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new member, Microdiscectomy next week

deerejohnddeerejohn Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Ryan, I am 25 and have had a herniated L5-S1 disk for 6 1/2 years. On top of that I hernated the disk above that 3 1/2 years ago. I have been a heavy equipment operator since I was way to young to do it, I really worked to hard and didn't take care of myself. I was 18 when I first got hurt. After 5 months of hell I finally went back to work but I was never pain free or close to it. In 2007 when i hernniated at L4 I was told that my old injury had never healed up and that L4 and L5 where badly degenerated but was never considerd a surgical case. So 3 1/2 years and some realy awful doctors later the pain has got to the point I need a cane to walk. I changed dotors and my new one was puzzled by the fact I'd never seen a NS so he sent me to one. That doctor said he would operate on me asap and I go in 3-15-2011 for a Microdiscectomy. I have questions about anesethsa and what to expect right after, I've never had a cavity filled and aside from 9 shots in the back I have no idea what to expect, I found this forum while doing research into this and I wanted to know what to expect from the patiant point of view after hearing what the NS had to say


  • If you aren't comfortable with the date, ask to reschedule and get a 2nd opinion. Don't feel pressured. Sounds like you are at a point where surgery is a good option but if you haven't had your questions answered, take a step back and ask to reschedule it.

    Also ask your surgeon to come in so you can ask questions, etc.

    First, back surgery is a big deal. Even though they call it micro surgery, it's still back surgery.

    From there, I can give you my experience with the same micro surgery.

    1 - I was worried about anesthesia. They will ask you if anyone in your family has had problems with it. So talk to your family members to find out.
    It can make people nauseous when they wake up from it. I wouldn't worry about it because they give you anti-nausea medicine just in case.
    to end a couple of hours b/c they prep you, etc.

    2 - They will put this 'circulators' on your legs. The best I can describe these are they are like blood pressure cuffs to help circulation. They do this to ensure you don't get any clots during or after the surgery. I loved them. Some people hate them.

    3 - When you wake up, you'll be in recovery. Depending on when your room is ready and how you are feeling, you'll head to your room.

    4 - Your throat will probably be dry b/c you will be itubated during the surgery and the tube can give you a sore throat but that didn't happen to me.

    5 - They will likely have you on a nutritional IV b/c they want to be sure that you don't get dehydrated but once you eat, they'll remove that.

    6 - you should be able to get up a few hours after the surgery to pee. They should have a nurse or PT show you how to log roll to get up an out of bed.

    7 - anesthesia impacts your organs and the bladder is the last to 'wake up'. So they will want to make sure you are urinating enough before releasing you from the hospital. It is not uncommon for males (especially) to take a bit longer for their bladder to awake.

    8 - they might give you a heparin shot. since you are lying in bed a lot, they might do this to ensure you don't have blood clots. Again, this is a might.

    9 - they will come and take your vitals every few hours.

    10 - it will likely be called "out patient" surgery but don't be worried if they keep you over night. Out-patient simply means that most patients are ready to be released in under 24 hours. For both mine (I had a revision), I stayed overnight. If they tried to release me, it would have been like 4am.

    11 - there are risks. ask your doctor about them. Luckily my doctor reviewed them and none of them happened but it is good to know what to look for.

    12 - Before they release you, they will also want to be sure you are ok so they will have a PT person come take you for a walk and make sure you can get up/down stairs.

    13 - they will change your bandage before you leave.

    14 - they will give you instructions (this is good to have another person there when you are released), you will need someone to drive you home.

    You should then have a 2-week post op and 6-week post op appt. Again, this is just approximates to make sure the incision and recovery is going well. Of course, I always tell people...don't feel you have to wait for the appointment...if you have concerns, questions, issues, call them. Most will start you on PT around week 4-6. If they don't, ask. I'm an avid fitness person and still learned a great deal about how to protect my back going forward.

    Oh, when you are home..try to avoid extended sitting or standing for the first few weeks. Also, I used a recliner b/c it was more comfortable but realize now it provide little to know lumbar support. So when I had the 2nd surgery (I re-herniated), I opted for my bed just to be safe.

    You will be able to shower about 48 hours after the surgery. You probably will be told not to drive for 2 weeks until the first post-op but ask.

    Best wishes.
  • Thank you, my doctor has explained things well, but I wanted to hear from some one that had it done. I have had a lot of friends with back issues that have had surgery but none have had the same type. I'm kinda worried about comfort on the ride home, which is supposed to be the same day, I have an hour ride home
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