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Type 1 Diabetes, Microsdiscectomy, & Pain

NomenclatureNNomenclature Posts: 5
edited 09/25/2015 - 3:14 AM in Surgery Buddies
Hi everyone!

I'm new to this site but I'm hoping that some good vibes and conversation can come from this! I'm a 26-year-old type 1 diabetic woman and have an L5/S1 microsdiscectomy scheduled for October 5. It's my first ever spinal surgery and I'm a little freaked. My surgeon said that technically I need a spinal fusion because I already have spondololysthesis at L5/S1, but that because I'm young, I can probably put off a fusion for 20 years if I get this less invasive procedure and follow up with diligent PT.

I guess I just have a lot of questions. Does anyone else here have T1D? Please do not use abbreviated text talk!! I know that a microsdiscectomy is typically an outpatient procedure, but because of the T1D, I'm thinking that I should at least stay at the hospital for one night post op (although I think that I should probably be there the night pre-op to make sure all of my blood sugar stuff/insulin is good to go for surgery). Does anyone have any input on this?

Also, with this herniated disc I'm experiencing intense sciatic nerve pain down my entire left leg, but also a horrendous searing pain in my back, like some splashed hydrochloric acid on it or something. I've tried icing it and it helps a little bit, but it's unbearable, especially when my blood sugar is high. Do most people experience this? My overall pain has become so debilitating, despite the cocktail of medications that I am on. Luckily I have an amazing partner who is currently doubling as my caretaker and a very understanding workplace that lets me bring my laptop to work and and do my work from the couch in our office suite. But does anyone have any tips on pain management pre-op?

Also, does anyone with T1D have input on post-op pain/blood sugar management? I'm worried that the stress on my body will make me spike and then make everything hurt more, make me super dehydrated, and delay/hinder healing. I'm going to be talking to my endo about this all pre-op, but I would love to hear about anyone's first-hand experience!

Thank you to anyone who has any input or advice! I hope you all are pain free ASAP!

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Liz,Spine-Health System Moderator


  • I'm not a diabetic, but I am an Infection prevention Nurse. There really isn't any reason for you to be in the hospital the day before or the day after surgery...you are probably better than anyone at managing your actual blood glucose levels day to day, and you will definitely do it with more speed than a Nurse who may have up to six patients to care for...You will want your blood glucose to be under excellent control as if it definitely a risk factor for healing and infection. (I work with prevention of surgical site infections, and I do see more in diabetics, but... generally in diabetics who did not have the glucose levels under good control.)

    I had pretty bad pain with my herniated disk- like you describe, I had some steroid injections which thankfully helped me, but the thing that did help the most was surgery. Don't be surprised (like I was) if you wake up from surgery and still have a lot of the same pain... it takes time for nerves that were compressed/damaged to heal. the pain got less with each day.
    I sure hope that you manage to go for 20 years without fusion... I have a pars defect at L5/S1. Had a discectomy in Feb 2015 and thought I would also go for 20 years, but am scheduled for fusion in November this year. I probably could have done ok without the fusion, but I'm very active and all that sports seems to have not gone along well with the microdiscectomy.
    Best wishes!!!
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