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Old 08-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Question what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

I have been suffering from sciatic pain down my right leg for months.
I am an otherwise healthy, fairly active 26 year old woman.
I have tried physical therapy, oral steroids, NSAIDS, pain killers, muscle relaxers. .....etc.
Recently had an MRI showing a large herniation at L4-L5.
A well qualified Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeon I saw last week suggested a microdiscectomy.
My surgery has been scheduled for this coming Thursday.
I guess I'm just wondering what to expect. Sometimes I feel very optimistic about the future, but I start to get very anxious if I think about this for long. Can anyone offer any advice about helping the recovery process, or share your story about your microdiscectomy?
The doctor says I'll be able to return to my previous level of activity. Is that true? Will I feel 'normal' again?
Thanks in advance for any helpful comments

Last edited by melody84; 08-12-2011 at 05:06 PM.

 
Old 08-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Re: what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

Melody,

I had an L5-S1 microdiscectomy on July 5 after suffering from severe sciatic pain since March. I remember taking my first steps after surgery thinking "wow, my leg isn't numb and my foot isn't cold!"

You should be able to return to your previous level of activity, but DON'T OVERDO THINGS!!!! Follow the instructions they give you to the the letter. Don't think that just because you are feeling good that day you should clean the house. There is pain involved, but my back pain is (for the most part) better than before the surgery. I have an office job and after being fully out of work for two and a half weeks, I'm now working 4 hour shifts (20 hours a week)You are going to have good and not-so-good days, but I can say the procedure was well worth it for me.

I am one of the 10% or so of people who re-herniate (wouldn't be surprised if it's my own fault my overdoing it), and I consult with my surgeon (my surgery was done by a neurosurgeon who is a spine specialist) tomorrow to figure out where we go from here.

Good luck and keep us posted. I'm a newbie here myself, and I've found lots of good advice from people who've been through far worse than me.

 
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

[QUOTE=melody84;4821575]I have been suffering from sciatic pain down my right leg for months.
I am an otherwise healthy, fairly active 26 year old woman.
I have tried physical therapy, oral steroids, NSAIDS, pain killers, muscle relaxers. .....etc.
Recently had an MRI showing a large herniation at L4-L5.
A well qualified Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeon I saw last week suggested a microdiscectomy.
My surgery has been scheduled for this coming Thursday.
I guess I'm just wondering what to expect. Sometimes I feel very optimistic about the future, but I start to get very anxious if I think about this for long. Can anyone offer any advice about helping the recovery process, or share your story about your microdiscectomy?
The doctor says I'll be able to return to my previous level of activity. Is that true? Will I feel 'normal' again?
Thanks in advance for any helpful comments [/QUOTE]

 
Old 08-17-2011, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

thanks for your post, andrea. I had my pre-op appointment with my surgeon this morning, and my surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping that afterward I can have the self discipline to follow the doctor's orders exactly and take it easy. I have been told that I should not return to work for [B]at least[/B] six weeks. Also, he said that the chances of re-herniation decrease a lot after the first 3 months.. he has seen re-herniation years later, but he said that is very rare. Now I just have to try and stay positive through the rest of this.

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Lightbulb Re: what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

I am now on my 17th day after a L5-L6 microdiscectomy (so I'm going back and answering some of my own questions for future back pain sufferers ). I was having sciatic pain from a herniated disc for nearly three months and now am very glad that I went through with the surgery. At first I was in a lot of pain after surgery, but because I had a reaction to the anesthetic. I had muscle soreness all over my whole body and felt like I'd been hit by a truck. This is a rare reaction to a specific drug though. Most of the incision pain was gone in the first 10 days. My sciatic pain was initially greatly decreased, but after a few days it returned with a vengeance. The surgeon encouraged me to be patient. He said it is natural for the nerve to have residual pain during the initial healing process. I was told that most people start to feel better within two weeks... and it was true. I live at the top of a three story building and for the first week was just spending 10-15 minutes every hour (sometimes two hours) walking around. This prevented most of the stiffness I've read others report. Now I get up and walk around the house for 20-25 every hour, a few times a day outside now. This morning I walked a mile... and then another mile this afternoon. I still don't sit for more than 15 minutes, but not because of discomfort, just doctor's orders. I have to remember not to over do it because there is still risk of re-herniation, but so far my body has been giving me pretty good signals about what my limits are. I am having a bit of stiffness and numbness, but the vast majority of the pain has subsided. I finally feel like I'm on the road to recovery! So for anyone worried about having to go through this procedure, just know that it can get better.

 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: what can I expect after my microdiscectomy?

Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. As you suggested, take it easy even though you may feel perfectly well. It takes the disc a good six months to scab over and toughen up so the risk of reherniation is less.

 
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back pain, herniated disc, l4-5, microdiscectomy, sciatica



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