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L4 Microdiscectomy & dynamic stabilisation implant 2 weeks post op

BellyhullBBellyhull Posts: 3
edited 09/01/2013 - 11:41 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Good morning

I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience of the above recent surgery I have had with hope to give others an idea of what this surgery can do for them (all the stories I seemed to read was negative and off putting to the extent that I considered not going ahead)

My background:

I am a 25 year old athletic man, I play rugby and attend the gym regularly, I originally injured my back playing rugby around 4 years ago in a tackle, I started to suffer with sciatic pain down my left leg I tried physios, massage, ice treatment and glucosamine which did give some relief.

Around two years ago I decided to see a chiropractor as the sciatic pain started to become more frequent and annoying If anything. Unfortunely after 5 'manipulation' sessions the sciatica started to become more frequent ( I believe this worsened my condition).

I was referred to an orthopaedic 'specialist' who arranged for me to have an MRI scan, this showed that I had a herniated disc at L4 however in his words "this isn't a big deal, do some Mckenzie exercises and it will go away" as you can imagine I wasn't happy with this response and the pain didn't go away, I tried to make a follow up appointment however the 'specialist' was no longer a register surgeon of that hospital.

I left it around 12 months and after the pain become chronic and more frequent I decided to do some research and found the lead spinal surgeon for the area in xxxxx who is actually a neurosurgeon. He was very engaging and informative and agreed to send me for another MRI.

The new MRI showed that I still had the same herniated disc however this has caused my spinal canal to shrink due to the constant pressure from the disc, this was a real worry for xxxxx and he wanted to operate ASAP. He explained that a microdiscectomy and a dynamic stabilization implant was the best approach (the implant is new to the UK after been used in the US for around 15 years it acts as a shock absorber for the damaged disc and is screwed into the back of the spine)

I went in for surgery on August 19th I was down for just under 3 hours. When I came around in the recovery room I was shivering and had pins and needles sensation in my left foot, I was given morphine and this disappeared within the hour, I was visited by the surgeon the following morning and he explained my disc was a lot worse than first thought and this was the reason I was down longer but overall the surgery was a success and the nerves around the disc appeared very fresh and healthy.

I stayed in hospital overnight and was released around noon the following day, my wife picked me up and I was able to walk (slowly albeit) out of hospital.

Week 1 at home:

I am given OxyContin and codene for the pain in my lower back (surgery pain) I am laid up constantly however from day 3 I am having a couple of short walks a day without ANY sciatic pain. I do however still require help with most things e.g. Dressing and cleaning myself.

Week 2 (last week)

I had 13 staples removed from my wound by the nurses at the hospital, I was told this wouldn't hurt but they lied it was awful ha, that day I felt very sore however in the coming days I felt a lot more mobile and stopped taking all forms of pain relief at day 10.

It is 14 days today and I feel fine if anything a little stiff and feel pain when I twist/bend slightly but this I believe is from surgery. I have an appointment with a physio on the 12th of September and a follow up with the surgeon on the 30th of September after which I plan on getting back in the gym preparing my body for the coming rugby season.

Anyway the reason for this post is to give a positive story I guess, I probably havnt been as detailed as I could have been (it is transfer deadline day after all) so if anyone has any questions feel free to post them an I will respond or send me a private message.



Post edited to remove specific doctor's name. Please read the Forum rules


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