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Discectomy at l4-l5.....I see light at end of tunnel

I am a 61 year old male. About a month ago I woke up with what was later diagnosed as sciatica. It was very painful, pain, numbness, tingling from leafy buttock all the way down my leg. Went my regular doctor and was given prednisone pak, Vicodin, and muscle relaxant. After three days it was just as bad. I’m an avid scratch level golfer, I continued to play. Mornings were the worst, as moved around it would get better. After a week of this I made another visit to doctor only to be told I need to ice it and give it time. I then saw a chiropractor. He took X-ray and showed basically nothing. He started adjustments and did electrical stimulation which helped at first. I saw him over the next 10 days doing the same treatment regimen. Then last week on Monday the pain started to get worse along with the numbness and started left foot drop. Nothing I did was helping, I could walk or even just hang leg down off edge of bed. It would not hurt if I stayed still but the minute I got up the pain would come in a wave. Excruciating pain, pain I’ve never experienced. It was dibilitating. I couldn’t stand it. I was miserable. I then went to a orthopedic surgeon that week on Tuesday. He looked at me and prescribed an MRI that day and gave me oxycodone for the pain. The MRI that afternoon showed I had a herniated disc at L4-L5 that was pushing into the spine causing the whole issue on my left leg. He set me up for an epidural pain procedure the next day. I received the epidural and had approx 3 hours of relief only to have it come back only worse. At this point I was in tears sobbing in pain. Was up all night suffering. I was referred to a spine surgeon that coming morning. In the waiting room I was crying in pain, couldn5 find any position that was going to relieve the pain. The surgeon came into the exam room and immediately direct admitted me to the hospital to control the pain through IV therapy and scheduled a discectomy for the following day. I went into surger that afternoon. After the surgery the surgeon told me the disc had herniated into a big jellied mess. Had to remove the entire disc. In the morning I was up to walk with the nurse, I was absolutely pain free. No nothing. All I had was discomfort at the surgical site. I am 4 days post su4gery and remain pain free. The survical site still sore as hell but omg the pain is gone. I have no idea what could have caused such a mess with the disc having never injured my back. I’m hoping that I continue to have zero pain. I want to get back on golf course, I realize it will be at least 6 weeks. Maybe more. I will begin physical therapy as soon as I can. I’m concerned that I will have bone on bone where the disc was removed. This all happened within a month having zero back pain to surgery. I wanted to get this down on paper to add to your excellent support that I know helped



  • Hi meddman. All sounds amazing. I too had surgery recently. 17th October. As with your experience, I woke 100% pain free. Surgeon sent me for physio 3 weeks later and I was flying. Zero pain, felt great. 3 weeks later, 1 over exertion from an exercise given to me by the physio has set me back massively. Slot of pain and discomfort. Can't sleep or move in bed. Simple advise, don't over do it. Although you feel better, I'd take at least 3 months to recover before attempting anything physical like spI ort. From feeling the best I'd felt in 6 years, to feeling the worst. Soul destroying! Takeout easy and be careful and mindful that you've just had surgery even though you feel great.

  • Wow you are fortunate. Most of us wake up from surgery in worse pain than we went in with. Like the other advice given dont overdo it.

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  • Tiger Woods has had four or five back surgeries and still golfs. Even though you’re 20 years older than him, I’d say your prospects for golfing again in the future are very good. Don’t sweat it. And don’t ever rush the healing process. Keep in touch.

  • Thanks! What I’m really concerned about is at this point I don’t have a disc there now. They removed the entire disc. I’ll be bone to bone. How bad is that going to be. I’m I looking at fusion surgery later on?

  • Meddman i highly dooubt your surgeon left nothing between the bones that would have made alot of pain bone on bone isnt really safe the bones could breakdown i have Degenerstive Disc Dsease and the start of altritis and im only 25! ive had a micro and it took mpnths to disganose the heriated disc when i met my neurosurgon and a week later had surgery after surgery i felt great dispite the surgiccal pain sadly i had a similar paorblems with my right leg and they had a bunch of tests done an MRI found protruding diacs and DDD and i found out friday i had althrits in my back but my pm started me on mobicand everythimgs been better just waiting on insurence to approve a facet joint injection and go from there were good

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  • I was told by surgeon that the entire disc was removed because it was completely jellied. A big mess. That’s why I’m concerned it doesn’t make sense to me that I would be left with bone to bone in my spine.

  • Two weeks post surgery still no pain. Just surgical site. A little swollen and itches. Walking a lot. Started putting chipping. Dr said ok. Start rehab next week. Twice a week.

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