L4-5 L5-S1 Microdiscectomy Surgery -



  • Just got home from my meeting with the Doc.  Overall feel a lot better and that i am in good hands.  Still a bit scared, because it is surgery.

    He came in, sat down, and asked me what questions i had.  I pulled out my list of 30 questions and started going to town. 

    Couldn't give me a probability on recovery in terms of strength coming back to my foot/calf or feeling.  Said that I'm a perfect candidate for a recovery and if anyone could, it would be me because I'm young, healthy and fit.

    When asked if i will get a % of strength back he couldn't answer either.  Based off his body language, etc I'm going to go ahead and say that it's a very slim chance for me to regain what I've lost.  Said that at about 6 months we'll know and be able to call if i will regain strength, etc.

    It's going to be about a 2 hour surgery and i'll be sent home about 1-2 hours after it has concluded.  I'll have a post opp meeting with him at 2 weeks and then again at 6 months.

    Gave me his personal cell number for emergencies.  

  • For anyone curious, this is what my MRI report says:

    L4-5: Small left paracentral and foraminal disc extrusion with inferior migration.  This is superimposed on a background concentric disc bulge.  Mild central spinal stenosis.  Partial effacement of the left subarticular zone and mild mass effect on descending left L5 nerve root.  Moderate left neural foraminal stenosis.  The disc contacts and minimally displaces the exiting left L4 nerve within the neural foramen.  Mild right neural foraminal stenosis.

    L5-S1: Moderate-sized left paracentral disc extrusion.  There is mass effect on the descending left S1 nerve root within the left subarticular zone.  Mild anterior thecal sac effacement without significant central spinal stenosis.  Mild bilateral neural foraminal stenoses.

    Anyone know what any of that means?

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  • He also said, that the only way acupuncture could cause numbness like this would be if the needle somehow severed the nerve.  Even if it pierced a nerve it wouldn't last like this, it would eventually heal up.

  • Had an incident last night, early morning.  Half asleep, i somehow decided it would be a good idea to stretch.  I had my knees over my chest and twisted my back extending my arms into a cat stretch and instantly felt pain hit my hamstring and run into my foot.  Same pain as in November when i was left numb.

    Since November i've been numb with no pain, this morning i was in an incredible amount of pain.  I could not move in bed.  Even trying to roll over or move my leg an inch, i was meet with out  of control pain.

    I ended up taking some left over medication for pain as well as Ibuprofen, which i know i am not supposed to take, but i was literally in that much pain.

    Called the doctor, he said we are still okay for surgery, but to not take anymore ibuprofen.  I did not ask for any additional pain medication.  For some reason, i feel guilty asking since there is such a bad stigma around opiods these days.  I'm still in quite some pain, and am limping pretty badly.

    I am not looking forward to surgery and pray i will never experience this type of pain ever again.

  • Home from surgery. Currently laying down. Have quite a bit of pain in my lower back, which was to be expected. I’ve been home since 12pm PT, it is now 8:00pm PT. Surgery was fairly quick, I went in around 8:30am and was up being discharged around 11:30am, got actually home around 12. 

    I’ve gotten up about 3-4 times to walk around the house, which isn’t too bad. I feel extremely fragile in my lower back. Taking baby steps. Been taking my pain meds which put me straight to sleep. 

    I don’t feel any pain in my leg but I am still numb in the same locations. Hopefully in time I will regain strength. Doctor told my family, that we’re in the waiting room, he does not know if strength will return. 

    I haven’t spoken with my doctor post opp, but I do have an appointment 2 weeks from now. 

    If anyone has recommendations for anything I should be doing and or not doing these first couple weeks, or if anyone has any questions, feel free to post. 

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  • Hi

    Good to see your surgery went well.. in the first couple of weeks you would be learning how to walk, so take it easy on yourself and get rest as much  as possible...Typically surgery +3 days you would see strength returning to your body and back pain reducing... Icing after the first week below the incision site would help.... Also try and walk few steps every hour after 1 week...

    No blt of course for 6 of luck.

  • Hi. I’ve had a similar experience. Back pain and sciatic off and on over time. One day 911 pain just as you said. In bed for a couple days. Finally made it to the chiropractor who kept insisting each week for me to have an MRI. Results were herniation at the L5-S1. The herniation went down onto the S1 nerve root. That nerve affects the calf and foot and will cause the foot drop. Basically the nerve is compressed so even though your brain is telling the foot to move the nerve that receives the command is shorted out. I have been going to physical therapy and have regained strength in the leg and calf but still am not able walk on my toes. I’m 12 weeks out from the event and have now gone to a neurosurgeon. I’m going for a second MRI to see if the herniation has receded at all. If it has I will continue with PT and no surgery.  The doctor also said that even with surgery the foot weakness may never go away. He said it takes a very long time for leg weakness to heal. Especially when it affects the lower leg. It’s not the acupuncture. It is the nerve root that was affected by the herniation. Good luck with your decision and healing

  • Thank you for your comments. I am now just past 48 hours post op and the pain has started to go down. I’ve been taking my pain meds like candy because of how uncomfortable I am laying in bed. I essentially pass out each time I take the meds. Getting up is a pain in the royal butt, but! It is getting easier, a lot easier. I have had a raging headache that won’t go away. I’ve read this is from the Anastasia. I’ve also been sweating every time I sleep. I’m getting weird sensations in my lower left leg and in my foot. May be things trying to reboot. Still zero sciatica pain which is good.  

  • Update. Day 4. Everything Ian getting easier. Walking around I’m still slow, but it’s completely fine. Sitting is fine, but I sit upright and don’t lean back on anything. I took off my bandage and cleaned the incision with the stuff they gave me. I’ve stopped taking the meds unless at night when I wake up since the incision spot can can irritated when laying for long amounts of time. All doing better. Still numb and no strength has been regained but I think that’s going to be a month by month thing and not a day by day improvement.  

  • Hi Everyone, it's now been just shy of 7 days from my surgery.  I am doing a lot better.  The incision is still sensitive and a bit painful, but lessens each day.  Getting in and out of bed is A LOT easier.  I am very happy, so far, that i did the surgery.  I haven't had any sciatica pain since.  However the numbness and loss of strength in my foot, ankle, hamstring, glute are still there.

    I can sit without any pain what so ever, but i haven't tried sitting and leaning against any back support yet.

    My next update i will make will be after my 2 week post op appointment with the doctor.

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them and i'll do my best to answer them.

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