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Anyone had microdiscectomy while at uni?

I am interested to know other peoples stories/opinions

I know everyone is different and heals at different rates etc. but I am curious if anyone had this surgery while going to school? I am trying to decide if I will have mine before school starts(this means only a couple weeks of PT with a new trainer - tried in UK when I was there for this past year).

How long did it take you before you could sit through classes?

The issue is I do not want to rush going for the surgery if PT can fix it(it is a large herniation of the L5S1 and a couple other minor ones) but school starts in about 5 weeks and I dont want to be in pain the whole semester and while in classes especially because this is my last semester and I also dont want to be stuck not being able to work out for several months.

I have 4 more sessions of traction left so I plan to decide next week what I will do. So far I dont feel much different but it has only been 2 sessions.


  • I don't have the exact answer to your question, I am just kinda sharing what happened in my case:

    One month into the new semester, I blew out my L5-S1. I could barely get out of bed so I had to drop out. I did my own PT of traction and walking that took about a month or two. During that month or two, there was no way I could have sat in a classroom.

    However, after about 3 months, I was feeling better. Eventually, I was ok enough to get back in the following semester.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • This is just PT, no surgery?

    I have considered just doing PT but after being done with 1/2 of my traction appts I have only noticed the sciatica now is on the left rather than right but the back pain still persists. Some of my professors I have spoken with have said perhaps skip the semester and start again next spring but these are my final 3 courses and only 2 are offered in the spring, though I would have other options.

    I just dont want to rush a decision because of school but at the same time, I cannot put graduating off any longer (I could have completed two degrees in the time it has taken me). Usually when I have an issue I have a clear answer but in this case I just do not know what to do and it is stressing me out a lot and that stress increases as school gets closer. I have told my parents that I will make my decision wednesday of next week on what I plan to do.
  • hawk057hhawk057 Posts: 76
    edited 07/26/2014 - 6:15 PM
    anyone else have a similar experience?
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 07/26/2014 - 6:56 PM
    You're young, but there are many people here who've had their surgery at the same age. I, personally, would recommend either taking a hiatus or seeing if you could do a learning by distance or online program if you insist on staying in school during and after surgery.

    Here are my own experiences with my fusion:

    Immediate result after my 2 level 360 fusion, I could not get the pain under control and I literally don't remember any of my first 4 days in the hospital except that I was miserable. I couldn't draft a single text message for a week. I couldn't drive for 6 weeks. I was on a strict rest and walking schedule and really couldn't manage much more than that as I was not sleeping well from all the pain. Also, I completely relied on the assistance of my family to helpe with almost everything for the first couple weeks. I couldn't even hold my hair dryer to dry my own hair.

    If I had tried to do any part of my recovery while studying, it would have been very difficult. Not impossible, but very trying.

    How many levels and what procedure are you having?
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I thought about taking the semester off but there is an issue of these being my final 3 courses, 2 of which wont be offered in the spring, and financial aid. If I am not registered for classes until November I would be required to start paying my fafsa loan back and neither me nor my parents have the money for it. With how it is affecting my day to day life I wouldnt be able to do courses unless I do the surgery. My only concern is sitting thru 1 hour lessons while sitting. Granted they are small class size so I might be allowed to get up for a brief break.

    As for level I am not sure what you mean by that, unless you are referring to which vertebrae. I have a large herniation of the L5/S1 plus minor herniations of the L2/3 L3/4 & L4/5 with the main problems being caused by the L5/S1. It would be a microdiscectomy and he would just shave down the cartilage that is protruding from the rupture.

    I think I will attempt to do courses, but if I am struggling or having considerable pain I will drop the semester and go in the spring. I was just curious of other people's stories in this situation.
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