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Microdiscectomy scheduled for the next few days.. ADVICE NEEDED!!!!!!

Hi,

I have just been to see a specialist after having an MRI on Saturday regarding my problems. I have been suffering with severe leg/back pain for over 8/9 months now and was sent for an MRI to see what was causing the problem. The results came back quicker than expected and have shown L5 disc completely bulging out. I was advised that surgery would be the next step & therefore have been put on a 2 weeks waiting list. I had another phone call before to be told it would either be this Friday or next Wednesday.

I suffer from severe anxiety and so now am completely stressed out & panicked about the surgery. I was just wondering if anybody had any advice on the surgery, what to expect, the recovery time, and what it's like afterwards. I am only 23, so I know that will increase the recovery time for being younger but still I am terrified.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
Hannah
Hannah
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Comments

  • Usually, doctors will suggest other approaches before surgery, like epidural injections or physical therapy. Is this an option for you?
    Take a look in the "recovering from surgery" section to see my thread that includes a bunch of people's experiences. The healing process was not easy for me, but some people recover more quickly.
    ***
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • ***
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • No I didn't get any other options I really just got the option of either leave it and see if it improves (which I have done for 4 months and it hasn't) or have surgery. So I have opted for surgery! I have physio for 4 months from January and it didn't work either! Thank you I will have a look at the link
    Hannah
    Hannah
  • Hi!

    My experience of having one back in May so far is pretty good. I woke up from the op completely sciatica free, within about 3 hours a nurse and physio came in and made me get out of bed and walk around (more of a shuffle!) They came back the next day to see if I could get up and down stairs, once I could I was discharged with some ibuprofen and cocodamol. In total I was in for about 26 hours and discharged the next day just before lunch so missed a free meal...!

    The only back pain I felt for about a week after the op was when getting up or of bed or getting back in, the first time I felt it I freaked out a bit but had been told by the consultant that I'd feel like I'd been kicked in the back. Once I was up and about or laying down I was pain free.

    A few days after the op I started getting some mild sciatica back in the leg which is normal apparently from the nerve starting to get back to doing it's thing.

    Now, about 11 weeks later I occasionally get a stiff back and some days really mild sciatica but the overall trend seems to be better, some days I'll feel fine the other I'll have a minor ache or pain so it can be a bit of a rollercoaster but it's all pretty minor stuff and not a patch on the sciatica pain before the op when I couldn't stand or walk. I started back at work part time after 7 weeks at a mainly desk based job, I'm finding I can sit for longer periods now but still get up to take a quick walk around. I'll give it a couple more weeks and then try full time and see how I do.

    One of the hardest parts of the recovery for me was the boredom as all I was doing was walking, laying down, walking and sitting occasionally - make sure you have plenty of films to watch, books to read and things to do which aren't extreme sports! Another really handy thing to get is one of those grabber sticks so you can pick things up without bending over as you'll not want to for a while, you can usually get them from a pharmacy or Amazon. I know a lot of people are told but to bend, lift or twist for the first 6 weeks but my consultant never told me not to, he just said if I tried my back would stop me anyway! (I'm in the UK so not sure if bending, lifting & twisting advice differs because of that)

    If I have to have one again I definitely would, it's a fairly routine operation and to wake up pain free is amazing, I'll make sure I have more to occupy my mind though next time as I was doing my own head in!
    L5-S1 microdiscectomy, May 2015
  • For me, I was completely unprepared for how I would feel after surgery. I had a 2-level cervical disc replacement 3 months before and was told that the microdiscectomy was less invasive and easier to heal from. I have to say now, if I didn't in the other thread, the first week after surgery was absolute hell for me. Pain meds didn't help and I couldn't get in our out of bed without shouting and/or crying in pain. I would really hate to scare you, because like MrJolly I would probably make the same decision again if I were faced with it, but I wish I had known how tough things could be so at least I would've been prepared physically (grabber sticks!) and emotionally. I also wish I had known how much help I would be needing from my husband (basic care, like showering and dressing myself) so he could've taken more time off from work.

    Really though, everyone is very different, so I'd suggest preparing for a tough time just in case. It's possible that I had such a rough time because I had barely recovered from an extremely invasive spinal surgery when I had my micro. Many people have this surgery and heal quickly, like its no big deal.
    ***
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • Thanks both for your replies! Obviously they're both completely different recoveries, so it just depends on the person i'm guessing! I'm going straight on amazon now to order a grabber! I've seen them mentioned everywhere. I already have Netflix & amazon prime so think i'm prepared for that!! I suppose its just a waiting game now, I've seen so many different reviews on it now and just have noticed everybody is different. One thing my doctor did tell me is that because all my pain is in my leg now, after the surgery my back pain will be very noticeable so I am prepared for that! I go back to Uni in September so my other goal is just to be better for that!

    Also I have a 2 year old son so I know it's going to be very difficult with him, not being able to pick him up, lift him, just anything really & that really does upset me! Does anybody else have any young children & can tell me their experiences with it?

    Another thing i wanted to ask, which I know is quite bad but I have a wedding on the 15th August, and I was just wondering how long was it before you drank alcohol/went out? Its very very unlikely that I will be going, but just in case I want to ask that question but don't want to ask my doctor lol!

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Thank again
    Hannah
    Hannah
  • threebearstthreebears Posts: 45
    edited 07/30/2015 - 4:38 AM
    My advice is to take it easy and listen to your body. You will definitely know when you overdo. I would suggest to not even get to that point because for me it was extremely hard to get feeling better if I overdid it. That being said, my surgery was very different from what you are going to do. Mine was a lot more invasive. However, my husband has had the same surgery you are going to have 3 times. Each time it was difficult for a few days but he recovered quickly. He just had to be careful not to stand too long, sit too long and no bending. that was the biggest thing. As far as the wedding goes make sure you talk to you Dr. about it but as long as you can stand and sit as much as you like and can take it easy, getting out might be good for you. again, just don't overdo. I wouldn't drink alcohol at this point because it can hinder the recovery process. With my kids I made sure I made a special spot for them beside me so I could still cuddle and be with them. I gave the youngest little things he could do for me like get me a drink or a book or put in a movie so he felt like he was being helpful. Don't pick them up though. Really abide by the no lifting rule until your doctor says it is ok. this is just my opinion based on my experiences. Try not to be too nervous. you should do just fine.
    good luck. let us know how you do:)
  • Thank you for the advice :)

    I do think I won't be going to the wedding, but I will definitely be speaking to my doctor about it! As for the children part, that's a lovely idea. I've just bought some arty things for him so that I can have them next to me for him so he feels that I haven't neglected him! I just don't want him to think i'm being horrible but I think he's at the age now where he kind of does understand so i'm hoping he does. I just don't want to upset him either, that's what i am worried about the most I think! Luckily my partner has 2 weeks off work, so he will be able to help out a lot with him. so I won't have to pick him up or anything! will definitely keep up to date with my progress. My surgery has been scheduled for Wednesday so got a few days to prepare myself for it & hopefully get my anxiety under control!!

    Thanks
    Hannah
    Hannah
  • My L5-S1 discectomy is scheduled for Aug 12. My herniated disc was deemed too damaged to recover with non invasive measures. I just had my consultation today with my spinal surgeon. The surgery seems all so surreal to me right now. I'm anxious and excited to get rid of the pain, but at the same time scared and worried. Good luck to us all!

    Dan
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • Good luck with yours too it's good to know I am not alone!! Hope all goes well with yours too! I'm the same I don't think it's actually hit me yet that I'm having surgery. I know I'm scared but I've spoken to so many people now who have reassured me and made sure I have stayed calm I don't know if that's helped and I am just really calm or I'll just explode on the day of the op and be a nervous wreck. Who knows but I won't know until it comes! I just keep looking forward and thinking of being pain free in the future! Good luck again with your surgery, everything will be fine :)

    Hannah
    Hannah
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