Ok so I'm 31 year old female who has had back ache since I was at school. I've seen physios, chiropractors, pilates instructors you name it! About 5 years ago I developed pain in my right hip/leg, I went to the doctor who sent me to a Physio, she gave me exercises saying i had a curvature of the spine and had to strengthen the muscle to straighten it out. The pain did ease off but after a few month came back but on my left side. I was having sciatic pain, lower back and hip ache along with a very restricted flexibility in both legs. My pain was generally not too bad and after all these years I'd learnt to live with it, I was still exercising and working. Occasionally my back would 'go' where I couldn't sleep due to pain when moving in bed, couldn't walk too well and was very painful. This seemed to happen every 3-4 months and would ease off after about a week or so, in the last year these 'attacks' seemed to be lasting longer. I went back to the doctor as I'd been discharged from my Physio. The doctor sent me back to a different Physio who decided I had shortened nerves in my legs and gave me stretches to try and lengthen them, after doing these and seeing him a couple times, my back 'went' so I returned to the Physio who decided to send me for an MRI to see exactly what was going on.
The results showed two slipped discs, L4-l5 L5-S1. That finally explained why I'd been having the leg pain and pins and needles in my left foot. I was put on the waiting list and, as i wasn't severely affected and still working and able to live a normal life I ended up waiting 6 months of my op....which I had 2 weeks ago today, 11/10/13.
I had a microdiscectomy on two levels to take the pressure off the spinal cord and relieve the sciatic pain.
I'd read all the stories about other peoples recovery so was expecting it to be slow.
After I woke from surgery I had sever pins and needles in my left leg which I'd never had before and the compression boots I had to wear made it feel ten times worst. I got up during the night to use the bathroom as the nurse said if I didn't go to the toilet there I couldn't go home as they needed to know that hadn't been affected, but my leg wouldn't take my weight. The doctor kept checking my leg and phoned the surgeon first thing in the morning as apparently they hadn't seen it before and wanted to check it wasn't serious.
I was told that the nerves had gone into shock and, as they had to remove a lot of tissue my spinal cord had had a lot of pressure taken off and that was the side effect, but it's was fine and would get better once they settled down and the swelling subsided.
I saw the Physio who took me for a short walk and did a flight of stairs with me and allowed me to go home giving me exercises to take with me. I sat in a wheelchair and was taken out to my mums car, I sat in the front seat which was reclined. It wasn't too bad just a bit tender on the wound when going over rough areas of road.
I was able to sit and lay with out pain, the only real issue I seemed to suffer with was my left leg. After a couple days the pins and needles wore off. But after two weeks I can feel slight numbness in the foot and sensitivity in the leg but that is the only way I would know I've even had the op. I'm going out for a walk every day which I have done since day three, walking hasn't aggravated my back just made my legs ache from walking with a limp and altering my usual way of walking.
I have read that others have taken a while to get out and about and only been able to sit for short periods of time, this hasn't been so for me. I can sit without any pain or even discomfort.
My surgeon said I should move within my own limitations and I don't really seem to have any
This makes me a little nervous though as I feel I might push myself too much as it doesn't hurt. But I'd rather this than suffering as other seem to be. My doc said recovering is slow and stops and starts so maybe I'll get pains next week but after just two weeks I'm feeling fine, even considering a gentle swim, not sure if I'd be pushing my luck with that though.
I don't really know why I seemed to be ok. I didn't suffer severely before the op which may be part of it, or maybe I have a high pain threshold or just heal well. I'm not writing this as a boast but as a positive post op story for anymore who is considering or awaiting the same op. I didn't manage to find many before I had my op so hopefully this will help others
Feel free to get in touch and good luck