I'm new to Spine-Health but after months of reading forums, I figured I would finally post something. I have FINALLY bit the bullet and will be having a microdiscectomy/laminectomy soon but am terrified! I'm a 27 y/o female and inured my disc by weight lifting (crossfit style) doing kettle bell swings/ dead lifts etc. I noticed "sciatica" back in February on to June, but continued to work out and not listen to my body. Then during a weight lifting session in June, I knew something was horribly wrong. I fell down and could not move and was in the worst pain ever. My PCP didn't think much of it and I had to fight to get an MRI which showed a significant herniation at L5-S1 level. I also have DDD and annual tears at L3-L4 and L4-L5 and facet arthropathy. The pain was unbearable so he prescribed me muscle relaxers and 800 Ibuprofen (which did not touch the pain) and referred me to a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. I was later prescribed gabapentin which I couldn't tolerate and vicodin short-term. I should mention that I'm the type of person that HATES medication and would rather not take any at all.
To make the story short, I ended up having a epidural steroid injection and ended up in the hospital due to a severe reaction to it. Allergy testing confirmed I am allergic to one type of steroid, thus I could not have any more injections. Around August I went on FMLA as I could no longer sit, stand for more than 5 minutes, and was in excruciating pain. I was put on Lyrica, which helped a LITTLE. I continued PT twice a week from July to October, which did not help at all, and I actually think made me way worse. I also tried acupuncture which did help temporarily (I highly suggest everyone give it a try). Anyways, a week ago I had the WORST back pain in addition to my sciatica, which is a new symptom for me. It felt like a jackhammer on my spine. I went into the hospital and had a second MRI which showed that the herniation is larger now. I'm not sure if I did something inadvertently which caused this and the excruciating back pain. I was given an injection of toradol which did help some and then I had to take vicodin around the clock in addition to Lyrica. I should also mention that I saw two top neurosurgeons in August/September, both whom recommended surgery. However, I was stubborn and choose to try to avoid surgery.
Today, I can hardly walk and am pretty much bed ridden. Even going to the bathroom is very hard for me, so I know in my heart it is time for surgery. I am scared that I have muscle atrophy from being so inactive due to the pain. My numbness has increased but it is still only in my foot; it has not traveled up my leg. However, the pain is unbelievable. I have also had a "crawling" sensation on my leg and tingling. Has anyone else had this? I am scared that some of the symptoms may be permanent. I meet with the NS again on Thursday and cannot wait to schedule the surgery. However, I am scared! Does anyone have any advice to prep for surgery before/after? I cannot wait to get my life back.