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    Old 11-26-2004, 10:37 PM   #1
    SpinalMalady
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    Question Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    [B]I'm having a LUMBAR MICRO DISKECTOMY at L-5 to get it off the root of the S-1 nerve....Surgery is Scheduled for December 10th...[/B]

    Here's some background info to help you understand my situation!

    Have now been in 24/7 pain for 14 weeks....Completed 15/20 Vax-D treatments with little results, the last 5 treatments were discontinued by the Vax-D Dr. due to lack of progress...One Epidural Steriod Injection with only about a 30% reduction in symptoms...

    Have severe foot drop to the point that I'm afraid I will fall....Foot drags, and at times I physically have to pick it up, like my brain won't talk to it... I am walking like a Stroke Victim...Numbness in ankle, outside of foot, and groin/pubic area....

    Etiology Unknown:No Idea WHAT I DID...Lost over 60 pounds prior to onset of problems, and was walking 2.1 miles a day...was the healthiest I'd been in a while....and then BAM! Onset of back problems began in July...slowly, with cramping in legs which I attributed to the walking, then in Mid August began the Hamstring Charlie Horses that [B]NEVER [/B] went away.....[B]PAIN IS TREMEMNDOUS[/B] ..Pain interferes with sleep..I wake every hour, even with a monster sleep regime of meds (ambien, 5gm of valium and 25 mg of Elavil)...Taking 10/325 mg of Percocet every 6 hrs for Pain...

    WEIRD THING IS THERE IS NO LOW BACK PAIN--WHICH NS SAYS IS TYPICAL FOR THIS KIND OF PROBLEM.....I JUST FIND IT ODD.... ANYWAY.........

    NeuroSurgeon says I will only be in the Hospital one day, and then recovery is fairly quick:....I will be able to return to work when my students return to College on January 6th.....(I can lecture sitting as this is most comfortable for me...sitting vs. standing) [B]HOPING I WAKE UP IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE THAN I AM IN RIGHT THIS MINUTE! [/B]

    [B]NOW TO My question[/B]: I've read all of the "[B]POST SURGERY TIPS[/B]". Since this is a "Fairly "simple" surgery in comparison to say a "Fusion" with hardware, etc....do I still need to worry about getting a potty chair, and the other "tips" on that thread???? My incision will be about one and a half inches long on my back...they will get me up and walk me that same day...the point of the surgery is to shave the disk off of the S-1 Nerve Root which is the cause of all my pain.....

    Any input and info from anyone who has experience from a "[B]RECENT[/B]" MICRO DISKECTOMY would be greatly appreciated. I know "back surgery" has changed immensely in the last few years...and I just want to be prepared as to what I might need....I don't want to go to the expense if it's unwarrented....

    Sorry for such a long read, but I just want to be as prepared as possible, and you guys have been very informative and comforting during this terrible time....

    Thanks in advance for any responses and input....


    Becky

     
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    Old 11-27-2004, 01:03 AM   #2
    mel1977
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    I had a micro at the same level and didn't need any tools. I spent the first week home or so on the couch with pillows under my knees. I had someone home with me though(my mom who is also a nurse), so if I needed anything she got it for me. but, people heal different. Just b/c I didn't need any of those items, someone else might need them.
    I was out after two days in the hospital. The first day spent sleeping, the second waking up, going to the bathroom etc...actually, now that I think about it, I was there for two nights, three days. Anyway, I stayed off work for three months, but my job required lifting. I say don't make a date to return. Listen to your body and let it tell you when you are ready (typical amount is three months). You don't want to go back and have to then turn around and take another three weeks or so of sick time b/c you weren't ready. You may even still have a lot of pain from sitting too.

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 01:04 AM   #3
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    Oh, I had A LOT of lower back spasms even up to six months after surgery. Of course they got better, but at three months they could still be pretty bad when I'd sit in a car. Then again, with what i said above, just b/c I had spasms and pain three months later, doesn't mean you will.

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 03:10 AM   #4
    SpinalMalady
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    Thanks for the reply Mel, can you tell me how long ago that was???

    The reason I ask is that my doc says complete recovery is about 6 weeks...He did 18 of this surgery alone last week.

    I teach college, and Thank God every day that it's not my Cervical Spine because [B]I teach Sign Language[/B]....At least I can sit (which is most comfortable for me, better than standing) and Sign with my students....if it were my C-Spine...it would affect my arms and my ability to Sign! I will be back to work on January 6th when the students return...but unable to drive still....have made arrangements for 3 more weeks with doctors approval to return at that time...He knows what my job duties are....He can't believe I've been working all this time as it is...and says if I'm working now, I should be able to go in and sit and lecture...(I don't lift or do anything like that now...[B]MY STUDENTS WON'T LET ME PICK UP SOMETHING IF I DROP IT[/B] ...LOL)

    I used to [B]ALWAYS [/B] lecture standing, but that came to a [B]SCREECHING [/B] halt this semester...amazingly...I've only missed two days of work this semester...a lot of it has been "mind over matter"....

    I am in pain 24/7, but my therory is...I could go home and go to bed, but I would just be at [B]HOME IN PAIN....and be in my pain alone[/B]...at least with my students they keep me "[B]UP[/B]"(i.e. positive) and give me something else other than my pain to focus on...also, because what I do is so specialized...it's not like someone can just come in and sub for me like an English or Math teacher....and I have 45 folks depending on me to finish out a semester of which 8 need to finish the semester in order to register and complete [B]NEXT [/B] semester to graduate their 2 Yr Curriculum.....

    At the same time...I know there is [B]NO WAY [/B] I can hang on till I'm out for the Summer Break which does not happen for me until May 31st, 2005. I know I will face a lot of fatigue as anyone does after a surgery, and have turned over one of my night classes (normally I teach full days [B]AND [/B] two nights), so I will only have ONE NIGHT class in the Spring Semester....that's a plus...

    I'm worried, but at the same time...I feel like I've made it the last 14 weeks which is over 3 months with 24/7 pain and the pain is BAD 8+....little to no sleep, and mobility that has increasingly gone downhill....so I feel it can only get better from here...[B]RIGHT[/B]?? At least my feeling is[B] IT WILL[/B]! The doc has been amazed at my tenacity, but you do what you have to do....I'm not so sure if I were in a different job that I would have put up with as much as I have, but these circumstances leave me little other choice, and I hate to let my students down...so in a [B]GOOD [/B] way,...it's kept me going....

    Again...thanks for your response...December 10th just can't come soon enough...I know I'll be "yucky" for the Holidays, but like I said...I know I'll probably wake up [B]TONS [/B] better than I've been feeling as of late.

    Take care,

    Becky

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 06:46 AM   #5
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    I had an L5-S1 microdiscectomy 10 weeks ago. I, too, had radical pain which made me jump up at night every hour like I was on fire or something. After surgery, the relief was immediate! That invisible alligator was off my calf! I stayed the night in the hospital because I could not get over the anesthesia, or walk, etc. I'm glad I did, because I ran a slight fever, which would have worried my caregivers at home...but apparently a slight temperature is normal the first day or so. I spent the first week feeling pretty darn good, just a little phantom pain in the calf and toe--no more lightning zapping pain. And I could sleep! One week postop, I had to fly 3 hours in an airplane (from Los Angeles to Arkansas) and then drive for 3 more hours on windy country roads to get home. That wasn't fun, but it wasn't hell either. I'm so glad I did the surgery -- in fact I wish I hadn't waited so long to do it. All of my foot numbness has resolved - that took weeks. But it finally came around. I'm 10 weeks postop and just sufferred my first setback, probably from doing too much, too fast. I was worried that I re-herniated something, but I don't think so -- I'm feeling better again every day. Now I REALLY WILL totally take it easy and not push things.
    Good Luck. You'll be so much better, you'll see.
    Loretta Z in Arkansas...

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 07:33 AM   #6
    shredda
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    P.S. - I just thought of something I forgot to tell you...
    Sitting was my most comfortable position before surgery, too, which allowed me to type on the computer, sit with my family, etc. (I'm a medical transcriptionist from home). I wasn't prepared for the fact that after surgery, my most comfortable position was laying down. Sitting aggravated my leg. That was an emotional setback for me. But after a few weeks, sitting became alright (although, my keyboard is back on a box, and I'm typing standing up). So just don't bank on Sitting being your most comfortable position post discectomy -- it might be, but it might not be...

    Hey, any position is okay with me, if my pain is gone!

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 09:28 AM   #7
    AlSmith
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    Becky, I would recommend the raised toilet seat. My surgery was on August 13th and I stopped using mine last week. I could have stopped using it earlier but as Lorretta said, sitting is going to be the toughest position to be in. You will be told after surgery not to do any Bending, Lifting or Twisting. They often refer to it as the BLT's. All of these as well as sitting put alot of strain on your spine and you are trying to heal so you want to help not hurt the process.

    You don't have to get the most expensive things. If you try and make sure most things are above your waist in your home, especially your refrigerator, this will make things easier. I think I told you in another post the three things I could not have done without are the raised toilet seat, a grabber and a positive attitude. You only have one back so make sure you do things right. You could send yourself back for another surgery if you reinjure yourself.

    You also said you will be in the hospital one day. That is probably true but don't rush youself. It is really nice to have someone bring you pain pills every few hours and have all your food prepared for you, even if it is hospital food. Good luck!

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 10:34 AM   #8
    Parks71
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    I am not near in the pain u seem to be in. I have a constant aching pain ranging from 2 if im not doing much to a 6-7 if I push myself with very little weakness in my leg only at certain times.

    I have had this for 2 years and I am now considering surgery because im only 31 and im sick of my back aching so bad.

    Nobody can tell you what to do but if I was in that much pain, I wouldnt even blink and just get the surgery.

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 11:59 AM   #9
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    becky-you know, the back is so hard. No two people can experience the same things. Therefore, it makes it hard to really give good advice since we don't know how the other person will respond to the surgery. My surgery was Feb 2002-I found that sitting was hard, but if I got up and moved around it was okay. I used Motrin a lot that helped and if not that I went and got nuerontin for the nerve issues I still had. I stayed off work the whole three months though b/c I was in nursing, I had to be able to work standing and walking for up to eight hours, since I was answering lights and so on. The good thing working for the college is you can sit and stand if you need to, you can walk around as well. I think you will be okay-it just depends on how severe yours is. With mine, nothing showed that a nerve was being pressed, it was just a bulge and that was it. I still had sciatica and the spasms, but they were managable. I think you will know when you are ready. I would suggest making sure you have a good chair with lumbar support and one that you can raise up and down (your knees should be up just a little from your hips-you can get a little stool to do that as well. It is a good surgery, I never have regretted that I had mine-I would do it all over again. Good luck and we are here for you if you need it! Do you have anyone who will be home with you the first week?

     
    Old 11-27-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    Becky, I had a discectomy in March, and was out of the hospital the same day. I didn't use any special tools at home, just made sure there was someone to pick up things I dropped, help me out of bed, etc. I went back to work 2-3 days after surgery. I teach horseback riding lessons, and I sat in a chair with lots of pillows and taught from there. I was also a full-time college student at the time, and went back to classes the next week.

    My pain was terrible before surgery, and the minute I woke up, I knew I was better. The pain in my leg was gone. I did have some problems with muscle spasms, but I probably pushed it too hard too soon after surgery. I do recommend taking it slower than I did! Make sure you have someone to help you out- you need to take care of yourself after surgery!

    Lots of luck, Jessie

     
    Old 11-30-2004, 10:54 AM   #11
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    Re: Questions PLEASE ANYONE WITH Lumbar Micro Diskectomy L-5 Experience!

    Becky, I had a microdiscectomy and partial laminectomy on Nov. 1. I did not have back pain either, all in both legs and big toes. Like alot of others said, sitting is not a good position. My doctor said no sitting longer than 10 minutes at a time. He is so true on that. I did not have any special tools. I wish I would have had a grabber though. No bending, lifting, or twisting are pretty much the common rules no matter what dr. you have. I stayed one night in the hospital and went home the next day. If you have a long ride home, stop a few times and get out and walk for awhile. I reclined the car seat the whole way back with a pillow for lumbar support on my 2 hour ride home. Make sure you take your pain medicine before the car ride. Not long and you will feel like you have new leg. Good Luck!

     
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