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Have decided on microdiscectomy! Opinions please =)

I am 24, I have had a pinched sciatic nerve for 5 years. It originally was much worse but still causes me consistent grief. I am at a point in my life where I want to be active, I want to play sports, I want to take martial arts most of all. Sciatica stops me in my tracks from doing any of this. I have tried physical therapy three times, always makes it worse. I have take generic neurontin and it does absolutely nothing. My symptoms are exclusively leg pain, there is no back pain at all. From what I read my type of symptoms would benefit from a microdiscectomy. Can I have some opinions on this? Similar experiences?


  • Probably mine is more painful. Been dealing with sciatica for 9 months now. Im also considering surgery now that i just had a relapse and im literally bed ridden for 5 days now. Pain never stop. I started taking lyrica but they say it usually takes a week to take effect. :(
    Microdiscectomy scheduled on May, 2013. With L5/S1 disc herniation. Scared but im going for it!
  • Visionary I went thru something similar. In 2011 I started having a terrible pain on right buttock and right foot after doing yard work. MRI showed herniated L4-L5 disc. Pain was 11 on a scale of 1-10. Opted for surgery. Had a microdiscectomy a month later. Going pretty well a year later but still have regular numbness and pain in right foot but have learned to live with it. Some weeks are bad but some are good.
  • I am always so amazed when I read people have lived with this for years. My disc extruded and impinged my nerve for 6 weeks and I had surgery, BUT I did have signs of nerve damage at that early stage. There is NO way I could have lived in that condition for years.

    I would recommend it!!!!! Yes, there are always risks with surgery but you could risk very permanent damage if you don't. Do I still have issues, yes. But I would do it all over again in a second.
  • KeytanKeytan Posts: 41
    edited 07/02/2013 - 7:34 PM
  • catfishmanccatfishman Posts: 185
    edited 02/06/2013 - 4:39 AM
    keytan, i am right there with you, that first hour or two is hell in the mornings, if i did not have to lift heavy things at work, and have a family to support also, i would go tomorrow and get the surgery.
  • KeytanKeytan Posts: 41
    edited 07/02/2013 - 7:34 PM
  • Best decision I made as far as my back goes... I still have issues but nothing near what I had before the surgery
  • waltfwwaltf Austin, TXPosts: 18
    I would agree with some of the other posters here - if you have had it this long (5yrs), have tried conservative treatment (PT) and still have an issue then surgery could be a good option.

    I would suggest getting a good pain management specialist first and see what he/she wants to do next. For some people Epidural Steroid Spinal injections work well and last for as much as 6 months at a time (for some they do not work at all).

    If a microdiscectomy is in the cards, then you have a better chance of healing while you are still young (as opposed to waiting for many more years).

    For me (unfortunately) the microdiscectomy did not work; I reherniated a huge piece of disc the DAY AFTER surgery and ended up in an ambulance/hospital and had a repeat discectomy 2 days after first (just pop out those staples and go back in, hardly started to heal). Turns out I am just one of the unlucky few that kept herniating (had 3 microdiscectomies in 2 months, and then 6 months later an L4/L5 fusion).

    BUT, I am 55 years old and you are only 24 (my discs are a LOT more 'dryed-out' than yours), so hopefully you will be among the 84% (of younger patients) for whom a discectomy works well. See this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18165746

    You did not say at which spinal level your disc herniation is. If it is L5/S1 then you stand a better chance of good results than a herniation at L4/L5.

    Good Luck (and post back here when you make a decision)!
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