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Sciatica, Microdiscectomy Surgery, and my road to Recovery

32 year old, Male.

Symptoms first presented itself in July 2012 with sharp shooting pain in the buttocks most noticeably when transferring from a seated to upright position.

Doctor visits in September due to electric-like sensations shooting down left leg which led to physical therapy, chiropractic visits, acupuncture, massage, and natural healing in late September through December. Showed definite improvement and relief throughout physical therapy visits but nothing long lasting and overall symptoms continued to worsen.

Noticed permanent numbness on fourth and fifth toes along the outer left foot in mid-November which led to an MRI.

MRI results showed a 28x11mm disc herniation at the L5/S1 vertebrae. Surgery to follow late December.

Recovery Projections: Surgery. Overnight stay at the hospital. Out of work for 2 weeks. 3 months for full recovery.

Day 1: Post Op
Spent an hour in the recovery room then was transferred to my room.

Symptoms:
- Slight numbness still remains in left foot. Was forewarned that it would be the last to resolve itself with a slight possibility to never healing 100% (still more manageable than the sciatic pain itself).

- So far no recurring pain in the left leg and/or buttocks. Remaining in a reclined position in a hospital bed, afraid to sit up.

- Definite pain and tenderness at incision site.

- Sat upright 5-10min to eat (clear liquid diet, BLAH!), noticed no pain in left leg.

- Nausea. Possible reaction to the anesthesia.

Doc reported surgery went well with no complications. Should be released the next morning. Hopefully the world doesn't end. 12-21-12. LOL
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134

Comments

  • Sounds promising. All the best on going home to normal surroundings. Hope the numbness clears up quick. It will probably tingle heaps, be very sensitive to light touches of sheets (etc) and feel like a burning kind of sensation, as the nerve regenerates. Its sort of hard to describe. Hopefully you can handle it without nerve pain medication. Many here have to use it, so do I.
  • Thanks DaveFusion.

    UPDATE: Day 2 - Coming Home, etc etc.

    Released from hospital. Did a little walking. Pain at the incision area still remains but slowly lessening. Was prescribed Vicodin and Gabapentin, being weened off the Gabapentin. Sat down to eat for the first time in 2 weeks. Very slight residual pain in previously affected leg. Was told that would eventually go away. Pain at the incision area not significant enough to use the Vicodin. Will most likely use it for getting a good nights sleep. Showering and getting dressed is very difficult. Glad to have the help from my girlfriend. So far pretty pleased with the improvements and shocked at how the pain at the incision point is far less than expected. Hopefully the improvements will continue. At this point the biggest challenge seems to be remembering not to over-exert myself.
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  • JoxentineJJoxentine Posts: 22
    edited 12/22/2012 - 9:36 PM
    UPDATE: Day 3

    Showering and getting dressed is still pretty difficult. Pain at the incision point is slowly reducing. Haven't had to take Vicodin at all today. Slow, steady improvements. Nothing much to update. Just taking it easy.
  • Joxentine, Boring is oh so good, savour it.

    Hopefully you'll dodge the 3 day anaesthetic wearing off type pain.

    Yes, it's difficult to remember no BLT before initiating a simple action. But essential! Funny how we don't really think about what we do, our sub conscious thinks and then moves us into action before the conscious brain realises. Need to stop it.

    Keep up the good recovery. And yeah, world didn't end and we're still here!
  • UPDATE: Day 4

    Sustained improvement. Noticed itching at the incision area. Hopefully that means its beginning to heal. Doing a lot more walking. At this point I feel pretty confident that I won't have to use the Vicodin again. I'm able to roll on my sides in bed more easily now which is a plus for me since that is the most comfortable sleeping position. It has been really uncomfortable sleeping on my back for the past couple days. Showering and getting dressed is still problematic but not impossible to do so alone. Girlfriend still helping out which is a huge deal. Grateful for family and friends to be at my side during this time of need. Merry Christmas everyone!
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  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 12/24/2012 - 3:52 AM
    Your going great. Itching is good, yes it means it healing. Rolling and sleeping on side at this early stage is very good progress. Was some weeks for me.
  • I'm glad to hear you are doing so well, but please take it easy and don't be fooled. After my first microdisc I felt really well around the 2 week mark and started putting up floorboard trim in my house, boy that was a mistake, I ended up reherniating. So even though you are feeling well, keep by the docs timelines. Merry Christmas
    Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy/Foraminalectoy L4/L5/S1 Oct 2009, Mar 2012
    Laminectomy L4/L5/S1 Dec 2009, Oct 2012, Dec 2012
    Microdiscectomy and Synovial Cyst removal Feb 2013
    St Jude Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted January 2014

  • Thank you for the well wishes everyone. Merry Christmas.

    UPDATE: Day 5

    I can comfortably sleep on my side now. The itching is still there. Walking has become very easy. There is almost no pain at the incision point while walking now. Able to painlessly wash my hair and the front part of my upperbody and arms. Girlfriend still assists with my lowerbody. Don't want to take a chance just yet. Able to painlessly put on a shirt. Still using assistence from my girlfriend to dress my lower half. Intending to play it safe as much as possible. Still focused and constantly reminding myself to take it easy and not over-exert myself with anything.
  • UPDATE: Day 6

    Not much to report. Continued reduction in pain at incision point. Can sleep on my side and roll over in bed with no issue. Noticed tightness in my left buttocks and what feels like muscle fatigue in my left calf. I'm not sure.
  • Great recovery.

    Remember not to sit still too long before moving.
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