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L4/L5 Microdiscectomy Scheduled for Next Week

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,208
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
And am scared to death. What does it feel like when you wake up from surgery? When you get home that night? Basically, I just don't know what to expect and would like some insight. The only 2 operations I have had were minor and I wasn't in pain when I woke up, that came later. Is this the same? How long for recovery? My doctor says you can easily return to work in 5 days however I am going to wait untill 11 days after, at least. Any information would be very much appreciated.



  • I know your fear is understandable, I had the same op at L4L5 in January so I know what you are going through. I didn't have too much time to worry as I had the surgery the day after my first appointment with the NS, so apart from one sleepless night it was over with pretty quick.

    I actually felt brilliant when I came round in a weird sort of way as my awful nerve pain down my leg was completely gone, it was replaced with what I would describe as "shadow numbness" along the route the pain used to travel. My lower back felt like I had been kicked pretty hard a few times, but it was a completely different pain to that pre-op and I could tell it was of the sort that would heal rather than that nerve pain that never seemed to get better.

    I had very low blood pressure post op so I was a bit woosy after my first trip to the toilet and was kept in hosptial for 48 hours so they could make sure I was OK. I felt much better once the surgical drain came out the day after the op as I could lie on my back and turn over more comfortably.

    Once I was out of the hosptial I was able to be driven down to my parents place (3 hours in the car with a couple of rest breaks to walk around slowly) and stayed with them for 2 weeks whilst I built up my strength to manage my baby and toddler.

    After the 2 weeks I was still sore and being careful, but was basically back at home looking after the little ones and doing most of the house stuff but not the laundry as I couldn't lift the basket.

    Recovery is different for everyone, but hopefully you will have a smooth run. Try not to over do it and be careful with lifting as the first few weeks are higher risk for a re-herniation.

    Please feel free to ask me any more questions, I am happy to share my experience and wanted to let you know that 8 months on after my surgery I consider myself to be recovered and I am pretty much back to normal.

    Take care

  • First good luck with surgery. Its totally understandable when you have never had a major op like this. Are they doing a fusion to????

    When I woke up from my revision I just had on the 17th. I woke up to the nurse saying I was in recovery and if anything was wrong. I told her i was very nauseas' and I had burning pain. In a flash she said Im going to get meds hun. Then I dosed for awhile. The of course I awoke again in recovery still nausea's so they kept giving me anti nausea meds till it subsides. Wrapped a warm blanky on my belly and around my head. I looked like nun.
    They hooked me up with the pain pump patient controlled. Best invention out there now. You can push the button every 10min and it releases a certain amount of meds so you stay comfortable. I also had a catherter in. Not sure if they will do that with you.
    So like cheeka said, like you were kicked in the back. More soreness if you have a bone graft. Which you did not mention so you probably are not. But I figured I would ask you anyway.
    Log rolling out of bed is a bit tuff the first time, but after that it gets easier.
    Most hospitals and nurses are great on the orthopedic ward and keep you very comfortable.
    So you hang in there. You will be taking a nice nap and before you know it will be all over, you will be in your room recovering and then going home to recover!!!
    Read some of our stories posted under Aug/Sept recoveries. So it gives you a idea of what everyone has gone through.
    We are all different. So do not expect your recovery to be the same as another persons as we are all unique individuals.
    We are HERE FOR YOU before you go in and through your whole recovery!!
    Take care
    Terri >:D< :* >:D< :*
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  • My first surgery (L4-L5) I woke up free of the horrible pain that was killing me.
    I did get emotional.....cried from the sheer happiness.
    They operated in the late afternoon and I was woken up at 5 p.m.
    Discharged me at 8 p.m. and I was fully coherent, alert, ready to eat!

    The 2nd surgery(L5-S1) I woke up in lots of pain, they gave me some good drugs immediately. Once that was controlled, I felt totally fine, and normal. No emotions.
    By 5 p.m. I was discharged, fully coherant, alert, and ready to eat!

    Both times I was only sedated with versed, not general anesthesia.

    The nights of the surgeries were good. I felt fine with no problems.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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