Hey guys and gals! So like the topic says, on Sunday I got a long overdue surgery on some severely herniated discs in my lower back. I am 25... soon to be 26!
This is kind of a long story because I have a lot of history, so if you don't want to read it just skip to the end to my questions
Basically one morning about 3.5 years ago now, I woke up in the worst pain I've ever been in in my life. I got an MRI and they found 4 herniated discs. At the time, surgery was not recommended and I tried a number of methods to relieve the pain including steroid injections (didn't work) and visiting a chiropractor (worked a little). I've been dealing with quite a bit of sciatica as well. I can't remember the last time I put my shoes on pain free and without having to lay down in a bed, or touched my toes standing up.
Anyway, fast forward to Jan 2nd (Saturday). Got in a wrestling match with my roommate and he pulled me off the couch onto the floor and BAM! Terrible pain. Got much worse by 6 hours later and my foot and entire right leg were completely numb with occasional pins and needles. My groin and butt were also completely numb, which scared me doubly. This progressed to horrible pain throughout the entire leg and foot and I can safely say worst pain in my life all over again! I had my roommate take me to the hospital, they diagnosed me with sciatica and a back contusion and sent me home with some muscle relaxers and vicodin... thanks. I was writhing in pain at this point with a numb foot in a wheelchair... I followed up with my doctor on Monday and had to be wheeled in by my roommate. They recommended me to see an MRI specialist and had me get an MRI. They said they would have the doc contact me within 48 hours. I hobbled out of the office without assistance with a 'cane' I had made with a broom handle. Roommate was at work and family is back in Michigan, so I had to call a taxi to shuttle myself home. I got a call from the doctor the same day, telling me I need to get to the hospital as soon as possible and get emergency surgery on my back, because of two severely herniated discs and of course the foot problem and numbness in the saddle region. I had my roommate leave work early and he took me in, and basically they had me in surgery within the next few hours. They diagnosed me with CES at that point, along with the 2 severely herniated discs. This was a different hospital by the way. If any of you guys live near Phoenix, AZ do NOT go to Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.. they have no idea what their talking about when it comes to back problems. I went to St. Joseph's in Phoenix (the Barrow Neurological Institute) and they took really good care of me.
Now I'm at a hotel with my dad who flew out here, we've been here for about 5 days now. My apartment was too small to get around in a walker. Thanks to whoever wrote the article on post op necessities by the way, it's very true! The surgery seems to have been a success and I'm slowly regaining sensation in my saddle area, my leg is fairly pain free (which it hasn't been in a long time), my foot is still numb but I am regaining some motion and feeling with the exercises they gave me and I'll be starting physical therapy in a few weeks once I come back to Arizona from Michigan. I'm going back home for a few weeks to be with family and recuperate. Unfortunately my job let me go because I couldn't be at work for about 2 months because of the injury, so I'm jobless at the moment. I'm also starting school on the 20th, but won't be able to actually start until February 1st when I return to AZ.
So my questions are, if any of you have been through a similar scenario with CES, how long did it take for you to recover full feeling in the saddle region?
And for anyone with a numb foot, how long does it take to resolve? I am being patient and optimistic that someday I can hike the awesome mountains here in Arizona. That is my goal.
Do any of you pros have any general recommendations for post-op newbies like me? Just any advice at all that you found helped (PT, exercises, pain management, etc...).
Thanks for taking the time to read this and good luck to everyone with their recovery! If anyone needs any support please let me know, I feel like I've pretty much seen it all at this point. Luckily, I've escaped a fusion for now, but the doctor said it is a possibility for me someday.