My name is Stacey and I've used Spine Health as a reference tool since 2011 after I was diagnosed with two severely herniated cervical discs (C5/6, 6/7). I required surgery because the compressions were almost completely closing off my spinal cord. I had a successful surgery and recovered completely after about 6 months. Soon after my neck surgery, I began having issues with my lumbar spine. An MRI confirmed two moderate herniations at L4/5, L5/S1. At that time, my neurosurgeon, said I wasn't really a surgical candidate. Since I was having some radiculopathy, he had me get a series of epidural injections and sent me for PT.
Realizing I needed to make some lifestyle changes, I began working with a personal trainer to strengthen my core and lose weight. I began my journey at 230 pounds and have lost 75lbs over the past two years. I've continued to train four or five times per week and have also found a love for running. I even completed my first half marathon in October of 2013. Unfortunately, even though I increased my strength and lost weight, my lumbar spine continued to deteriorate to the point that I had no choice but to have surgery. As my back has gotten worse, so has the radicular pain down my legs. I've gone through weeks of PT, had numerous epidural injections in both sides of my back and have started taking Gabepentin, Zonegran, Celebrex and use Lidoderm patches on a regular basis. Early this June, my pain specialist directed me to get an MRI and see a neurosurgeon before I could leave for a Florida vacation. The findings on the MRI showed that my herniations were severe enough that I was at risk of losing bowel and bladder control. I had already started losing muscle strength in my right leg and the pain had become severe and also involved my calf. Needless to say, I was not cleared for travel and ended up having lumbar decompression surgery on June 24, 2014.
I worked very hard to avoid surgery, but in the end, my back won. I'm two weeks post hemilaminectomy, foraminotomy, diskectomy and still have lower back pain as well as pain in both legs. Prior to surgery, my symptoms were mainly in my right leg. I'm assuming it will just take time for everything to settle down and heal. I have my PT evaluation tomorrow, so I'm hoping it will help with stretching and strengthening my back and legs again. I began walking a week after my surgery and have already worked up to two miles, but had to back down a bit because my left hip area is becoming extremely painful.
I look forward to any advise suggestions from other members. Everyone seems to be extremely supportive from what I can tell!