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JaswanyJJaswany Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone -

I am 5 week post op from my second discectomy. I am 35 years old, and have had back issues off and on my entire adult life. I took 6 weeks off for recovery, and am currently going to PT. I am a little concerned about a few things. First, the discectomy that was preformed on 12/14/10 was to relieve the pressure which was causing me pain in my right leg. In the last few days before surgery my entire right foot was numb. As of now, part of my right foot and all my toes are numb. It is causing mobility difficulty. I am HOPING that the PT will help with the problem. Does anyone still have numbness after surgery? I should mention that my pain in 99% gone in my leg.

Secondly, I still have low back pain/soreness. I don't want to sound like a whimp, but my insicion site/back are still hurt. I have told my surgeon about it, and he more or less told me to take over the counter meds. That is what I have been taking, but I am a bit concerned as I am supposed to return to work next week. I don't think I can sit for 8 hours with my lower back in this condition. I still have pain meds from surgery. I have been trying NOT to take them knowing I can't drive to work while on them.

Also, my PT was reviewing my file, and said my surgery was a major surgery. I was like ummm really? Granted, I did have a small spinal fluid leak which was repaired, and required me to stay in the hospital 3 days. She said my surgery was just short of a fusion. I was like reall? I did not get this impression from my surgeon at all. He extended my leave of absence from 4 weeks to 6 weeks, but said I should be good to go after 6 weeks at home. Should I question my surgeon about what my PT said?

The PT also said I really need to be carful with my back because I am to young to have a fusion, which is next. I am very active with kickboxing, running, and weight lifting. I really was taken back when she said I might need to not be so hard on my body. My surgeon make it sound like I would have no restrictions once I get my strength back. Is 35 to young for a fusion?


  • Well, every case is different of course, but I will chime in. In my case, my right L4-L5 nerve root was compressed for about 8 months. It had numbness and pain/tingling in the calf. The muscle shrank as well!

    After the surgery, it took a good 6 months for those symptoms to fully go away.

    As far as the "...just short of a fusion" comment by the PT, it depends on the type of "approach" or incision the surgeon used. The collateral damage done on old school style incision (open discectomies) is similar approach or entry to the spine to do a fusion.

    Advances in medicine / techniques / instrumentation have given us the choice to use endoscopic entries that require only a stitch or two to close. Some only need a bandaid to close! I am one of those patients. I had two micro-d's and they used very small incisions.

    Regarding age.... I dunno man. I see lots of people of all ages on these back surgery forums and in all the back specialist offices I have been in. Young, old, athletic, sedentary, wide, narrow, short, tall....

    I'm 39 now and had to give up running, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, fighting, golf, sports.... do I miss all that? Yes, alot (!!!) but I get by and am mostly happy. I can still ride my bike and get fresh air, see the countryside; I could swim too if I knew how. I am thankful to still be mobile. It sure is humbling when you are stuck in a bed dependant on others for just about everything.

    Lots of back surgery patients go on to lead normal, active full lives. These forums are filled with mostly those who haven't, so some of the stories you may read might scare you.

    Certainly protect your back from now on as much as possible. Be mindul of your posture, body mechanics, and limitations. We're not kids anymore. You are still going to be able to many many things.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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