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Had surgery on Monday

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had surgery on Monday to remove the fragments of L5 disc that had broken off. It was pinching S1 and S2. I did not take any pain killers or muscle relaxants today but I still feel groggy. I admit that I've mostly been lying around. Is this normal to still feel "out of it" four days later?

Also, when they went in to do the surgery, they found that a lot more disc had broken off since the MRI which means that there is very little disc left. Is there anyone out there with very little disc left who did not need additional surgery and who isn't in a lot of pain? Or is it pretty much a given that I will need additional surgery in the future (I am 43 years old). Also, has anyone had a "fake" disc put in, in their lower back? My doctor said that they typically only use those in the upper back since there are still a lot of complications from putting them in the lower back.


  • What kind of surgery did you have?

    I had a microdiscectomy back in August and couldn't believe how tired/groggy I was for a week and a half later. Yes, the surgery will make you tired. Drink plenty of water and don't beat yourself up for being tired. Not only were you under for the surgery, your back was 'manipulated' and your muscles will be very tired as they recover.

    I don't have answers on whether or not you'll need another surgery. What I can tell you is that be sure to take it easy. If you can avoid being in a car for a few weeks, do so. Don't push yourself and give your body a chance to heal and create scar tissue (which keeps the remaining disc in tact).

    I did re-herniate the disc (and they claim within the first 2 weeks based on me never really feeling better). I'm now facing another surgery but trying to figure out what kind - revision microD, hemilaminectomy, or fusion. I am going to ask about ADR (artificial disc replacement) but am hearing that in the US it's not a likely option.

    Questions I'm asking now are all about disc quality, disc height, bone structure, the nerve damage and potential for permenent damage, etc. I am awaiting an appt with a neurosurgeon but have gotten other opinions and have mixed feedback on whether or not the revision will work.

    For now, I'd say, take it easy, don't be so quick to get back to 'normal' and track weekly how you are feeling. If you aren't feeling well, let the doctor know. IF at 6 weeks you don't feel better push for an MRI (I pushed for it, went on steroids which didn't work, and at 10 weeks pushed again for the MRI and got it which is when they saw teh herniation).

    Good luck with the recovery . . .if you just had surgery Monday, you are off pain meds very quickly (Of course I did same thing). If you don't want to take them, consider them at night so you get good night sleeps without too much movement.

    p.s. I'm 40 and was VERY active so it's definitely tough to slow down but for your future health, give your body time to heal.
  • I had a microdiscectomy about 2 years ago and had most of my disc removed. I have not had more surgery but am on pain meds because of the pain.

    Everybody is so different though that it may be totally different for you.

    My doc has no faith at all in the ADR so I am not considering that at this time.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Did you have general anesthesia? If so, it can take a while to get that stuff totally out of your system. Drink lots of water, walk when you can, and you'll probably feel more like yourself after two weeks. You did just have some surgery, so you're not going to bounce back that quickly. Even if you had sprained an ankle, that takes some time to heal.

    Depending on how things progress with your back, you may find that the L5/S1 disc space will end up fusing by itself, negating any need for further surgery. Big concerns would be whether you have any spondy or anything else pressing on your nerves. Without seeing your pictures or knowing your record, no one is really qualified (but your doctor) to tell you how it will all turn out.

    I wish you the best,
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.

  • Hi Jean,

    My surgeon told me that my disc at L4/L5 is almost completely gone and will soon be bone on bone. He said then it would probably fuse itself. Initially I thought great, I won't need surgery then. Then I wondered about my compressed nerves, and that perhaps this would make surgery to deal with that more difficult. When I asked, he told me that the bones fusing wouldn't make the surgery more difficult.
    After reading here, I think that my pain levels are nothing compared to some.

    I think I have read here that someone had a very extended surgery, due to the self-fused vertebrae having to be seperated.

    I have been told that surgery isn't inevitable, but when I am ready, he would do it.

    Hope this helps.
  • Something else I haven't seen mentioned yet -

    if you had general anesthesia then make sure you are doing your breathing exercises! Particularly if you are laying down a lot. Got to keep those lungs clear!

    oh - forgot to mention that after my surgery I got Very Very groggy and tired - turns out my hematocrit was dropping and I was bleeding - but then I had a drain in - so it was kind of expected and was being monitored. I did have an 8" incision - I guess a little bleeding is normal ;)
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