A common gripe on this forum is that it is filled with horror stories of failed surgeries and returning pain--I'm here to post my success thus far.
I am a true believer in that "once you're healed, you likely won't visit the forum on back pain." I read that several times on here and I find it to be true-- I've been living life so I never came back since my surgery--not even once. I'm a 28 year old male by the way.
July 8th 2015-- Getting ready for work in the AM when my back gave out and had me bed ridden for the day. Immense sharp pain in lower back. I couldn't even stand. Gained the ability to stand that evening and slowly walk.
The next few days I was limping and my body was twisted and leaning toward my left. I figured it was a chiropractic concern so I went to the chiro 4 times over 3 weeks after my pain started. I had little relief at the chiro. Made appt at my family doctor for treatment/MRI work. I had incredible sciatic nerve pain in my left leg.
Had an MRI in early August-- confirmed 2 bulged discs (l4/l5 being worst..slight herniation at l5/s1)
I was incredibly upset from July-late August and limping everywhere when I did walk/go out. Pretty much became a hermit and bed ridden when I wasn't working-- lost 20lbs in 2 months--pretty rough.
I worked the entire time (desk job) and just suffered through it. Tried steriod packs and had little relief. Finally made an appt with a neurosurgeon in late August.
Saw the neuro on September 7th--opted to have the microdiscectomy at L4/L5 on September 15 2015. Surgery started at 8AM. Woke up in ZERO pain (aside from incision) at 10AM. Neuro said that my nerves and spacings were "super tight" and that surgery was probably the only way that I would've had pain relief--no injections would've yielded great results.
I was discharged the next day--Took a week off of work to recover-- walked as much as I could bear to--
AND THAT'S IT! I took pain meds for my incision the first 4 days after surgery but I was 100% off meds by day 5 for everything.
I've been pain free since. I followed doctor's orders of NO LIFTING as best as I could--but as others have posted, it's hard to do because you feel like your old self.
Tomorrow is 4 months post op and I'm happy to report that I'm still feeling great. I started light weight lifting, went on a hunting trip, and have been getting back to my normal routine prior to the mishap.
My personal advice: Don't be afraid of the surgery. Mind your P's and Q's post-op and I'll bet you'll have a success story to post on here (if you remember to stop your busy, normal lifestyle you gain from it.)