I am a 41 year old female. I had a discectomy and fusion at C5-6 in 2001 due to loss of function and muscle mass in my left arm and hand. The surgery was (eventually) a complete success.
In 2005 I injured my low back doing yard work. MRI showed a disc bulge at L5-S1. My ortho recommended injections and surgery. But even then he noted due to the degenerative changes and the genetic structure of my back (small pedicles), the outcome was unknown. I had PT, and just tolerated the pain. I had a baby without problems. I exercised a lot. Slowly the pain worsened until I could not sleep at night.
Then 3 weeks ago I re-injured my low back doing yard work again. This time I had pain down my leg into my left foot. Both feet were numb and I had foot drop on the left. I went from very active to barely able to walk a quarter mile dragging my foot. I had consults with a neurologist, neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon. MRI showed the disc bulge at L5-S1 was larger and compressing the nerve to my leg. All recommended immediate surgery. So a week and a half after injury I underwent a bilateral laminotomy and discectomy at L5-S1.
That was 10 days ago. I had some immediate improvement as I could lift my toes on the left foot a little whereas before I could not at all. The surgeon indicated there was a big piece of disc floating around and the nerve was severely inflamed. I realize it takes time for these things to heal, but I am nervous about whether the footdrop will improve. It is very debilitating. Meanwhile, I am caring for my 2 year old as best I can and still hoping I can heal well enough within 6 months to try for another baby. The 3 surgeons I consulted with indicated I will likely need to have a fusion in the future. One actually wanted to fuse 3 levels now, but we went with the least invasive option offered.
I have already learned a lot from this site and hope to learn much more.