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  • L5-S1 hemilaminectomy with microdiscectomy

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    Old 07-26-2003, 06:24 AM   #736
    daubie
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    Woohoo!! Page 20!!! Good morning everyone! Darn, woke up 2 nites in a row with strong nerve pain behind my left ankle bone. What's with that??? Never had pain there before, and it's pretty strong. This is my 2nd strongest area of numbness (next to the 2 outer toes). I am hoping (again, always an optimist!) maybe the nerve is waking up (but I don't want it to wake up painful!!!). Anyway, I'll be sure to tell the therapist on Monday. In the meantime, will take the vicodin as needed.
    ~Dave, thanks for the update. I think you're progressing as the rest of us have. I know 4 weeks post op I did return to work, but I still have pain everyday and fatigue, so I think you're right on course! I would concentrate on the exercising right now and give work another couple weeks. Swimming, walking and ab crunches and calf stretching. You're not in PT, right? With the ab crunches, I started off just laying flat, and while exhaling, pull you belly button into the small of your back. No stress on the back, but it does work. Do 20 or so to start. And he told me after I get the hang of this, start doing it all the time. Sitting, walking, etc. He said if I concentrate on it, it will become 2nd nature. For the calf exercises, stand a foot or so away from a wall and brace your hands on the wall. Put on foot behind you and slowly lean into the wall. You should feel a stretch in your calf that's stretched out behind you. KEEP your back straight. I don't know if you want to try these without professional advise, but I thought I'd pass them along anyway. Only takes a few minutes every day. Keep us posted, don't stay away so long, we missed you!
    ~Thom, bet your glad those dang staples are out! Are you itchy now??? Whew, I'm sure glad I didn't have anything to remove! I think the Medrol will really help you too. I know it helped me once when my pain was at the all time high (rolling on the floor in agony pain; distant memory, thank God!) Your doc said the same thing my therapist said. Got to break the cycle. Glad your starting PT too. I hope you get as much out of it as I have. And no, I don't think you've atrophied, just weakened the muscles due to lack of exercise. In a couple weeks of PT you'll be back on track! I'm glad he said no to going back to work (sorry!) but you had much more extensive surgery than I had, and I returned 4 weeks post op and struggled with it the first 2 weeks. Give yourself some time, man!!!
    ~Seekbliss, how are you today? My therapist suggested getting really good athletic shoes also. I am still wearing tennies all the time. Would like to wear my nice pretty sandles once in awhile (it is summertime!) but I tried one day and my back and foot hurt something fierce. Anyway, hope you're doing well today.
    Hope everyone has a great weekend! Talk to you soon! ~daubie

    ------------------
    Car Accident 2/2/02
    Herniated disc L5/S1
    Epidurals x3, PT 4 mos, some relief
    Microdiscectomy 6/6/03
    __________________
    Car Accident 2/2/02
    Herniated disc L5/S1
    Epidurals x3, PT 4 mos, some relief, but constant foot pain and numbness continued
    Microdiscectomy 6/6/03
    9/5/03 still have foot pain and numbness but recovered fine from surgery
    1/19/04 I am 7 mos post op. I still have the same foot pain as before surgery. Doc agrees it is probably permanent nerve damage. Started neurontin this week. Still glad I had the surgery though!

     
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    Old 07-26-2003, 06:55 AM   #737
    jdlfmc
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    Hope All have a great week-end and that everyone is doing well,I haven't realy read the post except a liile of your post Thom and happy to see you are recovering and I can only imagine the nightmare of DC traffic I used to have a lot of fun in the city what a blast the good ole days,anyway hope you listen and do as the doc says I'm sure you'll be glad you did!!
    Anyway I'm calming downa and trying to approach this froma different angle need a whole differ floor plan,so any way wanted to say hi and thinking of you all!!
    Linda

     
    Old 07-26-2003, 09:05 AM   #738
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    Hi everyone!
    Yes, good shoes are important. When I was still going to PT last month, the therapist told me I had on the best shoes for my feet, because both feet tend to lean INWARD at the arch when I walk and my shoes correct that, plus, they are the best fit I've ever had in athletic shoes for my feet. She asked me who fit me in these shoes and I told her.....it's exactly where she was going to send me to buy my next pair of shoes anyway. I have to move up a size because of my brace. There's a store near me that sells ALL brands of top of line athletic shoes. When you come in, they make you take off shoes and socks and walk around the store while they watch your walking style. They want to see how you walk and move your entire body....especially your legs and feet of course. The guy's been doing this for 20 years, so as soon as he sees you walk, he'll name the exact shoes he recommends......he said, "Get her Brooks shoes, Ariel style." (I wasn't wearing the last pair he put me in, so he couldn't tell by my previous shoes and he named the same exact brand for me two years later that he had fit me in before.) And just to be safe, he still fits you in a couple of different brands and watches you walk, then checks the fit...just to be sure his guess was correct. I must admit, it is the most comfortable fit I've ever had and it's needed now more than ever, so I really appreciate that place.

    ------------------
    1987-2003=L4-5 herniated disc that only flared up once or twice a year causing back & leg pain.
    L4-5 disc ruptured worse & broke in March 2003, which left a piece pressing on nerve root, causing severe dropped foot,leg/ankle numbness & weakness. Numbness disappeared on it's own BEFORE surgery.
    Hemilaminectomy/Microdiscetomy May 1, 2003.
    Dropped foot & ankle weakness not improved since surgery.
    Age 50
    __________________
    Diagnosed HSV 1 & 2 IgG July 2009
    Boyfriend of 8 years negative for HSV 2.

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 05:26 AM   #739
    daubie
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    Good morning everyone! Nothing new to report, so this will be short. Still had the ankle pain this morning, but less. Seekbliss, thanks for the post on the shoes. I'll definately be checking it out! I'll check in later. ~Daubie

    ------------------
    Car Accident 2/2/02
    Herniated disc L5/S1
    Epidurals x3, PT 4 mos, some relief
    Microdiscectomy 6/6/03
    __________________
    Car Accident 2/2/02
    Herniated disc L5/S1
    Epidurals x3, PT 4 mos, some relief, but constant foot pain and numbness continued
    Microdiscectomy 6/6/03
    9/5/03 still have foot pain and numbness but recovered fine from surgery
    1/19/04 I am 7 mos post op. I still have the same foot pain as before surgery. Doc agrees it is probably permanent nerve damage. Started neurontin this week. Still glad I had the surgery though!

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 06:22 AM   #740
    jdlfmc
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    Good Morning To ALL!!
    DAUBIE,like you nthing new going on and tierd of rehashing the same b*** s*** so hope you have a great day!!
    THE BEST OF DAY TO YOU ALL AND THANK YOU ALL FOR JUST BEIGN HERE AND HOPE THE DAY COMES WE ARE ALL HERE TO TELL OF OUR SUCCSSESS!!!
    Linda

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 07:52 AM   #741
    Samantha67
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    Good morning all!

    I hope everyone is doing ok...considering. Nothing new, my husband is becoming more and more frustrated with the lack of sleep...nothing works...His foot is really killing him ( I am hoping that it is a good sign that the nerves are coming back--but when you are the one in the pain it is hard to keep such a positive out look). He goes back to the doctor on Monday and we are going to ask about the TENS unit. I think we are also going to ask if it might be beneficial to have another dose of medrol (he took that before his surgery).

    I hope everyone continues to get better. Is there anyone that can tell me when it was completely better? Just trying to get some kind of guideline?

    Thanks
    Samantha

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 09:53 AM   #742
    HNPatL4L5
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    Hi Samantha,

    Your husband had a microdiscectomy on L5/S1 on July 1, right? You are wondering when he will be all better? I was told that discs heal slowly. They are only 50% healed in 3 months, for example. Nerve damage (e.g., numbness) is usually resolved in 3 months, but can take up to a year to heal (and, in rare cases, might never heal).

    There is a lot of variation in rate of healing. I was able to stop taking medication (Ibuprofen) at 6 weeks post op, and at 12 weeks post op my left foot started to feel normal again. Hang in there! Is your husband benefitting a lot from physical therapy? Is he walking 3 miles a day?

    HNP
    __________________
    HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
    3 months PT and Ibuprofen
    Reherniation late Feb 2003
    Nerve block mid March 2003
    Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
    3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
    Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 11:13 AM   #743
    DSH54
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    Hi,

    Just a brief note to thank everybody posting to this board. I had a microdiscectomy two weeks ago, and am still having hip/leg pains (although thankfully less than before the op) and can't sit down comfortably. My neurosurgeon wasn't particularly reassuring ("there's no such thing as normal, really"), so it's good to hear that so many people are going/have gone through the same thing and are recovering day by day. You've preserved what's left of my sanity!!!

    Good luck,
    David

    ------------------
    - 32 YO
    - Back and leg pain since August 2002
    - PT, TENs, Acupuncture, Massage, Epidural etc - no relief
    - MicroDiscectomy July 11th 2003- Recovering...fingers crossed..

    [This message has been edited by DSH54 (edited 07-27-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by DSH54 (edited 07-27-2003).]
    __________________
    Back pain since August 2002
    PT, TENs, Acupuncture, Massage, Epidural etc - no relief
    MicroDiscectomy July 11th 2003- Recovering...

     
    Old 07-27-2003, 06:02 PM   #744
    HNPatL4L5
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    Welcome, David!

    Did you get good post op instructions? (Limitations on lifting, sitting and driving. Advice about posture and diet. Etc.) Do you use an elastic back brace when you are on your feet for long periods? Will you be starting physical therapy 3 weeks post op?

    [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] HNP
    __________________
    HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
    3 months PT and Ibuprofen
    Reherniation late Feb 2003
    Nerve block mid March 2003
    Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
    3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
    Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

     
    Old 07-28-2003, 07:03 AM   #745
    TexMich
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    Good Morning!

    Hope everyone had a very nice wk-end!

    Daubie & Sam: Hoping with you guys that the foot pain are the nerves [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/yawn.gif[/img] waking up! Unfortunately it appears like they're waking up rather noisily! [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/blob_fire.gif[/img] Sam, I'm sure you'll talk to the Doctor about his "take" on things Monday - anxious to here your husband's "grade" on his progress report! Concerning a time frame on healing - of course HNP's right - we do heal at different rates- & I'm sure that (along w/our body's individual healing rate/time table) - what we do in that time frame is very instrumental (walking-not sitting too much-not bending,twisting,lifting,- meeting the body's nutritional needs,(protein,plenty of water to aid in hydration & healing) etc) Also, vitamin/mineral supplements MAY help- ie: Antioxidants & a lot's been said about the virtues of Coral Calcium w/Vit D & Magnesium - also MSM lately in healing. I did happen to notice that the early "pioneers" of this particular thread mainly seemed to just blossom at the 4 1/2 mos mark. I believe they were a younger - between 23 - 30 or so! Personally, I'm doing pretty well - I'm certainly going about life - but feel restricted in movement & at this 4 1/2 mos mark for me anyway- I'm thinking I'm not moving forward in my recovery as much as I think I should at this point -beginning to wonder if I have some scar tissue that probably starting to develop after the 2 wk point from moving across country & overdoing & then sitting instead of laying down to rest when I couldn't do anything else from pain. - And PT shld help with that. Of course- I'll know more after talking to the PT & I'll of course share that info w/you guys once I find out more!

    Welcome David from UK

    Yes, it's so nice to know we're not alone & that there are a few "pioneers" in this "adventure" a step or two or 3,4,5! ahead of us! Which disc was your problem? Hang in there- every week gets better - hope to hear from you again soon!

    Thom- how are you feeling today? Notice a difference with the anti-inflammatory measures? Hope so!

    Dave- I was sort of in your neck of the woods Saturday-went across the border to Winsdor to check out the casino! We all had fun til the early morning hrs -yes-a bit too much fun & spent the next day recovering!

    Seekbliss-HNP- always great to hear from you!

    Dee- How did your Doc's appt go? Hope you're doing well.

    Lisa- Thx for the b-day wishes! Did you get to go on your wk-end getaway? Did you decide to come back to the real world or just stay?

    Linda- Coby- everyone else- hope you have a great wk!

    Laura



    [This message has been edited by TexMich (edited 07-28-2003).]
    __________________
    10/02:Per MRI: Hern.Disc L5/S1 * Bulg.Disc L4/L5
    03/03:Micro-Discectomy w/Hemilaminectomy L5-S1 (left sd)
    08/03:PT @ 5 mos post-op for 6 wks: Results: Back & abdominal strength MUCH better - stretching exercises help only temporarily. Heavy feeling of pressure, restriction thru-out incision area post op. ~scar tissue adhering?
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    11/03:Working with "Rolfing" expert to release scar tissue - Jury's still out on this procedure

     
    Old 07-28-2003, 07:22 AM   #746
    jdlfmc
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    Good Morning Everyone!Hope All are doing well and had a wonderful week-end and didn't over-do.I am hoping to get some decent input from my Gp tommorow and hopefully will soon be able to report that I to am on the road to recovery I will just be happty to have informative answers to some of my questions and to find a way to get off these meds I want past this and what ever withdrawl I'm going to have and be able to control the pain thru more conservitive methods at this time though it isn't possible until I can find a way to get the pain level down.it seems there has to be other ways then going thru so many thecnices to get to what he said will be the end result anyway,I just may very well be on a wild goose chase but that is just one among many chances I will have to take!!
    So hope all are well!!
    Linda

     
    Old 07-28-2003, 09:25 AM   #747
    DSH54
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    Hi all,

    HNP - Hi. I've probably got better post operative instructions from this board than from my surgeon! PT doesn't start for me until after a 5-week check. Until then, it's some really basic exercises and plenty of walking..... And no sitting...

    TexMich - Hi, the disc was L5-S1. Had the stitches out today (17 days after the op), so finally able to shower without worrying about leaks!!.

    Best wishes to all,
    David
    __________________
    Back pain since August 2002
    PT, TENs, Acupuncture, Massage, Epidural etc - no relief
    MicroDiscectomy July 11th 2003- Recovering...

     
    Old 07-28-2003, 01:05 PM   #748
    rathead
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    hey guys-
    long time no post. I had my second follow up with the surgeon last week- he seemed a little concerned about
    some hamstring and calf pain and put me on Vioxx. still
    no official physical therapy, he gave me some stretches
    to start on and I go back in another 4 weeks.

    I'm trying not be be frustrated that my recovery is longer than I'd like, dying to get back to running. (go swimming a few times a week)


     
    Old 07-28-2003, 01:39 PM   #749
    HNPatL4L5
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    David, Enjoy worry-free showering! Yes, the post-op instructions on this thread are wonderful. Stretches are good. Are you doing hamstring stretches on your back? Are you doing triples of pelvic tilt, back arch then hold neutral (on your back)?

    Rathead, Careful to let your activity level increase slowly in time with your healing. It's great that your surgeon listens to pain reports and is concerned! Are you walking a lot?
    __________________
    HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
    3 months PT and Ibuprofen
    Reherniation late Feb 2003
    Nerve block mid March 2003
    Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
    3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
    Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

     
    Old 07-28-2003, 01:56 PM   #750
    rathead
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    HNPat-
    walk every day, thanks for your concern. the calf
    pain feels muscular- ie if I squeeze my calf I feel it,
    totally different than the calf pain I felt before
    the surgery.

    I probably have been a little too active around the
    house, my wife was away so I had to clean the litter
    box and things like that

     
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