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back surgery

hedda99hhedda99 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in New Member Introductions
hi everyone,
i've learned a lot from reading posts on these forums and am encouraged by people's advice on recovery and surgery. I've been blessed that my leg pain only started 3.5 weeks ago. i don't know what happened, i work as a firefighter-paramedic, and one day the back of my leg started hurting, like a pulled hamstring. i waited a week, as the symptoms got very quickly worse before i saw my GP. the pain down the back of my leg, through my calf into my foot was excruciating. my foot was getting numb and cold. i started PT (no relief) and medications. The next week i was even worse. of course i could not sit or drive. they moved up my MRI and i saw a pain management doctor who did an L5, S1 injection. no improvement. by the middle of the second week i was bedridden with pain and nothing helped. the pain mangement doc saw the results of MRI and recommended a neurosurgeon based on the severe herniation i had of L5, S1. by the end of the third week (This past monday the 21), Merry Christmas to me the neurosurgeon agreed and i had a L5 S1 microdiscectomy that day. my occupational therapist and nurses were surprised i had surgery only 3 weeks after the pain started but i could no longer perform daily activities, and was in danger of overdosing on narcotics, not to mention drinking alcohol along with them because the pain was so bad. i woke up from surgery in a ton of pain, no thanks to my anesthesiologist, who did not treat my post-op pain appropriately. However, i'm' now home, my leg pain is gone GONE,- except for when i roll over onto my left side from my back over my incision. my muscles are still a little weak but my foot reflexes are back. i am sore and stiff, taking muscle relaxers, using ice, and advil and percocet (percocet apporpriatly). this post-op pain is manageable and certainly nothing compared to my pain pre-op. i am a litte frustrated, i don't think i realized how long my reovery is actually going to be. more importantly, given the very physical job i have, i have started to consider a new career path. i'm only 28 and it scares me that i've herniated a disc this bad. my MRI looks good as far as the rest of my spine, though i do have some stinosis of my lumar spine.


  • that was fast. what a relief it must be to be over the severe pain.
    back problems and surgery do make us aware of how vulnerable we are. it certainly is necessary to keep our core muscles in shape. it could be that maintaining your core muscles will ward off any additional trouble. do you love your work? even people who sit all day can suffer from back troubles.
    in the mean time dont overdue it and follow the dr's orders :-C

  • i do love my work, and i do admit i had abdominal surgery last april and since then i have fallen out of my workout routine. one of the nurses at the hospital mentioned palates for strengthening core muscles. i know that as soon as i'm able to i will be getting back into shape. i'm blessed to be able to maintain a healthy weight which has greatly helped me to do the little things like bring my feet up to put my socks on. i did get outside to do some walking today and am following with ice and meds. thanks!
  • if you love it youre lucky. i'll bet your back will be better if you stay in shape. keeping fit to do your job can be a goal to set. so do it for as long as you can. maybe when youre 80 you can start going easy.

  • My pain was in my hips and then the left leg and foot. I went to surgery very quickly myself. When I finally got to a neurosurgeon he gave me the options but he could tell I was anxious to get it done. I've been through the injection thing before with a cyst that I had on my finger. I figure one reason they go with an injection first is to find out if you are exaggerating. They bring out the big needle and figure that it will keep you from coming back unless the pain is real.

    I'm not a firefighter, I work as a rural mail carrier for the postal service. I can retire in 426 days (but who's counting), but I doubt that I will. I'm just not sure what the future holds for my health but I know it's high time I got serious about taking care of myself.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am surprised you had surgery so quickly after having pain and no other treatments but it is done now and you sound as if recovery is going well. :D good luck and i wish you continued success. :D Jenny :)
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