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post surgery l5 s1 discetomy

Thought I would share my story after reading so many on the forum.
On the 26th of November 2013 I woke up at 3am with unbearable pain, initially I guessed it felt like a torn hamstring but it did not go away. I was offshore at the time and for a week struggled to get more than 1 hours sleep when I lay down the pain was terrible and after finding a position to sleep if I moved a cm I was awake in pain again. After getting onshore in Dubai I was sent to Medi-clinic and given pain killers, an X-RAY and MRI. It showed I had L5-S1 disc herniation with nerve root compression so was booked for surgery for the 9th of December to have a left side l5-s1 discectomy. This was quite scary for me, I was 31, never had surgery or anything else in my life and many many miles from loved ones in the UK. After getting the pain killers it didn't really bring down the pain too much but by surgery on the 9th of December I was a wreck having had only an hour of sleep per day. After surgery I was pain free, no pain from the surgery either, probably subdued with pain relief I suppose it felt great. My left foot three of the toes had pins and needles my left calf cramped a lot probably because I hadn't used the leg for 2 weeks and my left leg was slightly numb. On the start of Feb 2014 the pins and needles gradually went away and my leg numbness was 95% gone. I started PT once a week and did my stretches at home daily. My right leg started to get a little irritated when walking for a few miles but my left side is fine. Speaking to the PT he said after surgery you become focused on every little niggle which I was at first becoming very worried every time I felt something it was a bad sign. But I realised with me that my pain was that bad before surgery I probably never felt the right leg at the time, irritation will come and go while the nerve heals and feeling comes back, and it can take many months for it to repair itself. Also within the last two weeks I got pain in my coccyx which is just starting to settle down. So currently 5 months post ops I still do my stretches daily, walk and some swimming resulting in irritation but have had no pain. I feel for everyone who has had this surgery because unless you have the pain and surgery people don't understand just how bad it can be, it doesn't kill you it just tortures you. I now hope to put this behind me and will be going back to work at the end of May. Thanks for reading, Paul.


  • I had great success with my discectomies and pain relief as well. Unfortunately I have 3 bad discs, and after fixing the first two, it seems the third has finally blown. Much luck to you, and thank you for sharing!
    Alyssa Auch
    24, mother of 3, two discectomies at ages 17 and 23.
    Currently battling more disc pain.
  • paul777ppaul777 Posts: 3
    edited 05/24/2014 - 2:32 PM
    Hi Alysaa,
    Sorry to hear you have to go through this a third time, hope it goes well with the third and you can put it behind you. Good luck. Paul
  • Qman2QQman2 Posts: 37
    edited 05/24/2014 - 5:58 PM
    I lifted a couch on 11/23/13 and ruptured the L4/L5 disc. I felt something in my back go when it happened and the next day after standing/walking for a period of time I experienced intense lower right leg pain. I tried oral steroids for most of December and a 12/27 MRI confirmed a rupture. They recommended epidurals but after 2 of those and PT, my pain was getting worse. Finally saw the surgeon on 3/19 and had discectomy on 3/20. Like you, I had no more nerve/nerve root pain and the surgery pain didn't require pain killers. I'm 2 months post op and feeling good. When I described my pain to the surgeon, he understood completely.

    I feel very fortunate now not to have back or nerve pain issues that impact my quality of life. I really feel as good now as I did about 1-2 weeks post op. I guess I'm the poster child for this type of surgery!

    March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy
  • Mate that's good news with the recovery some people have very quick post op success but end up doing to much too soon, its great though to get that feeling and having your life back without any pain, just don't go lifting any couches for a few months!!!! Take care Paul
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