I had a discectomy for a bulging disc between L2 and L3. Had excruciating pain in my right hip, right thigh top to the knee and abdominal pain. Went to the ER after 4 days and X-Ray showed "arthritis" and my GP wouldn't order the needed MRI to look further....gave me a script for Tramadol 50 mg...same strength my Vet gave our 25 pound miniature schnauzer for her hip! Owning a dental practice, and having other arthritis pains, I KNEW that was not all that was wrong....took myself to a pain management/neurological office, where the Dr. did a fluoroscope and nerve block of the sciatic nerve, ordered an immediate MRI. (Also finally got some appropriate meds...Loratabs 10/325.) Since I could not sit or lie down without intense pain, that scared the heck out of me...how would I lie in a tube for 30 minutes and hold still??? Found an MRI center with a sit down machine...just amazing! Find one! Totally open with the machine like a "C" around you...even had a TV in front of me. This showed a bulging disc, and explained the pain. Surgeon/ neurologist appt. was scheduled and we decided to do the discectomy. Very nervous, expected massive pain afterwards and they told me it was an outpatient procedure and I would be going home a few hours later! Here I am....NO PAIN! absolutely amazing! Rt. thigh is numb, which he said would probably happen. Hardest part is to follow post op directions of no twisting, bending, lifting....dropped my glasses, and immediate reaction is to pick them up...NOT...get a "grabber" at a pharmacy prior to your surgery....a raised toilet seat also is a blessing...portable and just sits on top of the rim. The next day, I walked down the driveway to get my morning newspaper, no pain, no problem...until I realized I can't bend down and pick it up.
Back into the house for the grabber! Can't feed my dogs, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash...so definitely need someone around. All in all...a super surgery with NO after pain!
(Further note...did have unexpected very sore shoulder blades, shoulders, ribs and neck...looking online afterwards, found out you are positioned on your knees with your arms forward and weight on your upper torso during the operation....now I know why there was soreness and it makes sense. Wish I was told that, but small discovery.) Don't be afraid to do this. I did not have any need for fusions, so "simple" problem for me. Good luck and smile!