Wanted to share my story real quick, this forum has been a great relief from the nights of pain. I'm a thirty year old male, I spent 9 years in the Army which I suspect is the primary culprit here (worth every day of
It though). I'm active here in beautiful Colorado and in good (?) shape (tough to define shape).
In January 2014 I had just finished up a long training run of approx. 10 miles, later that afternoon I went to finish up my workout at the gym with some strength work. While doing front squats at a relatively light weight (225) my left knee leaked out causing my left hip to be compromised at the mid-way up point. I literally folded like an accordion under load, as soon as I stood up I knew it was bad, I barely made it to the car trying not
To vomit, and immediately began praying. And so it began.
I laid up for about two weeks, at the ten day mark I saw a chiro and proceeded t get around 4-5 adjustments over the next week and a half. At first I didn't have much more then severe back pain, however my spine was crooked as a mountain road. The sciatic pain come on gradually, hitting at about the three week mark, and progressing daily. After about a month of chiro only work and some core work I lost the ability to walk for more than 100ft or so.
In February I began a six week treatment at a local chiro
Clinic. Treatment involved decompression following x-rays that showed spondy at the l5/s1 level. Decompression was 5 days a week for 15 minute sessions, afterwards in the same clinic chiro adjustments and some manual manipulation were also part of daily treatment. Lidocane injections in joint space was weekly. Six weeks and the nerve pain increased 10 fold.
Things escalated quickly, MRI followed that showed large lateral extrusion (herniation) at L5/S/1 and small extrusion at L4/L/5. April 1st was really the culminating moment, after a week of excutriating sciatic pain I went to the local VA ER where I was able (thank you Jesus) to schedule a cortisione shot for later in the week. The shot given in the disc space (joint space?)
above L5/S1. The shot without a nerve block took about 3-4 days to "kick in". The shot did take away the top end pain sometimes a 12/10, and allowed the pain to level off at a consistent 6-8, certainly nothing to shake a stick at, but not all together relieving.
I went to see a Nuro-surgeon, after walking him through conservative treatments he suggested a discetomy at the L5/S/1. He didn't seem all that concerned short term with the herniation at L4/L/5 level and thought through strengthening exercises it could be managed. Fast forward a week and I was in surgery. All in all I crawled in to surgery and came out doing backflips. I checked in at 7:30, was in surgery at 9:00 and in the car on my way home (wife driving of course) by 11:45. During the procedure the surgeon found bone chips that were compounding the actual disc herniation pressing on the nerve at both levels. Through the single incision he was able to reach and fix both herniations.
Day 1 recovery/happiness has been a piece of cake. Anesthesia wore off in the evening, I wAs able to eat without any difficulty and drink (along with natural digestion and urination). I got a bit scared when I first felt the incision so I took 1 Percocet, in all honesty I didn't have any need to,
Just fear of new terrible pain. 12 hours of sleep later and the pain of the incision is a 1 (maybe) it just feels how stitches do (liquid albeit) and the skin is tight.
Conclusion: though I feel I did what I could to prevent surgery ultimately I should have gotten an MRI immediately, and after two months had the surgery. Instead I lasted another month of which life was not life, I laid on the couch, and fought to find a position that would take away the pain. Surgery is scary certainly, but I feel there's only so many times someone can cry because of pain until they will do whatever necessary to relieve the pain.
Medication taken: methrodroyel (?) x2
Prednisone 12 day taper x1
Cortisione shot x1