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Recovery after Discectomy

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  • First time post. Had 9 months pain and discovered core of disc had protruded out, which hardens and would never reabsorb. So surgery was only option. First week and a half was great - no pain as everyone says.

    Then the pain came back but different. It was intermittent and less severe more like a stretched nerve feeling. Still have this and am told it will last for a while yet, perhaps a few more weeks and then it will reduce. Nerve's take a long long time to heal, unlike muscles.
  • But I had surgery around 5pm (MicroD at L4L5 with removal of a bit of the lamina) and got home at Midnight. I was up the next morning at 7:45 and grabbing my sons clothes, sitting on the floor to change him and get him dressed... Walked him down the stairs to the bus, and back up. I never had any problems with recovery aside from the second day I had some nerve issues. I was able to lift just like I did before. It was basically like getting a tooth pulled. Felt like a routine procedure. Maybe I'm just insanely tolerant but I felt like there really was no recovery... I just went home and continued to live my life the way I did before. My doctor gives people the OK to go back to work around 3 weeks post op, and everything else you can do as tolerated.
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  • 48yr Male, I just had an L4/L5 discectomy/lamiectomy 6 days ago.
    I injured myself some 2 1/2mths ago. I developed a burning in my L/h lower leg. I thought it would settle but it just got more intense. I did the physio thing for a good 6 weeks, which at first seemed to be making slow progress.
    As time went on I felt I was losing ground, the pain gradually getting worse.I was basically in constant agony any time I tried to get upright. I finally saw the surgeon 10 days ago (Friday) and had MRI. He said I had a large herniation between S1 - L4. He didn't muck around and I had the op following Wednesday.
    When I woke up it was like somebody had flicked a switch.I didn't have any pain shooting down my leg any more. The next day I got out of bed and managed to walk very slowly for a short distance. Fantastic feeling,no pain in the leg!
    The surgeon kept the disc material for me and put it in a jar. (Spewed out of L4/L5 and went down to S1)
    He said it was the biggest piece he had seen. Hopefully there's still some disc left in there.
    6 days post op now! I can walk up to 15 minutes several times a day. Still get a bit of numbness in a toe but no pain down the leg. #:S I get sore if I do too much!
    I have been told no sitting, don't bend and slowly build up the walking! Just take it very easy for the next 6 weeks.
    I have read a lot of the threads on discectomy recovery. Hopefully I will be one of the success stories.
    Time will tell!
  • Hi Skooobie,

    Just wondering how you are doing now, since what you described here is what I am experiencing. I was doing great until about 10 days and then I started with more tingling and numbness that have continued to now at day 14. I don't know whether I should back off from some activity or whether this is normal or what.
    Any thoughts?

    __________________________________________________________
    51 yr old, married, empty nester
    5 months sciatica, ESI, PT, nothing helped
    Sept. 3, 2008 MicroD L4-5
    Sept. 7, 2008 reherniated same disk
    Sept. 17, 2008 redo of MicroD
  • Had surgery 9/23/08 and I am 10 days post-op from L4L5 microdiscectomy/lamenectomy. Had a buldging disc for 18 months from shoveling. I have horses and was cleaning stalls. Did the usual PT, spinal injections and it helped for awhile. Disc finally ruptured and I had severe back and sciatic pain, left side with numbness and some foot drop.

    Surgery was typical, 1.5 hours with no apparent problems. Ended up in the hospital an extra night as my bp would drop severely when I stood, probably from dehydration. I also don't handle pain meds well so switched to all anti-inflamatories and valium.

    Everyone will know I am crazy but against docs orders, my family and friends wishes, I got on a plane 3 days post-op. My vacation was already scheduled and figured I could recover there. Lucklily no problems, arranged for wheel chair at airports and never lifted a thing. Got up to walk a few times during the flights as I was concerned about blood clots. Flew back home 8 days post-op and am still taking it easy. I heard from others on this website, walking was the best so have been doing what I can while on vacation and now. I'm still very tired, stay in bed, rest and sleep a lot.

    I have my post-op appt on Oct 7 and will see where I go from here. I hope you will be able to lift after a few months but please be careful. I haven't lifted a hay bale or a saddle since I got hurt. It didn't matter, still ended up having surgery. I'm just hoping this one will be it, but from what I hear, I doubt it.

    I read the posts and feel thankful I'm functioning as well as I have been, hoping I'll be able to ride my horses again but don't ever plan on shoveling or lifting again....good luck to all.
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  • What procedure did you have on your l4/l5 and where was it performed? I think that I am heading for surgery and I live near Beverly Hills.
  • I was wondering what type of procedure you had on your l4/l5 and what clinic? I live near Beverly Hills and am heading for surgery - looking for opinions before moving ahead. Thanks.
  • Not sure if anyone is still monitoring this thread but if someone is I have a few questions

    I just had my MD L4/L5 a week and two days ago and to tell the truth I am feeling pretty good. I have a little bit of pain around the incision point and my lower back is still sore all around and seems stiff. But compared to pre op then I feel great. The thing is I have a new job opportunity coming up that I would be crazy to pass up, but I'm not sure I will be able to do this without hurting something. I am a computer tech and will be traveling on planes, cars and ect for hours at a time. Will be lifting computer towers that weigh around 10 to 15 lbs each only one at a time though. I will need to start this job at about 4 1/2 weeks post op. I think I could do this just as long as I take it easy and slow what is everyone else opinion. I just dont want to do perm damage. Let me know....
  • MD, is that microdiscectomy? did they do one side. Do you know what type of hardware you got, such as Axialif?
    Sounds like you are doing well.
  • My surgeon would not let me lift anything heavier than 10 lbs until 6 weeks Post OP. Now I am allowed to lift up to 25 lbs but the weight is too much compared to what I weigh.

    Always use proper body mechanics--like squatting down and lifting with your legs when picking up something.

    Sitting---I can sit up to an hour which will prob. be longer than an airplane flight. Sitting is the one of the worst thing for your back.

    I know that this upcoming job opp. sounds irresistible but consider the amount of pain/damage that could be caused by your new job.

    I like to play it safe. Just my two cents. Good luck.

    PS I would wait at least after 6 weeks before lifting and flying. I had microdiscectomy at L5 S1,
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