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L5-S1 Discectomy

kbroeker14kkbroeker14 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi All
I just thought I would get some input from others like me about my surgery. I have been struggling with a herniated disc at L5-S1 for just over 3 years now. I am only 20 years old and that has been the reasons a lot of doctors have given me for not being able to help me. I never thought it was fair that because my body was only 20 yrs old but my pain was that of a 50+ yr old was a good enough reason to not help me. I finally got a doctor to agree that surgery is next step after I have tried EVERYTHING else. While I'm excited to finally have something being done and hoping that it's going to atleast help with the pain, I'm scared about the after surgery pain and the mental state that could come with the pain and being scared that it didn't help. Any advice and comments would be helpful :)


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also have had l5-s1 discectomy and everyone is different so I can only tell you my experience. When I woke up from surgery my left leg was killing me and the nurse in recovery told me it was because my nerve was waking up from being compressed for so long. They kept me medicated to keep the pain away and I was kept very comfortable during my hospital stay. I stayed all night in the hospital and was sent home the next day with pain meds. The day I came home the leg pain was gone. I had to take it easy the next few weeks, just achy kind of pain not the horrible pain before surgery.
    Good luck and keep us posted
  • Same here, had that done on L4/L5 and L5/S1 (along with other stuff). Didn't feel much right after surgery due to being still groggy from the stuff they used to knock me out.

    The next day, had the same pain Susan mentioned, but that did not last that long at all. Compared to the pain I had prior to the surgery, it was minimal at best.

    It took a few months to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. But it was worth it. Now two years post surgery and what the DR did is doing just fine. Now if I could only get rid of my DDD :)

    Good luck, and hope all goes as planned.

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • My experience was that the surgery is not too bad to recover from. It is out patient but in the hospital and best if you can stay overnight.

    Your surgeon should review the risks with you.
    I had a microdiscectomy (which is the same procedure but through a smaller incision) which does have risks of missing some of removal of the herniated disc.

    I found that the toughest part is taking the surgery seriously. The doctors will keep you calm in saying the recovery isn't bad. But when you are feeling better, do not push yourself too much. Overdoing it will lead to more injury.
  • i have had that operation and i was fine post op the only thing i noticed was that my right calf was numb .as for pain after the operation i was on 4 hours morphine shots and before that i was on a PCA {patient control analgesia }device ..if you are lucky you should have your back fixed and it should not give you any more problems for about another ten years or so ..{that's the length of time where revision surgery is normally required} ..
  • Hi All
    Had the discectomy done last week and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The first couple days were rough and I got violently sick off of the hydrocodone they gave me and I'm a little afraid that it may of reherniated but it will be a while before we know. I think that there is no way I would've survived without having someone there 24/7. I'm going a little crazy just laying in bed and taking it easy but I'm not feeling any more leg pain and I'm optimistic. I hope it goes well for other people as well!
  • So glad that your surgery went better than you expected. Sorry for the effects of the hydrocodone :(
    I know it may be boring lying around but try to take it easy to aid healing. All the best to you :)
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I'm glad that you're recovering well from the surgery.

    I just wanted to tell you that many people (myself included) tend to re-herniate. So please follow your doctor's post op instructions to the T and do not push yourself even if you're feeling great.

    And according to my surgeon's nurse, do NOT lift very heavy things even after the doctor removes your lifting restriction.

    One last thing, in case you're overweight, try to lose weight - since those that are overweight have a higher rate of reherniating.

    Good luck!
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