Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Discectomy Lumber L5 S1, recovery! Questions!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello everyone! I posted in the surgery area before I had the surgery, but I didn't get a lot of replies. I am 2 weeks out from the discectomy, and I am not sure if I am doing well or not!!!!

I had pain in my legs, actually both of them down to my toes before surgery. I still have it. I also had a lot of back pain always on my left side, and that is still there. I do know that this surgery is not to help back pain. I had seen 4 different surgeons before I decided to have surgery. I finally agreed with the 4th one, lol!

I was told by all the other surgeons that I needed a spinal fusion, I was not sure that is what I wanted to do. I finally decided with this surgeon in Albany, ny that I wanted to go for the discectomy. He told me that we would try this first because I had severe leg pain, and numbness. I got hurt at work in 2006. I have had a number of things done to help the pain, but nothing worked.

Anyhow, I am writing a book here!!! I am still having to take pain meds everyday. I hurt a awful lot in my back, along with my legs. I feel like I am not sure if I should still be feeling this way after 2 weeks? I can not sit for long, I get severe stabbing pains in my back if I do.

I would love to here from anyone and everyone that has had this done! I am not sure what is right/ wrong to feel. I do have a follow up coming up with my surgeon soon, but I wanted to see how others felt after their surgery.



  • Heidi,

    Im actually meeting w/ my Doc on 07/13 for an eval. regarding my L-5, S-1 herination and compression. Although I don't know much about the procdure yet..I have had C-5 through C-7 fused and it took some time to finally feel better. You need time to heal and to allow the swelling to go down. I can't remember how long it took for my arms to finally stop "zapping" me after my 1st surgery, but I have to say its much better (that 1/2 at least) now.
  • Based on my experience, the surgeons whom I saw didn't recommend fusion as my first option since it was a radical (not quite sure about the word choice here but) compared to microD or discectomy. One of them didn't even want to operate on me because of my age (I'm not that young.) So....fusion is my last option if all else fails. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    I had my surgeries over a year ago. I remember I experienced back pain that I didn't have before the surgery; however, the pain went away eventually. My surgeon said after surgery my spine adjusted and settled differently and that could have caused the back pain. Of course, I freaked out at first. I was thinking WTH! Now what! I experienced new pain in different locations throughout my recovery.

    The severe leg pain went away immediately after the surgeries but after two weeks, I had intermittent pain which surprised me since my surgeon told that the operations would take care of the pain. no...no...no..

    It is a healing process. For about 9 months, my recovery was a roller coaster but it got better.

    The only problem I have now is sciatica on the other side--I only had leg pain on the right side and now I have it on the left side. New pain but manageable with ibuprofen.

    Let your doctor know about your pain level. Of course, follow your doctor's orders. VERY IMPORTANT.

    Take care and good luck.
  • Hopefully you just need a bit more time or possibly fusion. My neurosurgeon felt the discectomy was less of an option for me than fusion would be. Have you had your post-op visit with your surgeon yet?

    I just had L5 S1 discectomy, decompression and fusion. We decided to plan on the discectomy (70% success rate) with the surgeon determining, based on what he saw once he got in there, if fusion was necessary (80% success rate). It was necessary.

    Fortunately, I had *instant* relief noticed by me in recovery after the procedure (other than post-op pain and horrific leg cramps about a full week post-op). I'm 2 weeks out now and all the previous pain in my right hip, pelvic bone, and leg is gone. Now, when I overdo it I'm actually noticing pain on the left side instead! And not nearly as severe as it was down the right side pre-op.

    Thanks to this forum, I am seeing all kinds of recovery stories, so I hope that you will slowly see a positive outcome. I look forward to hearing about it.
  • Today wasn't a bad day, but I also didn't feel well all day :(. I am one stubborn girl (stll young, 30). I started picking up the house here, and there a few days after surgery. I am still afraid to fully bend, or lift things, even vamumn! I have my post op on the 9th of july. I haven't drove yet either. I do have a problem now that is worse than before. Sitting! If I sit too long, I get stiff, it hurts! My hip is starting to lock up again too.

    Well, things could be worse :) I have always loved coming here! There is a lot of support. I hope that this finds everyone well.
  • I'm sorry you're hurting, but remember that recovery take quite a while and your body is adjusting constantly and working to heal from a major assault to your back.

    I agree that if you're worried, a call to your surgeon can't hurt - that's what they're there for. But at two weeks out, you're still very early in your recovery.

    I had a fusion, but it took me a long time to feel better. I'm just now starting to feel like I can cut down on my pain meds again as I get closer to the 6 month mark.

    Try to be patient and take care of yourself. At two weeks, I'd think you should be totally adhering to the no BLT restrictions and that means if you pick up things, use a grabber and if you vacuum, you should slap yourself. That's hard on a person with a good back!

    So take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal.

  • Luckily, I had my husband and help to clean and cook for me when I was recovering. Especially the first two-three weeks, all I did was lay on the couch and sit for about 10-15 min. to eat. Of course, walking, walking, walking.

    I did not do any housework for a long time because it requires bending, lifting, pushing or pulling, etc.

    Try to rest. Take of yourself. Best wishes.
  • When I was finally allowed to bend, I was taught the "golfer's lunge'. It is when you bend at your hip. You look like a pendulum: one arm is picking up an object and the leg on the opposite of your arm that you are using goes up in the air.

    Ask your doctor about this before you try it. I do this all the time now when I have pick up light objects (like clothes) off the floor.

  • I am soooo stubborn I swear!lol. I do know that I need to let my body heal, but I just wonder if I should have just left my back the way it was, would it have been better? Thanks for all the advice! I need it! I won't use the vacumn, I promise!!! I do know that doing the laundry right now is a killer. I have not been bending, only at the knees, like a squat.
Sign In or Register to comment.