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Healing After L4/5, L5/S1 Laminectomy and Discectomy: It takes time, but there is hope

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2

Comments

  • Hello, I can only comment on your statement about difficulty flexing your ankle and toes. I had this issue too after surgery. Not really sure what causes this, but I kept up with trying to flex them and at 3 months post-op, things were back to normal.

    You're extremely early on in your recovery, but believe me, it does get better. Good luck to you.
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • I too am constantly flexing feet and toes - hopefully this activity is/ will have a beneficial effect.
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  • HamedHHamed Posts: 3
    edited 04/09/2014 - 2:34 AM
    History: low back pain. Extruded herniation disc at L5 . S1 . Had sergery : Discectomy + Posterior Spinal Fusion using two Interbody Lumbar Cages and two Lumbar Cage Blockers, 43 days ago.

    I was dischrged after 2 nights. I used a soft brace for first 15 days after surgery. My doctor approved it. Major problems I had , have been gohe away now, was actually numbness in my soles and a sharp stabbing pain in my side, away from incision on my back, wile sitting on the edge of bed.
    I am also having a hard time during lateral movements whilst lying on bed, a wired feeling, as if I am a tree and there is a pressure on a limb ! It was not a great deal though.
    Taking my doctor advice, I am not using back brace any more, except for probable long walking outside the house in future. I am just wearing it while sitting on toilet bowel.
    My great concerns stem from the strange expriences I was trough 2 nights ago, I heard a continues low sound inside my back while walking without immediate pain, as though bones were rubbing or something like that. When I was lying on bed half an hour later, I felt a sharp pain in my sacrum area for the first time. Today the sharp stabbing has gone away but I have a insufferanle pain while lateral movements on bed, much much worse than before. I do not feel sciatica in legs and hips, it is lower back oriented, having said that a very peanut numness returns on my hip and sole.
    Might it be a failed fusion ? I am 30 years old, single. Just masturbate 25 days after fusion. I do not really relate it to the problem I am having now.
    My nerosurgeon also had told me that he would do an artificial disc replacement, but after I read the surgery report it all was about PSF and cage . I have my doubts if he really had used artificial disc.
    I just remembered the time I was brought to the ward in hospital from recovery section and a nursing assistant just pull my shoulders up while I was lying on bed , my mother witnessed. After taking a radiology 2 weeks ago, when my doctor told me eveything is perfect I did not ask about what the assistant had done.
    Many thanks in advance .
    Hamed
  • Flexing and walking longer distances has helped tremendously - did about 1.5 hrs walking today
  • I am 3 months into recovery and am doing great. I started lap swimming again last week, that is also going well. What I am curious about is whether it is a bad idea to ever do anything like salsa dance, or tennis again. I think that horseback riding and running are perhaps out, but does anyone have any information about this? I have heard many different things about "yes, you can do everything" to "you should stop doing a few things like running, etc, and no elliptical, because you are twisting too much.:
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  • MEA815MMEA815 Posts: 2
    edited 06/23/2014 - 1:40 PM
    Hi! I have never posted on a forum but this thread gave me some reassurance. I had a microdiscectomy and laminectomy at l5/s1 on June 3rd for an extruded herniated disc. I am self employed as an attorney, which involves lots of sitting!! My doctor released me to go back to work after two weeks and I am now at about three weeks after surgery. I am freaked out because sitting is basically impossible and standing after any length of time results in excruciating burning pain down both legs and aching through my hips. I am supposed to start PT tomorrow and plan to ask my therapist these questions too, but I have no idea what to expect I terms of the pain and how long I should be standing or sitting. I have to be back at work, but don't know how to manage the pain. I was In the office today from noon to five and was in so much pain that I had to lay down on the floor of my office. I am almost out of the pain meds the doctor prescribed (Percocet) and taking one of those when I get home and laying on my back is the only thing that gives me relief. Am I just expecting too much too soon? How long should I be standing or sitting at one time? Is it inflammation? Will it get better? I would welcome any suggestions as to how to handle the return to work/expectations of pain management issue. Should I use heat or ice at the end of the day? Thank you!
  • (45M) Thanks Independentedge, your post was very insightful. I've been finding daily hour-long walks challenging and thought maybe something was wrong with me (used to enjoying much farther walks). And thanks for the suggestions... I see now that I've just started my journey on a much longer road than I realized.
    Cheers,
    L
  • elayne Kennedyeelayne Kennedy Posts: 1
    edited 09/17/2015 - 5:41 AM
    Its nearly 15 months ago since I first hurt my back and suffered from so much pain for so long.I was also in and out of hospital for pain control lots of epidurals and facet joint injections. They worked but only as short term pain relief and each one working for less amount of time.Finally an MRI was done and showed that there was problems with two discs bulging and slight nerve compression.But I was told that over time that they would settle down and sort themselves out!! October 2014 things took a turn for the worst and I began to loose some power of my right foot and i also suffered a few falls up the stairs and down!.This led to another few days of being in hospital and more pain control tablets.This time I was under a new neurosurgeon who was very frustrated nothing had been done for me in all that time. He decided enough was enough and that an operation was needed. Finally In December 2014 I had a microdiscectomy on L4 L5 removing of a large bulge on both sides of the disc.
    The first few weeks were very hard and being so restricted to most things was frustrating.I felt happy after about two weeks and felt like I was getting some relief.But then about a month ago I woke with severe leg pain and lower back pain just like before the operation.Gradually the numbness in my foot has also returned so i felt like I was going backwards instead of forwards.
    Luckily I had my six week post op appointment coming up to go back to see the surgeon. I went to see him and he ordered another MRI scan. So I had another appointment yesterday 25/2/15 and the scan shows degenerative changes in two discs and there is a black shadow after appearing in my lumbar area(has me a bit worried). No bulges showed up in any more discs so its unclear why I have sciatica pain, numbness in one foot, lower back pain and why im unable to sit straight. I asked what he thought this black shadow could be? and also why I still had all these symptoms. He explained that he was unsure why all this was happening. And said that I will need more surgery to explore whats going on in my lower back.
    This wasn't the news I expected, I finally thought my back pain was going to be done and over with. But now I will have to deal with all these restrictions all over again after the next operation.Feel like screaming not leading a normal life of a 34 year old going out weekends, traveling, etc. I am due to start college hopefully in September so that's the time limit I have given myself to be fully recovered.Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is not very bright but its there and will get brighter......Just wondering if anyone has been through something similar??

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
    elayne
  • CaitlinewalkCCaitlinewalk Posts: 1
    edited 09/17/2015 - 5:37 AM
    I had my laminectony on my l4 l5 S1 on September 11th, 2015. Today is September 16, 2015. I went into surgery after reading so many horror story on these forums. As of today I can walk a half mile with minimal pain, no numbness. I have more pain my in my incision site than anything.
    I am 27, so fairly young and I understand that because I am young so I will bounce back much quicker than someone who is 75. I was so scared going into surgery they had to give me something because I was having rolling panic attacks. I was shaking, freaking out, crying.
    I woak up from surgery in alot of pain, ALOT OF PAIN. Also, apparently I was very angry, they gave me hydromophine and fentynal. I went back to sleep for a short period of time, in which acording to my nurse I was talking to my father about fishing. Before I was transferred to my room I had to roll to my side. I was fresh out of surgery in quite alot of pain and I decided then an there nothing was going to stop me I was going to get better. I rolled over to my side, and it actually took alot of the pain away. I was having alot of muscle spasms and pain mainly at the incision sight.
    After that they transfered me to my room, I met the most amazing nurse and cna they were an amazing team. I was put in my new hospital bed, which I log rolled aNd stood up and got in this different bed with just minimal help I made the cna hold my hand while I walked the 5 steps to my new bed. The nurse gave me a valium, 2 5mg norcos. The valuim for muscle spasms because I am allergic to many of the muscle relaxers they offered me, and the norco for "break thru pain" because I was being given fentynal every 2 hours.
    About 3 hours after being transferred to my room and a 2 hour nap I had to pee like horrible bad, the cna came in an basiclly supervised me getting up and walking. I did my buisness and she walked me back to my bed. This was a cycle for a couple hours. About 8 pm that night I called for the cna asked if she would walk with up an down the halls, more so because I was bored and nothing was on tv. So I walked up and down the hallways twice, and around my room a few times.
    I asked for all my medications and fell asleep about 10 pm. Now 4 am I wake up took my self to the bathroom and realized yes I was in a huge amount of pain and having quite bad muscle spasms. I discussed only taking the norco and valium, and seeing how that would go. So I took the medication and squirmed in my bed for about and hour, I finally said to myself enough is enough aNd asked for the fentynal. Mind you it had only been 18 past my surgery. The instant relief was amazing. I stayed up till I had breakfast, had another round of the painkillers and took a little nap.
    My doctor came to see me about 9 am and told me I was doing great and said he was going to discharge me if I could stay of the fentynal. I agreed and my 7 am dose was my last dose. I got up several and walked the floors before being discharged, also my cna took me out for a ciggaret. ( thank the Lord I was day dreaming about them) it was about a quarter mile walk to smoke the ciggaret, I walked up stairs down stairs and on uneven surfaces.
    They discharged me about 2 pm, Gave me a valium and norco for the ride home. I had about a hour an half ride home and it was rufff, my moms car is awfully bouncy.
    I went to my mother's house to stay for a while, so she could help me with my six year old son. The first night home I laid on the couch and would sit up every once in a while. With the assistance of my two brothers helping me stand up when I needed to.
    The second day home was much better I got to shower which was a little difficult since you are not suppose to bend or lean. I also did alot more sitting at the kitchen table which is where my family hangout together. I also used a rice bag on my left hip since I had some slight shooting pains. But!!!! I had no numbness in either leg which I had before surgery which is so exciting.
    Each day had gotten better and better, today is day 5 I have had no narcotics just a valium and nurtoin. I just want people to know that the surgery sucks, it does. For me it was worth it tho, it's the fifth day and my legs are pain free im walking farther everyday. It does take alot out of me since I am still healing, after the walks I take or a shower im zonked out and I usually have to lay down for a while and relax. I know I am fixed. I had pain for 5 years in each leg, it took me calling and doing leg work to get an mri. I had to self refer myself to the neurological institut that did my surgery. I had doctors only treat the symptoms and not the cause for so long, they didn't even want to find the cause. In the last 4 months the neurosurgeon had me do pt, epidural with no no results. He finally had me come to an appointment we discussed that none of the other conservative treatments worked. And that a laminectomy was the only option. He had me in surgery within 2 weeks and now I feel amazing. It was so worth it and I'm so happy I chose to have it. I know that everybody heals differently and reacts differently but I hope that everybody who reads this has a little hope.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
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