Hi I'm new to this forum - 48-year old male - and would really appreciate any advice people have to offer.
About 9 weeks ago (end of September) I fell over very heavily playing tennis. Two weeks later I had the classic sciatica symptoms: back/leg pain that made it terribly hard to get out of bed and quite impossible to drive or sit at a desk. I tried physiotherapy and a range of painkillers which made some improvement. But my MRI scan subsequently revealed a herniated L5 disc.
My specialist is hoping that it will heal of its own accord with conservative treatment; but he has also said that ultimately L5/S1 decompression surgery may prove to be the only solution. I'm not desperate to have surgery if it can be avoided; and so am willing to put up with the pain for a little longer to give the natural healing processes more of a chance.
Although the back pain has largely gone away now, I still have to take quite high dosages of pain killers as I have quite a lot of leg pain plus total (S1) numbness in the 4th/5th toes, heel, and outside of my right leg. Sitting/driving for any prolonged period of time is still almost impossible. As a researcher my work involves a lot of time at a computer in front of a desk, so, aside from the discomfort, this is a big deal for me professionally.
While I am not experiencing the same degree of excruciating pain that I was, 4 weeks ago, the level of discomfort has more or less remained constant over the past three weeks. I think if natural healing could not cure these symptoms, I would have to opt for surgery in the new year.
My specific question relates to what forum members' experiences of numbness/loss of sensation in the leg has been.
Have people found that the numbness just suddenly goes away one day? Or does feeling come back over a period of time? (If so, how long?)
And as for the operation itself. I have heard (some!!) people report that they woke up to discover themselves completely free of leg pain afterwards. But nobody seems to comment on the numbness. Does that disappear straight after the operation? Or does that take a while to come back? (does it ever come back?)
Thanks for your help!!
What i would like to know is what people's experiences