This is my first post, and I am hoping to get some clarity as to how to proceed. After 15+ years of managing a periodically bulging L5 disc through chiropractic and massge therapy, I was finally told that I needed surgery which was performed about 2 weeks ago. My symptoms were intense low back pain, pain initially in my right leg, then spreading to both legs and loss of strength and numbness in my right leg and foot. An MRI revealed a seriously ruptured disc with a considerable amount of material pressing against the nerve. I had been trying to use chiropractic adjustments for about a month, but the symptoms kept getting worse to the point where I could barely walk.
THe procedure I had was a Laminectomy, L4/5 discectomy and a facetectomy. I was able to walk (very slowly) the next day.
Anyway, after 2 weeks I am more mobile and the numbness and noticeable weakness seems to have lessened. When I visited my surgeon 1 week post-op and inquired about Physical Therapy, his response was "you don't need that.." He put me on disability for 4 weeks and told me to go home and try to so some light exercises every day.
Well, the first week I noticed continued improvement (from my pre-op state) but this past week, I have begun experiencing a recurrence of the numbness in my foot (it comes and goes), fairly intense low back pain (generally if I sit for any period of time) and occasional spasms in my legs. The back pain has sometimes increased to the degree that I had to use my prescribed percocets (rather than the extra strength Tylenol which I prefer.)
Before the operation, I was very run down physically from a number of factors and I still feel very weak at times. It would seem to me that the logical course of action would be to undertake PT to strengthen the muscles that support (what's left of) my spine. So my thought is to have a consultation with a Physiatrist (at another hospital) and try to get myself into a rehab program, otherwise I am afraid that I am going to go back to work (I sit at a desk 8-9 hours a day) last 2-3 days and be out again. Also, I do not relish the thought of another surgery, so I am hesitant to return to my surgeon with my issues.
I would appreciate input from anyone who has been through a similar situation and any recommendations you may have.