Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Double herniation - Waiting the hear about my options

ControversialmikeCControversialmike Posts: 13
edited 09/01/2015 - 3:50 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello everyone,

I've got a lot of fog and not many facts about my condition. After an "urgent" referral to the neuro surgeon, I've still not even had a call in a week and a half.

Let me go back to am the start, I'll try to keep it brief:

2011-2013 constant lower back ache centered around piriformus muscle, left buttock/lower back. Various doctor visits, osteopath treatment (6 sessions), chiropractor treatment (4 sessions). Presumed to be posture related - lower back arched.

2014 small twinge causing dull ache for 3 days but consistent pain now pretty much gone.

February 2015 Sciatica starting to set in

May 2015 heavy twinge to lower back during training. Immobile for three days. A&E and doctor visits. No diagnosis, given cocodamol, diazepam and naproxen. Swift recovery, sciatica consistent but manageable via stretching.

June 2015 skateboarded 2200km from Brighton to ibiza with a 20lb pack. Yoga, stretching and sleeping rough releives majority of the symptoms but still tight in the morning. 40 days of heavy exercise.

July 2015 20 days relaxing on a beach with no pain. Final 5 days sciatica return in full force.

August 2015 Demanded MRI. immobile for 20 days. Sciatica pain comes in waves now in buttock, thigh, concentration in calf and then top of foot. MRI shows sm herniation L3/L4 and lrg herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis. Told I'm looking at surgery.

Sept 2015 Wake in discomfort, 70% fine through the day, evening discomfort. Still waiting to hear from the "urgent" referral.

I know I'll find out a lot more from the neuro surgeon but what I don't understand is the nature of how the herniation has occurred.
It's severe according to my GP. Doesn't that mean it's a result of trauma? I can't think of any incident where that could have occurred? I lift at work but I train in manual handling.
And, given the sciatic pain before the crazy trip started, surely that means the stenosis had already occurred. How on earth can doing all that was involved with my trip alleviate the symptoms? How was it even possible?

These are simply a few of the questions I hope will be answered over the coming weeks but my biggest querie of all is what surgery they are to recommend and, importantly, when can I get back to work without risk. Time will be the teller here I suppose.

I know everyone here is or has been in a similar or worse position so I send my well wishes out as I'm sure I will receive them.

Ta muchly

No on one the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or recommendations on any diagnostic test

Liz -Spine-health Moderator

Small herniation L3/L4
Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica


  • Over 2 weeks now since the "urgent" referral to the Neurology department. Chased for the 4th time today and discovered my referral wasn't received. Back of the queue after 18 days of painful waiting.

    Called the doc, 24 hr referral for call backs. So I'm waiting till tomorrow so I can join the back of the queue.

    I've never really had a positive experience with the NHS but I'm trying to stay positive about this.... trying.
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • Finally, after 19 days since the MRI result came in and my GP flagged it for urgent referral, I tracked down the neuro surgeon only to find out that my case has been reclassified as non urgent so he's booked me in on the 2nd Dec.

    Lost my job, my home, I can't even move my stuff into storage. Currently lying on a mates sofa with my hospital bag packed, ready to go in... and they tell me it's another 3 months. They haven't even told me any details about my condition.

    4 more days and I'm my only option is sleeping in the car.
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 09/08/2015 - 2:50 AM
    I am so sorry for what you are going through.!
    And all your losses! You have so much on your plate....

    Are you able to apply for any kind of Disability? Not sure where you live, but I'm here in the States.
    We are able to hire a lawyer, free of charge if accepted within six months. That, thankfully, happened to me.
    Or if denied, there is no cost. The only time you pay is when you also receive retroactive disability pay.
    From that money, the attorney takes his fee, I forget his percentage, but worth it.
    Win-win situation....with nothing to lose.

    If that not available to you, do you have social workers? Either set up in their own offices, but also working out of hospitals.
    I work with social worker and she has been so helpful to direct me towards resources that are available to me...that I in no way was even aware of.

    Maybe even sharing situation with you doctor for his opinion and his direction, or if he directs you to others, who are able to point out resources for you to help you to help yourself .......in your very serious situation.

    I would definitely tell my doctor, as living out of your car in chronic pain seems to me to only worsen your pain condition.
    And if you are to have surgery...well, I can't imagine healing crunched up in car.
    Living and healing in a mission sounds better fit than your car.

    Please call your GP and inform about all you are going through.
    I for one would be very interested in how you are advised.
    Personally, I would continue to tell my story until someone willing to help me through it.

    Very best of luck to you with these conversations, and your situation to improve!
    Please keep us posted!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hey, look, I've obviously done something pretty bad to deserve this eh. Karma and all that jazz. Seeing as I've just returned from a charity mission to raise money for cancer sufferers, I was hoping I was on the right track though. Funny how these things work eh!
    Thanks for your concern but it could be worse.
    My doc is furious with the outcome. He made a lot of promises to me and everyone of them has failed. Both he and I have pleaded my case (I'm kinda a pro athlete in the early stages of a possible career), the neurologist know my situation and I've asked them to reconsider but it's falling on deaf ears. It's been 6 weeks since my demand for an MRI, 4+ years since my first complaints about the pain.

    My parents will take me in but only because they have to. Want is a completely different matter. 4 weeks they can handle but 4-5 months isn't an option.
    Doc is going to get some social workers to contact me and I finally swallowed my pride and enquires about benefits today. 12 weeks for my application to be processed, I've just returned from travelling (first holiday in 11 years) and I don't have a penny to my name.

    Really don't know how I'm gonna do this... There's always a way!

    2015 will be the year I tested the every part of my body and soul.
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • Microdisectomy of L4/L5 completed today. My first good experience of the NHS, I think.

    I'm a little worried! The swelling is increasing and it feels like there's bubbles in there. The pain is also really bad. I imagine the morphine wearing off has something to do with it but I can't really get up anymore. It just hurts so much I can't even push myself upright.

    I had to get the bus back after the surgery today so I'm a little worried I've done it no favours. They told me not to but they said it was ok to walk and I wanted to be out in the fresh air after being stuck in the hospital for 12hrs.

    I'm keeping awake in case any symptoms of spinal fluid loss occur (my obvious worry here) but I'm probably just being paranoid.

    I was told the pain would be minimal afterwards so please chip in and tell me this is all perfectly normal!! Pretty please...
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 375
    edited 10/01/2015 - 3:13 AM
    afternoon mike. If my medicated state is reading this correctly, you had surgery today and had a bus ride home? Not for the faint hearted and not doctors orders for sure!!!

    Your pain levels will be high as you have had invasive surgery with lots being moved around and dealt with. Hopefully you have been sent home with pain relief and i would advised taking it back to back, timed by the clock if possible according to your perscription. This will help you relax your body against the pain and allow easier movement. Did they teach you the log roll to get out of bed., . this is the only way I was able to get out of bed and I sorted of adapted it to ease myself out of a chair into a staying position, using the arm of chair for support. Sitting is a big no no at first and I was told only to perch with sitting just for essential like eating and trip tothe loo.

    Hope this helps and please update on your progress. You have had surgery and even though a short stay in hospital, it is advisable to follow doctors orders as a disc can re herniate up to 3 months post op if not looked after. Give your surgeons handiwork and expertise the gold treatment and look after yourself. Please look at helpful tips post op on this forum for help to guide you. Good luck :-)

    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 10/01/2015 - 10:56 AM
    Don't worry about the back pain just after a microdiscectomy!

    My consultant warned me it would feel like I'd had a good kick in the back afterwards. For about 12 hours after my op I felt fine but during the night I got out of bed to go to the loo and thought something was wrong and collapsed back into bed as I felt like I'd been shot in the back and not kicked! Getting up and laying down was painful but once up or down I was okay. It lasted about a week or so and gradually wore off so should be fine!
    L5-S1 microdiscectomy, May 2015
  • The docs didn't really warn me of my limitations after the surgery. They said I should be able to walk and cook etc and after the last two months of managing with back pain, I just thought it was the cheapest way home. I'm broke.
    I've been issued an after surgery care info pack but, once again, no limitation advise bar lifting and bending. This is tough as I'm on my own so don't have any help with everyday tasks to hand. I've got a couple of people I can call on for essentials and supplies though.

    I didn't know sitting wasn't a good idea (not that i can at the moment anyway) so I f anyone can elaborate on the kind of things I should be avoiding, it'd help hugely.

    I've been given cocodamol and have some naproxen left but it only works for about 1hr after kicking in.
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • Sorry you were sent home with minimal advise on after care. I hope the pain has eased a little over the weekend and you are feeling more able to move?

    Have you managed to get some more pain relief from your doctor? I hope so and hope you have managed to find some more help on this site about after care. I found my handy helper (grab stick) a great help. If you haven't got one, ask your doctor or benefits office about help to get equipment to help you through your recovery time, they may be able to help you. It was annoying how many things I dropped throughout the day when nobody was around! I also managed to find a walking stick in my local air ambulance charity shop which is adjustable and has an ergonomic handle on it. I have used the rubber end of this to hook up clothes and items off the floor if my handy helper was upstairs. I also have an extra long shoe horn that somebody loaned me and have also used the hook end of this to help me open the low fridge drawers.

    The advise you were given on walking is good advise. I had a visit from the physio department before I left hospital who set me exercises and told me to walk every hour, between laying down and standing and to only go up and down the stairs once a day to start with. I would lay down then a trip to the loo and then walk around the top floor of my house .. doing circuits, until I was able to use the stairs more than once. If you feel able and safe to do so on your own, walking outside will reduce the cabin fever .. I was told after 5 days to walk to the first lamp post and back and then increase slowly. If you overdo it you will soon know!!! Adjust length of walk to your recovery. I worked out that doing my circuits indoors regularly was allowing my body to walk about 1/2 mile per day at the start and I increased that when I felt able.

    It can seem a slow process to what you have been used to but it will pay dividends in the future :-)
    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

  • Morning all, Firstly, thanks for your feedback. It's reassuring! Mainly the point about "if you overdo it, you'll know it". So it's day 8 after the surgery, my first opportunity to shower properly!! Yipee The last few days have shown a remarkable improvement in manoeuvrability. The back ache is dispersing and I can now get up and down pretty quickly. This was a great relief and gave me lots of hope but two days ago I started to feel the sciatic symptoms again. Exactly as it was before I went in (hip and calf pain). I was told this would be sorted! In fact, I was told this was the only benefit of the surgery. I though it might have been a further herniation from too much time on my feet. I cared a bag of shopping across the car park three days ago and I've also had a jiggy session under the sheets but my lady did all the work and went very easy. None has flagged up any real warning signs though. I'm pinning my hopes that these symptoms are just part of the healing process fallout but it's exactly the same as before. The surgeon told me the fragment they removed was large, I hope they didn't miss a bit
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
  • ControversialmikeCControversialmike Posts: 13
    edited 10/08/2015 - 9:22 AM
    My lord AJ....... That's a lot of work you've had done! Scares the living [edit] outta me!! One thing I'll add: When first revising the MRI image, I asked the surgeon how this all happened. I can recall two moments in the past 4 years where my back has "twinged". One time only it left me on my back and I was up in my feet fully 7 days later, 4 months ago, issuing the start of the sciatic pain. In the MRI, the lower three discs (l3/l4, l4/l5, l5/s1) are all herniated and dark grey in colour. The rest of my discs are a white and complete. I was would have thought that a triple herniation could only be the result of major trauma. This is making me worry about Degenerative Dics Disease. I'm 35. If this is the case, I imagine this has major implications and might even call for a different technique for recouperation.... ?!? I just don't know. I have a follow up in 5 weeks but I don't want to spend that time hobbling about causing further damage. I'm calling the neurological department today but it usually taken a few days to get through. Eeugh
    Small herniation L3/L4
    Large herniation L4/L5 causing spinal stenosis and horrible sciatica
Sign In or Register to comment.