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EmmielouEEmmielou Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hey, I have a discectomy coming up on 1st August and I'm pretty nervous as the doctor's haven't really told me what to expect, they just shoved a load of unhelpful leaflets in my face. I'm 19 and I have a worn and slipped disk at the S1 L5 region and the pain from it is bilateral. I've been put on morphine for the pain but it makes me sick and not myself. I had an epidural in February but the doctor carried it out even though my pain had changed and actually made my injury worse. I suffered a lot during the epidural that was meant to be 'relatively painless', so much that I was bordering passing out. I was just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences, I know it's quite unusual that I'm so young and I don't know how that will affect my recovery.
I'm also meant to be moving to London for University about 4/5 weeks after my op and I don't know if I'll be ok to do that. So really I'm just asking for advice from people who have had experiences rather than doctors who give me a bunch of statistics.


  • i am 45 and have been in pain since i was 30 {after a near fatal car crash} i have had nearly ever painful procedure available and up to date 2 operations .including a double discectomy .first can you get a second opinion ? at your age you should as back problems tend to need revision surgey as the years roll on .and back surgey tends to age you fast .{i was w very fit slim 30 year old } things a re a lot different now} back to your operation .don't worry about the operation you wont remember anything .as for pain killers there are better available {like Oxycontin} less side effects ..it took me around 6 weeks to recover from my first operation but i always had back ache and things just went down hill year after year .you wont be the same after back surgey and you wont be able to do certain stuff .back surgery is not small surgey .if you can get another opinion i would ..my daughter is 15 and she was told she needed an operation on her back but we got another opinion and she has been managing the back ache with pain killers .at 15 she is too young to get involved with back operations .make sure your consultant is the best you don't want some half trained chimp operating on you! .good luck
    tony {uk}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • HI,
    You are a bit young for those problems to start...have you gotten a 2nd opinion? But, I guess they can start at any age. The dr will remove the part of the disc that is bulging, so you will have some disc material left. You will be very sore, though the spasms that will happen will probably be the worst part, but they will go away in time. You will need to rest and learn to adjust your body positioning...how and where you sit and for how long, comfy positions for sleeping, etc. You will need to know about BLT! No bending, no lifting and no twisting...very important for healing without re-injury, and BLT will be with you forever now.. Modified as you are healed, but it will always be something you need to consider. I think 4 -5 weeks post op is too soon to be moving, but you will have to see how everything goes. Wish you the best of luck, and the people on the site are great for info or support! Let us know how things go!
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  • Thanks for the advice, I've had 3 opinions, 2 scans, and too many examinations. I definately need the op, because even on painkillers I can't stand up straight and I don't sleep. My operation has been moved to Wednesday 3rd as I have a different surgeon, not the one who did my epidural so thankfully I trust this one. I'm still worried about the after effects, I didn't know anything about spasms so I guess I'll just have to see how it goes and hope it works. I'm also hoping that my age will be on my side in the healing process. I think I'm going to contact my Uni and explain I can't travel for a few more weeks :)
  • Welcome to spine health! Wanted to wish you all the best on Wednesday. Great to hear that you had multiple opinions, and that you trust the surgeon who will be doing the discectomy.

    I had a double discectomy/decompression 3.5 weeks ago. I am 40, and do believe that your age is definately going to help you with your recovery. Do you have someone who will be with you afterward to help you out during your recovery? Please don't do any BLT's, rest alot, stay ahead of your pain by taking your pain meds, and walk as much as possible, with frequent rest between.

    Will be thinking of you on Wednesday, and look forward to hearing your update after your surgery, when you feel up to it.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Thankyou! Yeah, I wasn't going ahead on only one opinion, it was too much of a risk, there's alot riding on this one thing. I do, I still live with my mum so I have her to help. Thankyou for the advice, the doctors haven't really been overly helpful in that area. How are you finding your pain after your op? It's really nice of you, I will definately update on this about how it went :)
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  • thinking of you today. By now, I hope that you are resting comfortably in your room. Now that it is all over, on to the good part...recovery. It takes time, rest up, walk as much as you can tolerate with short frequent trips. Please take your meds as scheduled so that the pain doesn't get ahead of you.

    Will be wishing you a quick, easy recovery. Before you know it, you will be feeling better and off to university.

    All the best!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I also read your posts the other day and wanted to say I hope everything went ok with the op

  • Thankyou for the lovely comments :)
    The operation didn't go quite to plan as i had a large dural tear and my spinal fluid started leaking so they gave me a blood patch whilst i was asleep so the white blood cells sped up the healing. Then i was on bed rest for 48 hours but ended up in it for like 56 xD They sat me up and then yesterday i was determined to walk and with the physio i did, i even took stairs with supervision. I'm glad i was warned of the muscle spasms which the doctor didn't warn me about as i suffered really badly with them whilst in bed rest but they've calmed now and are more of an annoyance than pain. I am numb on my right side hips down, at first i couldn't feel anything but now its as though i've had a local aneasthetic, i can feel it but its far away. Hoever good news!! I can stand up straight and i'm off painkillers...first time since i was 17. So now i'm home and no BLT, i'm doing the gentle physio and maybe my future is a bit brighter :D
  • Glad you are home. Take it easy and follow doctor's orders on no BLT. Also I am sure they told you to keep sitting to a minimum...I did 15 mins for 3 meals a day. Also walk a little every couple of hours to keep scar tissue off the nerve.

    Good luck in the continued recovery.
  • hey i hope u feel better and i know what your going though.. Im 19 too and i have a horrible back that the pain is soo bad that i can't sleep. My L4/5 is herniated and pressing on the nerves i just had a epidural cortisone injection last week and it didnt help, the pain is worse, i cant stand up striaght or anything...
    I'm 24 years old, I have had back problems since I was 17...

    June 6th 2012 (I was 20 years old) On my L4/5 I got a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) with 4 pedicle screws, 2 rods, and 2 cages.
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