Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement
advertisement
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published, your email address is available to anyone on the internet, including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.
advertisement

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

advertisement
1235

Comments

  • Thanks for your response. I definitely do not want to go back to work too soon, but there will come a point that I will have no choice. I am a lineman for a cable company so those 70lb loads are very far and few, although it is part of the job description to be able to carry those loads.
    Most of the time it is just a lot of lifting, bending, twisting and getting up and down out of the bucket.

    Apparently another guy I work with had a similar issue, but was injured on the job (I was not) and he was out for about 6 months. I just think it will be hard to convince both my surgeon and STD Company that I need the time to heal very slowly.
  • I'm so grateful to have found this forum. My story is not much different from others. I was out of the country hiking Machu Picchu at the end of November when I herniated a couple of discs. L4/L5 extrusion measuring 1.8 cm (yes, that's cm not mm), and L5/S1 prolapse measuring 1.4 cm x 0.7 cm. My MRI references severe narrowing of the right lateral recess with compression of the L5 nerve root against the facet joint. I can't begin to describe the sciatica pain associated with this.

    Like others, when I initially felt the pain in my lower back, I wasn't sure what was going on. Yes, I lunged for something on the rain forest path. Yes, I continued to hike. Yes, I went up stairs at the ruins that were steep, but I thought I pulled a muscle. It just kept getting worse and worse, until I eventually could not stand up from a chair. A doc in Peru gave me a couple of intramuscular shots which helped a little along with some muscle relaxer tablets. I returned to the U.S. via wheelchair (airports are too big and I was too slow and in too much pain). Once back in the country, I went to the ER where they did an xray, but told me I couldn't have an MRI because I could stand. I asked for another intramuscular injection which they denied. Instead, they gave me 10 valium (muscle relaxers) and 13 percocet tablets. I went to a chiro the next day (thinking I twisted something; herniation still was not on my mind). He immediately put me in a back brace and didn't adjust me. The pain was beyond excrutiating - for all of December.

    I finally saw a PA for an otho-spine specialist last Thursday. He immediately sent me to the pain clinic for Epidural #1 (same day) along with a script to begin PT this week. The plan is a series of 3 epidurals (spread 2 weeks apart) along with PT 3 times/week for 6 weeks. Tentative surgical consult with the doc is scheduled for end of Feb. Not sure if this is the right course, but it's the one I'm on.

    In the meantime, the PA called me a couple of days ago and said he was reconsiderng the approach because of the significant weakness in my right toes and said I may need to come for surgical consult sooner rather than later - otherwise, I risk permanent damage. That sort of freaked me out.

    How do you make sense of the two schools of thought in treating this? A cardiologist friend says a 1.8 cm extrusion will never be absorbed and that all I'm doing with the epidurals is managing the pain and dragging out the inevitable: surgery. My primary disagrees and says I'm on the right course. The ortho PA says I need to have surgery within 3-6 months of the injury or the surgery won't be successful Who is right?? I'm open to everyone's thoughts on this.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my story!
  • advertisement
  • SAM6885 said:
    I'm so grateful to have found this forum. My story is not much different from others. I was out of the country hiking Machu Picchu at the end of November when I herniated a couple of discs. L4/L5 extrusion measuring 1.8 cm (yes, that's cm not mm), and L5/S1 prolapse measuring 1.4 cm x 0.7 cm. My MRI references severe narrowing of the right lateral recess with compression of the L5 nerve root against the facet joint. I can't begin to describe the sciatica pain associated with this.

    Like others, when I initially felt the pain in my lower back, I wasn't sure what was going on. Yes, I lunged for something on the rain forest path. Yes, I continued to hike. Yes, I went up stairs at the ruins that were steep, but I thought I pulled a muscle. It just kept getting worse and worse, until I eventually could not stand up from a chair. A doc in Peru gave me a couple of intramuscular shots which helped a little along with some muscle relaxer tablets. I returned to the U.S. via wheelchair (airports are too big and I was too slow and in too much pain). Once back in the country, I went to the ER where they did an xray, but told me I couldn't have an MRI because I could stand. I asked for another intramuscular injection which they denied. Instead, they gave me 10 valium (muscle relaxers) and 13 percocet tablets. I went to a chiro the next day (thinking I twisted something; herniation still was not on my mind). He immediately put me in a back brace and didn't adjust me. The pain was beyond excrutiating - for all of December.

    I finally saw a PA for an otho-spine specialist last Thursday. He immediately sent me to the pain clinic for Epidural #1 (same day) along with a script to begin PT this week. The plan is a series of 3 epidurals (spread 2 weeks apart) along with PT 3 times/week for 6 weeks. Tentative surgical consult with the doc is scheduled for end of Feb. Not sure if this is the right course, but it's the one I'm on.

    In the meantime, the PA called me a couple of days ago and said he was reconsiderng the approach because of the significant weakness in my right toes and said I may need to come for surgical consult sooner rather than later - otherwise, I risk permanent damage. That sort of freaked me out.

    How do you make sense of the two schools of thought in treating this? A cardiologist friend says a 1.8 cm extrusion will never be absorbed and that all I'm doing with the epidurals is managing the pain and dragging out the inevitable: surgery. My primary disagrees and says I'm on the right course. The ortho PA says I need to have surgery within 3-6 months of the injury or the surgery won't be successful Who is right?? I'm open to everyone's thoughts on this.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my story!
    Hi SAM6885,

    Sounds very similar to my situation as I too received conflicting recommendations from different types of Health Care providers. I started with my Chiro, and he wouldnt work on me after my first visit, and suggested I go see my primary. My primary referred my to an Ortho Sports doc (non surgical) who took more of the Pain Management route (epidurals, PT...) only to find close to 2 months latter my weakness, numbness and pain wasn't getting any better, and actually getting worse. He wanted me to wait until the 6 month mark before considering surgery. I know my own body, so I decided to seek surgical advice 3 months post injury and was on the operating table less than a month later. Knock on wood back pain and most importantly leg pain has gone away, but I do have residual nerve damage and my right foot, toes, and right shin are constantly numb. My hips are always sore and tight, and once in a while my back tingles when i over do it. I do have motor skills in right leg and foot and can do a lot of the stuff I was doing prior to surgery. Here is the million dollar question...if I stayed on conservative treatment for the duration would have I been any better off or worse? If I had the surgery sooner would I be better off or not? I don't think there is any way to determine that, and the reality is, I could have done the permanent nerve damage at the time of injury so it wouldn't have mattered. I could have also had a bad outcome with back surgery (my friend is paralyzed from neck down from stroking during a cervical fusion surgery). If I stayed on conservative perhaps I would be no better off than I am know. I am glad I made the decision and it was primarily made in my mind to get rid of the leg pain, and limit any potential future damage to my nerves. It was made very clear to me that surgery was not a slam dunk to eliminate back pain or nerve damage, but a good probability the leg pain would resolve. Good luck in your journey and feel free to PM me.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Very interesting information here. I started out with severe pain in my left leg 3 monthes ago. The pain was not helped by PT, shots or pills. After about 5 weeks had MRIs done they found a 2.6 cm by 1.6 cm mass by my L4 root nerve on left side. Probably a herniated disc but possibly a Schwannoma. So went looking for a good surgeon. In the last few weeks the pain went away. I am scheduled for back surgery next Friday to get it removed.
  • advertisement
  • More info, I am 67 and was in good health doing 5 to 10 mile hikes twice a week in mountains around Phoenix as well as playing PingPong twice a week for 2 hour sessions, plus occassionally doing 4 miles walks in the neighborhood. Currently I can walk slowly about a mile before feeling numbness in my left leg so I do not push it as I do not want the pain to flare up. Surgeon says 90% chance of being back to functional in 6 to 8 weeks and 3 monthes for doing long hikes and maybe 4 monthes for PingPong. Starting out with about 2 days in hospital and 2 weeks no driving and lifting less then 5 pounds then slowly building up the next weeks. Hoping for the best.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Joegstwin123 !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello princess53 !

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Similar story here....

    42 yr old very active male, 6'3" 210lbs. Had a brutal disc herniation and my neurosurgeon rushed me into the hospital in just a couple days. He said it was the worst one he had ever seen. i had an L4/L5 Micro D in early October so i am about 10 weeks in my recovery. I am in PT 3 times a week and the timeline is similar to others. Sciatica pain is all but gone, i can drive now and walk for short bits. I havent lifted anything overly hea vy as i'm still working on core and conditioning.

    My only concern now is nerve damage. I have the same right leg below the knee tingling, numbness and weakness. I walk funny and have the dreaded Foot Drop. Its not getting much better and my Surgeon wants to do a fusion to fill the disc area with the cage and take any remaining disc off the nerve.

    Is this a reasonable approach? The fusion scares the hell out of me. I just want my leg back.

    Has anyone any experience with Artificial Disc Replacements vs Fusions?
  • Hey All,

    I'm in the same boat as all of you, same symptoms, pains and signs. And just hearing your stories, helped my morale big time. It sucks not being 100%, but life goes on. Had my MRI, going to see pain specialist for epidural shot in a couple days. And then possible surgery, my question is...what hold the disc in its spot, what keeps it from extruding again. Is there any new technology out there that helps our healing process?

    Thanks

advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.