I am posting with the hope of calming the nerves (pardon the pun:-)) of those of you who might be in the middle of your recovery and are freaking out about your surgical outcome!
I had a micro-d on L5S1 on Feb 16th for a severely extruded disc, 18mm by 22mm, massive, on the right side with absolutely criminal sciatic pain, calf and foot numbness, no ankle reflex and loss of power in the ankle. I am a 35yo woman and live in Ireland. My GP was atrocious and refused too refer me for an MRI. I changed GP and within 10 days I had my mri AND my surgery.
I had moderate sciatica for about a year but in October it began to deteriorate rapidly to the point where I could not really walk or stand for longer than a minute for the 6 weeks before surgery.
Before surgery I was on difene and Lyrica. The Lyrica I found to help a tiny but I felt continually stoned which isn't really viable in the longterm!
Surgery went well. The surgeon was appalled at the state of the disc and the nerve compression, he refered to it as 'memorably large'! Apparently a large portion of disc had adhered to the nerve root and had to be pulled off it bit by bit.
I found recovery in the early weeks difficult and slow. While I had immediate relief from the sciatica, the surgical site was very pain full, my muscles in general were completely out of condition and my wound was very slow to heal.
Around the 6 week mark though, I felt fantastic. I hadn't taken any pain relief since the end of week 2. And then that familiar pain in the ass returned. And began to creep down my leg. I was devastated.
I am now at the 12 week mark and and I am delighted to say that I am by and large pain free, in relative terms. My surgeon advised me that my back will never be 100%. If i over do it on any given day I will feel it and that is a sign to rest for a day or two. I don't sit for prolonged periods and probably never will but that's ok. If i feel an ache coming on I get up and move. The days where the pain was such that I feared I had reherniated, I used ice and found it incredible relief. Probably the turning point for me was around week 9 when in total despair I went back to my surgeon and he prescribed me an anti inflammatory called arcoxia. He still felt that my pain was residual and probable due to inflammation from over doing around the 6 week mark when I thought I was back to my old self.
He was right.
Within a few days my pain dissipated. I stopped the tablets and it hasnl;t returned.
I hope this post will give some hope to those of you in recovery who are afraid that returned sciatic pain always means reherniation - it doesn't. I have to say the physical recovery from back surgery is one thing, but the mental rollercoaster of anxiety about the ultimate outcome is something else entirely!
I really hope those of you reading this can find some solace in my story and I wish you all the very best for the future,
Gjek. Welcome to Spine-Health
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