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L5-S1 micro discectomy

I am 2 days post op for L5-S1 micro discectomy. I was just looking for advice and opinions from others who have had this procedure. My surgical pain is very high and is manageable with Lortab/muscle relaxers and ice. My symptoms prior to,surgery were typical sciatic issues in left leg, hamstring, and into,the foot. I thought after surgery I would have more immediate relief of these symptoms. Just wondering if any one else has had similar experiences and if there's anything I can do to help provide myself with a full recovery.


  • The micro discectomy is different for everyone. Some people wake up with immediate relief and others, it takes some time.
    Even though it's micro surgery, it is big surgery that can create some post surgical inflammation. That inflammation can delay you feeling any relief.

    I can only give you tips I learned
    - Walk about 10 min on flat surface every couple of hours. It helps keep scar tissue from adhering to the nerves
    - Drink lots of water (this has 2 benefits --> forces you to get up and keeps your digestive system 'going')
    - don't strain --> seriously no lifting, bending, twisting (silly thinks like vaccuuming, laundry, and stuff can get you into trouble)
    -take stool loosener like Colace (I know, TMI but surgery and medication can constipate you)
    - Careful while sleeping - if on side, put pillow between your legs, if on back, pillow under your knees.
    - When you start to feel better, don't overdo it. Just because you feel better, don't go all out. Slowly increase your activity.
    - patience. It's a big surgery, so give yourself time to recover. Sleep is important.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for the tips and info! Everything you mentioned makes sense for sure. I've had C6-C7 cervical,fusion last year and I had instant relief with minor post op pain. I was just expecting similar results with this micro discectomy, results have been disappointing and post op pain has been terrible.
  • I just want to chime in here and say your case is not uncommon.

    For example, when I had my L5-S1 micro-d, I was in terrible immobilizing pain for about a month afterwards. I was bedridden and really could not do much; I thought for sure 100% it was a failure. It was only inflammation. I was given an ESI right into where the surgery was done and a week later I was fine.

    Also, I was instructed to get into aquatic pool therapy. Do an online search for Lynda Huey pool therapy to see what that is about. I did pool therapy after my L4-L5 micro-d but I didn't know the water is supposed to be neck high. The buoyancy is necessary on the upper body not the lower.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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