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Share your experience - sciatica, herniated disc and microdiscectomy

I am not sure this is where I should post this, as it could fall into many categories here.

About 7 months ago I came down with HORRIBLE sciatic pain (I'd describe as worse than child birth). After a few weeks, it got better but not 100%. I continued to have leg pain, and numbness. I tried oral steriods, PT, chiro, massage, etc with no change. I waited a couple of months, had an MRI and it showed a large disc extrusion at L4/L5. My GP referred me to a spine surgeon. I met with a designated back doctor (per my insurance, before I could see a surgeon.) He said he rarely (in the 25 cases he had seen at that point in 2012, I was the first) recommends surgery but due to my case, he did. I saw the surgeon who did an epidural injection (which I don't have fungal meningitis from) and it did nothing. At that point, he said surgery was my best option. I was in the middle of a huge project at work, computer software conversion. So I waited. Hoping, praying that it would get better on it's own. I finally decided that I needed to do the surgery since his suggestion was for best results, 6 months from the symptoms is recommeded. So about a week shy of 6 weeks, I had a microdiscectomy. That was 4 1/2 weeks ago. I. never. felt. different. I feel exactly the same as before surgery. At my follow up, we tried oral steriods again for inflammation. I feel the same. He wants me to wait 6 - 8 weeks from surgery to see if it will get better. I have a feeling it won't but I'll wait it out.

Has anyone a similar experience? I'd love stories, good or bad.

Also, I've never tried accupuncture....any successes with that?

Thanks in advance - E


  • i had relief for a few days after my 1st micrdisectomy at l5-s1. but about a week post surgery the pain set in. (different than pre-surgery which was mostly tingling, not pain) turns out i re-herniated the disc thanks to the constipation caused by the narcotic pain killers. i had the revision surgery 4 months after my 1st, and now a year and a half later, i'm 3 months out from an l5-s1 fusion. has the doc mentioned a new MRI to rule out another herniation?
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • new2sciaticpainnnew2sciaticpain Posts: 28
    edited 10/11/2012 - 2:35 PM
    An MRI is the next step if no change @ 6 weeks after surgery. The revision didn't work for you? How soon can they do a revision? Since I have met deductibles and out of pockets already, might as well!
  • we didn't figure out that the pain was from the re-herniation initially. doc thought it was inflammation and put me on steroids and PT for a while., when the pain wasn't getting better ,we did the repeat MRI and i was in surgery 3 weeks later. (doc wanted it practically as emergency surgery though because the disc was taking up about 85% of the spinal canal and he was worried i'd end up with cauda equina syndrome.)

    i had the revision, and pain never really changed pre to post op. 4 months after the second surgery i had another MRI showing the disc had herniated for the 3rd time. basically i had a couple of docs tell me, that after herniating it twice, the back wall of the disc was shot and it would never heal, so it would keep leaking. they had hoped it would eventually collapsed and fuse on its own without causing pain, but that didn't work either. hence the fusion 3 months ago.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • Yeah, we're in the steroids, wait it out post surgery stage.

    That you! I have a feeling I'm heading in your direction.....
  • there are too many of us who end up down the same path. back surgery just doesn't work as well as everyone hopes. and granted there are alot of people out there, where it works fine and they go on their merry way. a friend of mine is like that, had the surgery 4 years ago and has been fine since. i wish i was in her shoes.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • I'm sorry your surgery didn't go as well as you hoped. I had microdiscetomy April 27 2012 and so I'm no just about 6 months post op. I had terrible sciatica pain for 7 yrs that responded to 3 epidurals but each time would reaggravate when I was too active again in the gym. I'm 42 and against my will I decided to do the surgery bc I felt I tried everything to make it better and 7 yrs was enough time. I am painfree today. It's been a slow recovery with several mild to moderate set backs where I feared I had reherniated but each time I improved again and it was just inflammation. I go to therapy once per wk and it has really helped get back my mobility. I have been back in the gym lifting weights about 3-4 x/wk with modifications to my work out and I've now been able to go on some long hikes and 3 bike rides, 20 miles being the most so far on flat and hills with minor back discomfort. I hope at this time my long term outlook is good but I suppose people on here mostly post the bad outcomes and I'm one of the few who has done very well. I think most people don't post if they are doing well but I like to encourage people that are good candidates that it can be successful. I wish the best for everyone since I know how hard it is to make the decision and go through with surgery. Wish you all the best.
  • Thank you for posting your successful outcome, it gives me some hope.
  • I was just coming here to post the results of an MRI I got. I have no clue what they mean, but I follow up tomorrow with my surgeon.
  • I just ran across this website today and I am ecstatic with all the information as well as having contact with REAL people! I used to be a Registered Nurse and worked in a major trauma unit, but so much for that. So..my story...it would be a book if I tried to write it down. In a nutshell, my husband and I were in a car accident in 1998 that disabled us both. We both had multiple spinal injuries, multiple surgeries, plus other things (I'll save for another day). My current situation is that last summer, July 2011, I had a microdiscectomy and hemi-laminectomy at the S1 junction. Post-op it was a nightmare. I suppose the nerves had been so traumatized that it felt that somebody was poking me with a cattle prod every few seconds. My legs would literally contort into positions that I'm sure, on their own, would never go there. Gradually this subsided. About 3 months after the surgery it started feeling like something was actually moving in my back. And when it did it was excrutiating. And, like most of you, I found that the remaining part of the disc had herniated. I never could figure out why the surgeon didn't secure things in the operative area because the remaining part of the disc just slid over to where the excised area was, and boom. There ya go. I have decided not to get surgery (at least for now). I wear a back brace to try to stablize the vertebra that's kind of sliding around (from what I'm told). I'm hopeful that eventually my body will handle it on its' own (with some divine intervention as well) but progress is Very slow and Very painful. Good grief, it's been over a year since the surgery and this is really getting old. So that's my story on the topic when I first got on line. I believe that in most cases, people need to be really conservative when it comes to orthopedic surgery. Once that snowball begins you can count on having pain (some people more than others) for the rest of your life. I take a boatload of medication and I would still rate my pain 8/10. I am NEVER painfree and haven't been for years. I would bet that even the folks that had "good" results will devolope issues at some point. It all catches up with you. Sorry to be gloom and doom....that's just how I feel.
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