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Realistic Expectations (S1 L5 MDC)

Good Morning /Afternoon,

I just wanted to ask the members of this forum a question regarding recovery and realistic expectations. I understand that we're all individuals and heal differently.

My sceniro-

Mid Sept '17 spinal trauma following fall into bottom resulting in pain in left buttock, problems walking, burning shooting pains in rear left hamstring and lateral top of calf. Coldness and numbness to left foot and some tingling to left toes and top of foot.

These peaked around early Oct and since then i regained mobility and walking / sitting for extended times and driving. Although i could still feel pain in the lower back when coughing and sneezing enough to make me scared to do that act.

Late Oct had MRI, 2 week wait after a confirmed herniated l4/l5 disc (large protrusion). I had a specialist meeting on 21st Nov and discussed all options and he said he would consult with the spinal surgeon and formulate a plan. I said they're the pros and I'll work with whatever they suggest.

Next day told I'd be listed for surgery to remove the protrusion. At this point i had 80% mobility, and went back to work. Could exercise or run... no way, and i have to be able to be active at work. So office duties it was!

Called in for surgery on the 18th Dec '17, and had the op. No known complications, they removed a lump of herniated disc the size of a mentos from the site. Patched up and discharged the next day..

First couple of days, sore at the site of the surgery. Trying to walk most of the time a limit my flexion and twisting motions as best possible. However, the nerve pain had gone and i was feeling rather chipper.

Around day 5/6 had problems sleeping and trying to come off Tramadol (another story) but started feeling the usual nerve pain in my left buttock and when almost extending leg I'd feel the discomfort in the nerve again.

Day 7/8 i have continued waking (up to 2.5km) at a slow to medium pace, but I've been getting more regular tingling and nerve/ buttock agitation.

So after all this, you're probably wondering what my question is? I'm just seeking like minded experiences to mine - shot onset of nerve impingment and i would think quite quick to get surgery done. Those in a similar boat, did you get instant relief and hey presto it was done.. Or have you experienced the similar things as relief from nerve pain, but then it comes back in?

Also... any idea on length of recovery? I assume I'm not likely to reherniate the disc with minimal flexion / twisting movements... so i can assume that's its down to the healing of the nerve?

So many q's... I'm confident that in time and through stretching and strengthening my core i can support and stabilise my mid section. It's the residual nerve discomfort / pain I'd like to do one and leave me to get on with my life!

Wouldn't we all like that one....

Take care, be safe and happy holidays to all..




  • Hi Bayaz

    Welcome to Spine-health

    You are not even 10 days post op if I have read this correctly. Patience is needed here and good pain relief to allow your body time to get over surgery and allow you the mobilise and walk as your surgeon probably suggested.

    I was told to walk, no bending, lifting or twisting and to only perch for eating and trips to the toilet. My surgeon told me to keep the pressure off the disc while it healed over.

    Any surgery on the spine is major surgery and should be considered in that way, even though you were home very quickly.

    Nerves do not like being trapped and they do not like the intrusion of surgery and can take a while a settle down. They are very slow healers.

    I have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules. There is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    Welcome to Spine Health


    Spine-Health Moderator

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Aj

    Thank you for the comment... yes I'm not even 10days I'm just nervous as i think due to family issues over Xmas / Boxing day i might have asked too much of my back / nerves.. worried that i might have reherniated the disc due to the increased nerve discomfort feeling.. I've tried not to bend at the waist or flex / twist. I'm just scared like many people..



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