.) and I hope this will finish the job! Goodluck! sweetpotatoe57
  • May I ask what a Foraminotomy is? So many people seem to have problems at L5-S1....I don't even know what I did to make my back so bad? Did you? I see that it takes people all different time frames to feel better, I just wonder if doctors really listen when patients say they are not 100%???

    I told the surgeon I go back to work at school on the 17th, he said, ahh you'll be fine by then!

    I just wonder what options I have if I don't get the feeling back in my left leg/foot? He said he just looked but didn't touch the left side!

    I hope you continue to heal also, and thanks so much to all out there for listening and relating to me as I go through this, just feeling like you have friends who understand makes healing alot better.

  • One thing that I learned, was that a spine patient can actually wind up with a far stronger spine after going through a laminectomy/foraminotomy/disectomy. The reason being, that once the source of pain is relieved, the spine patient has a strong desire to avoid further injury or surgery, so they will do everything they can to strengthen their core and all associated muscles. A person like that winds up with a stronger spine and is less likely to be injured.

    I went back to diving with double tanks and deco bottles and all my camera gear after having 7 lumbar surgeries. My back became that strong. I made it that strong through lots of diligence and hard work.

    Were it not for my neck/shoulder issues now, I would still be diving with all that equipment. My lower back can easily handle it, I just can't carry it on my shoulders anymore.

    My point is, that don't fall victim to those around you who will try to convince you that you have to "baby" your back for the rest of your life. If you do that, the chances of re-injury or continued pain go up. Become determined to avoid that by smartly working towards a stronger core and support structure, and you will be able to do most anything you want. That's my philosophy as well as my neurosurgeon's philosophy.

    Yes there are certain physical conditions that won't fall into the parameters for that, but there are far more that do.


  • A foraminotomy is opening up the foramen, the side opening the nerve comes out of. A laminectomy is like removing the roof of a house, and the foramen is the side exit. I had stenosis, and a piece of bone laying on the S1 nerve root. L5 S1 seems to be the most common place for surgery! This is my second Medrol Dosepak in the last few weeks, and I have had a awful time getting the swelling down, but they thought my PT was way to agressive, and really set me back. I had 12 weeks, and my muscles are still tight, and I still stretch at least 3 times a day. I do have a compression at L5 on the right side, but no symptoms. So they just left it alone. My Dr. did say a fusion was in my future. My Dr. told me I would be fine in 2 weeks, and here it is 7 months, and I am still on the mend. Nerves take a long time to heal, 1mm per month. Way to slow for me! I hope all goes well with you in PT and with the Prednisone. I wish my surgeon had given me some months ago, it might have help speed up my recovery. sweetpotatoe57
  • I believe in what u wrote. I do want to be stronger and that for me was one of the reasons I had the surgery to begin with. Before then I was told oh u can't do this u can't do that, I was even told I couldn't enjoy going out on our boat! That's not the way I want to live my life. I have a family and I want to be out there running around enjoying activities right there along with them!

    My husband has just purchased a big work out station and we have an elipitcal and when I am ready I want to get in shape, be stronger but I know it's the core strengthning that is really important. I will ask at P.T tomorrow what would be good for me. I did buy my own exercise ball....just haven't used it!!! LOL

    Sorry about typos as I am lying in bed using my I pod! Sitting at my desk was getti g to painful. Oh, I keep reading about BLT, being new here, what does that mean? I have tried to figure it out!

    Thanks to all who have offered me so much great advice.....I am listening.
  • Hi,

    I also have a "BALL", and its great for core exercise, and I can actually sit on it! I was laid up for a year before they did anything for me, so my recovery has been slow. How long did you have your problems? Just be sure to take things slow, as PT really flared me, and I have seen other posts where people say the same thing. Not sure what the BLT stands for! I'm starving, so thinking, of the sandwich, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoe!! LOL sweetpotatoe57
  • Firstly, may I say that you must be a very special person as not only are you a dedicated wife and mother, but also a special kind of educator. That is indeed a calling. You have to be very dedicated to do such special work, I know it. I had a cousin who was in the same honorable profession and he made it to the headship of a special school for maladjusted children in the UK, before tragically passing away from a massive heart attack at 42 years of age. He was one of the most caring people that I have ever met. Anyway, Bless you for what you do, it must be very rewarding.

    Anyway, back to your docs comments. I too hope that the Prednisone will do the trick and I presume that it is taken orally and you don't have to have shots.
    I can understand what he is saying with respect to water therapy and just walking will be a good thing to do. We have to remember your surgery is very recent. With respect to the PT tomorrow, you need to tell the therapist exactly how and what you feel. Don't be afraid to speak up, remember it is your body. My wonderful wife is also very hypersensitive with regards to pain and she has recently undergone seven and a half hours of foot reconstruction surgery in two procedures which took place six weeks apart and her recovery is long and it will be a total of about eighteen months before she is completely out of pain, according to her surgeon. So as far as you are concerned, you are doing very well at about three weeks post surgery.

    About the pain meds, you should take them if you still have pain. Once again, listen to your own body. You will not do well just enduring pain, there is no good reason to do that and in any event, your body will let you know when to stop taking pain meds and that time will come without you becoming dependent.

    The OBGYN appointment may lead to a Urology appointment for the retention problem. That sounds more like where you should be. In fact, I had a retention problem too after my surgery last February and I had to self cath for 4 weeks post surgery before it all came back. I think that my face must have looked more Japanese than European when my doc said that I would have to self cath after my surgery when I looked at him and I said, "I have to do WHAT"!
    I discovered that it is not unusual following surgery in the lower lumbar to have such problems. I however count my lucky stars as I understand that some people are not as fortunate, as that function can take much longer to come back sometimes. It seems that the nerves and muscles in that area control our bodily functions and sometimes when those nerves and muscles have been disturbed they rebel resulting in retention. That was the reason that my hospital stay was extended too.

    Finally,you may be pleasantly surprised given a few weeks of recovery and good PT coupled with the Prednisone, that things may look quite a lot better. Have patience I am sure it will all work out.

    Thanks for your good wishes and very kind words.Keep in touch and take care.

    John B

  • Dear John
    How nice it is to read such inspiration from you and the kind words that you also sent my way. They are very much appreciated.

    I am definately all about my family, and they have been taking very good care of me. My youngest son did all the laundry tonight, they do what ever they can to make sure I don't bend as Dad is out of town for a week so the kids are looking after mom, I am so proud of them.

    I talked to my husband tonight and he said the same as you, take the pain meds and get through this one day at a time, so I will call tomorrow for another prescription as it is better to have them on hand if I need them. I do want to be as fully recovered as i can before returning to work.

    You mentioned your good friend who sadly passed at a very YOUNG age, thats so terrible, my sympathies, you mentioned that he ended up working in the UK, where? I am originally from Scotland. I came to the States when I was 21, I became a citizen about 9 years ago. I just took a trip to England with the whole family to visit my family. They all live in Chelmsford in England now, but they are doing good and my grandparents just turned 89, and 85 in July, it was wonderful for my children to meet their great grandparents. I do miss my family alot, its the hardest part about living so far away, but this is home now. I do love it here, but its nice to go home and visit too.

    My job is rewarding and challenging at the same time. My middle son is a special needs child, so I understand from a parents point of view and i know how I feel about the educators in Tyler's life and how important it is for them to believe in my child and care for him. My son has different special needs that the children I work with but they are still children who are in need of help, and understanding and deserve to have an education, so we do the best we can. Our kids range from emotional issues such as Bi-polar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, suicidal, distructive and they can be very verbally abusive. I work with 3rd/4th graders. I started out in High School but found it difficult as at that point they are in and out of JDC and are pretty much set in their ways but the little ones still have a chance, you can still make a difference and if I can help just a few then it is worth it to me.

    Anyway, I can be so long winded, lol

    I do hope your wife also has a speedy recovery. you both have been through so much. I hope you have a good support system to help you out. You have such a kind soul and i feel blessed just to have been able to talk to you and it truly makes me feel better like yes i can do this!!!

    Well I have promised the kids we will eat goodies and watch America's got Talent together, family time is very important. I wish you lots and lots of well wishes to both you and your wife and I hope the good lord takes care of you both.

    Talk to you soon (I hope)
  • I am glad you are finally starting to feel a little better after all you have been through. We sound alot alike!!
    Yes, I can sit on the ball, before surgery I fell off a few times, so I haven't been back on it, lol
    I start the PT tomorrow but after reading yours and some other posts I hope this isn't too soon as some have mentioned it can really flare things up, just like it did to you. John B has told me to speek up if I feel it hurting and I know that that is good advice because I am a little concerned about the PT.

    I started having problems 10 years ago with my back after my youngest son was born, its really been a pregression ever since. Last November I struggled with a student at work and really hurt my back, I felt it go and since them I have been miserable up until the surgery 2 weeks ago, so in the big picture I think i am doing quite well and I hope to continue to stay positive that this will work for me.

    I do wish everyone here that recovery works well and I appreciate all the advice and I enjoy hearing about others experiences, I think there is alot to learn from each other. Please take care of yourself, and keep up the good work....your getting there!

  • BLT = Bending Lifting Twisting.
    Also try to avoid dragging, shoving, nudging, reaching, hard laughing, hard coughing, hard sneezing, straining, retching(gagging).....

    Give the disc at least 3 months of this if you can. The first 3 weeks are when it is most vulnerable to re-herniate.

    After my L5-S1 md, I was pretty much completely disabled. The swelling, inflamation and edema had really compressed my nerves. I was in bed for a solid month.
    I also should mention that my procedure was nowhere near as invasive as yours.

    *and of course, the usual disclaimer: everyone's experience is unqiue.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hope PT goes well for you today! Let us know how you do, and it took me a long time to get on the ball again, as I also took a fall off of it! LOL My husband tried it, fell, and pulled his back out for 3 weeks, and he has no back problems! He thinks we are crazy for getting on it, but it is great for working the core muscles. Good luck today, and listen to your body. If it hurts, back off, and try again in a week or so. I found that worked for me. sweetpotatoe57
  • You will not believe this Sandra....

    I was reading an earlier post of yours and I discovered to my absolute surprise, that you also have a boat. We too have a boat and it is moored at the back of our house, off our deck on a tidal canal and dock just off the main harbor and marina here on the Southern California coast. In fact, each home here has its own attached dock, which is very convenient.

    Then came the next major surprise. I read your last reply to me and guess what I am also an expat Brit and my late mother was from Glasgow and in fact, I actually lived with my Aunt in Milngavy (and you and I know how to pronounce that don't we) at one time for a short period when my late parents were sick. I too became a US citizen, but slightly more recently than you. What a coincidence and what a small world it is. We were likely kindred spirits in another life.
    We also like to watch America's got talent too. Isn't that just too incredible to find what a small world it can be. And we are both "Spine Warriors" too.

    Finally and as you had askied, my late cousin was running a school for maladjusted children in the East End of London, close to the newly remodeled docklands area. He was a very kind and gentle person who had the patience of Job. His passing was a great loss to many.

    Well, that is just about all the wee surprises for now.

    Take good care

    John B
  • I never did figure out the BLT, thanks for letting me know, it all makes sense now.

    Thank you also for good advice, I am sorry to hear that you had such a difficult time after your surgery. I sometimes wonder if what I am feeling is almost too good to be true and waiting on the pain suddenly coming back, but this morning I ran around with orthodontist apts for my son and then I took the kids out for breakfast, now I am home again and in a few hours I am doing PT and picking up one of my kids from a friends house and I took NO pain meds this morning because of all the driving I am doing and I am actually feeling ok!!!! I just hope it continues.....my leg feels a bit tingly and funny though, perhaps thats the prednisone working, I am not sure.

    The warning above you gave me are all good and I think I can manage all that until the students return to class then most of that is out the window, hopefully I will be stronger by then, as of today I am 16 days post op!!!!

    Take care of yourself.
  • We have to keep laughing don't we, I had a picture of us all on that ball and falling off doing more harm than good, LOL

    I will write again this afternoon after PT, I am feeling good now so we will see if they screw that up for me, ha ha!

    Keep smiling,
  • Wow!!!!
    You never cease to amaze me!!!
    Yes, what a small world it is.
    You know I just wrote a big long reply to you, and I do not know what I did, but I lost it!! So, I am starting over, so should it appear somewhere, goodness knows where and you see that I am repeating myself, I really have not lost it, ok? LOL

    I cannot believe you are a fellow Britt!!! I was born in Paisley which is right next door to Glasgow. I used to work in Glasgow from the time I was 18 to 21 and took a train to the city every morning from a small town in Ayrshire called Stewarton. It seems like a lifetime ago but so many fond memories. I have managed to find some of my old school pals from Scotland, I used to live in a seaside town called Largs for a number of years too, I have found a few through facebook which has been really nice.

    The boat...yep...we enjoy boating...our boat is in our garage but we live close to many places where we can dock the boat. Its so beautiful here in Clearwater that there are so many nice places to go in the boat. At PT a few motnhs back I was told not to go in the boat because of all the bumping up and down (the kids like to go fast) as it was making my back worse, so the boat has sadly sat in the garage for the better part of the summer but here's hoping next year when I am fully recovered we can get back into it, we all really enjoy it and my husband wants to teach the kids to waterski, especially our daughter, she is very athletic (more so than the boys!!). She plays soccer and loves to watch the british football (soccer) on tv, my kids all have the British blood in them and it shows in so many way. My daughter loves Vinegar!!! My son has his room decorated in kilts and bagpipes, he wants to attend college in the UK, and he probably will the way he is going. I love it when they call me mum, they do it to make me smile!!

    I just wanted to re-cap on the earlier post about the retention proble, which you had me laughing at your expense, sorry about that, but I know the horror of being told to self cath, urgh!!!
    However I was worried about bending so I said go ahead and just fit me with the thing!! A couple of nurses tried and fail and then finally the charge nurse flipped me way upside down on the bed and got it in, I cried!!! I begged her to take it out, I hated it! I told her I would self cath, but she refused saying if her nurses couldn't do it then I couldn't do it. Sadly I came home with it and followed up with the urologist 5 days later. He removed it, filled my bladder, made sure I emptied it and sent me on my merry way, end of story, but the surgeon was more concerned yesterday saying I need to follow up with my OBGYN, saying they think I have a problem, possibly a tilted bladder and that I need to get it checked out because he felt my condition in the hospital was severe enough that I could get infections etc, so I am not too sure what its all about, but I have an apt on the 27th and see whats going on, the doc did say it was more common in men than in woman, so I did feel weird at the urology office!!! I just wanted out of there, and I did everything I could to empty my bladder to make sure he didn't fit me with another one, lol

    Well I am a few hours a way from PT, I am feel scary good right now, so lets hope it stays that way. my left leg feels very tingly and weird, could it be the prednisone or maybe just all the moving around and sitting here at the computer? I have had NO pain meds today so far because of all the driving I have done and still have to do today. I am doing more than usual until my husband returns from Texas On Friday, otherwise he would be helping me out.

    Well my dear friend, i will let you know how it goes at PT, I will listen to my body for sure, and I will let you know how it goes, I will rest until it is time to go.
    Take care, talk to you a wee bit later,
  • Your Husband and your kids all sound great and I am glad that they are all looking out for your well being so diligently. I am blessed in the same way with a wonderful wife who has had more than her share of surgery this past year. We help each other most times when one is in better shape to do so than the other. Nevertheless sounds like we are both really blessed.

    You do not want to be crashing down on the waves with your boat at any time. It makes my back hurt to even think about it. In my case, we are in a harbor off the Pacific Ocean and we have a whole world in here. We can go to restaurants on the water by boat as well as to the grocery and other stores too. The only thing we have to watch is the tides because at low tide our boat ramp to our dock is too steep to get shopping off the boat. We do have in total about three hours of off ocean channel cruising in here so we do not have to worry about waves and stuff. We normally take the boat out almost every day in the late afternoon and provided I am not on any pain killers we enjoy a wee dram at the same time as some snacks, while we are out. It is really very pleasant and it beats the Clyde for weather and pleasure!

    Getting back to the subject of water retention, the thought of which makes my eyes water, I was going to ask you whether you are actually emptying your bladder fully? If not then your doc will be worried about infection from any residue. When I was in the hospital they had a machine which they put on my tummy where the bladder is situated and that told them whether there was any residual left in the bladder. Have you had that test done after emptying? Anyway your OBGYN will no doubt give you the right way to go here I am sure. I was infected in the hospital from residue and then again three weeks later purely from cathing. I was so careful every time I cathed by using a new sterile catheter every time and I even scrubbed and wore surgical gloves too, but I still got a bladder infection. I was so glad to be able to stop having to do that as it was beginning to really depress me. I know that lots of people have to do it every day of their lives for various other reasons, but following back surgery in the Lower Lumbar the ability to go on your own most often returns my doc said, once the nerves and muscles around the surgery site settle down again.

    Good luck with the PT and I hope that you let us know how you got on there.

    Take care
    John B
  • i have has the same operation as you and i too was made worse after the operation so much so that i have been on high doses of oxycontin ever since .it has taken 20 months for my back to settle down to how it is now {and that's not very good and i have been told that is a good as its going to get ] as for you returning to work ..i very much doubt that you will be able to do that ..give your self at least 12 MONTHS and then see how you are .you have had a very big operation don't expect miracles .the fact that you still have neurological problems doesn't look good to me { and i have had 2 operations} i am sorry to so negative but i have been there and got the tee shirt! i wish you all the best but don't rush your self ...job or not its your back regarding pain go and see your doctor for some more pain killers you may also want to try a good TENS but please believe me 2 weeks in nothing as for recovering from major surgery
  • YES! Thank you C! I don't know why LIFETIME exercise with core strengthening (preferably with some initial guidance by a PT or someone knowledgeable in the importance of and how to work the transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles) is so often neglected. TOO much emphasis on meds and surgery without addressing exercise,excess weight, and the underlying problem. I'm 5'9 and 150lbs (lost 40 lbs) , athletic, but lost the genetic lottery when it came to disc herniations. Today, I swam 2.5 miles and went on a 4 mile mountain hike 2 weeks after an aggressive microdiscectomy (probably too much since this is my 2nd surgery in 3 weeks-ok so I went for an easy 60+ mile bike ride 1 week after surgeryt-stupid-reherniated but probably would have happened anyway). My point is not do overdo things, but, my devotion to core exercises and fitness has allowed me to bounce back quickly after surgery. EXERCISE AND CORE STRENGTHENING will likley save my life (quality of my life).Just a few days without core exercises has brought back pain for me in the past. So even if you think your better, exercise that core cosistently. You have been warned.
    DISCLAIMER-LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR NOT ME. THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION NOT FORMAL MEDICAL ADVICE. blah,blah,blah in a sue happy, responsibility lacking world.
  • I hope that you find comfort eventually for your back. I read about so many who are struggling after this operation and you must be one of them. Its so sad that it can work well for some but not everyone. I know I am feeling good now but it makes it too easy to feel fooled into being able to do more than I can.

    I wish you well as you continue this journey to a pain-free back!
  • You are both right, exercise and maintaining a healthy life style and weight is very important to having a healthy back! Re-herniation seems to be quite a common problem, is it really that easy to do post OP??

    I am glad you are well now, well you must be with all the biking you do, wow!!!!

    I am not overweight and I could be healthier I guess when it comes to exercising. P.T went well, they did nothing to push me or hurt me and took it very slow with me today and I told them what I could or could not do and when it hurt. I do want to learn how to keep those core muscles in good shape. I feel I need to be stronger because of my job, i feel like such a weekling when I step aside and let someone else handle a difficult, acting out student, just so I don't get hurt!!

    Keep doing what your doing, cause it must be working good for you! Great advice.

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