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Athlete trying to stay positive post microdiscectomy surgery L4-5

Dbld75-555DDbld75-555 Posts: 1
edited 09/06/2015 - 9:15 PM in Depression and Coping
I am 6 weeks post- L4-5 microdiscectomy. Prior to the surgery I was a very active person playing 2's beach volleyball, working with a personal trainer and now my life has been completely halted due to the surgery. I try to hang out at the beach with my friends and husband, but it is depressing. People are constantly asking how I'm doing (understandably) but I can't help but complain as I am having all sorts of nerve pain-numbness and cramping. In addition, I still do not have full function of my right foot due to the nerve damage from the herniation. The nerve pain and cramping from it is so hard to deal with on some days. It is frustrating as I want to recover quickly and I am doing physical therapy 3x/ week and home exercises but the "nerve awakening" is so limiting. It feels awesome when I get giant Charlie horses in my calf (jk). Not only am I getting the cramps in the calf, but I get slight spasms in the gluteal muscles, along with in my right upper back near T11/12. The hamstring also feels weird. My therapist keeps telling me that the nerve repairs itself just 1 mm/day. "Will this nerve damage ever really go away," I think to myself! I try not to take meds, but when I get the spasms I use flexiril, and for the nerve pain I will sometimes take lyrica but I do not like that drug as it makes me feel loopy. I'm so frustrated by how long it will take. It's also hard as most of my friends are volleyball players and they try to understand what I'm going through, but unfortunately they really can't. I just need encouragement that I'll be back to normal. I try to stay positive, but when you do small activities and you activate the nerve and all that comes along with it, it just makes it hard to stay positive. I am grateful that there are others willing to share their experiences, like yourselves, as it helps me know their are others with my same situation that can relate!

Surgery overview:
6 weeks post l4/5 microdiscectomy for right side herniation. I have DDD and was having nerve compression for about a year. Feel down stairs and this precipitated the need for the surgery :(


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 09/06/2015 - 9:15 PM
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • It can ba hard but the easyer you take it on yourself
    The easyer it will sometimes be to assimilate and subjegate the frustration
    One, step,at a,time to het back to where you want to go...you have to ,or evwrything else will be in the way of recovery.
    Good luck!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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