I am a 62 year old male who has had no serious health problems before. I would say though that I did have an L3-4 herniated disc when I was in my 20s that resolved with physical therapy. About 3 months ago I had a major slow on-set of back pain where I couldn't stand up at night. After that I went to physical therapy and it started resolving. After about 2 1/2 months I was about 80% although my lifestyle had changed completely in that I was no longer a runner/biker but would exercise at the gym and do about 15 minutes of perscribed physical therapy per day. At the end of December it just went acute and then I had an MRI and there was noted an 'extreme' heriation pressing into the main spinal nerve, very obvious what the problem was.
On the 2nd specialist recommended endoscopic decompression L3-4 which I believe has various other names. They videoed the procedure and gave me the removed disc tissue to keep. Very good immeadiate feeling after surgery, but by about day 2 some symptoms returned, some leg spasms and general soreness. Now at day 11 the spasms have gone away pretty much, sometimes there is level 1 pain/soreness at the operative spot and just feel stiff when standing up. Today was kind of kinked a bit when I stood up and had to stretch out, which was something somewhat similar to prior to the operation that I would get sometimes, after the beginning of the condition when it had improved with physical therapy.
The surgery was done at a top name hospital in Thailand with very good (I believe) care/operative ability/equiptment. The doctor recommended 2 weeks minimal activity with light walking allowed. Here they do not recommend any kind of post operative physical therapy. I have been trying to walk about 1/2 mile per day at a relaxed pace which is fine and not eventful. I think the recovery activities recommended here may be different from other places.
The back symptoms come and go, I guess this is pretty much normal, I would be interested in hearing the other names of this procedure (1/4" opening offending disc material that is pinching against nerve removed). Also I am really curious about the standard recommended physical therapy regime recommended as standard. Are light back exercises recommended (like those perscribed for lower l3-4 back pain)? I do feel the physical therapy I was doing prior to what ever caused the condition to go acute was helping quite a bit. Also, anyone know what goes into the created opening when the disc tissue is removed, is it just general fluid or what? Others experiences with recovery, up and down?