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1 year L5S1 microdiscectomy

Hello ladies and gents

My name is Gareth , from South Africa . Thought I would share my story as I myself have had a roller coaster ride since my op . But not as bad as some people I have read about here .
I have followed these posts since I was first diagnosed but have only decided to tell my story now .

February 2012 - I was playing cricket with some mates , we had been playing for a about a hour and had bowled quite a bit , then I bowled one wrong ball and was in some serious pain .
I went to a pharmacy and got myself a voltaren injection and hoped the pain would go away . Well it didn't !

During that week i went to a chiropractor who took one look at me and told me my pelvis had shifted and did a few twists and cracks ( which I personally think messed me up more ) and said ill be fine . 3 days later and the pain had not subsided at all , a mate told me about his chiropractor ( dr b richie ) who he had been using for some time and spoke highly of him

Made a appointment and went to see him , he lay me down did a few tests ( lifted leg , funny pizza cutter look alike that they run along the side of the foot ) and asked me to walk on tippie toes and heels , I was having severe siatic pain but the toe walk wa perfect . He was very surprised that with all my symptoms that I could still walk properly . He warned me that if my symptoms changed I should contact his ASAP . At this stage he said he is pretty sure that I had a L5S1 disk herniation and refused to do anything to my back except massage it .

About 4 days later I woke up one morning , stumbled to the bathroom to take my morning leak ad then I discovered I couldn't feel my hand on my penis and couldn't tell if I had finished urinating or not . I must be honest I got such a fright , I didn't know what was going on ad u had a business trip the next day , I called mr chiro te next morning to tell him the changes I was experiencing and he said I must come in ASAP , I went to see him on the wednesday once back from my trip , we went throught the tests agin , until we got to the toe walk , I was shocked that I hadn't noticed that I couldn't support myself on my toes since my last doc visit . He was worried at this stage and said I need to see a neurosurgeon ASAP .

He tried to get me into a few and all were booked up for months , the guy that was booked up for around 6 months was in his opinion the best and called him personally from his cell and told the doc my story and that he didn't think I could wait any longer . Doc said I must come in early the next day and he will come and see me before office hours !

Walked in the next morning and went straight for a MRI !
MRI revealed a large disk herniation ( my profile pic shows it ) , to cut a long story shorter , ended up having the op and within 24 hours I was able to hold myself up on my weaker foot ( right side )
Pain was manageable and I was on my way to recovery !

6 weeks post op I started surfing again ! Was as happy as could be , slowly started getting back into the gym , surfed as much as possible and in the process lost around 13 kg of body fat

Then around 8-9 months post op I experienced a cramp or 2 while surfing . Particularly after about a hour to 1.5 hours .
I thought to myself , probably magnesium deficiency .....
Then the more I surfed and the more weight I lost , the more I started cramping , then I started to notice a "tremor" like action in my right calf . I would sometimes sit for minutes watching my calf have its own party without my control .
I thought nothing of it an thought it was part of the healing process until about 6 weeks ago where the "tremors" became more and more and my cramps in my calf started getting bad . Then I emailed my Neurosurgeon and again he was booked up but made a plan to see me .
He suspects its nerve damage , my problem is when I had the op I had no medical aid and was a cash patient and medical facilities in South Africa are not great for these types of operations and I had to use a private hospital . So after the op I went onto a medical plan and I had a year exclusion which ends 30/31march , doc says he is happy for me to wait until then to have another MRI to see if the disk had compressed anymore or if there is some scar tissue that is causing the trouble .

It is very frustrating , just this Wednesday myself and a mate went through to Jeffers bay on Wednesday evening after work and were surfing supertubes , which on a bug day can be a experience in its own ( luckily it was only 3/4 foot ) after my 3rd wave I said to my mate I can feel I am going to cramp , the very next waves I was getting to my feet my calf cramped so hard that my mate was saying pull it out on my toes , that helps nothing ! Here I am in the water looking like a fool cramping so hard that I can't even get back into my board, I eventually got back onto the board while still cramping and managed to rub it loose !

Anyone else out there experience what I am having and successfully recovered from these symptoms ?

There in nothing more annoying than not being able to do what you love

Other than that I have had a good recovery and am glad that I can pretty much carry on with day to day activities !
Sorry if I have rambled on , if you have any suggestions , experiences or recommendations pleas let me know ! Exercises etc ! Anything realy !

Gareth
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