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My L4-L5 surgery

Hi all,
I'm just posting my experience with surgery. A little about myself. I'm a 30yr old male. I pinched my lower back nerve with a horrendous sneeze in June. Saw my doctor 3 weeks later when the pain got worse. Went to physical therapy for 2 weeks with no improvement. MRI shows a herniated disc 18mm in size. Surgery was basically the only option my doctor told me to prevent any permanent nerve damage. Most of the pain was a throbbing in the tailbone and butt area. Every so often the pain would shoot down my right leg to my ankle and down my left leg to my knee. Tingling and numbness on my two small toes on my right foot. Pain level up to an 8. Pain level of 1 when laying down at times.

August 12 went in for surgery - laminectomy and microdiscectomy L4-L5. Still in the hospital the next day. The pain in my tailbone area has greatly reduced. I still feel shots of pain down my legs at the wrong angle. I am able to walk for about 5 minutes around my room. It could be the strong meds, but the pain has ranged between 1-7.

Thanks for reading. Will update again.

Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015


  • That's good that you got some immediate relief. Is the nerve pain is your legs worse now, or just different?
    Grade I Spondylolisthesis L5-S1, bilateral pars issues
    Mild Scoliois double curve
    Arthritic activity in SI area and L5 through L3
    Chronic headache
    Nerve pain
  • The nerve pain in the legs are the same with a slightly lower intensity. It happens more often after laying down and resting for more than a few hours.
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • Had a hard time sleeping so I had to take a stronger dose of the pain medications. 10/325 oxycodone acetaminophen, 500mg Tylenol and 300mg gabapentin and 5mg of muscle relaxer. It brought my pain level down to a 2-3. Manageable enough to sneak in a few hours of sleep. My exercise regiment is walking 5-10 minutes at a time up to a maximum of one hour per day. The rest of the time is spent laying down. I'll see the doctor after two weeks to check the incision for any problems. I'm so excited to get up and walk for a mile in the near future because the tightness and pain in my butt and lower back is gone! I hope everyone else is recovering well and making good progress!
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • I've stopped taking the oxycodone today and just stuck with the Tylenol, muscle relaxer, and gabapentin. So far so good. Last night I was able to get about 5 hrs of sleep. Woke up when the pain killers wore off. Much better than last night. I was able to get out of bed with less pain shooting down my leg (about a pain level of 5 instead of 7.) I'm able to lay down on my back without the nerve pain shooting down my leg for the first time after surgery. It seemed to shoot down my leg because as I felt the pain on my back, my body would tense up and the pain would just spread. I wasn't able to 'breathe' myself into that position. Pain level of about 2-5 now.
    I'm going to slowly cut down on the gabapentin 100mg at a time and hopefully just stick to Tylenol for the next few weeks.
    The stool softener a definitely did their job. I was taking Percocet before the surgery and that clogged me up big time! :(
    As stated in the "must haves" post, I bought a gripper handle which has helped me be independent for the most part. Definitely recommend that! The one thing above all though is good help. I am lucky to have a couple of people help me get through this. They don't fully understand how much the pain can affect our lives, but they do try. Sometimes they can tell that I am feeling a little depressed after taking the meds because I just lay or sit still with no reaction with an expressionless face. Once I start moving, my mood changes so quickly because I realize that I am improving so much compared to pre-surgery. I hope all of you guys are improving and recovering just as well as I am. I try to keep my hopes and spirits up by reading all the success stories around. Good luck!
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • Pain levels are very tolerable. Only took one Tylenol, cut down on the gabapentin and took some muscle relaxers. No shooting pains down my leg today! Still have some tingling and numbness on my right outer toes. Big improvements on my walking speed. So glad I can physically see the difference. Still limiting my walking to a maximum of one hour per day. Walking throughout the day from between 5 to 30 minutes at a time. I've also added some calf raises to strengthen my muscles. The strength is slowly coming back. I still can't fully tip toe on my left foot.
    The incision site has not been swelling or turning red. Everything looks good. I still feel the stitches inside of me when I move and bend a little too much. It's a good reminder that I have to take it easy and let time help me out.
    Time and a little exercise each and everyday... Best of luck and hoping for the best for all of you guys too.
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • Almost been a week! So far so good with the pain levels and sciatic pains. It's hardest to lay on my back and then roll over to get up. I hear cracking sounds like I'm cracking my knuckles. Could be my back or just my other joints. It feels like I'm laying on a plank of wood on my lower back. I can feel the stitches keeping my back shut closed. The tingling and numbness on my right foot is getting a little better. Overall, still positive about the recovery. Boredom is starting to overtake me and I end up walking around the house for 70-80 minutes a day now. Going to try to keep it at a max of one hour still seeing as it is still my first week. Best of luck to those dealing with the back pains and recoveries.
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
  • Was able to take off the dressing and air out the incision and shower without covering it up on day 8. Rolling out of bed has been easier to do. The tingling and numbness on my right toes has been getting better. Doing calf raises to try to strengthen the muscle loss in both my legs. Lots of tightness on my lower back still. I have been introducing my lower back to some normal movement by raising my arms to the front and then over my head. Pain levels have been at about 1-3. Positive thoughts when moving and ice when resting. Wishing a good recovery to all.
    Microdiscectomy and laminectomy L4/5 August 12, 2015
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