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Contemplating Disectomy

suzykleissuzyklei Posts: 2
edited 08/31/2015 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am trying to make a decision on whether to have a Disectomy on L5....Have bulging and torn disc pushing on my sciatic nerve and down to my feet which has made it almost impossible to walk. Does anyone have this or has anyone had this procedure? If so, what is the recovery? I have heard so many horror stories of back surgeries not working and then people ending up on pills. I do not want this. Thanks in advance.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • Tiff329TTiff329 Posts: 4
    edited 09/01/2015 - 11:55 AM
    I can't tell you how often I read reviews, researched, and read stories on a MicroD before making that very decision you're contemplating. We're always afraid of change, of something different and very much so afraid of the taboo of "back surgery". So, I would like to share just a few things with you that I experienced.

    I waited 8 months before I decided to have a MicroD, I tried countless amounts of PT, epidural steroid injections, oral steroids, you name it, I tried it. I waited so long that I developed a severe lateral shift. Your body is an amazing thing and with my L4/L5 herniation I had severe severe chronic nerve pain that went to my big toe (all on my right side). I developed a lateral shift, the upper portion of my body moved to my left, so now my right hip stuck out past my arm and I not only was my upper body shifting to the left it was beginning to twist and also slouch forward. (By doing this it was allowing more space between my vertebrae and providing 'some' relief.) I went from normally being 5'9 to 5'6 the Day of surgery. My nerve pain was so severe it literally would take me an hour to take my first step out of bed, I wasn't able to walk, literally, but I kept trying. I had drop foot, wasn't able to move my big toe up, hold my ankle up, etc.. I only slept 2-3 hours a night and would wake up in screaming agony from the pain. No one understood. My shift had gotten so bad that when I went for different opinions one doctor told me I had scoliosis. (I knew I didn't.) My body's attempt to provide me relief and get away from pain had literally moved my spine.
    Now - I tell you all this because now that I'm on the "other side", what other have said about waking up with no nerve pain is really the absolute truth. When I had my 1st MicroD I woke up in tears, only because that was the first time in 8 months I had 0 nerve pain, NONE!!!! I cried and cried. And I'm not at all a 'crier'. (I reherniated it due to my stupidity, I bent over trying to catch a fork - but in a quick and jerking type motion. That was my fault 100% and wayyy too soon for me to do that.) Days 2-5 were amazing, no nerve pain, in fact it didnt hurt at all. (Oh, forgot to mention, due to my stubbornness and thinking it'll get better on its own, my nerve was pinched so badly it died - and it wasn't a nerve ending but the nerve root that allows me to feel in my lower back. So now, I'm literally paralyzed in a portion of my low back and over my L4/L5. I also had EMG testing as well). The second week after surgery is all about your body and muscles shifting, waking up. This isn't anything compared to nerve pain. It feels more like a dull muscle soreness. At week 3 i started PT and began gaining my strength back, I was walking without pain, being able to wake up and go. Oh, and sleep, by gosh, sleeping through the entire night!!! That's heaven. :-) The nerve pain cannot be compared to any pain. The surgery pains and yes, even the recovery and PT, everything, is like a papercut compared to nerve pain.

    If you're still reading and have made it this far I will say that having a MicroD was the best decision i made. Without question. Without hesitation. I herniated my disc at the age of 32 and at 33, I wish I never waited as long as I did. What is it specifically, that is scary or concerning to you? Please feel free to pm me too.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
    Bulging discs - L2/L3, L3/L4, L5/S1
    Extrusion herniation - L4/L5
    Severe lateral shift (3-4") due to herniation
    Herniated disc (L4/L5) on 9/2014
    MicroD on L4/L5 - 5/26/2015
    Reherniated disc (L4/L5) on 7/11/2015
    Second MicroD (L4/L5) on 8/25/2015
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