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Ten more days till surgery - want to know the best thing I can do

HelloThereHHelloThere Posts: 1
edited 06/13/2015 - 7:53 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am getting a discectomy on my L4/5 8mm herniation in ten days still. I'm confused I can't take steroids or anti-inflammatories 7-10 days before surgery but they've given me pain killers with ibuprofen in them and said to take that instead... I've already lost dorsiflextion in my right foot and I feel the weakness is getting worse in both legs.
My story is that I had severe muscle spasms in my low back for three years following a car accident. Four months ago I went to see a doctor for a sharp pain that kept happening in my hip that i could tell was coming from my back, but wasn't super sure about it. Really quickly after that I started getting light sciatica pains down my right leg. I started physical therapy and did the exercises faithfully. At first they really helped but that didn't last. The pain intensified and intensified. It got so bad and was constant and I just kept trying to deal with it. It was so painful and it was running my life and stopping me or slowing me down to the point where I couldn't get anything done, couldn't even think it was always stabbing. I told my dr I had to get an MRI.
They took 12 days to look at my MRI to set me an appt with my referred nuerosurgeon because I am self pay and do not have insurance.
I missed the second day of my classes 11 days ago, I couldn't get in my car I knew it would hurt too much and i was already in so much pain.
Later that day I curved my spine sitting up in bed and heard a pop and felt blinding, screaming pain for three minutes. I was over a ten on the pain scale for the rest of that day and all of the next, in and out of the ER and it wasn't helping and I was having a lot of trouble getting my bladder to empty. I finally slept, woke up the next day and felt wobbly on my legs, realized I couldn't lift my right foot, my stabbing pain is gone and instead I have numbness and tingling sensations, especially where the stabbing used to be; but also in my left leg too and on the bottoms and tops of my feet and running diagonally across my shins. I won't try and list everything but has that happened to others? It's like the pain burned itself out and got replaced with all these other symptoms.
Anyways, Im just laying here scared since being scheduled for surgery not wanting to do anything else to aggravate my nerve further before it can be fixed. I don't have the pain anymore to tell what not to do so I just lay on my stomach ( that's the best position i had before and it hurts to lay on my back or side still) and go for short walks and get scared bc the tingling will come on when walking. They said I could drive but my feet are super numb and it doesn't feel safe and it used to put me in incredible pain. All I can think to help prevent further nerve damage the next ten days while off steroids is ice.

Also my MRI report states there is "severe left foraminal stenosis" at L5/S1 but they aren't going to do anything about that and think my symptoms being all over and in my left leg are from the large protrusion of my L4/5, even though it's to the right pushing enough to affect other nerves. I wish they had explained my MRI more thoroughly, I was so shocked and surprised that they cared I was getting nerve damage and losing muscle function after being told to come back when I was dragging my leg at the ER. I know others have it worse but I want to prevent as much nerve damage as I possibly can and am curious if anyone has been through this, had it happen the same way.


  • I'm having my surgery on the 17th June but it's on my neck and doesn't sound half as painful as yours
    A dawes
  • Try to stay positive and focus on your positive outcome after surgery. I am going to pm you a book that really helped me.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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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
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