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L5 S1 Woes



  • Thank you everyone for the replies. I began slowly getting myself back to work, hoping being more mobile would help me. Unfortunately, it’s not the case, as the day progresses I am ending up in more pain. 

    Thankfully my spasms haven’t returned, but I am still unable to stand or walk for more than 5 minutes without taking a rest. I’ll tell you what, that takes a lot out of you. End of the day I’m finding myself completely exhausted. 

    There is hopefully an end in sight. I have scheduled my Microdiscectomy for the 23rd of this month. If I told you I’m not nervous, I’d only be kidding myself. But, I look at myself now, and cannot honestly see going on any longer like this. 

    Thanks for everyone’s input, I’ll follow up in a couple weeks. 

  • I'm struggling with the surgery question do it or not to. My physical therapy starts tomorrow. Not sure how I'm going to do. I'm scared of more pain than I'm already in. I can't sit in the car either. I drive 1 1/2 miles to work and that's even too much for me to handle. I hope you get some relief soon!!! Keep us posted!!!

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  • Brandon now that you have made the decision to have surgery get yourself ready for it, do your research on the things you will need afterwards, there are some great articles on this forum. Remember that the most important thing you will need is patience during recovery. Don't try to rush recovery and rehurt yourself, get well first and then resume your life. Good luck and feel better soon

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Your symptoms sound identical to mine except that mine happened from a traumatic injury so the symptoms were almost immediate after my L5-S1 disc ruptured. I had the same numbness down the back of my R leg, the outside of my R heel and my 4th and 5th toes. I also notice I could not lift up on tiptoes or point my toes on the R side either. The numbness started about three weeks after the injury while I was attending PT as prescribed by my work Comp dr for my supposed “muscle strain”. I was finally approved to have an MRI after the numbness started. The disc had essentially ejected all of the jelly and just from time and movement the extruded jelly eventually started effecting my sciatic nerve. It took another 6 weeks to get to surgery (discectomy/laminectomy) at which point the surgeon said the nerve damage causing the numbness will probably be permanent. My pain level has fluctuated from 6-10 for the past 8 months and is currently between a 6-7. 

    My surgery ended up not being “successful” in the eyes of my surgeon because it didn’t eliminate my pain,  but I knew that was a possibility going into it. I chose to go ahead with it because my surgeon believed that the numbness and nerve damage would only get worse without surgery so I’m glad I did it for that reason. 

    So far nothing has decreased my pain level to a tolerable amount. I’ve tried 2 rounds of the epidural steroid injections, tramadol, gabapentin and lyrica as well as oxycodone and lortab. The opiates worked the best by my surgeon won’t prescribe it for long term use which is fine because I can’t take it while I work anyway. 

    Surgery is a big step so do your research and find the best surgeon is my only advise. Find someone you feel has your best interest at heart and is also highly acclaimed in their field. I feel like I gave myself the best chance for success I could by trusting my dr’s expertise and experience with cases like mine. I just ended up in that unfortunate 15% who’s surgery failed.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I hope you have a successful recovery. The success stories give me hope and are the reason I continue to push forward even when I want to give up  

  • I honestly wish surgery was an option. I have an l5s1 disc herniation too. But the ortho recommended pain management. It seems like everybody has to go through that physical therapy that doesn't even work. Just to end up in surgery anyway. I've had low back pain for 7 months now and honestly don't know what to do. Anyway good luck

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  • I had my microdiscectomy this past wed on the 23rd. It was successful, went in that day in really bad pain, woke up with no nerve pain. 

    My foot is still a little numb, but surgeon wasn’t really concerned, he said it may take a while for feeling to come back. 

    I’m currently more stiff and sore where the procedure was done, but that’s nothing compared to the nerve pain I was experiencing. I was given anti inflammatory and an opioid to ease the pain, but I’ve only been taking at night as my pain is very tolerable surprisingly enough  

    I’m going to let myself heal before I do anything, I’ve also taken 5 weeks off of work so I can just rest, walk, sleep, and not be stressed. 

    Thank you all for your input, hoping this teaches me a lesson to be more careful lifting! 

  • The steroid that he prescribed, Prednizone, has to be taken in total in order for this to be most affective.  I have had this prescribed for me multiple times to help with inflamation and it always takes nearly the entire script in order for me to feel results.  That is my experience though.  Good luck.

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