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L5-S1 recovery HELP

Davey1985DDavey1985 Posts: 1
edited 10/16/2015 - 9:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello to everyone! I have just joined and I was wondering if anybody can give me some advice, or if there is anyone to talk to who is experiencing the same problems I'm currently going through.
Early August this year I had a micro-disectomey on L5-S1, prior to the op I had numbness on the outer side of my left foot, back of my left thigh and in my left buttock, I also had severe weakness in my left calve muscle - to the point where I was walking flat footed and could no longer tense it, and my left foot was very weak. After the op, strength appears to be coming back to my left foot - however the numbness still remains and the left calve muscle is still the same. On top of that, now I am struggling to empty my bowl, (haven't had a positive full bowl movement in 2 weeks), never really feel as through i have to go though I still force myself every morning. I'm also suffering from slight erectile problems. I'm petrified if this is permanent and longing for it to improve. I have visited my doctor who, after a quick check up, insists that my bowl muscles are operating correctly. Waiting on another MRI scan - though the waiting list is long - and to be honest, I personally think that I'm causing more damage the longer I wait.
These issues are constantly on my mind - more importantly I'm worried I will lose my job and that my career will end prematurely - leaving me in some serious trouble - my job is not only my hobby its my life.
Is there anyone out there that has experienced these problems? Did you make a full recovery? Are these symptoms normal? I just need some one to talk to as this situation is seriously depressing the hell out of me......to the point where i have lost my 'get up and go' and really can't plan or see any positive future ahead!!



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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • Michelle99MMichelle99 Posts: 57
    edited 10/18/2015 - 9:27 PM
    Hi Dave,

    I had a L5/S1 discectomy in December and then a revision in May. I was numb before my surgery in my entire right leg, after my surgery I was left with numbness in my last two toes, my ankle, calf and part of my thigh, on the back. I had continuous cramps in my calf which were debilitating. I'm now 5 months post op and although I get occasional numbness in my calf, thigh and ankel. My right toes however have not yet returned to normal. Although I am aware of it it is not as annoying now, Ithink I'm just used to it.

    With your bowels, just keep fibre and fruit in your diet, that really helps. Your nerves have taken a beating and it takes time for them to heal. It does get easier but when you are going through it, it seems like a lifetime. Try to keep positive and don't worry too much, we are all here to offer support and share our experiences with you. Know that you are not alone with your worries, we all have set backs and panic attacks when things seem to be going wrong or we are not recovering at the speed we would like to.

    Let us know how you go on.
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 729
    Dear Dave...

    Recovery for everyone is different... but most people recover from a mico-discectomy pretty fast. It could be that your spinal nerves are still inflammed and thus causing the pain and numbness. I had a PLIF L5-S1 fusion and it took 4 months for the nerve pain to go away. Like you I was worried and very depressed but my doctor said just "hang-in-there"... and in the end he was right... but it was a horrible 4 months. He said it just sometimes takes that long for the spinal nerve swelling to reduce to a point where the irriation/pain to go away. I also had/have numbness across the bottom of my right foot... and he said this is due to nerve damage and it may or may not ever go away depending on the healing of the nerves. I hope this helps a bit...
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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