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Microdiscectomy - Any Positive Stories?

I just had my neurosurgery appointment and to my surprise, they recommended surgery. This is not a 'surgery happy' practice. I have done some research on the actual procedure and it all makes sense. I came here and now I am scared to death. Has anyone had success with this procedure? I am out of options considering that I have had the pain for a long time and tried chiropractic therapy as well as exercises. I am really hoping to hear some positive outcomes.


  • I had a microdiscectomy just under 3 months ago. Since that time I have been totally pain free although at times you do get these twitches in your leg but that is normal. Lived with severe sciatica for about 8 months. Could barely stand or sit for a few minutes at a time. Did the injections and pt with no real results until I finally booked the surgery. Personally it was the best decision I ever made. Only regret is that I didnt do it sooner. In saying this everyone is different and it is completely normal to be nervous before having surgery. I was frightened to death even though ive been under the knife 3 times previously due to unrelated issues. After I woke up the pain was gone and since then I am back to living a normal life again.
  • Of course there are success stories. But I would get more than second opinions prior that. Have you got any neurological deficits? Is it a bulging disc or herniation?
  • I went to two neurosurgeons before making the decision. I have no neurological deficits and I had a large herniation. Best of luck!!
  • I've had the pain for over six months and probably actually initially injured it a long time ago and re-injured a few times in the last five years. Walking more than 50 of my tiny steps is extremely painful. I can sit at my desk but transitions are difficult. I wake up in the middle of the night with pain. Getting into my car, the pain is excruciating for about 20 minutes then levels off until I have to get out of my car and walk into work. Tried chiropractic care, exercises, including yoga, LOTS of ibuprofen. The only reason I have not gotten a second opinion is because what the doctor said made sense with what I have researched. If I tried injections, and needed up to 3, that will take additional months and then still may need surgery. They said it is pretty large as well, pushing on the nerve and the thecal sac (end of spinal cord). I am extremely worried about neruro damage because of that. They are also not 'surgery happy' at this practice from what I have been told. It is on my mind, especially when I am having a good hour with my pain...then I move or get up to walk and I am reminded of why I have not been able to walk, hike, practice yoga, cook (my favorite thing to do) or any other activities I used to do. I can't even enjoy an evening out with friends most of the time unless I am in the 'right chair.' I know it is a really long recovery period but I just want to get better and have the option of getting back close to normal. This is not me.
  • I don't think I had a choice but to have the surgery. The sequestered disc was right across and impinging of my sciatic nerve. I couldn't sit down for more than an hour every 4 hours without having to lay down. Physio wasn't going to fix it and injections would just delay the inevitable. Having the op within 6 months reduces risk of re-herniation which is at about 10% ,I believe. The problem is the length of the recovery 6-9 weeks of boredom. My leg pain went almost immediately bar a bit of numbness, when sitting, which is normal. It's just no bending, twisting or lifting for quite some time.
  • Hello,
    I had my second opinion on whether to get surgery or not. The doctor this time was not as through as the first doctor. He wanted me to get another injection. This would be my 3rd injection which last 2 months give or take. Then see him 6 weeks later to further discus if I need the surgery. I have really low back pain but the leg (cramping feeling in the hip,but area) does not allow me to work. I tried to work on Tuesday and had a very physical demanding day. The next day my hip and groin area was super sore and I could walk but was pretty painful. My foot has the numb feeling that comes and goes. This time was different and stayed numb for 2 days. Friday(today) I felt pretty good but I just went for a little walk and my hip has the cramping feeling again and a little tingle in my toes and some tenderness in my heal. I'm at the point of hands in the air of what to do. I just want to get back to the regular me, since it's been just over six months since the L5 herniation.

    Scargosun( Walking more than 50 of my tiny steps is extremely painful) What is your pain level at that time on a 1-10 scale if you do not mind me asking? I seem to hover around 5-6 on the pain scale 50% of the time. Thanks
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