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Recording my journey. Severe herniation at L5S1

Im 45 male, had back problems for 20+ years. Had one shot about 6 years ago for just a bulging disc at same location. At that time it was a godsend.

2 months ago I started getting worse back pain and shooting pain down my left leg. Long story short as i have explained it in the new member thread. Got another shot yesterday for a severe herniated disc and sciatica. By yesterday afternoon pain was coming back. At 3am the pain woke me and I have not been able to get any relief. Ice, pain killers, more ice, different positions. Nothing. Constant pain from back, butt, back of leg down to the calf.

I will be contacting the DR and see where to go now.

I want to keep a record of my story as others have. I will update as I can


  • Did you hear from the doctor today? What did he say?
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Was told the pain was to be expected for three to five days. Ice tended to help. Woke up this morning to go to the restroom and I almost doubled over in pain. I felt like I was stabbedin the back, out was so intense. Laying back down with ice is helping. Is this part of normal?
  • Even people who have the exact same surgery with the same surgeon and similar medical history will experience pain totally different. I'd try to hang in there a couple of more days, but if it doesn't go away, I'd request an appointment and ask for x-rays. Although its rare, problems can arrise immediately after surgery and if that has happened, you'll want it diagnoses and fixed ASAP.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Yesterday was up and down. Some moments of pain and some of relief. Went to bed an got good sleep.woke up around five and went to take some meds.while standing at the sink I turned to get some water and the next thing I know I'm falling into the shower. My sides came to help I was able to get up. Went back to sleep for a couple more hours. Now my leg pain is worse again. Only relief is laying on my back.
  • azsgolfaazsgolf Posts: 23
    edited 03/22/2013 - 9:37 AM
    Today I saw the neurosurgeon and he agrees surgery is needed at this point. I have lost strength in my left leg. Pain is still there. At this point I am back to where I was before the shot. There has been some relief but very little. Sitting is still difficult due to pain but better. Laying on my back still seems to be the most comfortable position.

    Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday and will be a microdiscectomy. No fusion is needed. Due to the nature of my job I will be out for at least 3 months.

    I'll be honest, the pain this past week has been so up and down, depression and worse thoughts ran through my head. For those that have dealt with this level of pain for longer then more then a couple of months, I really have some respect. I also feel for you.

    I know this isn't a 100% procedure, but I am looking forward to the potential.
  • If you haven't already, you would benefit from using the tips and suggestions in the FAQ at the top of the page, for you pre and post surgical preparation.

    2 suggestions I have, based on bad experiences. I explained my previous bad experiences to the surgeon and we agreed on a post surgical way to prevent the issues from repeating. They were poor pain and bowel management. He agreed to write up very flexible medication instructions to the nursing staff, so I could access the pain medication (within reason, of course) and laxative / enema as required without needing to have long time frame interactions between nurses and surgeon, etc. Worked well, and didn't have any dramas. So, get an agreed plan from your surgeon for pain and bowel management before surgery. Also do research on these topics so you are on top of them in the hospital. If you do these, you will thank me later. (You will read many unnecessary and unpleasant experiences on these two topics here)

    Good luck.
  • azsgolfaazsgolf Posts: 23
    edited 03/24/2013 - 4:39 AM
    Yes I need to get some of those things together, especially the stool softener. Luckily I have family close by so I have plenty of help. Plus my wife will be working from home half the time to also help.
  • Had surgery yesterday and when I woke up, all the leg pain and discomfort was gone. The dr informed me there were a couple nerves that were being pinched not seen on the MRI. Took awhile to leave the hospital due to the need to urinate. They pumped me up with fluids and finally was able to 7 hours after the procedure.

    The drive home was uneventful, home time was good. Sleeping was broken up because now all that fluid was making its way out, lol.

    This morning I have just a little pain in the area of the procedure but only when I'm getting up out of bed or a chair. Walking is pain free, sitting and lying down is comfortable. Right now I am ecstatic with the results.
  • KeytanKeytan Posts: 41
    edited 07/02/2013 - 6:55 PM
  • Want to let everyone know my update. As I've seen others experience, I too am starting to feel some pain again. Nothing big, usually its after I have been sitting for a period. And my hamstring is extremely tight. This tends to contribute to the pain. Yes I can feel there is still some swelling and nerve aggravation. And I've been told this will take some time to heal.

    But the difference between before surgery and after has been well worth it. I may never be as active as I once was, or maybe I will. But whatever level I end up at, I will take it everyday over what I was going through before.

    I wont lie, there is still a long road to recovery. PT is really showing me how far I have to go. But I am motivated.

    All those looking at having surgery, make sure the Dr is extremely confident in the source of the pain. That is probably the #1 factor in the success of the surgery. I was lucky. My MRI was pretty obvious.

    I will continue to update as time goes on.
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 04/28/2013 - 12:35 PM
    Love to see success stories. Glad you are healing. Stay positive!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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