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very depressed after disc removal

beth31bbeth31 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,
I had disc removal sugery on 1/13/12, surgery went well for the most part but after I had to lay flat in the hospital bed for 3 days because of a small spinal cord leak. Mt pain after surgery has been a lot better..I'm very concerned because my butt and vaginal area are numb, I've had trouble going to the bathroom..tonight my 7 yo daughter had a talent show and I almost passed out during it, I don't know if I was sitting to long or what, I'm home now and feel better, but I'm so depressed cry non stop, I feel so helpless. Maybe I'm expecting to much to soon but I don't know what to expect anymore. I'm 31 year mom who is always on the go, but since surgery I haven't been able to do much...anyone please help


  • I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad. Your surgery was pretty recent so try to take it easy and let your body heal. Not being able to do what you want is terrible and can bring you down but try to cheer up. Hopefully you will start to feel a little better every day. there are a lot of people here who have been in your shoes and totally understand what you are going through. They are great support. I hope you feel better soon.
  • Try to remember that you are just a couple weeks post op. Take it easy and rest. You seriously need to. If you are still in a lot of pain you can request a different pain medication or even a muscle relaxer or anxiety med to help relax you.

    Lots of people think surgery is a quick fix, and really, its not. It takes a while for the body to heal post op.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Like you I am a new member here, and I just wanted to tell you, not to be so hard on yourself. Any type of surgery requires a recovery period, and you had this done too recently, to know if it has worked or not. The one thing that I would be concerned about if I was you, is the numbing in the butt/vaginal area.. Did you have this before surgery, or is this something new? Have you contacted your surgeon and mention this to him or his nurse? If you haven't, is time to do so, since numbing, tingling, etc. usually is related to nerve impingement, so if you still have these same symptoms on Monday, is time to make a call.

    I hope that you start to feel better, but remember, give your body time to recover, surgery is surgery, no matter how non-invasive it is.
  • Disc removal? You mean a fusion? Which level did they operate on? L5-S1?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Welcome to SH. You are so very recently out of surgery. Seems like you may have over done things by going to the talent show.

    I know that it can be hard to take things easy and to not participate in some things that I am sure that you would like to. It will all pay off later though, if you take the time Now to recover.

    Not sure if you had a discectomy, fusion or artificial disc replacement. Can you let us know a bit more about yourself (what surgery, what level, how long you were suffering before surgery) Did you have any numbness before the surgery, or was it all after? Please let your surgeon know about it.

    Try to take frequent small walks, building up in distance, with rests in between. Stay ahead of your pain with meds and rest, so that it doesn't get out of control.

    Wishing you all the best! Look forward to hearing more from you. I am having a disc replacement (L5/S1) in a week, so we will be recovering together.

    >: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
  • :H I had my surgery on the 11th and I think the depression is a common thing. I've been that way too-I hate depending on others and having to wear this collar.

    You mention going to your daughter's talent show. I was told not to sit for 20-30 minutes at a time and to get up and walk around for a bit. Maybe that's why you almost passed out.

    Remember you just had major surgery and your body is adjusting. Take it easy and rest and I WOULD call your doctor about your anal and vaginal problems.

    Cry all you want-if people can't take it tell them to stick it somewhere. You're the one that is going through this and I hope you have a good support system.
  • Wow, I'm so amazed by all the response and truely thank each and everyone of you, I'm starting to feel mentally better everyday, the numbness in my butt and vaginal area is still there, I have my next dr appt feb 22nd..I had a discectomy of l5 s1..still having problems going to the bathroom, bowel movements are hard and have been relying on stool softeners, and having a hard time holding my urine, I had to start wearing pads because I feel like it is leaking out of me. Is this normal?? I'm almost scared to talk to the dr about this because I don't want anymore bad news..this has been so hard on me, can't take anymore physically..thank you again for all your help and suggestions, makes me feel better knowing that people out there care..
  • is VERY common following any big surgey .i remember a girl i knew in the 1980 her dad had a operation on his heart and she said he was so depressed and i {as a young man} could not understand why .NOW as an old fart .i understand why .its because in my case i can't do what i could only a few weeks ago and it looks like its going to be a long time before i even get back to that stage again .i am worried that i am in so much pain .my appetite is crap even showering wears me out .now at my age i feel that i should be more active .but i can't and i think that is why many people get {depressed} anyone would its normal ..think prison ..put an innocent man in a cell 24/7 how long before he brakes down ! .there not much difference .i have been 5 weeks post op .and thought {for a brief moment } that i was getting better .....i slept on my side last night and got 4 hours sleep .fantastic .....but today the pain in my side and hip is sickening back to square one ! ,so i had a bit of happiness and now its gone .is it any wonder why we get depressed..chronic pain is a terrible why to live and its ok for the none pain people to say ..you can't live like this /or you need to be more positive or other crap ..let them live with what we live with everyday ....i know its hard and i don't have any smart words apart from there are people out here living with pain and we do know how you feel ...if that helps ??
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I'm not a doctor, but I think your problems with numbness and having difficulty holding your urine MUST be mentioned to your doctor. Please don't get embarrassed or worried about things going wrong - that's what they are there for, just in case.

    Also, are you able to get an earlier appointment before 22 February? A cancellation perhaps?

    As for depression. That's totally natural. Even having the anaesthetic can cause depression without the pain and anxiety of spine surgery as well. Perhaps when you see your doctor, you can mention how you're feeling so that they can assess and help you more effectively.

    Perhaps you'll let us know how you get on after you've seen your doctor.

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Hi Beth,

    Numbness in the so-called "saddle" region of your body (inner thighs, genitals, anus, etc.) is a huge red flag, especially when it's paired with incontinence. I don't want to scare you, but you need to ask your doctor about cauda equina syndrome. Because of the location and severity of my herniation, I was told to watch for signs of cauda equina syndrome, most notably an inability to urinate or numbness in my saddle region. You haven't mentioned a complete inability to urinate, so you're probably fine and the numbness may be a result of nerve-root irritation from the surgery itself, but you MUST talk to your doctor about this. Cauda equina syndrome is nothing to mess around with.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your post-op depression. I had my microdiscectomy of L4-L5 on 01/04/12, just before you had yours done. I was pretty depressed as well, but it was because my neurosurgeon didn't want me moving much for the first 10 days after the surgery, and then he asked me to restrict my physical activity to an extreme minimum for six weeks. Lying in bed all day, every day, tends to leave most people with depression. You'll get better. Rely on the kindness of friends and family as much as possible, especially when it comes to taking care of your children or other daily duties. Listen to your doctor when it comes to healing, and listen to your body as you heal so that you don't overdo it.

    Take care of yourself. I wish you the best.

  • Micro D partial removal of the disc or was it total disc removal with fusion?

    What ever 1 it was its important to tell the dr everything and not hold back anything,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I think Sue summed it up very nicely.
    I've had more than 1 Dr. tell me that back surgery and depression go hand in hand. And the part of anesthetics causing depression in some people is correct. It certainly effects me that way.
    I think that when you see your surgeon and tell him of the problems your having. You should also ask him what your restrictions are.
    I personally think you broke several rules. Riding in a car, sitting to long, probably walking to far from the car to the function and back, and trying to be well when your not.
    Give it time.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I went back to the doctor last week, he said he was amazed by my recovery, I'm doing a lot better, I started taking neurontin again, it has seem to help me. About 4 weeks after surgery I started with some pain down the leg again, it was bad it would come and go very quickly but since I've been taking the medication it seems to happen less often. As fas a my issue with going to the bathroom it seems to be a lot better, I still have some trouble which is bad, my surgeon wants me to see my md to chk for a uti. I still have some numbness in my butt, it is getting better little by little. The one thing I don't understand is I asked my dr to start pt and he said no, he wants me to wait till at least the 10 week mark, I go back april 9 and he said we can talk about it then. I did get the go ahead to return to work part time, which i m happy about..but that's what confuses me. I'm a waitress, so the theory of being able to go back to work but not being ablt to start pt doesn't make sense to me. When I expressed my opinion to my dr he said he didn't want me to start pt because I had a spinal cord leak during surgery and that he wanted my back to heal before I start pt,I can understand that but returning to work is ok??? I'm so lost at this point and don't know what to do? Do I listen to the dr and return to work or do I wait it out? Anybody have any suggestions? Please help..thank you all so much for your help, it is so nice to have people that know what I'm going threw.
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