I would like to let everyone know MY STORY and it may help others with the same condition. Sorry so long winded but attempting to make it easy to follow.
About myself: 33 yr old male, athletic build, 195 lbs.
Condition: Dealt with sciatica on right side of buttocks down the whole right leg for 14 months due to a herniated disk L4/L5.
Cause: No specific event or trauma caused this condition as it just developed and worsened over time.
Attempted cures in order. Perception pain pills/relaxers, chiropractor, PT, massage, Nerve block/ steroid injections (1 time).
Surgery: Laminectomy and Diseconomy to L4/L5 disc. Surgery done July 8th, 2014
On August 28th, 2012 I was wakeboarding (doing nothing fancy) and at the end of my run I let go of the rope swam back to the boat, lifted myself in and after a few short minutes my lower back started to tighten up (nothing severe). Once we returned to shore when I got out of the boat my body was really crooked and took 3 days with muscle relaxers and pain pills to straighten back up again and never had any issues (keep in mind I never had any issue's or surgeries in the past).
On May 17, 2013, I was simply screwing in a bolt of some outdoor furniture and all of a sudden I fell to the ground in great pain and I was crooked again, same symptoms as last time. This time I went to the chiropractor twice a day for 3 days and after 7 days I was back to normal again thinking it was just a strain to my back. A few months later I started to develop pain in my right leg and and a tingling feeling. I went to my located doctor who schedule me with an MRI which showed I had a herniated L4/L5 disc and prescribed PT for 6 weeks. This did help at first but as time went on the condition got worse and I was finding that I could not stand for more than 10 minutes or my right leg would go numb. I was able to deal with the pain knowing that if I walked or laided down the pain would go away.
On May 15, 2014 I was finally frustrated with the numbness as it was affecting my daily life and seemed to be getting worse by the week. I sought out the best hospital I could find with in reasonable travel distance and lead me to EDIT with is ranked #1 in the country for neurosugery, so I sought out their opinion on my condition. After the surgeon reviewed my MRI from last year he advised that I should attempt the back injections as he did not want to operate as that would be the last resort. Keep in mind at this time was was unable to walk/stand and sit. I could only lay down and walk about 20 feet before I had to lay down. It was a 10 on the pain scale of 10. I had the first round of back injections which helped about 50% which allowed me to walk and stand for about 1 hour before I had lay down again. As each week went on, I felt the pain coming back. I met with the doctor again which he had take a new MRI and lone and behold my disc ruptured and a fragment broke off which was crushing my nerve and now I was losing strength on my right foot and I failed the toe test. (this is where he pushes down on your toes and you have to resist. I had little to no strength). He said the surgery is a MUST and must be done ASAP which he scheduled a week later on July 8, 2014.
I went into surgery at 7:30am and was out by 9:30am. When I woke up from surgery, it was a miracle that the leg and butt pain was 100% gone. They then took me to my room in which they kept me overnight as a precaution. Seven hours after surgery PT got me out of bed and had me walk the halls for 15 minutes which I could not believe I would walk with no sciatic pain. Mind you my back was sore due to incision. The next morning the DR. came to see me again to ask how I was doing. He then talked to me about the surgery and said that I had 2 fragments crushing my nerve and was amazed how I would even walk prior to surgery. He explained that the removal of the 2 fragments was apporx. 20% for the disc. He said he did not have to cut an more of the disc as just the removal of the fragments were all that was needed. My incision was approx 3" not the typical 1" due to my muscle structure (which he told me prior to surgery)
Due to the large amount of disc being removed, he said I could not bend,twist or pick up more than 10lbs for 3 MONTHS and not the typical 4-6 week recovery. He did not say when PT would start as he said scar tissue must form first and I must take it really easy.
Day 1-2 - I only have pain at the incision but is handled by pain meds. 4-6 hour rotation
Day 3-4 - I am able to get up from the laying position myself and walk about 20 minutes each time I get. (5-6 times a day)
Day 5-6 - I am seeing it easier to get up and take showers and I have scheduled the appointment to remove my sutures (stitches) next week.
I will keep you updated as time progresses but I am staying positive and taking it real easy. Also helps that I have a wonderful wife.
ISSUES DUE TO SURGERY.
Though I did not have any sever complications, I did experience the below scares.
- It took 7 hours after surgery to pee which they were concerned but it did flow and everything is fine.lol
-My throat is still a little sore which I am told is normal due to the breathing tube.
- Took 2 days to have a bowl movement due to pain meds and stool softeners aided with this. All is fine now.
Right now I am grateful of the outcome and prepared if I have any lingering symptom which I do not have at the moment. My best word of advise is to not take everything you read on forums and the internet seriously. I spent days on this form reading "MOSTLY" bad outcome's and scared the hell out of me. I looked at it this way, If peoples surgery went well, they are more likely not to post on the forums as they have no reason to. If you had complications, you are trying to find other people with the same complications. I took my time to write this to show people that surgery can work and be successful. I am the type of person that researches the crap out of things and I was only going to surround myself with the best team and hospital I could find . I wish everyone going through this surgery the very best and stay positive as I am ready for the road to Recovery. I would be happy to address any questions anyone may have. It's great to be able to walk pain free again, as I suffered for almost 2 years with the last month prior to surgery as the worst.
God is Great,
Post edited to remove name of specific hospital. by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team