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Microdisectomy for L4/L5 Disc Protusion

acgauraacgaur Posts: 3
Dear All,
After reading and watching tons of reviews on L4/L5 Disc Herniation, I thought to pen down my first hand experience.

I was diagnosed with Disc Herniation in 2006 and was taking alternate treatments.
Life was pretty good after taking physio and naturotherapy on regular intervals, which allowed me to run, cycle, swim, gym - muscle building etc.

I moved to Hong Kong in year 2011 and work profile was demanding with almost 60+% of travel in a year.
Result: the pain started cropping up more frequently and now physio etc. could give me relief for only a few months and pain would kick back again.

This year in August after consulting half a dozed Ortho specialist in Hong Kong I planned to undergo knife - Microdisectomy.

The surgery was done on 26th August 2014 (3hours) and was told that I will be good in 2weeks time but all that looks good in theory nothing that sort of happened.

My incision was supposed to be on the left side (per all discussion and session with doctor so far) but just few minutes before the surgery after looking at my MRI again (closely) my Doctor recommended oh...we will have to do the incision on the right side and not left. That was the first concern that plagued me that how could he miss that... couldn't do much as the operation table was all set and in no time was on it.

Next morning after regaining my consciousness (recovering from anesthesia) - Doctor visited and was happy to share that all went well but he couldn't remove the bulge disc as it was too hard like a bone and he was afraid doing so would mean removing all the disc material hence he just created some path for the nerve on the back side by filing the bone at the other side and cleaning some dead material from the bulge.

In few days I was discharged with medication for 2 weeks and a promise that all be good and recovery will be faster.

It's been 3months and I am still living in the pain and would say its little bad than what it used to be - as earlier the pain was internment and would go away after physio but now its persistent and stays with me forever.

Yesterday was my second followup with doctor post-surgery but he seems to be playing with words and recommending a new recovery path:
- Physio (1st stage)
- Steroid Injection (2nd stage)
- Disc Fusion (3rd stage)

He is not willing to clear why the pain still exists? I have given up on this doctor - he is a big fail for me in terms of surgery and most importantly handling patients post-surgery as that's the time when they need him more. He couldn't advise me for any Physio, or stretching exercises or dos and don'ts - I have to keep asking him on what should be done?

Could any of experts out here answer my below query:
- Is it true that Herniated Disc can become solid like a bone and removing means calling for more pain or
- Is it the incision which was done on the right side and might not have allowed the doctor to access the herniated part of disc?

I am living in pain and wouldn't give up just like that - through your videos I have picked up couple of stretching exercise and do's and don'ts.

I will be really thankful for your feedback.

Kind Regards
Ajay Gaur
Age: 37 Years
Ajay Gaur


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 11/24/2014 - 8:42 PM
    There is nobody on the forum medically qualified to answer your question all information given is from personal experiences only.
    Welcome Message

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thanks Liz for the welcome message and allowing to post my concerns.

    Though any direction would really help me fight this pain. I am willing to do whatever it takes and pretty sure that by Q1 of next year will free myself from this agony. I won't let it find a room in me and pile on my back forever.
    Ajay Gaur
  • nandanraonnandanrao Posts: 1
    edited 12/09/2014 - 6:16 AM
    Hi Ajay,

    I have just undergone microdiscectomy on 4th Nov after suffering for 7 months. I could barely walk and even sleeping became a problem. Turning side to side was excruciating. Ultimately, against the advice of well-meaning friends I decided that surgery was the only option. I have consulted a neurologist in LA USA (he is my cousin) since April and as the pain didnt recede he said it may not be a bad idea to consider surgery. However, he said the hand was important. I am 60 yrs old, weigh 86 kgs (was 92 kgs before the sciatica) and have a desk job.

    The surgery was done in XXXXXXXXXXXX on 4th Nov night 7 - 8 pm, I was out of anaethesia in 10 mts and by 10 pm moved back to my room. At 3 am I could stand on my own, by 7 am was told to go for a bath (assisted for the bath by a male). By 11 am I was fine, and ready to go home by 5th 2 pm. I am back in Dubai since 16th and on 17th was driving to office.

    I would suggest getting another MRI done, consult a neurosurgeon and send him the CD, eventually have either an endoscopic discectomy or a microdiscectomy, whichever the surgeon recommends.

    My sicatica comes back from time to time, but I walk normally (which I could not do earlier) was off pain medication from day 1 and not taken it after the IV medication given to me. I am not allowed to sit for longer than 20 mts, but after that merely 20-30 secs standing and then back to sittting. Need to sit bolt upright.

    If you have any further questions on my recovery feel free to call me on +971-50-6555037.

    Best regards

    Post edited to remove specific name of medical institute - Please read our forum rules
  • Dear All,

    As I didn't hear from any one in the group hence went in for a second opinion from a specialized Ortho doctor in Hong Kong.

    Attached profile pic shows my disc condition pre and post surgery. I am thankful to the second doctor for telling me and guiding me through the recovery process - ideally should have come from the one who performed surgery on me.

    Anyways we not here to play the blame game as all is done.

    So conclusion post surgery is:
    - Yes the disc bulge if left for a longer duration unattended then might turn hard: problem during my surgery there was the possibility for removing more waste but wasnt attempted

    - Incision plays the major role when doing Microdisectomy as that allows the only LIMITED entry for doctor to work on the PID. So please make sure you get the MRI done at least a week before your planned surgery and study the same with surgeon thoroughly and work all the possibilities as on the operation table you wouldn't have a say...

    The path that I am picking now is to get the pain fixed by doing right physio, posture, yoga, swimming and strengthing my back muscles and control body weight. I am sure these would help to control the pain.

    And some how I am in favor of an open surgery than Microdisectomy as that allows doctor to have more room and could access both left and right side of the issue areas. Like in my case if would have been open then surgeon could have an option to cut the bone part which is pinching the left portion of the nerve now.

    Put a strong thought before you go in for surgery and ask yourself - are you really in that pain that you need a surgery?
    And get hold of a doctor who is a good surgeon and a better trauma expert for post surgery suggestions and sessions.

    Healthy Recovery to All...
    Ajay Gaur
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/09/2014 - 5:45 AM
    I hope that your surgery outcome continues in a positive manner.
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