Hi there, It has been 27 hours since I had an L5-S1 microdiscectomy surgery and felt like sharing my experience with you.
First, some background: I am 29 year old male who suffered from an L5S1 herniated disc at the age of 18 thanks to rugby. Fast forward eleven years (in between I had your usual sciatic situations, back exercises, stretching, heat, etc yet nothing invalidating) till 35 days ago.
I wake up a saturday morning to a sneeze that literally pinched my back. After that I realized I could not *literally* move for the next 8 hours. Finally went to ER, had an MRI and surprise, grossly herniated L5S1 disc. Solution?: take corticosteroids + pain killers for three weeks and see evolution. Outcome?: probably the three wors weeks I remember, pain shooting down my leg and right foot numb. Three week evaluation?: Possible nerve damage, microdiscectomy adviced ASAP. Three days later and I am out. Although the surgery was supposed to be under general anest., my two neurosurgeons decided in favor of an epidural injection. I do not know whether this is normal, yet I was told that my recovery period was faster than with a general anest. and needless to say less invasive. After the epidural anest.was over I noticed that I did not have that numbing pain in my right foot any longer. 12 hours later I was able to stand up and noticed that I was not limping anymore, and that the sciatica pain was gone. Now, this is the impressive part: before the surgery I was taking three doses of corticoids + NSAIDS per day and the pain was still there. Afer the surgery I was given...Bufferin and the pain is almost non-existent.
I do not want to be overly optimistic as it is too soon to tell, yet my first impression is that this is the best decision I could have made. Will def. follow up with the progress.
Oh, one final thought; Try to really build rapport with your surgeon(s). I trusted mine so much that I went into the op room as I were going into a Burger King, zero stress. I really think this helped me a lot.
Sorry for the long rant, hope it helps!