I'm a 28 year old commercial/industrial electrician who was suffering on and off for 3 1/2 years with a L4/L5 disc herniation. I had a discectomy three weeks ago. Doing pretty well now. Still avoiding anything strenuous for another three weeks, then I'm supposed to start physical therapy. My story is below, if you care to read it (sorry it's kinda long).
In January, 2005. I was taking the pre=employment course for electricians offered here in Saskatchewan. One morning before class, as I was riding my stationary bike, I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. I immediately stopped riding, and the pain diminished, but didn't totally go away. I went to class and found sitting in the chair very uncomfortable. As the days progressed so too did my pain and I felt it start to creep down my left leg. A week or so after the initial pain, I couldn't do anything without excruciating pain. I couldn't sleep at night either. One day, I just had enough and went to a walk-in clinic. The doctor there told me to go to a chiropractor. The chiropractor asked me some questions, put me on her drop table and did some gentle manipulation and gave me some hyper extension exercises to do. One more visit to her and that magic drop table and the pain was gone. I occasionally had only minor problems that sitting straight or walking a little could fix until August, 2007. I was at a play park with my daughter and came down a slide after her. As I came to the bottom, I felt a pop and an explosion of pain in my lower back that went down my left leg into the top of my foot. I couldn't move for a few minutes, but some how managed to get my daughter and I home to rest. Again, the pain diminished quite substantially to the point where I could function without too much trouble. It got progressively worse until one morning in late November, 2007 I just couldn't move any more. I was off work for 9 weeks, and responded very well to physical therapy. Through the spring of this year, I was doing great. I had no pain or weakness whatsoever. But early summer I noticed the pain coming back. It got so bad by early September I had to stop working again and actually ended up in th ER with suspected cauda equina twice. I saw my orthopedic surgeon and it was determined that surgery would offer immediate relief from leg pain and other issues. I was quite surprised that I had to wait only 2 1/2 weeks for the surgery. It was three weeks ago, and both the surgeon and the doctor give me a very good prognosis for recovery.