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L4/5 microdiscectomy

GCGGC Posts: 1
Hi all

25 years ago, I was diagnosed with Disc degenerative disease after having serious lower back pain. This was resolved using conventional treatment (no surgery) and for many years, I was pain and symptom free. 3 years ago, I had severe sciatica on my left side and underwent a microdiscectomy at L5/S1. this immediately alleviated all my symptoms and for the next 2.5 years, I had no problems at all.

About 3 months ago, I started with Lower back pain again, and slight numbness and weakness in my right leg and foot, all of which I managed with pain killers and anti-inflammatories . 6 weeks ago I was at the gym, and again experienced severe sciatica, except this time down my right leg. The sciatic pain was reduced by the painkillers and 3 days later, was almost gone. However, The severe numbness in my calf and foot, and the weakness in my right leg has remained. I have had a MRI, showing L4/L5 disk herniation and have been to a neurosurgeon, who has advocated surgery again.

My question here, is whether it is normal for the sciatic pain to go away, leaving the numbness and weakness in the leg, and I suppose whether this will be alleviated by the surgery.

Any help or comments would be appreciated.


  • Hi there GC,

    I'm not a doctor but can give you my thoughts based on my experience. Yes, sciatic pain can go away with numbness and weakness left behind. That's just my experience though I say that with the caveat that I still have some sciatic pain (I think, just different than it used to be). However, the surgery may be an option to 'relieve' compression on the nerve that is causing the numbness/weakness. But you know the risks of the surgery too so it's good you are asking questions.

    Have you talked to your doctor about trying physical therapy? If you aren't sure about the surgery, you may want to talk to him. PT can help with the rebuilding strength. Though, doubtful to help with numbness in my mind. Have you tried any NSAIDs to see if it's just inflammation?

    What surgery is the doctor recommending? Same one or different? Has he talked to you about ESI injections or just time? where is the numbness? If the numbness is near the groin area, your doctor may have good reason for suggesting surgery.

    Have you looked for a 2nd opinion?

    I know...many questions I've asked without many answers.

    I will come back on later today to try to give more insights.
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