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Herniation, Surgery, Femoral Nerve and Recovery: Help

I had a herniated disc at L2/L3 in October 2011. Tried conservative treatment for 5 months (while left quad began to atrophy).
Then a microdiscectomy in March of 2012. Surgeon indicated everything went perfectly. The nerve looked "beaten up" but sprung right back. He felt 85% recovery of function was quite possible and I had reason to be optimistic. He also said recovery was slow and would possibly take one to two years. I currently have a weak upper left quad and due to this, an aggravated left knee "situation" (bone-on-bone arthritis). I am 64 years old and have been depressed and anxious since all this started 17 months ago. It (or I) have had a terribly negative effect on our small, close family (wife and son). Can anyone shed some light on the recovery from this type of injury? I have really put my life "on hold" and measure all activities and endeavors by my left leg condition which, of course, limits me and my loved ones. I realize there are so many folks who have things far worse than I do, but this has consumed me since Day 1. Any encouragement and or support is greatly appreciated. God bless you all!


  • I have no advice for you...but always support!!!
    When I am at my wits end....I tell myself...the patient needs patience! Deep breath. And another deep breath.
    I think of myself as in search of the perfect cookie...just have to find that perfect and individual "recipe".
    Take one day at a time.....and don't be too hard on yourself! Today...maybe no marathon...but tomorrow, start with a short walk. Whatever you can do. You mentioned your knees...can you get swimming?? Gentle stretches and some aquafit, ( after you talk to dr. about it...or physio). Tai-chi? Maybe not with knees...but maybe...? Just suggesting here. Not sure how yours are...I can't ride a regular stationary bike, but can a recumbent style. It helps..on the days I can get on it! Lol.
    Each day is anew to us....I try to learn atleast one new thing about my recovery. Do one new thing. If today wasn't great...hopefully tomorrow is better!
    When I think too much about my back issues, lower back for me, I can really sink deep down the spiral of....negative stuff. Gotta keep fighting it, so each day is anew. Tomorrow will be better!!!
    Thinking of you and sending support!!!!
  • Sally711SSally711 Posts: 156
    edited 03/11/2013 - 8:15 PM
    Guess I did have a wee bit of advice...just read the first line of post! Oh, I crack myself up sometimes! Starting the post with...got no advice....then ramble on with...my form of advice!!!
  • Frankie, I think Sally got it right. It is so hard to be patient, but it is also so important to focus on the small achievements. She also has a good suggestion re exercise in the pool. Like you, I had a microdiscectomy (but mine was 6 weeks ago). The three months before the surgery were miserable with excruciating pain and tons of drugs. But in the month before surgery I discovered that although I could not walk two blocks normally, I could walk comfortably in a pool. I worked my way up to almost 30 min every day--walking forward, backward, and to each side. It felt wonderful to be able to do something, rather than nothing, and it probably helped with the recovery as well. When I would think about it in terms of being reduced to walking in a pool rather than playing tennis, it was depressing. But when I would think about my daily outing to the pool and jacuzzi, and being able to do something rather than nothing, it was wonderful. Perspective is everything. Good luck! Steven
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
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