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    Old 04-29-2007, 03:11 PM   #1
    bonita555
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    nerve regeneration

    Hello all,
    Does anyone have any experience with nerve regeneration? I just had a micro d last week after a five month stint of slow, steady improvement of regaining strength in my right leg/foot. I did PT and lots of walking/elliptical training. Once the improvement plateaued, the head of neurosurgery at the hospital said we should do the micro d to remove a large peice of disc that had broken off. I've read 3-6 months is sort of the window for a good outcome, but i also beleive that anything is possible and am a pretty positive person (try to be)

    Any experience knowledge would be appreciated.
    Peace and good health to everyone!
    bonita

     
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    Old 04-29-2007, 07:27 PM   #2
    lilredsmom
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    I never heard about this! What was your condition prior to surgery and what kind of surgery did you have? I have DDD in L4-L1 plus spinal stenosis in which case my doc wants to do a Lamenectomy. There are a lot of different types of back ailments and surgeries on this board that I've never heard of and being the curious child that I am, I always like to know what's new or what I should know. I never heard of elliptical training.

     
    Old 04-29-2007, 10:08 PM   #3
    chatterboxsd
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    I had a thoracic discectomy and fusion Feb 1. Since then, I've had increased sensation in my back - like the skin part was numb and now it'snot, and less nerve pain. Surgery was not fun, but I really think I'm better. I have more energy and less pain. Still have some pain, but I think it's to be expected for about 6 months. My activity has increased significantly, so I think that's the cause - occasionally (often?) doing a little too much. There can be positive outcomes from surgery, if that's what you've come to. Ask the specific questions to many of your doctors, therapists, etc. And then, it comes down to your gut feeling or faith, and a dose of good luck.

    Let us know how you do,
    Margaret

     
    Old 04-29-2007, 11:05 PM   #4
    Tucsonlady40
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    I was also told that 3-6 months recovery for micro-d, give or take though. Everyone heals differently. I was also told that the more walking and when you can, light exercising would speed up the regeneration, because of the stimulation.

    I've had a laminectomy and 8 months later a fusion at L4-5, and a fusion at C5-6. My lami recovery time was said to have been about 3-6 months, but, I was back at work at 2. Of course I work in a very physical occupation and reherniated

    Good luck on your decision and please let us know how your doing and what you decide.

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    I don't quite understand why you would have to do pt before the surgery...that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you have a large piece of disc, that should have been removed prior to pt. That's what everything I have read and experienced tells me. Sure am curious as to why your dr. went this route.
    I have just had a PLIF at L3-4 and a foraminalectomy. I was having horrendous burning leg pain which is now gone. But as that nerve is healing, I am having some mild burning in the back of my leg from the knee down. I would imagine that's what you can expect also.....when those nerves wake up, they do cause some pain.

    Carol
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    Old 04-30-2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Hi carol,

    Is the nerve pain you get now different to before (I mean, apart from being milder, is it in the same place?)?

    I'm 4weeks post-laminectomy (L5 nerve compression) and I still have exactly the same pain (place and level).

    Post-surgery, for the first few days I got near total numbness in the foot and lower leg on walking and standing (which I didn't have before), but this passed once I was able to walk a bit more, but as the numbness passed the same leg pains returned, slightly worse (always when lying flat as compared to just sometimes before surgery) if anything. Also the toe-curling sensation I used to occasionally get is now worse and is almost constant at night (and prevents me from sleeping).

    i was told 2-3 weeks for my very swollen nerve to settle...after 4 I'm starting to get a little concerned that its still as swollen as ever. As my nerve wasn't dead before, I guess it isn't just all "re-awakening" or "shifting" (although perhaps the early post-surgery numbness was).

    Any thoughts appreciated...I'm know I'm probably just panicking over something that will just take a little more time, but I'm really interested to hear people's comparisons of pain pre-and post surgery (levels, places, time to recover (say by 50%))

    Thanks
    Jinks

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 06:41 PM   #7
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Jinks --When I had my laminectomy last May, I was in serious pain for the first 6 weeks after surgery. My laminectomy was close to 5 1/2 hours in length. I had spinal stenosis and bone spurs compressing the nerves. My surgeon said the nerve was flaming red hot. It took a good 3 months before I started feeling some better (August timeframe). Unfortunately, I reinjured my back and had to have further surgery.

    I telling you my story to hopefully make you more relaxed about having the same pain at 4 weeks. I really think that nerve needs a few more weeks to calm down. Just be sure to keep your doctor posted and follow his recovery instructions.

    May I ask how long that nerve was inflamed prior to surgery?? It is my understanding that the longer the nerve was inflamed it takes longer for it to settle back down.

    Take care and I will lift you up in prayer.

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    [QUOTE=lilredsmom;2952983]I never heard about this! What was your condition prior to surgery and what kind of surgery did you have?

    Prior to thankskiving of 06' I had some back issues, bulging discs, mild stenosis, but I was very active and relatively pain free most of the time. Around thanksgiving i wound up in the er with excruciating pain -i think when a piece of disk broke off & migrated to where it was pressing on a nerve. i had quite a bit of foot drag/drop after that episode.

    once the pain subsided i slowly-very slowly began to regain enough strength in the foot drop leg to walk for exercise. Because of the foot drop, one doc told me to use the elliptical trainer at the gym (It's sort of like a stairstepper machine, but with a flywheel?) Sorry if my description is more confusing . But it was reccomended because with foot drag/drop there was a risk of tripping, but on this machine you can exercise without that risk.

    So in many cases the broken disc shrivels up/dries up and comes off the nerve, and surgery isn't needed. So I was in PT and exercising on my own and seeing SLOW steady improvement. Because there was improvement of any kind the doctor and the physical therapists said not to do the surgery. When the improvement stopped is when we had to get the disc material off the nerve through microdiscectomy-it's where they go in via a small incision in the back, move the muscle and put in a camera to find the piece and then take it out (i'm sure theres a bit more too it but that's the idea). Same day surgery.

    So My hope is that even though I went 5 months with this thing limiting my mobility, I will still regain all of my motor strength in the leg that had some foot drop, now that the disc is off the nerve. I just hope that 5 months wasn't too long with something impeding the signal on that nerve.

    At any rate, thanks for letting me rehash all my 'back stuff.'

    Hope that your health is good!

    bonita

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 07:35 PM   #9
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Bonita
    How are your feeling know? I sure hope you can get full use back of the foot. I had foot drop and it was awful. Tripping all the time and dragging the foot like a zombie. I even had a feeling that my leg was missing from the knee down once which scared me to death. My problem was from a nerve in the knee but nerves can cause strange symptoms.

    You will be in my prayers and hope you have a great recovery.

    When was the surgery?

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 07:53 PM   #10
    Paul from CA
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Bonita,
    thank you for sharing your story.
    Although I don't have the foot drop thing, I know that my nerves are being compressed and it is a concern for me. This has been happening since around Sept. '06.

    Can you estimate percentage wise about how much strength/feeling you have now versus before the micro-d?

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 08:24 PM   #11
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Pepper,

    Thanks for your reassurance...and it is very reassuring.

    I also had some advice off Baybreeze a few days ago, which is much the same as yours...give it time! Its just difficult to get rid of the fear that life won't be normal again...I'm trying but its tiring and painful - here I am again at 5 in the morning, after keeping husband awake kicking him with all that foot and toe twitching! Bless him.

    Anyhow, in response to your questions...

    The surgery wasn't major ( less than two hours I think). My L5 nerve was very swollen when he went in there, as my mri suggested, but we're still none the wiser to the cause. The surgeon cleaned up a small disc herniation (nothing remarkable, as he'd thought prior to the operation) and he follewed the nerve for a few cms and cleaned up around it to give it space. He coudln't see what was trapping it, but assumes it was the bone (lamina?) that he had to remove in order to see the nerve in the foramen.

    I've had problems for around 2 yrs (6-7mths of chronic pain now).
    Anyhow, the more I hear stories such as yours, the more positive I feel...I see the surgeon again in 3 weeks and will find out more then, but I'm sure his advice will also be "give it more time". Like you say, between 6mths and 2 years of compression isn't likely to disappear quickly. I guess I thought that after a month it might be nearly back to how it was when I first started having problems. The surgeon said 2-3 weeks, but then he was always the optimistic kind!

    Anyhow, how are you feeling now...I didn't start posting on this board until after the op, but I remember reading that you'd re-herniated since your second operation...I hope you're finding the relief you truly deserve for all the kind advice you offer more fortunate souls like me...

    Best wishes,
    Jinks

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 04:33 AM   #12
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Jinks, with everything I have been thru I can so relate to the "fear that life won't be normal again...I'm trying but its tiring and painful". Back pain is extremely frustrating and unfortunately is not resolved overnight.

    Everytime I get something fixed something else breaks. After the laminenectomy, I ended up with a Fusion Feb. 1st than reherninated my disc above the fusion in April. Now I am in the waiting mode whether I have to have another surgery. It is [B]very[/B] difficult some days but I have found this board to help me tremendously. I think I am at the point that I know my life won't be normal again but hey that is okay I am strong and with the love of my family, friends and the LORD, I can get thru anything.

    I do think 4 weeks is not enough time for you to heal especially with sciatica pain for 2 plus years. I had pain for over 2 1/2 years as well and did not start feeling relief until 3 months later. I have heard upwards to 6 months before some people recover.

    Keep posting and we will help you thru it!! God Bless.

    Last edited by ms_west; 05-01-2007 at 04:37 AM.

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 06:23 AM   #13
    bonita555
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Hi Paul,
    For many, the micro d surgery provides instant releif from pain, but since i didn't have pain, I am mostly looking for improvement with the nerve.They said it could take up to a year, however I alredy noticed that I can lift part of the ball of the foot off the floor wheras prior to surgery I could barely do it. It's only been a week, but i'd say I have about a 10% imrovement so far.

    Are you in pain? Have you had someone look at your situation of nerve compression?

    Best of luck with your nerve
    bonita

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 06:27 AM   #14
    bonita555
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    Re: nerve regeneration

    Clover 60,
    The surgery was on the 21st of April. I feel pretty good, I just hope I am not over doing it.

    Thanks for your well wishes! Right back at ya
    bonita

     
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