Hello everyone. I’m hoping to reach out on this forum and maybe connect with people that have gone through this similar surgery. I’ve been reading posts this last week realizing I wish I had done more research before my surgery to better manage my recovery.
I’m 27 and have been dealing with sciatic nerve pain and back pain for the last four years. I finally found out last September 2019 that I have a herniated disc L5-S1. I didn’t spend my time researching and learning about what to expect post surgery. I decided to have the Microdiscetomy to give myself a better chance at healing and strengthening my body at a younger age so I can do more physical activities later in life. I had my surgery December 27, 2019.
Post Op progress:
I am almost three weeks post surgery. I met with my doctor two weeks post who said things seemed to look good and that I should continue to monitor my activity (aka no bending, twisting, lifting) until 4 weeks post op which is when he cleared me to start physical therapy.
The first week I immediately felt relief in my right buttock and leg it was amazing I was so hopeful. I waited to do any long distance walking until I met with my doctor which now looking back maybe wasn’t the best idea. I would walk daily to the end of the street but that little bit was exhausting. I wish I had read these beforehand because my doctor didn’t recommend a back corset, whereas others that had this surgery said it was a good idea to support posture and remember proper movement. I ordered one now to continue wearing it till 6 weeks out.
It’s now been 20 days since my surgery and I’m feeling the most intense nerve pain that I’ve ever felt. I’ve never felt this type of pain before. It’s burning and pins and needles sensations. My reading online suggests that maybe it’s my nerve functioning and waking up since it’s been pinched for so long as my doctor had warned me about. I just didn’t expect it to be so bad. I was having major anxiety and fear that I did something in the last two weeks to re-rupture it even though I’ve been extremely careful. I’m afraid I easily forgot about bending or twisting and hurt myself again. The nerve pain started the day after I went walking (day 11 post surgery) for about an hour which I realize wasn’t smart after having been inactive for so long.
After reading several posts and articles it appears that pain after the second week of surgery has happened to others. That does give me a bit of hope but there’s three weeks of my not wearing a brace to support, sitting a lot, and not being very mobile making it scary. Has anyone had a similar experience with recovery? The only relief I get is with heat therapy or lying down when it’s too intense. I’m going to try for stretches but they’ve been difficult to do and more walking daily. Any insight would be helpful!