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Hi- I'm new and just had discectomy

Thank you so much for reading this. It's comforting to hear advice from others' experience and it gives me hope. I know it could be a lot worse but navigating a new pain issue has scared me. I am a mom of two small children and am worried how long I'll be out of commission.

Background: I'm 36 and am 11 days post op of discectomy L5 S1 and I'm learning as I go. Never had back issues - until my second pregnancy. I gave birth to a 9.5 lb boy 12/23/14 via c section and have had issues since.

Pre surgery Issues: Initially noticed bladder function off, infection from not voiding completely (thought it was due to catheter in hospital). Next, extreme pain in back then butt, back of leg and foot, also with numbness. Pain was so bad I went back to the ER at hospital where I had the baby. I couldn't sit, stand, lie down ... The dr sent me off with pain meds and told me to see an ortho. Had an MRI which showed large herniation with severe nerve root compression (based on MRI notes). Ortho had me try an injection. Nothing. Meanwhile, I'm so drugged and still in pain. I was delirious. Finally, after a month of onset, got to a neurosurgeon and he quickly scheduled a discectomy. Neurosurgeon connected bladder issue with herniation. I was in so much pain, I barely knew what I was doing.

Post surgery: No pain. Dr. removed large fragment. Relief, happiness, positivity, etc. Now, I'm noticing more numbness in leg and foot and some back discomfort. My bladder is still not emptying completely.

Questions: First, how could something like this have happened (injury or just normal wear and tear)? Second, I know it is really early days here but how much of this will go away with time vs. changes to my body I'll just need to live with. After a rough end of pregnancy and now weeks stuck in the house dependent on others while dealing with this, I'm about to lose my sanity. I can't care for my new baby or 2-year old. I'd just like to talk to anyone who has dealt with something similar.
Thanks so much and sorry for the long post! I will get to go back for a check up Thurs but am driving myself crazy in the meantime.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions and help you navigate the site

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • LeeLeeMccDeeLLeeLeeMccDee Boston MAPosts: 105
    Welcome clcw, boy have you been through a lot. and let me begin by saying your baby is incredibly cute. having a two year old, delivering a 9lb baby by c-section; no wonder you ended up with disc problem. Do you have a lot of support at home to carry your two yr old for you, change him/her, take him/her out of crib etc? Then with your newborn, the positions you find yourself having to bend forward and down to pick up baby to feed etc? All of the above are the worse possible positions for healing post-op. Have they checked you for UTI's or kidney infections? Sometimes these types of infections are asymptomatic and you could have an infection for well over a few weeks without even knowing it. After any type of back surgery, it is critical to not bend and lift over 15lbs of weight, twist or bend at the waist for at least 6 weeks and rest, rest , rest. You have to exercise (walking by yourself on flat area at least 5 times a week unless it causes a lot of pain; not sore but pain. I know you're probably saying "how the hell do I do that with a baby and a toddler?" I hope you have good family support to help you through your healing stage otherwise it will be a lot longer for you to heal properly. A bit of caution now for a lifetime of health.
    Good luck to you and your family. LeeLee
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