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L-5 Surgery,scared..advice please

kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have a "broken" L-5 disc. It's causing numbness in my left foot and leg.The Neuro says we can just remove the piece thats broken.He thinks thats what pressing on the S-1 nerve root.My leg is getting weaker and the calf muscle is becoming painful. Does anyone have any advice for me? In Feb'08 I had a 3 level ACDF,plate and screws, had a catheter break in my back and had 2 back surgeries to remove it now this. Will it be a long recoup period?


  • You might get more responses posting this in back/cerivcal surgery thread.
    But lets see what happens here.

    Im not understanding " had a catherter break in my back and had two back surgeries to remove it"
    You mean the cath they put in for urine flow while in surgery??? Or do you mean something totally different. ONly because those things are hard to break.

    Anways I would go in the direction of your neurosurgeon.
    Recovery there is not direct answer for that. As everyone recovers at a different rate and depends on the procedure, drs instructions and how your body handles the surgery itself.
    Depends on whether he fuses that area or just removes the disk itself.
    Did he give you a surgery name for this procedure??

    I totally understand your frustration on surgery after surgery. Look below at my list of a trillon surgeries and one upcoming fingers crossed this week.

    IF your unsure with your current dr, get a second opinion if able due to insurance/money issues. I know this is not a option for everyone.

    Hang in there, let us know how you make out. Your not alone in the surgery world ;) ;) ;)
  • Thanks for the reply. when I refer to the catheter,It was during the ACDF. I developed a spinal fluid leak so they inserted a catheter in my lumbar spine. Upon removal ,the tip broke off and shot up into my back. Subsequently,I had to have two surgeries to remove it.\

    At this juncture,I believe the Neuro is just going to remove the broken piece of disc. It is flat and a portion has broke. he believes that this is whats pressing on the S-1 nerve root. Surgery scheduled for 11-18.

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  • Hi Terri I read your post and good for you for having such a good outlook on life. I read your history and it makes for feel silly for complaining about my own problems.(spinal decompression and fusion l3l4l5 feb /08. I also have been told that i have fibromyalgie, ostioarthritis in both hips and bursitis in one hip, I have had acouple of past operations aswell.Hysterectomy,thyroidectiomy.Please excuse my spelling i just took some morphine for pain 8} I also am taking 80mg of oxycontin every 8 hours.I noticed that you also took it. Is it hard to stop taking oxy. I realize that it will be done through the doctors and that it is a very hard process. I am just nervous about this I heard that it is very hard. Please email me back shannon
  • we have another Paul here that is scheduled for surgery on 11-18. You have certainly had your share of surgeries for this year. I can't say for sure but I would think that you will recover quicker from the discectomy than from your previous surgery. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thank You to all that replied so far,Yes, it's not been a good year,surgically speaking. I was on Oxycodone not contin,which I believe they are differnt,therefore I really cannot comment.
    I do hope this surgery is easier to re-coup from as I have tentative plans to go to Florida vacationing 3-10-09-4-10-09. I really need to better so I can enjoy that Florida sun !!!

    Thanks all

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  • I am 32 and had to have emergency surgery 9-19-08. The sciatica turned into numbness and muscles spasms within 6 weeks. After the surgery on 9-19-08 I could finally walk again. It seems I have reinjured it by doing normal activities. I do not know what to do and am more afraid than anything.
    To explain the pain...I was given morphine every two hours then delotty (spelling/name/not sure) with no relief. The spine team from Parkland Dallas came to my rescue. They removed bone to give me space and cleaned up the S1,S4,L4 and L5. Two disc were ruptured and two were bulging. I also had spinal fluid leaking....
    The sciatica feels like a spark plug each time I take a step. Does anyone have any suggetions or hope for me?
  • Shannon,
    As for the Oxy question. I was only on 10 mg 2x's a day.
    I told him it was not working and instead of upping it he switched me to the fentynl patch. UGGH THAT DR. Ok won't go there.

    But as for like my methadone. The last drug I was on. He tapered me off in 2 weeks. I had no withdrawal at all.

    So it would be the same way with the OXY. They would taper your dosage down till your on nothing. Best route to take. Always under a physicians care. ;)

    Paul, I hope you surgery goes well and so does your recovery. I hope you make it to disney. Remember if you cannot handle that long walking use those wheelchairs available.. Don't over do. What type of surgery are they doing a fusion???? OR just lay in the sun on the beach LOL

    Jboat did you have a discectomy?? Or a fusion?? Makes a big difference. If you only had the the discectomy its possible to re herniate the disk.
    If its from the fusion. Alot of of people have siatica pain return. All those muscles and nerves are healing.
    They don't like our bodies to much when they are messed around with.
    There are alot of nerve medications out there that may help..
    Are you on any restrictions as in no bending, lifting, twisting like all of use spiney patients??? That is so very important to follow. I had my surgery on the 17th of Sept and I am still on all my restrictions.
    Walking and thats all I am allowed to do. I do some housework but its all with a grabber.

    Good luck to all!!!!
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