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Disc decompression and discectomy

On the 19th March 2013 I had disc decompression surgery, which then turned into a discectomy, all was well, and the day after surgery I was sent home (it wasn't microsurgery).
3 weeks after my surgery something went wrong and my legs buckled under me, my husband had to call an ambulance and I was taken back to hospital.
I was in tremendous pain but was told they couldn't do anything as yet because their MRI machine was broken ! They spoke of taking me to another hospital to have an MRI, but this was then forgotten.
I was then left for 4 days to move around freely, even though they didn't know what was wrong, I then had MRI and was told that a pea size part of a disc had come away and had embedded itself into the intersection of a nerve, compressing it and it was the worst possible place it could have gone.
I was then left for another 3 days until a theatre became available.
They then operated again.
I have now been left with a completely numb right buttock,half a numb thigh and half a numb calf and half of my foot is also numb, I also still have terrible pain, and am on nerve tablets, and walking with a walking stick, I am 46 !!

My question is this ?
Do I have a claim for the amount of time I was left ?
Surely the longer you leave something compressed, the worst the damage will become ?
They don't know if the nerve has just been squashed or severed, I have to go back in 4 weeks.

Has anyone else had anything like this happen ?
What should be my next step ?
I just don't know what to do ?


  • I don't want to crash this thread with my own issues/past, etc... but I too had as surgery March 20th and then ended up back in the OR for exploratory surgery 3 weeks later.... I had some pretty TERRIBLE care as far as the hospital staff goes both times. There was the occasional great nurse. Anyways, as unfortunate as it is that you had to wait for these surgeries, you really don't have a "claim". Most surgeons are given certain days or times that they are allowed to operate. This is how they book ORs. For example, my surgeon does surgeries on Mondays and Wednesdays only. His practice does have some privileges they can split on Friday mornings. Sounds like to me you had to wait on your surgeon's OR allotted time. I'm surprised they didn't explain this to you and tell you when the surgeon would be going back in. I'm assuming you used the same surgeon. If you did not choose to go with your original surgeon, that that would take longer as another surgeon would have to take your case, and fit you into his OR schedule. I am sorry and I know.... seriously I KNOW how frustrated this was/is. But it isn't a law suit.

    What do you do next? Have a heart to heart with your surgeon first and foremost. Find out where the break down was, and why you weren't explained when they were going to do the surgery, etc. I'd also be upset that he or a member of his practice didn't check on you DAILY in the hospital, mine always have. If they didn't, I would for certain change orthopedic practices.

    Now the good news. I know you are upset/nervous about what you are now experiencing. I know you said you were on nerve medication.... most of these symptoms will probably go away for good... but it could take a year. Now don't freak about that either because you will see continued improvement. Stay on the nerve meds. It took me about 3 months to see some relief, but by month 6 I was 80% recovered from the nerve damage. So hang in there.

    Again... next steps. 1. see doctor for a long conversation, might want to write down a time line prior and take with you 2. Decide if you need to find a new surgeon, and if so, make an appointment. 3. Keep taking the nerve meds 4. Stay positive
    (and at 32 I as in a wheel chair, progressed to a walker... that was attractive... then a 4 prong cane, then a cane, then nothing). and last... seek a great physical therapist, mine was wonderful at getting me from wheel chair to unassisted walking.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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