Hi i just wanted to write about a positive case of back surgery. I've been having terrible back pain and leg pain for a little over a year. I tried everything, from physical therapy, chiro to epidural injections with no improvement. at the beginning it use to hurt more if i seated, it was hard to find a position where it didnt hurt and standing up brought some ease. later it hurt more if i walked for more than 5 mins and stayed that way until i explored having surgery.
I refuse to take narcotics as a solution for the rest of my life so i explored and did some research to select my surgeon. let me backtrack a bit. My PCP did some tests and it showed a herniation between l4/l5, and thats how got into epidural injections. they were amazing but they only lasted for 4-6 weeks and i would be going crying to the Dr for more. and the more i got the less it lasted. so i decided for surgery.
I just wanna say, dont settle with just one opinion. get second and third opinions, like i did. the pain Dr recommended surgery, so the next Dr (ortho) but he was more interested in cashing in so I moved on to a Dr with good patient manners that at least made me feel confortable. Im not a science dummy, I am a former pre-med with a PhD in Bio so i understand a lot about biology, medicine and the human body. so the next Dr took the time to explain what i already knew about the procedure, explained the risks, benefits and left the decision to me instead of shoving it down my throat.
So I went ahead book surgery and as everyone here, i too was very nervous. so the day came, they walk you in and they bring u to the OR, butt naked and when u wake up you are in a bed with a little pain and discomfort and all drugged up with a drug pump if u need more pain med. in bed i did not experience the numbness i usually felt while laying down. Im not gonna lie, you cant even push yourself in the bed much less raise your body. the meds help a lot with the pain. the next day or the same day they make u get up and its painful but you can definitely walk, it hurts to sit a lot but it gets better as you sit longer, without help i was able to get up the bed, sit but you cant do it with ease. when i took my first steps, i almost cried, no pain down my leg and i knew that that pain was weakness leaving the body. you have to pump the meds with the button and it hels but it makes you sleepy.
again sitting hurts but it gets better. once you go home getting on and off the car hurts like a bitch but you feel much better once you get to bed and sleep it off. backtracking a bit, when the therapist came to see me they made me walk up the stairs, go to the restroom, sit up and down and try to get on and off a mock car before clearing me to be discharged. my ride home was just 20 minutes but had to go to the drugstore and i walked like an 80 yr old terribly stiff. thats how pretty much is the first 2 days.
you have to take the meds as frequent as u can in my case i was on percocets two pills every 4 hrs. that kept my pain under control. its just discomfort but you can def walk, sit with some discomfort and sleep. the drugs makes y sleepy, and i tried to walk up and down and inside the house as much as i could. walking didnt hurt, just stiffness. i didnt have a brace just a dressing with some tape. the area was stapled and they kind of hurt while laying down for the firts 3 days, then u get used to it.
by day 5 i decreased the percocets and muscle relaxers and by day 7 i was up, not much pain and i walked 3 mi with no pain down my leg. i came home no pain, got up next morning no problem. now i get up the bed almost as normal but still im very careful.
ohh and i almost forgot, u cant shower for 2 weeks. i hate sponge baths so i wrapped myself in saran wrap and take and carefully showered without wetting the incision.
ohh i also read that there could be residual pain due to the jerking of the nerve during surgery, but i had none of that. if your surgeon is good he'll know to be careful and gentle.
I wanna recommend everybody to consider surgery, dont be afraid, just get the best dr u can. i did some research. my dr at johns hopkins university was voted top 50 by his peers and jhu is pretty good also. i just happened to live in baltimore but this days there excellent Drs in every state. do your research, ask questions.
I am a healthy 31 yo male, 220 lbs, healthy. all the way thru my surgery i worked out even with pain. i did pilates so i had a strong core. it helped with my recovery. i never let the leg pain regardless of how hard it was to control my life. i jogged, walked on the threadmill, tour cities even with pain. i learned to ignore it but i refused to live in pain forever. maybe its too early to call it victory but now on ill be careful and take care of my back to prevent re-herniation.
I decided to publish my story because somewhere i read someone complaining that everything he read was mixed and very seldom succesful so i wanted to bring my story to the light to give hope to those in pain like i was. i know its a terrible disease so hang on and get surgery with a good surgeon. and be careful with the post-ops recommendations. if you guys have any questions just ask, ill be glad to answer them. Best of lucks! Julio