Hi all -- great resource and community you've got here, and have spent a fair amount of time familiarizing myself with the site.
My story: my lower back has been getting progressively worse for the last six months. Started off as what I thought was a light muscle strain, which morphed into a sciatic annoyance, and eventually sciatic discomfort (butt down to bottom of foot) before I got my first MRI. MRI #1 revealed a bulging disc at L5-S1, and slight bulge at L4-L5. After physical therapy, chiro, and "decompression treatment" didn't alleviate issue, my surgeon ordered an epidural, which provided some relief for about two weeks. Note that I had full strength and sensation up to and past the point of the epidural. Three weeks ago I had a coughing fit, and it felt like someone stabbed me in my lower back and raked the knife down the back of my left leg. The searing pain lasted about four hours, and was instantly replaced by extreme numbness (from butt to heel of foot, including outside of left foot) and loss of strength in part of my leg (unable to raise myself up on my toes using only my left leg / foot). A trip to the ER confirmed that I had an acute herniation at L5-S1, and the attending physician prescribed a steroid pack so I could make it through the remainder of my vacation. A little over a week later, my orthopedic surgeon looked at the MRI and performed a physical exam based on my weakness, and recommended surgery.
So, I had surgery this past Monday (5 days ago). There's been no improvement in terms of either numbness or weakness. For those keeping track at home, I was "getting by" with the numbness / weakness for just over two weeks before surgery. I've read and heard enough to know that recovery from a microlaminitomy & microdiskectomy takes awhile -- months not days. But I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared that I may have permanent nerve damage. I'm an otherwise healthy & fit 40-yr old male, and am struggling with the psychological elements of this. Would love to hear from anyone that had a similar experience -- positive or negative outcome -- so I can manage my own expectations. I'm keen, also, to hear of anything else (treatment, diet, supplements, exercises) that have helped others. I don't want to overdo it, but I don't want lie on my back and just hope for the best all day either.
Thanks for your time.