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2nd microDE scheduled - having second thoughts

opusprimeoopusprime Posts: 3
Im 46, fit, lean, and in generally good health.

Had my first microdiscectomy in Oct 09. Got back to about 90% with strength and flexibility. Quit most of my more aggressive sports, but still really enjoy my golf. Especially the walking.

After a recent golf trip in Jan 12, I was out cleaning up debris from a wind storm and slipped on the wet rocks while picking up some limbs. The pain started with the muscles, and after about 2 weeks the nerve pain down the butt started. Suddenly my wonderful life became measured by the distance to the next cold ice pack and number of pain pills I had to get through a few hours of sleep a night. I'll probably name my next child 'Flexeril'.

After the usual measures, I was back in the MRI coffin. Blown 1-5. The axial image over 1-5 is 'R leg nerve pressure 101'. I could put it on YouTube as a perfect example of a severely herniated disk.

So now its almost 2 months later. The pain is gone, I'm sleeping normally. No more NSAID, flex, or oxy for weeks. But I have right leg weakness, no R heel/Achilles reflex, Doc recommends I get 2nd microdiscectomy. I'm scheduled for next Friday... and I'm on the verge of canceling and riding it out.

My thoughts... no pain, getting strength and feeling back, but its slow. I'm almost walking without a limp, but I can only be standing for about an hour or so, and I gotta sit. I still use ice everyday on my back. Probably more of a crutch than anything.

Do I take on all the risks of surgery, 6 weeks of rest before I get to where I am today? Or, hope I continue to improve and pray the current herniation helps prevent future blow outs? Another reason not to sleep at night.


  • My thoughts...if you are improving, why not cancel? You can reschedule if if things halt or go backward.

    I had the revision, and while I don't regret it, if I saw improvement I would have cancelled. In fact, I waited 4weeks, just to see if I would see any improvement but I was actually getting worse.

    As long as getting better means doing so while reducing prescription meds, good!

    But, ultimately it is up to you.
  • Thanks for the input DNice. My thinking is much the same as yours.

    I did a little experimentation this week to help me decide. I stopped icing, stopped the NSAID's, and just tried to see how it felt on a normal day.

    It was tolerable, but definitely still sore. And my calf is not getting any better. I've had the calf weakness before my first surgery, and it was not this bad.

    Taking these factors into account, I've decided to proceed with the discectomy this week. My goal is to be back on the golf course by May.
  • I agree with others. If no serious pain,maybe wait on surgery. Try to strenghthen your weak areas and if you need an occaisional Advil dose, go ahead. Consider yourself more fortunate than others who have pain so bad. Still, that life is hardly worth living. I hope you remain pain free. Good luck...
  • This has been weighing on my like a ton of bricks. I decide to cancel the surgery this morning.

    The risks vs benefits are just too much to ignore. I imagined myself 2 months down the road, and still not to the point where I am currently. The anger and resentment I would feel if that happened would be unbearable.

    So I'm gonna tough it out and hope the herniated disc material is reabsorbed and clears itself.

    Thanks for the sounding board. It really helped.
  • Scrolling through some posts, I'm in a similar position as you - pain mostly subdued, still icing regularly, but numbness/weakness. I too felt like going down the rabbit hole of surgery was too much of a risk, I'm on week 6 post-herniation. How have you healed?
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