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Microdisectomy L4L5 Please. suggest.............

AshokTorontoAAshokToronto Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I have L4L5 disc herniation.Surgeon has suggested microdisectomy surgery.Pain has improved from last year July when it happened,before I was immobile,then walked with crutches then walking cane and now i can walk but I have numbness in my left foot all time.Surgon says it will stay even after surgery as there is a nerve damage,can u please suggest anything,
I am very much depressed.


  • Hi there...no one can tell for certainty if the nerve damage is permanent. The doctor can 'suspect' permanent nerve damage b/c the nerve has been compressed for some time, however, you may be surprised that the nerve after some time, may recover.

    That being said, I think they can do an EMG test to give you a better idea of if the nerve damage is permanent.

    Are you depressed because you might have permanent nerve damage or are you depressed b/c there is pain from the nerve damage? I'm just trying to gauge.

    I have no feeling in a significant part of my leg & foot. However, after the Microdiscectomy (I had to have it done 2x), my leg pain is minimal and I got significant strength back so I no longer limp. I still have to stretch to make sure my hip doesn't tighten up but I'm much better than before the surgery. I cannot confirm if you'll have same results but just wanted to offer my story.

    As for the numbness, it can get depressing but only upsets me but over time, I notice less and less (unless it's cold out).

    Did you get a 2nd opinion?
  • Completely agree with DNice.....

    While even the best of the doctors can only 'guess' on permanent nerve damage, but can't be sure. I had the opportunity to consult with various Ortho & Neuro specialist doctors around the globe at various instances when I had low back pain due to disc herniation (since May '99) - US, Singapore, UK & Indian doctors. Since the risks out weighed the benefits of the surgery until then, I didn't have a surgery until now.

    Just had my MD microdisectomy (June 9th, '11) and again called on all my specialists whom I had consulted in the past. Since all conservative treatments including a shot of cortisone failed to ease the pain & numbness, all my physicians had unanimously suggested microdisectomy.

    Over the years the constant theme I have heard for confirmed nerve damage (especially for L4-L5 and L5-S1) is if you have trouble passing urine and difficulty with bowel movements combined with loss of strength and sensory perceptions on the leg. Even with all the above symptoms, still the damage might get healed over time and may not be permanent. Even though I was told that I might have nerve damage and it might become permanent back in '99, I did hear what my body said and believe that it might not be true. 12 years later, I can confidently say that the doctors then were wrong. Wanted to share my story to provide comfort to you even though individual cases might differ. Definitely get multiple opinions and that always helps.

    Another thing that's not spoken much in western medicine is mind-over-body. Stay positive and keep your mind calm (I know how difficult it is!!!) and look ahead at your life. Time is the biggest healer and patience is the strongest catalyst to support that. I am sure things will get better for you and keep the cheers up!
  • Steelclouds...wow, your story is even more positive than mine.

  • My right L4-L5 nerve root was compressed for about 8 or 9 months. The right calf shrank and also where I had some pain/numbness.

    It took about 6 months after my micro-d for those symptoms to go away 100%.

    I still need to rebuild the muscle back to the size it was tho.

    There is a ballpark figure that I have seen thrown around of about 9 months compression time before a nerve gets permanently damaged. -of course, every case is unique-

    It might be premature to be depressed, although completely normal, natural, and understandable.
    Do you have a date for surgery yet?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • went for a second opinion, and the doctor recomended microdiscectomy. He told me as well that my numbness in my left foot and shin would be permanent due to my nerve being impinged for a year. For those of you that have had a micro D, did it help with pain in butt, as well as leg? The doctor told me that it would not help my back pain at all, but would help my leg pain. Most of my pain is in buttocks. Another surgeon recomended fusion. I want to do whatever will relieve the most of my pain.

    Ashok Toronto, welcome to spine health. I wish you all the best.

    >:D< Karen
    >: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
  • ouch2,

    I'll share my experience. Take doctor's advice on permanent nerve damage with a grain of salt. Keep your mind calm and stay positive. There are things well beyond the grasp of modern medicines when it comes to human body and it's self-healing capabilities.

    Could of questions:
    1. Is your pain radicular (i.e. pain radiating from the lower back/butt and goes all the way down causing pain along behind and the sides of thy, calf muscle through back of the ankle and lastly the foot).

    If so, it is most likely that the MD should relieve almost all of the radicular pain.

    2. Is your disc herniation (bulge) to one side (i.e. left or right) or is there multiple herniation?
    If it is to one side, then MD should be able to relieve almost all of the radicular pain.

    3. How big is your disc herniation (bulge)?
    Mine was about 6 mm from the containment. MD seems to work for me.

    Also, get a third opinion (or even a fourth) since you have 2 different opinions. There is a huge difference between MD vs. fusion. My preference is to be conservative about fusion as the the success rate for is typically is much lower than MD (30-40% for fusion vs. 85-95% for MD). Success is define as "if you don't need another surgery with in the next 7 years".

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