After a month of reading these forums I've finally decided to join in. I can honestly say that reading everyone's stories and experiences has better prepared me for the decision to have surgery and what to expect during recovery. I'm posting this mainly because i noticed most of the posts are from people dealing with L5/S1 issues and i wanted to share my experience with seemingly identical symptoms at a much hIgher lumbar level.
For the last 6 months or so i have been getting a strange numbness/tingling sensation down both of my legs without any pain associated only after doing something physical (walking, sports, etc.) I really didn't think anything of it as i am only 30 years old and generally in good health. So i ignored this until January when i woke up one day and noticed my lower back feeling extremely sore to the point of it being difficult to get out of bed. I figured it was just a pulled muscle or something and decided to take it easy for a few days. Well needless to say the pain never got better so i scheduled an appointment with my GP who immediately scheduled me for an MRI after going over my symptoms. As my headline suggests, the MRI showed herniated discs at both the L1/2 & L2/3. I was then referred to a neurosurgeon who prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy for me along with a series of ESIs...the first injection did absolutely nothing for me and after discussing with the doctor giving me the injection it was very unlikely any further shots would help. Since i was in excruciating pain (ranging from my buttocks down both legs to the calfs) the ESI 2L was supposed to allow me enough temporary relief to start physical therapy which it never did. Again i am only 30 so surgery was the last thing on my mind. Despite being in a lot of pain, i began physical therapy anyway 3x a week. I was never able to do any of the stretches/exercises only the electrical stimulation and going over proper posture techniques. I tried keeping a positive attitude but that quickly faded when at the fourth week of therapy my physical therapist told me at this point i had not progressed at all and needed to revisit my doctor.