Sorry that I had not replied to your questions on the other thread...have had a hectic weekend.
I'll give you little history....sorry it is so long...
For the record...I was 38 when I hurt my back and 39 and two days old when I had surgery...LOL....
I hurt my back last year Jan 1, 2003 and 12:05am). I slipped down some icy stairs....I kept my feet and grabbed the railing at the bottom. I thought that I had avoided a potentially dangerous fall, but I must have torqued my back during my miraculous ballet on ice...LOL.
About three weeks later I started to have major pain in my lower back. I went to a chiropractor (who is great) and he gave my therapy and monitored my situation. When he noticed that I was looking power in my big toe and that my pain was getting worse by the day...he had me get an appointment with a physiatrist. I had to wait three weeks to get in. He gave me Predinisone and sent me off for an MRI. The prednisone helped a bunch and the MRI confirmed that I had herniated my L4/L5 disc. I went to a couple of weeks of PT and the pain went down and I was on my way to recovery. By the beginning of June (2003) I felt pretty good...so I decided to plant some trees...telling myself to take it easy and listen to my body (especially my back) and only worked until I felt I had done as much as I could. Unfortunately our backs do not tell us that we have "overdone it" until it is too late and a couple of days later was in major pain. It felt like someone had put a red hot poker deep into my hip, that I had a constant throbbing charlie horse in my calf and a numb foot.
So, I went back to the Physiatrist and he gave me an ESI and a prescription for Oxycontin and told me to wait 10 days to see if it helps. During those ten days my situation worsened and I literally crawled around the house...not being able to stand more than five minutes a day (I referred to myself as the "family pet"...LOL).
Not knowing what to do I decided to go see my PT (who I trust completely...he is very conservative). When he saw me he did a few tests, looked at me, said "There are five symptoms that indicate the need for surgical intervention and you have all five!!!!" He immediately called my Physiatrist and they had an appointment with a surgeon two days later. When the surgeon came in the examination room I was curled up on the floor in the fetal position (where I had been for a couple of weeks). He commented that he had heard that someone was laying on the waiting room floor. He examined me...looked at my MRI and said that I he could schedule surgery for 11 days later. He looked at my face...and said "If you can come in tomorrow I can slip you in at the end of my scheduled surgeries" He knew that if I was in the amount of pain I was in even with Oxycontin, and the fact that I was loosing power in my leg that I needed to be taken care of.
I went into the OR at 5:35pm...was awake by 7:00pm...and left the hospital and 10:30pm. Everything went well...the pain was gone!!!!
Now my recovery has been rough. I had a post op MRI in Sept because my pain levels in my lower back shot through the roof. The MRI came back as normal. I even had the world's best neuroradiologist look at my MRI and tell me that everything looked great and that my nerve was extremely ****** off. She said that it is very normal to have post surgical nerve inflammation.
Now I started taking a locally brewed called Christopher's Nerve Formula in November and my nerve pain has gone down enough that I have dropped the Bextra and can exercise consistently (walking, swimming, and swiss ball routines).
I am almost pain free and getting better by the week.
Now...there are many factors that affect recoveries from MicroDs:
The younger you are the quicker you should rebound from surgery.
1) How long the nerve was compressed
2) How much scar tissue your body naturally creates
3) How much cutting the surgeon had to do to decompress the nerve
4) How much irritation was caused by having to retract the nerve from the disc so the herniation could be trimmed.
We all are unique. You're experience will be different than mine. Some people have no complications and some people take up to 24 months (or longer) to heal.
So...what is your situation? Are you having a rough time? Let me know.
Thanks for the reply.
How long were you in pain before your surgery?
Where was your pain?
How were you injured?
How old are you?
All factors that may cause a different outcome.
I appreciate your time.
So that is what happened to ya!
I don't type my story in too often as it is sooooo extremely long and detailed (that's probably my fault as I ramble so much) All I can say is that when you have that red hot poker in your hip, it truly is the worst, isn't it?
It is great that you are doing so well now!!!
Ps. JHPMan, I don't know what you situation is but I wish you lots of luck!!
I didn't realize that is what you were asking about.
I didn't have numbness at all before my surgery. None.
Then, after surgery my leg was numb. Mostly from my knee down. It bother me so much. It was really annoying on my chin. But, my went away about 4-6 weeks after surgery slowly. I guess it is due to the other nerves and stuff being swollen from the initial surgery. But once that calms down somewhat it should stop putting so much pressure on all those nerves.
Hope this helps!
[QUOTE=JHPman]Quite a story!
But you did mention in your story that you had numbness pre-surgery.
I'm trying to find someone with no pre-surgery numbness but is experiencing post surgery numbness (which is my story)
I'm trying to figure out if this numbness will ever disappear without another surgery?
If you know anyone with this story, send them my way!
Believe it or not I spared you the agony of a reading a "detailed" history of my back injury...LOL....here is a little more info:
I had very little numbness in my left leg before surgery, but it was really bad after. The worst thing for me was that not too long after surgery I started to get bilateral pain...even some numbness in my right foot. I was told that it is common to get numbness/pain in areas that were not affected preoperatively. This can be caused by the surgeon having to fiddle with your nerve during surgery. The more they have to move the nerve to higher the potential risk of inflammation and/or damage.
BTW....my surgeon has a team who's sole purpose (during surgery) is to monitor the patients nerves. This helps guide the surgeon and protects the patient.
Currently my pain level on a really bad day is a 2...I do not have to take any meds. One month ago (5 months postop) my worst days hit a 6!
You...more than likely...will have weird sensations...set backs....and worrisome pains....things do get better with time...keep up the faith...you are just starting the healing process.
It is really hard to tell if you have nerve damage. You have to undergo tests to verify it. The best thing is to take it easy. My surgeon said no bending, twisting, arching my for six months. And NO lifting anything more than 10 pounds either.
I have a nerosurgeon friend who implored me not to lift anything (more than 10 pounds) for a year. He says that golfing, skiiiing, and such activities are out for a year.
My PT says that I will be able to increase my activity as my back gets stronger. I have a great book which I have been using to strengthen the three layers of muscles that protect the back. "Spinal Stabalization: The New Science of Back Pain, by Rick Jemmett ISBN 0-9688715-1-8. When I showed my PT this book he bought 3 copies for his practice...as it contains the concepts that he has preached for years.
My wife (the wisest of the bunch) monitors me heavily and makes me feel like a cad shopping...as she is doing ALL OF THE HEAVY LIFTING. I need a "I am not a CAD...I just had back surgery" signs to wear...LOL
As far as a "weekly" limitation regimine....you will have to be the judge of that. Please do the stretches that you should have been given upon leaving the hospital (if you would like me to tell you what I did...let me know). Walking is the best therapy you can do right now. Ice is definately your friend and will help you a ton.
Take care! Get well! And Happy Holidays!
Thanks for the info sharing.
At what point can you tell if you have nerve manipulation effects or damage?
How is your golf game?
Can you give me any advice on 2nd week, 3rd week, 4th.... limitations?
What should I NOT be doing (including sitting at this computer for much longer than 1/2 hour)?
I think it is strange how there are different limitations per doctor.
I hear ALOT of people say that you shouldn't bend for quite a long time after surgey, which makes sense. Only thing is, at PT for me I was doing slight bending and my surgeon also told me to bend slightly to break through the adhesions and get the muscles stretched out that were cut through. I would eventually sit with my elbows on my knees then try to 'reach' for the floor, I wasn't doing bad. I don't see myself touching the floor any time soon though. Especially with this flare I'm having I can't even do my walking!
It's weird how different doctors say different things. I can't ever figure out what is right to do. I was even bending back a bit but I didn't like that much and when my Physical Therapist told me to try it I was really unsure and didn't listen much.
So Jeff, how long has it been since your surgery?? If you are paranoid about numbness and only a few weeks or so out, I wouldn't worry too much.
I do remember that after the surgery for about 6 weeks or more I was so annoyed by my legs. They drove me nuts! My legs didn't bother me too much before surgery but afterwards they were numb, achey and the weakness and heavyness drove me wild!!
Hope you see relief soon!
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. My internet has been down for a while...big storm here in Utah! Snow...snow..snow...yahoooo!
The answers to your questions are:
Yes, Bextra has helped me. I took one 20mg tablet daily, and two on really bad days (and an occasional percocet). Of course my bad days were "really good days" as compared to my pre-surgery pain. I tried celebrex and Vioxx and neither gave me the relief that Bextra did. Too bad it is so expensive.
And Yes...Christopher's Nerve Formula did help me a ton. I really believe that it calmed my nerve down in TWO WEEKS! It is a glycerine-based herbal composition consisting of the following: Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Blue Vervain, Skullcap, and Lobelia (Now a word of warning...the FDA has issued a warning concerning Lobelia also known as Indian Tobacco).
My wife found the nerve formula...she had been searching for something to help reduce my pain so I could kick all meds. She ran into a amputee that said that the nerve formula was the only thing that helped his nerve pain. So...we tried it and I have been "meds free" for over 3 weeks!
Sorry for the delay in posting the post-microD exercises, but no internet = no posting. The snow has been great...we need it here in Utah.
Hope your Christmas was enjoyable!
Now...You were told how to get into and out of a chair and bed...right?
As for the exercises...these are the ones I was told to do:
1) Lie on your back with your spine balanced
2) Squeeze your buttocks muscles together and count to 5. Relax.
3) Repeat 10 times, severa times
1) Stand with your spine balanced, feet forward, and one foot several inches behind the other. Palce your hands on a wall or on the back of a chair.
2) Keep both heels on the floor. Bend your FRONT leg until you feel the stretch in your back leg. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in line. Don't arch your back. Cound to 20, then change sides
3) Repeat the stretch 5 times on each side, several times a day
1) Stand with your spine balanced and your feet shoulder-width apart. Place both hands on the counter or on the edge of a sturdy chair.
2) Bend your knees until you feel a stretch in the fronts of your thighs. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in line. Don't arch your back. Count to 10.
3) Repeat 5 times several times a day.
1) Stand with your spine balanced, feet shoulder-width apart and your left hand against a wall
2) With your right hand grasp your right ankle and bring your heel up to your buttocks. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in line. Don't arch your back or lean sideways. Count to 20.
3) Repeat 5 times on each leg, several times a day
1) Lie with your spine balanced and knee bent. Brace your abdominal muscles.
2) Loop a rubber tubing or a towel around the other foot and slowly pull your leg a few inches off the floor. Keep the knee straight. Count to 10.
3) Repeat 5 times on each leg, several times a day. Raise your leg a little higher each day.
I hope that this helps...take the exercise slow and easy.