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New guy Waiting for Surgery

Hello everyone, first post here (obviously), but I have lurked over the years.

I am a 31 year old male, and I have a herniated disk at L4-L5 causing pretty bad sciatic pain. I was originally diagnosed about 6-7 years ago after an injury, but the pain was intermittent and not problematic as it only came on for 2-3 days per month. The first diagnosis was stenosis with DDD and small hernia at L4-L5. The original pain passed, and aside from the intermittent pain, I could still rock climb, play softball, work construction, and do whatever I wanted basically. When I would have a tough day or a hard climbing session, I would always be in pain afterwards, but it passed quickly and I simply learned to live with it.

Fast forward to this November. I was bringing a sheet of drywall down the stairs, and didn't feel anything pop or any immediate pain, but after I did that, I knew that I had tweaked my back, and it just got worse from then. Because I had a lot of pain in my hip, my doctor originally had me screened for ankylosing spondylitis, which it turns out I don't have. She sent me for 3 months of physio, which didn't help, a CT scan, 2 MRI's and now I'm pretty much on pills all day (vimovo - taking more than what was prescribed to me, and Lyrica, 150 mgs, which is basically making me... let's just say not as sharp as I usually am).

After the MRI results, I was referred to the neurosurgeon, which I met on May 10. To be honest, he was not very personable and didn't really answer any of my questions or put any of my worries to rest. To be brutally honest, I don't really care if he's nice or not - I just want him to fix me if he can.

I am now going to the hospital next wedneseday to do all the pre-op stuff, and am expected to have my surgery at the end of july or early august. I made a profile here to touch base with people who have been through it or are going through it, to hopefully find some kinds of reassurance (I'm mostly afraid of ending up in a wheelchair - back surgeries are serious stuff), and I'm also hoping to simply touch base and go in to it with reasonable expectations.

Thanks for having me!

Nic


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Comments

  • Ellen625EEllen625 New Jersey, USPosts: 756
    Hi Nic,  what type of surgery are you having? I had vimovo prescribed and it did absolutely nothing for me. I had a microdiscectomy on 6/16. Is that what you are having done?
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496

    Welcome aboard Nic.

    I understand the Lyrical thing.  I am glad that I was prescribed it because it did help, but even happier to get off of it.  Funny Lyrical story, I was ordering a desk chair from a big box office store, the asked for my shipping address and I couldn't think of my office address so I made something up - that is how messed up I was.  luckily I remembered the address before we finished, and corrected it.  The salesperson must have really wondered about me...

    I also agree about the surgeon, bedside manor is not as important as surgery skills - the good ones usually have a Nurse Practitioner to answer questions.

    Good luck with your surgery.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,212
    Hello....
    It seems good you are trying to prepare for surgery. You may be interested in a couple posts.
    One is entitled...Post op Must Haves......the other.....Recovery the Most Important Phase.

    You may also find helpful information by using the search on this site, upper right on page.
    Typing in your concerns you may be led to current or older discussions.
    You may be led to the medical side of the forum with articles and videos. Very informative!

    When you click on FAQs on right side of page, under Medical Information...you will find guidance on doctor's appointments, etc... Usually when I search, I find more questions I have for doctor.
    The better the communication, the more confident you may feel re the surgery....and I agree, spinal surgery, the thought of it is often scary.

    Please keep us posted on how you are doing!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • ShivayaSShivaya Quebec, CanadaPosts: 35

    Hi Guys, thanks for the replies :)

    I believe I am indeed having a microdisectomy. I will know more on Wednesday when I meet the nurse, because the surgeon didn't really tell me anything. He probably thought I was dumb and wouldn't know what he was talking about, but he did tell me he was going to cut a part of the disk that was bulging, so it sounds like he is going for the microdisectomy.

    One thing he told me that concerns me is that the surgery would help for my leg pain but not for my hip/groin/side (of the back), but I don't believe him to be honest. I know what nerve pain is, and that is nerve pain. It radiates the same way as my leg and heels, and at the same time. Maybe we just miscommunicated.

    About Lyrica, I printed 3000 pages I didn't need to print at work the other day.  Thankfully my coworkers and boss know about my situation so they have been very forgiving, but let's say I wasn't proud of myself. It gets very frustrating.

    As for the Vimovo, I don't know. I'm taking my vimovo + a 225 mg aleve. If I don't overdose it, it doesn't help much. If I do, it does, but I wouldn't want to do that for very long after reading the horrible stories from people who take NSAIDS for too long.

    I'll be reading up on all the stuff you  guys suggested, and posting in the surgery forum as well if I still have questions.

    Thanks for being so welcoming!

    Shivaya

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