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Herniated Disc L4-L5 - Microdiscectomy

I hurt my lower back lifting weights when I was 19 years old - found out a year later that I had a herniated disc in the L4-L5 region. I tried PT, went back to lifting weights and being in my 20's was pretty stupid about it and didn't really take care of myself the way I should have. I have continued to have back pain and now I am 33 years old. I am an avid tennis player and my lower back pain really affects my playing and stops me from playing many times. I have tried every conservative treatment - PT, Chiro, decompression therapy, acupuncture, Mackenzie stretches, core strengthening, electrostim, ultrasound. Nothing has worked. I do not have pain radiating down my leg (sometimes I will feel it slightly in the front of my leg - but nothing serious) - but the lower back pain can be unbearable - ie not able to stand upright and intense pain. I started researching Microdiscectomy and a lot of what I am reading says it alleviates pain in the legs, but minimal in the back. Can anybody help me out here? Do you think it will help me? Is there anything else I should try first? I just had shoulder surgery for a torn labrum (I'm a mess...I know) so haven't played tennis in quite a few months, but am still in pain. I am new to these forums and have basically reached the pinnacle of my frustration as I am unable to live my life the way I want to because of the back pain and looking for any guidance or help anybody can provide. Thank you so much!


  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 04/17/2013 - 1:51 PM
    I am living proof that a micro-d can get rid of back pain. It did so twice.

    Preoperatively, I would say my L4-L5 case study equated to about 90 to 95% back pain.
    My L5-S1 was 100% back pain.

    Both times, the micro-d completely got rid of all pain.

    I'm going to send you a pm with a link to a resource that will help you. Look for it in your mail inbox.


    I'm going to be blunt with you: Once a disc is compromised it will forever be compromised.
    Your activities will be limited to what that injured disc can handle; it is the weakest link. As long as you keep exceeding what it can handle, you will keep having pain and problems. As you have unfortunately found out, the disc cannot handle what you are currently throwing at it. Start preparing your thought process toward the direction of reduced physical activities. This is the reality of back pain sufferers.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • hey paul, could you send me the link also? thanks
  • Thanks Paul, that link had quite a lot of information. What I am concerned about regarding the microdiscectomy is that they said if you don't have the surgery 4-6 months after you injure yourself, the odds of success are greatly reduced. I hurt myself 14 years ago - not good. Also, they said it is much more effective for alleviating leg pain than back pain, which I don't have. Do you recommend trying anything else before I go down the surgery route? As you know back pain really messes with your mind and I have reached a level of mental frustration that is not healthy.
  • I had micro-d surgery 8 weeks ago and have to say it has given me the relief I needed. I tried other options too. I put up with back and leg pain for two years before I finally had the surgery. I have to say though that I was having more trouble with a weak leg and pain in my leg verus the back pain. I am now in physical therapy and am working on getting my strength back. I have weak heel cords and hip flexors.
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