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L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning


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Old 07-14-2017, 10:31 PM   #1
axia002
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L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Hi all! I am completely new....lots of qs!

Just had surgery this morning. Taking it very easy however noticed 2x when trying to climb up into bed it did not feel great. It felt both times i sensed a smll motion almost like a gentle pop into place! Hope nothing like that will reherniate! All the nurse said was no bend lift or twist.

If i drop something so far i will squat down keeping my back straight. I only use my quad muscles which were already strong before. Back doesnt twist or bend

Anyways after that I lay down on a lazyboy on my side. Dont know if i will be able to sleep tonight.

Im 35 and this was my first surgery. I suspect it was 2 sessions of crossfit and hipthrusting 100lb dumbell. NEVER AGAIN, just didnt know at the time. Long story short I had 8 weeks of sciatica pain suspected piriformis. Was in Mex on vacation and had mri done, they recommended surgery so I flew home asap and got 2 other neurosurgeon opinions which all agreed on surg as i had done everything else.

I ordered a brace but for some reason i suspect the nurse advised against it. Anyone else have heard thay and why?

Is anyone still up like me or can share their experiences? TIA! I love reading teri posts and so far have screenshotted her advice and posts...

Another q is this- i read about pEMFand softly bouncing on a swift ball, as well as deep breathing, ALL to help oxygen get to the discs....any experiences those?

My doctor said I can go back to work wit limited hours in 7-10 days part time and resume fill time around 8/14/17. Job is mainly sedentary as i do talk therapy

Last edited by axia002; 07-14-2017 at 10:55 PM.

 
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:32 AM   #2
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Unhappy Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Welcome to the board. You probably already know what I am going to suggest...but it is worth repeating in case your surgeon or the nurse didn't tell you. The first surgeon I had told me " if it hurts, don't do it" after a fusion at L4-5. That was the extent of his instructions...and this was my first surgery of any type, ever. Of course the problem of this advice is that you don't know what you are doing is " too much" until after you have done the activity or movement.

According to my surgeon (the one after the guy mentioned above) the biggest problem he has with microdiscectomy patients is their eagerness to jump back into all the old activities that they haven't been able to do since the onset of pain or injury. Often the patient gets almost immediate relief when the tissue is moved off the nerve...and within days they are eager to act like they never had a problem or surgery.

Resist that temptation! If you can be patient and give yourself time to recover until you have really healed...you can hopefully avoid developing a chronic pain situation.

You might want to buy a "grabber." If unfamiliar, look online for an extension reacher grabber. It is an extended stick with a "clamp claw" type of thing that is used to pick up stuff you drop. Also good for grabbing laundry, things on bottom or top shelf, etc. Use it all the time. Do not think "I'll just bend over this one time."

Most important, you need to take short walks frequently. Walking is the best way to stretch out the nerves of the lumbar spine...better than any stretches which can be too much! You do this often because you want to keep scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it forms and fills in during the first twelve weeks post surgery. Try to walk every hour or two. It doesn't need to be far...just around your house, up a hall and back, etc. If you wake up in the night to take mess or use the bathroom, walk up and down that hallway! I cannot overemphasize how important this is as scar tissue has ruined many a spine surgery.

Next: sitting. Limit sitting to 15/20 minutes at a time, for a few weeks. Then if sitting for work, get up at least every hour and walk a little bit...around your office or that hall! Sitting puts more than 30% more stress on the discs than any other position. You need to get up periodically to give the discs a break! If there is a place where you can stretch out flat on your back for a bit, that is even better.

Did you happen to see my instructions for an exercise that is a natural form of traction? I wouldn't do it yet although I doubt it would bother your surgery...maybe wait a week or so. Lie on your back on a hard surface like a carpeted floor. Be sure your body is in a straight line. Bend knees, feet flat on floor about hip's width apart. Place arms close to sides, palms facing up toward ceiling. Do a pelvic tilt or bridge to be sure pelvis is in neutral position (not tipped). Now you are in position! Relax and breathe deeply and slowly from the belly so you can see it moving up and down. Do this for about two minutes...or longer.

(I had intense sciatic pain for several years before I finally agreed to a fusion. I would do this "exercise" whenever I couldn't walk a step further...airports, dressing rooms in dept. stores., living room floors of friends and relatives, etc.! I still do it morning and night. It helps the discs to get out from the weight of gravity, helping them to unload. Also the position combined with belly breathing allows the parasympathetic nervous system to kind of "reset." One of the best things you can do for the lumbar spine! It also helps with structural alignment.)

Braces are seldom recommended by spine surgeons these days. You shouldn't need one.

Reclining is OK, in a recliner or on the bed or couch. Use lots of small pillows to support the natural curves of the spine.

One more thing regarding the disc. Many surgeons tell patients the disc will be healed in six weeks, giving the person the idea that the disc is "good as new" at that point. However, because the disc covering has no direct blood supply, healing may take three to four months to scar over. Prior to that time, the disc is more liable to reherniation.

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:35 AM   #3
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Thanks and bless you Teri! I made note of your suggestions, luckily my mom is retired and im staying with her. I was also wondering if this is normal:

1. Sometimes when i walk feel a pinching sensation though the sciatica is gone woo hoo

2. Sometimes i feel or hear other vertabrae softly crack and I fear im reherniating

3. Wound site is warmand last night the oval shaped bandage developed a 1" rounded splotch of blood.

I think nurse said to remove bandage after 2 days but now scared to do so

What scares me the most is reherniating. And as you mentioned i am not jumping back into full swing from the above mentioned fear!

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

I don't think you need to worry about any of these things. A little blood is not really a problem. Take your temperature. If it is still elevated and the wound area continues to feel warm, you might want to call the doctor's office.

I hesitate to say this because many will take it the wrong way and feel free to do anything they want...but, it isn't all that easy to reherniate the disc. It occurs in up to 20% of surgeries...but that statistic includes all reherniation, even those that happen years later, so it is a little misleading.

With any spine surgery, things are stretched during the retraction and moved around a bit. It can take awhile for things to settle. Generally speaking, when you hear some sort of cracking noise, it is a ligament sliding over a bone, nothing to worry about.

Let Mom take care of you for a few days, get lots of rest and take frequent, short walks. Remember to use ice if you have pain! It really can be very effective!!

 
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:02 AM   #5
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

A relief...temp went down to 99.8. Today is day 4, my mom will call nurse abt how to change the dressing.

I noticed with percocet i cam now lay gently on my back., but the wound site seems to be very itchy!

Getting up to walk as much as i can but not around the neighbprhood yet.

Hard to distimguish surgery pain from everything else. We hear abt so many who wake up with no pain at all. However maybe its not bad to have some pain bc then you will remain very careful and not push to the limits.

I feel i just want to slee and rest as much as possible and start on the treadmull or neighborhood in 3 to 5 more days

Last edited by axia002; 07-17-2017 at 05:03 AM.

 
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Sleep as much as you can. With these "micro" procedures, people tend to forget that they are still having a surgery on the spine! It takes a lot out of you and the body compensates by wanting to sleep a lot.

I've never had a micro procedure as my surgeries were more complex. With a fusion, I tell people not to be surprised if it takes a year to regain energy and get back to feeling "normal." It won't take as long for a discectomy to heal, but, still, it takes some time!

Does the wound look very red or inflamed? Around the edges of the bandage? Sometimes people turn out to be allergic to the adhesive in the bandage. Or it may just be the little incision healing. I recently had a mole removed from my face and the incision became extremely itchy. I took a Benadryl.

Last edited by teteri66; 07-17-2017 at 08:34 AM.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:10 AM   #7
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Axia great to hear your story and questions/concerns. I had 1st microdiscectomy this June 8th. I felt immediate relief and within 2 days on my feet no leg pain minor site/back soreness and minor nerve tingling which I attribute to new signals going through. I am 41 active and consider myself fit. First 2 weeks used caution doing everything. Was mobile walking a lot and just doing very light stuff, visiting people. Went to my 2 week check up cleared for physical therapy. 1st 3 visits just trying to reduce welling in back. After 3rd visit PT told me next week going to try core strength. Oh I had same L5,S1 left leg x 1.5 years of issues. On June 24 got up felt great wanted to do something with family as kids are young and I have been laid up. Just wanted to do road trip to park. Found basement flooded from sump pump failure and basement was storage of belongings/boxes. Helped wife and kids clear out most stuff. I did some lifting but not to much. Felt fine. Forward to June 30 went to basement found box missed. Wet just paperwork/books. Emptied most carried up stairs felt a warm pain in site area. Pushed through carried box to trash outside not far and when dropped box I felt very sore/pain. Immediate ice and anti-inflammatory. Was in pain for 2 weeks on 7/4 worst pain ever felt middle of night. Being holiday weekend couldn't get ahold of surgeon. Went to ER just did pain management no MRI as I said I believe I reherniated. Got into original back dr got me MRI 7/7 had 2nd surgery 7/13 confirmed reherniation of disc. Now box was what I thought only slightly over weight limit but now in hnd sight over weight restriction regardless. My point in my description is this, take it slowly do as they say walking was good therapy and do what you can not to reherniate! Since my 2nd surgery leg pain is gone most part. I have nerve soreness/pain randomly down leg. This is the bad part nobody can answer. I have a limp now. Lower left leg inside calve muscle wont fire. Cant do two raise, stand on tip of toes. Full range of motion, have feeling. Felles like something is stuck between 1 toe in from pinky toe and the very middle toe. I can only asses this as nerve damage or compromise needing therapy. Back is sore I think from recovering. Point is do your best to lay low walk but everything the drs say!! I don't wish this on anyone. I am scared I wont get this calve thing back. I am trying to get into surgeon Monday to inform as now the weakness/limp are horrible on my mind. Good luck great to see similar stories here. I see some great posts/advice.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:25 PM   #8
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Thank you Backpain & Teri for your responses. Wishing both of you fast relief and continued recovery!. Quick update:

Last edited by axia002; 07-22-2017 at 02:44 PM.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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Smile Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Thank you Backpain & Teri for your responses. Wishing both of you fast relief and continued recovery!. Teri, from what I have read, fusions are complex and long lasting procedures. To be frank, they scare me, but I hope you have found relief. You are a blessing to give such detailed and positive messages to other on this forum and I want to say I appreciate your insights greatly (especially in light of below)! Backpain, I am so sorry to hear that you reherniated. You are so right about the BLT restrictions. I read enough horror stories that rather than push myself these past 8 days, I've just been taking it easy like Teri suggested - plenty of walking around the house frequently, but listening to my body. I am in no rush - I've read benchmarks of 6 weeks, 3-4 months, and 1 year until I'll be back to what I was doing before. Let's put it like this - no one wants to go through all of this again. To make things more complicated, I have a job offer in Hawaii awaiting me - and the question is, do I want to stay close to my mom for the reason I may need this much help with another surgery - LOL.

Anyways, a quick update on my journey:

(1) Ultimately, I realize that my surgeon is hard to communicate with - it all funnels through his nurse who is one of the angriest nurses I've met! I dont know why but I find her hard to hard to deal with. The day before my surg she said "Im not sure if you are ready for surg, you have so many qstns." I answered back quickly, "I was ready the day that the surg was cancelled and resched for 2 weeks later!!" I burst into tears as how impt and rude she was being with me. Luckily I havent had to ask excessive things I couldnt research myself online. But if I have any problems moving fwd am seeing a surgeon who actual emailed me 4-5 times personally from Duke. I think having a great team is so important! Went with the local doc because sooner surg date, closer, and cheaper, but boy I found out sometimes thats not everythi g! On the bright side, I'm super motivated not to have further issues, to not have to call the rude nurse again! LOL

(2) Today is my 8th day post op. Mostly I've been doing what Teri suggested. Yesterday was the first time I went to the store, Mom drove, and we stopped by 3 different stores. After that I was tired and sore so I went home and rested. Today I rested. Today was the first day I actually felt NORMAL, like before. I would love to go out dancing tonight, as it's Saturday, but I'm just not sure. I think it would be more to dress up, go out, and stand around, not actually do much dancing, but I'll see how I feel.

(3) On Monday, I have my wound check and plan to do limited hours at work. I work at a desk and see families, so my reduced hours will be 7:30 to 12:00. I've stopped taking all pain meds as don't need.

(4) I bought a back brace. I like to wear it when I go out because it reminds me of my posture and reminds me not to twist or do any crazy movements, but I don't wear it in the house. I plan to wear it maybe a few hours a day. Also I was planning to buy a zero gravity bed but quite expensive! Instead I ordered a foot elevation foam block from amazon. I also ordered a half moon cushion and an inflatable bounce cushion for the seat, as well.

I think that's all for now. Slight cabin fever as going on my 9th day on what feels like house arrest, lol. My 10th day will be back to work after 1 week away.

Sending Love, light, and Prayers for all. One good thing that has come from all of this is increased prayer with my lovely mother. We started saying the rosary daily. I will include both of you in my intentions.

Axia002

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:43 AM   #10
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

While at work, remember to stand up after sitting for 15-20 minutes. Take the opportunity to rest when you come home from your job. Stretch out on your bed or a carpeted floor...do not just sit down again!

Sounds like you are coming along nicely.

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

That nurse sounds like the "old school" medical people who expected the patient to follow along like sheep without asking questions or questioning anything.

I just went to see my spine surgeon this past week after having not seen him since 2013. Even though he will be retiring at the end of next year, I can see a change in him. He has adjusted to his younger patients who want to know exactly what is going on, what needs to be done about it, etc. and who want to participate in the decision-making.

What do you mean by a back brace? One of those elastic things that wraps around the torso?

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:30 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Teri, I am so glad to hear of the changes in your surgeon. Sounds like for the better. Can I just tell you, when I was researching, my first choice was Dr. G at Duke. I found him through the website RateMDs and I simply did a search for the best neurosurgeon in NC. Can I tell you, he is incredible. I made an appointment and even before we had even met he personally answered several of my emails about the procedure (info not specific to me, per se) each within 5-15 min apiece. That is unheard of these days. He was my top choice but a 3-4 hour drive away. When I thought long and hard about it, I decided to do my first micro with this local doc who I found at the same website to be #1 in the city I'm in. So far yes I think the surgery was sufficient barring the issues I shared about the nurse. So, anyone with a good team like that, is lucky I think.

Thank you so much for the info about the seat - definitely getting one. I want to ask your opinion about seating when I go back to work tomorrow though. Since I work with kids I actually have a low table and could bring in the Swiss ball to sit on. My clients would be fine with it. It would just be a matter of keeping good posture while I type my notes and talk to them. So my options would be:

1. Current desk chair with the bouncy seat /or/ the sitsmart thing you showed me today

2. Sit on a Swiss exercise ball at the low table

3, Put in a request for a standing desk. That may take 6 mo though.

Do you have any thoughts and recommendations?

Also , it sounds to me like you have a clean / clear bill of health? If so, that is AWESOME!!!!

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:59 PM   #13
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

My concern with the bouncy ball is that it could get away from you, and at this point, it could result in a bad accident. I was never allowed to use one, but then I had a three level fusion and my surgeon was very conservative with my rehab.

I would opt for using the seat with the BackJoy and getting an adjustable desk if you can. What you want to avoid is bending at the waist to talk to kids! You will learn to squat, bending the knees and keeping the back straight...or, you will figure something out.

I've had the same surgeon since 2009. Actually it looks like I may be headed for another surgery. I see my surgeon again on Aug 3rd but got the results of my new MRI yesterday and it doesn't look good!

 
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:44 PM   #14
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Re: L5/s1 microdisc. Done this morning

Teri, I am so sorry to hear that. Honestly, its discouraging to hear someone as knowledgeable experienced and careful as you seem has had to have multiple procedures. I will def keep you in my prayers. Perhaps another surgey is not needed. Will you get a second or third opinion?

 
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