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Just had Microdiscectomy Surgery for L4/L5 Extruded Herniated Disc - Here is My Story



  • SunnyDaySSunnyDay Posts: 11
    edited 09/09/2014 - 2:14 PM
    Hey! I'm just reading along and hoping you continue to have more better days ahead. Thanks for sharing your experience.
  • I had a L4/L5 microdiscectomy on Friday got home from hospital saturday night,,, had bad back for few days then pain shooting in my buttocks leg and foot and numbness also developed a foot drop,, got all this 2 months ago went a and e but didn't send me for mri straight away until 2 weeks later when I demanded to be seen again by someone,, I was told on week 8 what was wrong with me by my surgeon were I got transferred to that my foot was now paralysed and won't recover has my own hospital had left it to late to sort it all out,,,,, had surgery to relieve pains in leg,,, went well was in pain and still am but morphine is helping a lot also on meds for nerve pain in foot, still no use in my foot but early days,, hoping my surgeon was wrong about it being paralysed and to late to save it only time will tell,,, have to have rehabilitation in future on my foot and start to wear a splint have to use crutches,,, I was so nervous about surgery my first time,, it was more being put to sleep than the surgery itself, but I had nothing to worry about they were great,,,, I haven't worked since I went to a and e but I can't walk proper and far without pain,, let's see if this surgery helps in the next couple of months, but I can't see me being
    Back at work till at least another few more months yet,, see how I go,,,,,started to reduce my morphine tiday see how I go with the pain,,
    Tfduffy,, glad your recovering well,, my surgeon told me I can't drive for 4 weeks but would be difficult with my foot anyway,,,
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  • hi tim

    you have a great positive outlook Tim and I hope u continue to progress to be pain free. I'm going to be scheduling surgery for a microdiscectomy also. As scared as i am i need something to relive this leg & hip pain, numbing, tingling and harsh dull aching! back problems are terrible but I keep my faith in the Lord. He will heal me
    hope you are doing well

  • I am so anxious to hear if your pain is helped long term. I have been undergoing treatment for more than a year for the exact same injury with absolutely no results. All the Doctors say surgery is so drastic. Long term pain at 36 is much more drastic!!
  • I have a confirmed herniation at L4 L5 but don't have leg pain or weakness. I have some pain in butt but it does not travel down the leg. I've had a facet joint injection and just last week an epidural with no success. It's worse if anything from the epidural. I have my follow up appt on Thursday. Anyone else not have leg pain or weakness?
    2011 C1/C2 Fusion due to os odontoideum & fracture from motorcycle accident
    2014 L4/L5 Herniation
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  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 385
    My extrusion is at L5-S1 on the left side, happened in March as well. I'm in Canada, things don't happen quite as fast here as I am still waiting for the discectomy surgery. I have a new date of December 10, when originally I was told surgery was likely to happen early Fall, and then had a date for October 29 but it got potsponed. I am trying not to be fearful of permanent damage, but one wonders...I stay horizontal as much as I can, not working, and my kids & hubby are grown enough to take care of things to satisfaction around the house. I go to a wonderful sports therapist every couple of weeks who works with nerve pressure - very helpful. I also go to an aquacise class 3 x week, a real God-send for me. This helps me keep muscle tone, get aerobic exercise, and just lifts my spirit as it is something I CAN do with very little risk of making things worse and in fact benefitting me. I want to be in as good shape physically as is possible going into surgery. I hope we haven't heard from you recently because you are out living life and feeling great!
  • Hi All,

    This past Friday was 4 months post surgery. I am still doing Physical Therapy 3x per week, and still have numbness and weakness in my right leg and ankle. I also have very tight hip flexors on both right and left side, but my mobility and strength have increased a good bit since going under the knife. I believe I am making good progress and remain patient. I tried running at a slow pace a few weeks ago and it set me back. So, I am not going to push it, and stay with the PT program which involves a lot of stretching and leg and core strengthening. I long for the days to get my heart rate over 135! Good luck to all of you and stay strong!!!
  • tfduffy -

    Don't give up doing what you are doing. Perhaps a doctor can prescribe Topamax or Neurontin to help with the numbness. I've always heard that at 3 months, you'll be as good as you will get. I don't' believe that at all. After my first laminectomy, I had stuff getting better after a year.

    My suggestion to you is to consider deep tissue massage to help your muscles and possibly the numbness. I started doing massage after a 3 level ACDF. It took a few months, butt it helped me. You may have some muscles that just need to be released.

    Good luck in your future recovery.

  • daleyycddaleyyc Posts: 11
    edited 11/24/2014 - 12:05 PM
    I had a similar procedure as you on July 9th, 2014 (L4/L5 left microdiscectomy) though I have a left sacralised L5 as well. My recovery timeline and how I feel seems similar to yours. My numbness and pain went away during month 2 but tingles and some muscle tightness showed up during month 3 and still remain, but basically I think I am getting better. Strength (leg, ankle, and core) are slowly improving but the tingles come and go and haven't really changed much in the last couple months. I do feel tickles in my feet while doing nerve glides, I am wondering if you still get those, too? Good luck in your recovery!
  • Hi everyone,

    I'm a 46 yr old male, also underwent microdiscectomy on both L4/L5 and L5/S1 exactly two weeks ago. For me, I herniated L4/L5 on Wednesday November 5th while standing up and having a cough. I immediately heard / felt a "click" in what I thought was my sacroiliac area, with a sharp pain shooting down both my legs. I managed to consult the orthopaedic doctor the next day and had an MRI on the same visit. The following Monday, on the follow-up visit, he diagnosed a massive herniation on L4/L5 and a smaller, older one on L5/S1 that was about a month older.

    My discussion with him at that time, in trying to understand the various treatment options available to me, was as frank and open as it was going to get. I was in fairly serious pain in the gluteal area and calves of both legs and could barely walk, sit stand or otherwise find any comfortable position that did not hurt. He told me that I could go in for months of physiotherapy, but that a microdiscectomy was the best option, given the extent of the herniation at L4/L5 and also that L5/S1 had been affected.

    So, in what must be the most rapid herniation -> surgery time frame, I was in for surgery 2 days later on Wednesday, November 12. The total time frame from herniation to surgery was a short 7 days for me.

    Anyway, I can give some account for my own progress post-surgery. I personally feel that recovery has been rapid :

    1. 3-day stay in hospital - no pain at all, not even at incision site. Numbness on top of both feet and left calf;
    2. For a further 3 days after getting home from hospital - moderate to high pain in calves when walking, frequently having to stop. No change to numbness on top of feet and outside calf. Certain sleeping positions are painful to sacroiliac area, but otherwise, sciatic pain is probably reduced by 60% - 70%. NSAIDS and painkillers can cause constipation and high blood pressure;
    3. Day 7 - 8 : Pain in calves beginning to lessen further. Walking slowly around the house with cane. Have cut back on pain medication;
    4. Day 10 : Pain almost completely gone, but legs feel like stiff boards and there is weakness in calves and ankles. Hamstrings are still very tight. Numbness on top of feet and side of calf still there. During follow-up visit, orthopaedic dr says this is normal and to expect this for some time, but it will go away. He won't commit to a time frame, though.
    5. Day 11 - 14 : Have gone for a few walks, with the longest being about 4km (3 mi). Have tried doing some of my own core strength exercises like planks, but you really feel weak and can't push it. Numbness on feet still there.

    Today is exactly 2 weeks from surgery and I can say that in general, I feel great, given the circumstances. Before herniation, I used to run quite a bit and had gym sessions, but those have to be replaced (swimming for running) or I'm going to have to wait at least 6 weeks to go back to the gym for light exercises. Just have a gut feel that the numbness on my feet and weakness in calves will go away in due course. I have learned to be more patient and not expect rapid recovery given my age and extent of the injury. More importantly, I know I shouldn't push it and risk re-injury.

    Just sharing an experience here of someone who went through surgery fairly quickly after disc herniation.
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