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L5-S1 Microdiscectomy now at 5 months - updated



  • I am glad to hear you are doing well Tony.

    Continue on with your recovery, it takes time but is worth it!


  • Hi Tony,

    I was wondering how your actual back feels. Since we around the same time since similar surgeries, how does it feel? I get some pain from getting in and out of the car and some spasms after being at work. it actually feels like a pulled muscle and burns.

    Any feedback,

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  • Hello,

    I was diagnosed with herniated disc at two locations L4-L5 and L5-S1 after 7 months ago. I took painkiller in the first few months and doing PT. My pain has improved a little but still bother me a lot. I can't do my routine exercise and sport like jogging and golfing. I can only walk and stand for a short while. Doctor asked me to consider surgery but I'm still considering. I'm afraid that surgery will cause more harm.

    I would like to get some feedback to see if this surgery can really help? What is the drawback? Any side effect? Does it make the condition worst?

    Lastly, I would like to know what to expect on the same day after the surgery? Are you able to walk or stand? Can you even go toilet by yourself?

    Hope to hear from you. Thanks.
  • Hi Backman - Thanks for your response to my post. I am 40 years old, pretty active and consider myself to be in pretty good shape (6'4"-200lb). I do sit a lot for work, but when I'm not working I enjoy playing Hockey and working out. I don't have any pain at the site of the surgery, but strangely enough, I do have some tightness above my "problem" disc, slightly below mid back. I only notice it when I do certain stretches (cat/camel)in particular, but it doesn't bother me otherwise. Wierd. I also have some minor leg symtoms first thing in the morning, but they usually go away after a few minutes. Getting in and out of the car was tough for a long time. I can't say I noticed the day it stopped being a problem for me, but all of a sudden I stopped the intentional sit and swivel of the butt and legs, and just hopped in like a normal person. Its only been a few weeks at the most, so I'm sure you're close.
    Sounds like you're doing just fine in your recovery. Tony
  • Hey Reddog - I tried working through my herniated disc for about a 10 months before getting surgery. I did two courses of physical therapy, steroid injections, oral steroids, and prescription anti-inflammatories. Are you familiar with the McKenzie technique? The moment my doc said its time for surgery was when this particular stretch caused more pain instead of relieving the pain as it normally does in disc herniations. My condition continued to worsen throughout my last course of pyhsical therapy and I had to decide if I had the time to try and work through this, with no guarantee I wasn't eventually going to need sugery anyhow.

    I still have plenty of know it alls tell me I could have healed it non-surgically with lots of time and patience, but thats easy for them to say. They don't feel the pain and discomfort we have, and its not THEIR time or patience.

    In my case, surgery really helped. Pain was immediately relieved, though not completely eliminated at first. Its a long healing process, but not an uncomfortable one. You just really have to be careful not to overdo it as reinjury to the disc is a possibility during the healing months. And yes, you can walk and use the bathroom the day of surgery. My surgery was at 7am and I was home by 6pm, granted with a crap load of pain killers and meds. Do your research and you will eventually feel good about whatever decision you make. Good luck.
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  • My son is 21 and is having this surgery on Wednesday Feb. 25, 2009. He herniated this disc on Oct. 17, 2008 during a wake boarding accident that broke his left tibia and fibula in 4 places. We did not realize the disc problem happen until after 6 weeks of laying on his back, no weight baring for the broken leg (he has missing bone). He was complaining how bad his back hurt and there was a lump the size of a golf ball in the lower left lumbar area of his back. So after months of chiropractor's and physical therapy his doc orders a MRI. He and his spine surgeon believe this is the route to go. He has live with sever pain for 4 months now. He has all the problems with the sciatic nerve, tingling, numbness, radiating down his left leg into the ball of his foot. Now is affecting his right leg.
    I have researched this surgery. But still as a Mother I am so frightened. You know second surgeries etc. Did I mention my son is a semi-pro wakeboarder and works at Sea World in the ski show? This is his passion, I pray he will be ok and will continue to do what he loves.
    I am following every one's post on here but would like to see at what age are the patients. As youth usually has a long term over all better out come. (this not meant to offend anyone it is fact, I'm 51 and know I would I heal differently than a 21 yr. old)
    So any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

  • I am 19 years old and I just had my first microdiscectomy as of February 12th. I'm feeling great right now and would gladly keep you posted if you like.
  • I just had Micro for L5-S1 5 days ago. i am 26 and cant wait to get back to my job as a firefighter.. Youth has its advantages but reality shows that certain problems such as DDD, stenosis annd other problems dont discriminate by age. I can tell you that after 3 days post op i was off all pain meds already walking almost a mile as of yesterday and feel great. The hardest part with the pain being nearly all gone is remembering i am still hurt and have to take it easy and it will be a long road to full recovery. I hope that my current position is of some comfort. I have read almost every post on this site and results post op are not the same for everyone but i do believe that the odds are greatly in your sons favor.. Keep him positive and he will make it. I will be going back to my job which is extremely demnding at times. He WILL be back to what he loves.
  • Thank you for your comments and re-assurance. Please keep your updates coming I will be watching and praying for ya'll also.
    Tomorrow is the big day.
  • surgery was 3/31/09, strength in leg returned within hours but 2 days ago, for no reason my entire leg went numb from hip to toes. i sat down and the feeling in the leg returned but it scared me beyond words of course. i have had occasional pains which are sttributed to nerve root healing. my gut tells me the sudden numbness is not a good thing, it is memorial day weekend and i been out of work since a few days before surgery, standing for more than 10-15 minutes is difficult at best but walking is OK. should i be worried ?
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