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2nd Discectomy...never thought I'd say that!

MESMMES Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone, I'm 2 weeks post-op from my 2nd discectomy. After a completely successful discectomy six years ago (returned to my very active/athletic life with no worries), I re-herniated at the same level about 2 months ago. I tried conservative treatments (PT, 2 steroid shots) for 7 weeks but nothing worked, and the numbness in my foot and pain in my calf worried me, so I opted for a discectomy after getting 3 opinions. My surgeon said that the surgery was a success (don't they all say that?) but here I am, 2 weeks post-op, on a chat room, wondering if I'll ever be the same. I can walk a little better and can stand a little better, but I still have numbness in my foot (mostly my toes, heel, and ball of my foot) and my calf still feels very knotted. At this point I'd be very happy to just walk normally. After 15 minutes or so at little limp sets in. My back feels completely's just the darn numbness and tightness of my right leg. The wondering and waiting is killing me. I'm young (34) and have always been very active and healthy (former college athlete; soccer player, swimmer, biker, tennis, hiking, you name it) so this is AWFUL.

Looking for support, information, advice. THANKS!!


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you dropped in! i am sorry you had to go through this once again!! you know everyone heals differently so maybe you just need alittle more time.. have you taken this up with your doctor??? it sounds like something you should talk to him about.. i know how our lives get so upset and it seems like there will never be a "normal" again.. hang in there!! getting through recovery is the first step! i hope you are feeling more like yourself soon and that leg is much better!! good luck to you and stop in anytime! Jenny :)
  • Hello MES and Welcome to Spine-health!! Sorry that you had to find us....I agree with Jenny in maybe more time will tell a better story!! If you have numbness then it was more than likely pressing an a nerve and nerves take a while to get back to "normal"...I am NO Dr just my opinion there!!

    Anyways Welcome aboard!!
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  • Yes, I've talked with my doctor about it...I went back for a follow-up on 6 days post-op because I had a lot of questions, and he said to give it more time. I am taking it easy, staying out of work for 4-6 weeks, trying to be patient, and doing all of the things they say to do (and not do) but it is still so HARD to know what's going on and how I'm going to be 8-9 weeks down the road. Ugh. Just so hard. I want my life back :(
  • Thanks for the welcome...yes, the disc was pressing the nerve for 7 weeks and the doctor said the surgery went well, he got all the disc pieces and the nerve looked good...but would he say otherwise?! So now I wait. That's the nerve-wracking part.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of great articles and videos on this site and the members of the forum, as you're already finding out, are very knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. You've found a great place.

    I think almost every one of us would say that waiting is the most difficult part of our world - waiting for the MRI results, waiting for our docs to call us, waiting for surgery, and waiting to feel better. It's always hurry up and wait. And if I were to say there was a good thing about being a spiney, it's that we develop a knack for patience, there's no choice.

    So you're in that spot. My surgeon always said that I'd feel better after my lumbar surgery, it just takes time - and he was right. I do feel better. Do I feel 100%? No, but what's happening now is nothing compared to pre-op.

    Hang in there and use us as a sounding board and to get whatever information you need. We'll be here for your nerve-wracking waiting and hopefully take up some of your time so it won't seem so long.

    Take care and again, welcome to Spine-Health.
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  • Hi MES, I'm glad you did well with the 2nd surgery and that it was still a good option for you.

    I can relate. Very active and at 40, wham, herniated my L5/S1 and lost feeling in my left buttocks, back thigh, left heel to outer toe. I had 2 microD's within a few months of each other. I never got back to running but with PT, I am walking "normal" again. I am relieved that I'm no longer limping and that most days walking is fairly routine. I even hike now...though admit the hikes are a lot shorter than before and I keep them to easy/moderate b/c I am just not strong enough yet.

    Take it a day at a time for now. Give yourself a chance to recover from this surgery. And, once cleared, go to Physical therapy. They really helped me get my body mechanics right.

    From there, activity can still happen if your doctor gives you the go ahead. Granted, you'll want to move running to the bottom of the list but there are other things you'll be able to do.

    I hope this helps give you some inspiration.
  • How long has it been from your surgeries to the point you are at now? And why did you have two MicroD's so close to each other?

    Glad to hear about your does give me a lot of hope. All I really want in the near future is to be able to walk normally, swim, and go on some hikes. I'm willing to say goodbye to the soccer, biking, and tennis!!

  • Sorry to hear about this, especially at your age. I came very close to a second surgury this year myself. You know, I think surgeons should refrain from saying " You can resume any activity you want after surgury". That's how I ended up reinjuring myself. I feel much better now, but do not run or golf (or play tennis) anymore. I have found other activities though; mountain biking does not bother my back at all, hiking is great. Give it some time and I think you'll be fine. Keep stretching. Best of luck!
  • Just to throw out one number, my limp went away (mostly) at about 11 weeks. I don't know about the tightness, I just asked my own questions about that. :)
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