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L4/L5 Discectomy

ChomersCChomers Posts: 3
edited 04/14/2015 - 10:24 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey everyone! Long time viewer, first time poster here, and I have some questions and concerns I would like to share about my back issue.

I'm a 22 year old male, and a very active person who loves to run and mountain bike ( before this issue), and this is really causing me grief. I first began to have issues with my lower back over 2 years ago, originally going to the Doctor in October 2013. I was told I had normal back pain and that it would subside over time. Then eventually last April I began to experience numbness and tingling in my left leg all the way down through to my toes. I was diagnosed with a Disc Herniation in L4/lL5.
For the last 8 months or so I have been committed to physio therapy(strengthening core/stretching), and have completely stopped running and doing heavy biking since my injury(caused pain). Although I have found temporary relief through stretching and inversion, my issue continues to linger on and off.

I am scheduled for surgery on Friday (3 days from now), and I am very nervous. My leg has been feeling pretty good the last couple days, but was causing me quite a bit discomfort as recent as last week. I find my symptoms are on and off, sometime feeling good, and sometimes causing me a lot of pain. Doing anything physical really brings on the symptoms, even standing for periods of time is tough for me. I'm really fed up with this issue, and I just want my active life back. What are your thoughts on someone my age going ahead with this surgery? I've been waiting for this surgery date for a while now, and I'm scared to give it up just because I've had a couple good days as this has happened before. It's been over a year that I've been suffering from this, and I really just want to do whatever it takes to get me back to a level where I'm capable of being a physically active person again.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • It's understandable to be worried about surgery. So you're not alone.
    The decision to have it is yours and nobody on this forum is qualified to advise you either way.

    However, we can let you know our own experiences. I had an L4-5 discectomy in 2014. I recovered well and probably would have continued to do so if I hadn't overdone it too soon. (I returned to ice hockey after four months and reherniated.) I've now had a fusion done and I'm recovering well again. My point being that, if you take it slow and steady, doing only what the doctors say you can, building up muscle strength gradually, there's a good chance you will be able to return to running and cycling. Just remember that spinal surgery will never restore your back to pristine condition and you will need to make lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, healthy eating, lifting properly, etc etc.

    Good luck with the surgery.

    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
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