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13 days recovery from laminectomy/microdiscectomy

lori66llori66 Posts: 1
edited 11/03/2014 - 2:00 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 13 days into recovery from minimally invasive microdiscectomy. Had it at Rush, with a very skilled surgeon who travels around the world teaching others. I was told the recovery would mean no bending, lifting and twisting and lots of walking. For 6-8 weeks, I was told to adhere to these limitations because I am at risk of ending up back in surgery if I reinjure the disc. I opted out of all narcotics during surgery and after as I have severe vomiting in the past with these types of procedures. I was afraid to be that sick while I just had back surgery. So, the anesthesiologist ran Tylenol thru my IV, and NSAIDS, and a mild muscle relaxer along with anti-medics to prevent illness from the general anesthesia. He gave me no narcotics. When I woke, the pain in my buttock and leg was completely gone, and the only pain I had was pretty bad pain by the surgical site, and some muscle spasms in the upper and mid back. No vomiting, thank God. And, the Tylenol barely took the edge off but for people with a high pain tolerance who react poorly to narcs and opiods can easily handle the recovery without those heavy guns. I walked to a recliner twice, and two hours after surgery was sent home. I was told I could expect some of the similar type pain to occur over the next week or two, but not to be alarmed as it was all part of the healing process and a result of moving the nerves and muscles to perform the surgery. Nerves get aggravated. So, when a week went by and I had no leg pain at all, I thought I was clear. I figured I just had to wait and let the rest "heal". Well, 13 days into recovery and I've been getting sciatica pain in the same leg, - very, very mild and only at a level 2-3, lasts only 20-30 seconds then goes away! Nothing major. It is un-nerving to experience the same pain, - you immediately think the surgery was not successful. It is important to remind yourself the surgeon told you to EXPECT this, and it's important to be patient and give things time. I have had no Tylenol or Motrin for several days. Sore, for sure. A bit more sore when I walk a lot. Have not been bending, or lifting. But, worked for 4 hours today answering phones and scheduling patients as it is simply "desk work" and was great for my mental state to get out of the house. See my surgeon in two weeks to check incision. Will ask him at that time if I should still expect that pain to come and go, and if so-for how long does that happen. I think it's 8 weeks, but I will confirm. For anyone going through this, truly- it was not what I expected. Rush hospital in Chicago is very intimidating, but they staff are great and the surgeon, who does most procedures for the Sports Players did a superb job. And, the anesthesiologist made certain I did not get sick, and allowed me the opportunity to manage my own pain so I could guarantee I would have no severe reaction to any of the narcotics. He did a great job! Good luck to everyone in their recovery. Lori


  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 359
    which disc was the surgery on? I'm glad to read you seem to be recovering well. I am waiting for surgery, ruptured L5-S1 in March 2014, had a date last week and then it was post-poned with no definite date yet but hopefully early December. I have typically not done too bad with narcotics as long as there is anti-nauseant onboard with it...but I am also concerned about the off-chance of vomiting with back surgery :( Keep us in the loop about how your recovery progresses!
  • great to read. I have had a similar experience with my hip labrum surgery. Every time I had any sort of similar pain, I'd panic. I am very interested in your progress and I hope you will continue to post how you are doing. So glad to see a positive story. everything I have read hear is about failed this and failed that, but then I see a 95% success rate for surgeries so I wonder. I hope you continue to improve!!!! :)
  • are geting better. I am going in for the same surgery at L4-5 next week. I would take a level 2-3 pain over what I have now.
    2004 - 2005 - 3 surgeries in 18 months to fix/fuse C6-C7.
    Nov 2013 - Laminectomy from L3 to S1
    Nov 2014 - Micro Discectomy L4 L5.
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