50 year old Male, had bulging L4/L5 for years. Did many things to manage it best one can and tried to avoid surgery. After having spoke with a number of fellow L4/L5 sufferers who all expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the decompression procedure I was about to get, I was myself enthused. This is typically an outpatient procedure, 90 min surgery and you walk to your car to be driven home.
Make a long story short, 90 min surgery turned into 9 hours. The L5 area bone removal resulted in a torn dural sheath. It happened that the dural sheath had attached to the bone and when it was removed it tore not only on the top but along the side area making the repair very difficult.
Needless to say I didn't go home, rather I was stuck in hospital for 3 days following. I'm a month out now and Im pretty much the same as when I left. My left leg is very weak, lots of pain of varying type. It's all nerve pain of course.
I refused to use opiates or pain meds from the day I got home. I was able to deal with it for the most part and I was able to get some good control over the pain with Naproxen alone. I'm now using Gabapentin along with the Naproxen and it works very well if you use enough. Slight buzzy ness but with a cup of coffee I can blow through it.
I'm lucky enough to have a good friend who is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and has advised me along the way. He believes I need to push now and get PT, move and try to push. I'm wanting to try but pain only gets worse if you aggravate already inflamed nerves.
I'll ask if anyone here has had a similar experience and if so, How long did you take to see progress? I'm being told 6 months to a year.
Finally I have to admit. The biggest battle in the whole thing is not the pain, but the battle in my head. Keeping the positive attitude and not allowing myself to sit on the pity pot. Its hard and the condition wears you down.