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L4-5 L5-S1 Microdiscectomy Surgery -

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  • 6 week check up went good.  Been having slight ache in my lower back.  Went to sit up this morning in bed with my legs straight in front of me and felt the sciatica pain in my ankle.  Mentioned it to the doc and didn't say much.

    Entering into PT to try and wake up the muscles in my leg so i can walk again.  Cleared for gym, with no real restrictions, suggests i wait 6 months to hop on a motorcycle.

  • My surgery was also on April 13! Microdiscectomy L4-5. Still healing, but I am optimistic right now that I'll be back to my (also) active lifestyle. I've just come to the difficult realization that it's going to take longer than I wanted. 

    I'm a massage therapist and I "negotiated" with my surgeon p/t at 2 months, f/t at 3 months. 

    Fingers crossed for you!

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  • Hi everyone and my apologies this is the first time I have ever posted in a forum but here goes, I see many of you and myself included are and or have been experiencing the same conditions, I recently have had my 3rd back surgery on L5 disc rupture and bone spurring that was compressing the left sciatic nerve I am into the 3rd week of recovery and still have numbness from the knee down to the foot and some pain but manageable. My concerns are this, this is the 3rd time never thought I would be here I am 62 and trying to make it to 65 and I can retire, trying to stay positive but it appears that disc replacement and or fusion is in my future. Any have advise. Hope you are getting well look forward to any remarks and thank you so much. 

  • Little update.  No pain, still get little small noticeable feedback in my ankle when putting on socks or sitting awkward.  Was putting on my socks and felts it ever so slightly in my RIGHT ankle which isn't good.  Foot is still completely numb, still cant really use my calf.  It's been a little over 3 months now.

    Did my first day of PT, got the bill now looking for another PT thats covered under my insurance.

    Also, my ankle now pops when i pivot on my heel and shake my shoes from left to right which i don't think is good either.

    PT told me that she never wants me putting any weight on my shoulders, i can't sit and do workouts which sucks.

    In end, no improvement to current post opp state.  At this point i do not think i will get strength back in my calf. 

  • AndrooAAndroo Posts: 145
    edited 09/21/2018 - 12:15 PM

    rymaggi. I have read your entire story, and as a rule I have felt sorrow for every person whose story I have read - but it is very hard to empathize with you when it is abundantly clear that you are the source of your own pain. 

    Coming to grips with how you need to exercise is tough at first, but to read how you continued to abuse your body as your suffering continued shows that your addiction to weight-lifting is directly connected to your health.

    Squats? Are you kidding? Do you want to end up in a wheelchair?

    Maybe you need to revision what a healthy body can look like without all of the hulk bulk? Put yourself first. You clearly are a willful person. You can win this shit

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  • rymaggirrymaggi Posts: 27
    edited 01/13/2019 - 2:14 PM

    Androo i think you're generalizing and drawing you're own conclusions.  Hulk-Bulk?  really?  I'm doing body weight squats and squats while holding a kettle bell to strengthen my core post opp.

    I'm no longer in pain, and all the doctors i have seen say i need to stay in the gym to rebuild my core strength.

    BTW no one is asking for your empathy.



  • Sounds like your symptoms were similar to mine. I lost all the strength in my left leg and had constant muscle spasms for 6 weeks. I was in constant agony and on way to many meds. I had surgery 4 days ago and am so relieved I did. My leg is about 80% back. I have an occasional mild muscle spasms at the top of my thigh. I expect my nerve needs plenty of time to heal, as they had to remove many disc fragments. I have my life back. I expect to be xc skiing, riding and hiking in due time. 

  • Little update - Still hitting the gym and trying to regain my calf muscle.  I can barely flex it.  Still can't do a calf raise or hold my own weight with my left calf.

    Went and saw nuro and they tested my nerves; all were healthy.  One that was on the inside of my leg/calf was irritated and you could hear it.  Nero told me to get a Personal Trainer, not a Physical Therapist, and told me to keep hitting the gym.  So that's what i'm doing.

    I've lost about an inch in my left leg so far.  I'm hoping over time i'll regain the muscle fully, but i've come to terms that i'll always walk funny.

    One thing i do want to try is an inversion table.  I read one story online that was similar to mine where he lost feeling and could not flex his calf.  He purchased an inversion table and got back about 80% strength in his calf over 8 months or so.

    If anyone has any storys or anything to add about inversion tables i would love to here.


    tcdug - good to hear the surgery went well.  You'll begin to heal fast.  It's bad the first week or so, but you can notice the improvement each day.  Take it easy and don't twist or pick anything up. buy a playstation or something and just lay down.

  • Micro-discectomy worked for me. At 8 months I am living my life, no pain, but with some restrictions. Those restrictions are:

    1 - no sudden, twisting motions

    2 - No long-distance running

    3 - No weight lifting that involves bending at waist

    4 - No soccer

    I swim, ride a bicycle, do body-weight exercises, play sports with my kids (minus soccer) and stretch EVERY SINGLE MORNING.

    I suspect in a year's time I'll be able to do some of the above, but for now I am not taking chances.


    So yes, for me, the MD was a game-changer. My pain was not tolerable, and like you it brought me to the floor in tears on many occasions. The pain, for whatever reason, disappeared two days before surgery, but I had the surgery anyway.


    No regrets

  • Your original symptoms of debilitating shocks of pain and fhen the 4th and 5th toes going numb were exactly the same as mine were a year ago. The problem I faced was dealing with work comp. My original injury was on 4-15-18 and the excruciating pain running from my right hip down my leg to my toes started immediately and 4 weeks later the numbness of my leg and toes started, which absolutely panicked me. It still took work comp another 2 months to get me into surgery. The MRI showed a 14mm extrusion of L5-S1. Because of the amount of time between my leg going numb, the surgeon told me the numbness was probably going to be permanent. And I also had the Achilles’ tendon reflex (the tendon responsible for standing on your toes) damaged which will also likely be permanent. 

    I had a microdisectomy last June and afterwards the pain had improved but was still a 6 or 7 out of 10 instead of 8 or 9 out of 10. My post op instructions were 6 weeks of rest-no lifting, bending, etc-and then 4 weeks of PT which was extended to 8 because I have a very physical job and had to learn how to properly lift things and how to keep my balance with the Achilles reflex gone.

    Unfortunately everything started to get bad again after I returned to work and after trying 3 rounds of epidurals, my surgeon ordered a second discectomy surgery, but this time he did a wide incision because I had a lot of scar tissue needing to be removed. I had surgery 4 weeks ago today.

    I wish I had an encouraging outcome to tell you but unfortunately I am still having the same pain and some new pain. I still have hope that someday, something will take the pain away so that I can live my life again. 

    The best advice I can give anyone going through this is to be patient with your recovery and never lose hope that it can get better. After a year of dealing with the physical pain of the injury and the emotional pain of not being able to do the job I love, I have some very down days. But I always stop my pity party and remind myself that there are many other people dealing with far worse. I focus on what I’m thankful for instead of depressed about what I don’t have.

    Good luck with recovery and use PT to your advantage. For me, it was the thing that helped me the most. It taught me how to do work duties and home tasks without damaging my spine further. Take care!

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