I had a microdiscectomy at the end of September. It was about 8 weeks after my L5-S1 disc herniated. For such a routine and quick surgery, I have been surprised by my long recovery. I needed about 7.5 weeks off of work and after 3 weeks I had to get back on steroids. It has now been over 3 months since the surgery. I start physical therapy this week (grr...stupid insurance). I'm working again and I'm so pleased not to have that electric nerve pain anymore although I do have a persistent dull ache in my lower back that I hope I don't have to live with forever. I know there's no "normal" recovery. However, I have some questions about ongoing issues...
1. I still can't bend down to pick things up off of the floor. When might this get better? This has been making life difficult for long enough. The EZ Grabber can't do everything!
2. My back is VERY tight in one tiny little spot about 4 inches above my incision. I have no idea what's up with this but it bugs a little. I can't stretch it obviously since I can't bend down. Ideas?
3. Because of the tight back, I can't sleep on my stomach. I haven't slept comfortably in over 6 months. Will I ever be comfortable on my stomach again?
3. I was never one to get pre-menstrual cramps that I can feel, but now oh my goodness it sucks so bad, I have to spend a day or two lying down every moment I can. I guess the cramps get my back muscles in a spasm. Will this ever get better or should I go get some lady hormones?
4. And my most pressing question ...
The neurosurgeon casually mentioned that I had some permanent nerve damage of the S1 nerve. The pinky and ring toes on my foot plus my calf cramp up when I walk. At night, the two toes feel like they're being pulled in by a rubber band and it keeps me awake for hours. It isn't pain, but it's definitely still not ok since it keeps me awake. Is there hope for a change? Is there something I can do to lessen this feeling?