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Microdiscetomy early days

MischaMMischa Posts: 2
edited 07/27/2015 - 10:54 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all,

I've been reading this website for about a month now and have found it very helpful indeed.

I'm a 26 year old female whos always been very active. About 18 months ago i pulled muscles in my lower back, i was in quite alot of pain so went to my doctor who gave me painkillers and told me to take it easy for a few days. I did and then resumed my exercises as normal...Swimming, gym, pole fitness etc.

Although I always had a niggle in my back it wasn't too painful and I managed to get to the same level of fitness as before. That is, until March this year when it went again! This time it was a little worse and I was more worried. I eased off any heavy exercise as suggested by my doc and was reffered for physio for six weeks.

Physio helped alot, at first it was painful and I was stiff but over time I eased up and benefitted greatley. My physio was very pleased with my progress and told me i could slowly start returning to the gym. Gradually increasing my level of exercise etc.

I was so happy. Leading an active lifestyle and being very sporty is a big part of who I am, I was pleased he had helped me get back to myself! In the nicest way possible he said "I hope to not see you back here, take care" I practically skipped out that office...

Fast forward to July (only a few weeks ago) And my back went again! This time it was worse, much worse. I had constant sciatica (which before I'd only had the odd twinge) But this was something else. I had a burning pain which radiated from my bottom down to my thigh. It was weird as the back pain actually disappeared and it was the nerve pain which was agonising.

I was in dispair, I phoned my doctors again...explained my previous episodes and was prescribed more painkillers, signed off work for two weeks and was told to self refferer myself back to physio.

A week later I hobbled back to physio in dispair and saw the man who'd treated me. He said it was a shame I was in this position, a worse one before and that he could treat me in six weeks. At this point I felt I didn't have six weeks my bum and thigh were going slightly numb and I could hardly cope with the pain. The only time I was comfortable was when I was pacing! He said he'd send me for an MRI after the six weeks of treatment, but was confident this would work.

Anyway over night my numbness had got worse, spreading to other areas!! Which I was distraught about. I went to A&E. The doctor was horrible and said I am not a concern until I loose control of my bowels or bladder and that I'd taken the correct steps in referring myself to physio etc. He basically told me to wait, like the physio said.

By Monday I was still in agony, numbness still completely well, numb so i went as a last resort to a different female doctor and broke down. I told her how no one seemed to be taking me seriously and that I felt like this was more serious and the numbness would be permanent. She did some tests, wrote me a letter there and then and sent me straight to hospital, bypassing A&E.

I stayed in hospital Monday night and they planned to give me an MRI Tuesday morning. On Tuesday even the doctor I saw before the scan said the same as the A&E doctor, that I wasn't really a priority.

I had my scan. Within 10 minutes of returning to my ward I was told I was being taken by ambulance to a neurology hospital and they were operating tonight. I had as they described a severely slipped disc. It all happened in a whirlwind by I was pleased I was being treated. I got to hospital, was told about the risks and it was my choice to have the opp etc and I went for it.

The surgeon said it was massive, his words were I could of taken it down the pub it was that impressive!

I am now one week post opp today and at home recovering! I feel really good. I have no lower back pain. Just a little sore where the incision is. I feel its all going very smoothly, I'm hoping that's a good thing as everyone has been telling me just how major back surgery is. I almost feel i should be in a bit more discomfort? I have no nerve pain, which is wonderful and apart from being stiff I feel like my old self!! The numbness hasnt completely gone but i was told it could take weeks, months, years to recover. (Always a chance it won't fully, but Im positive!) I found the numbness was slowly improving overnight after surgery.

I guess my concerns are, which i was hoping to get your thoughts on. People have been saying I'll never be the same again, will always have to be careful etc etc. Oh its such a shame at such a young age. It's getting to me...Its like they're writing me off. I'm a positive person but can't help but get a little sad if I really think about what they're saying.

The only thing I'm struggling with is sleeping! I have always been a tummy sleeper, but since surgery I haven't dared. I've read about putting a cushion under my hips...Is that too risky? I'm trying to lay on my back but I just lay there awake...I've tried my side too, with a cushion between my knees but end up rolling to my back again when my arm goes dead. Do you have any suggestions? I'm a lil cranky from lack of sleep...I just figured I'll keep trying and at some point ill be so tired I'll eventually sleep!

So what do you think...Is my recovery too good go be true? Is the worse yet to come? Silly really to think I'm worrying about the positivity of my "major sugery"

I appreciate any comments :) thank you for reading!



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 380
    edited 07/28/2015 - 1:32 AM
    I think you are very very lucky to have such a wonderful result and not to have lost any important functions!!

    I personally would recommend doing exactly what your surgeon/physio has told you to do post op and guessing they have maybe said no BLT (bending, lifting and twisting).

    You may find if you rush around too much you may compromise your healing so follow any instructions you have been given by medical staff. Your disc will be very vunerable and I was told there would be a risk of re herniation up to 3 months so please give it the gold treatment :-)

    So lovely to hear somebody has managed surgery early enough to prevent long term function problems etc :-)

    Get well wishes coming to you
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • mrjollymmrjolly Posts: 54
    edited 07/28/2015 - 8:25 AM
    The way I look at it is I'll never be the same again because I am going to be more careful! If something looks to heavy, it can stay where it is! It's not a bad thing at all as I find myself more conscious now about what I'm doing and if I'm likely to do my back in again.

    After my microdiscectomy I slept on my back with a couple of pillows under my knees. I tried sleeping on my side but just felt really uncomfortable as if my back was going to snap!

    As for recovery, I found after a few days that I occasionally got a really mild burning down my leg and where my foot is numb I'll occasionally get pins and needles, it's not painful and doesn't last long. My consultant warned me to expect some strange sensations while the nerve is recovering and could take a while.

    Best wishes and have a speedy recovery!
    L5-S1 microdiscectomy, May 2015
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