First and foremost this looks to be an excellent community after reading through a bunch of forum threads. I really wish I had found this much sooner. For those that want the quick version of my battle with sciatica:
L5/S1 disc herniation -> 5 months of progressively worse sciatic pain -> microdiscectomy -> success -> 2 months later re-herniation - > mild pain, becomes moderate if I try energetic activities.
I am a 29 year old male dealing with an L5/S1 disc herniation. Last summer I injured my back twice in two weeks, I initially injured it on an amusement park ride (it was very sore for a week) and then severely injured it weight lifted a week afterwards. I could barely walk after the weight lifting injury and went to the ER. An MRI revealed I herniated my L5/S1 disc. Pain was only in my lower left back. I was pretty much given a conservative treatment plan: PT, medication, injections and chiropractor care did little to help.
Over time the pain started to become intense and localized on the back and side of my left leg. It reached a point that it hurt to walk and stand longer than 5 minutes. The pain was very intense, It became a struggle to do anything, life became miserable. After much debate, I saw a well-respected neurosurgeon and had a microdiscectomy. The surgery was 5 months after my initial injury.
After the surgery the pain was gone, it was amazing! I felt like I had gotten my life back. I began to walk and do light PT a few weeks after the surgery. I noticed stiffness and low pain in my back 5 weeks after surgery, but it was low level stuff that was more of an annoyance than anything else at first. Unfortunately it has worsened over the course of 3 months after the surgery and I started to get occasional pain in the upper portion of left leg. The neurosurgeon wanted an MRI and sure enough I had another herniation in the L5/S1 disc, it was much less severe than my initial herniation but it seems to be the source of my current pain.
I am back in PT and have been using lioderm patches. I feel I am in a touch spot, as the pain is not frequent or strong enough to prevent me from doing my daily tasks, but I cannot do anything active as it will act up and I will be sore next few days. I used to be super active prior to this injury, playing sports, hiking etc. Post injury all I really do is read, walk, and non-energetic type stuff. I am somewhat depressed about this condition and I fear this is going to worsen again overtime.
I know many people are dealing with much worse sciatic/back conditions and my heart goes out to them, I can only begin to imagine what you have gone through up to this point. Any feedback, advice or even a story of your battle with sciatica/microdiscectomy would be much appreciated!