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  • Microdecompression for herniated disc failure?

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    Old 02-21-2011, 11:14 PM   #1
    JasperLoki
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    Microdecompression for herniated disc failure?

    Good evening,

    Hello, my name is Jack and I had Microdecompression (Microdisectomy) (L4-L5) last wednsday. Prior to the surgery, I had lower back pain and leg pain (left side)-both very severe.

    After my MRI, It was discovered a had a very large herniated disc in this region. A week later I had surgery. My girlfriend spoke with the surgeon upon completion, everything went well, rather size large size fragments and disc pieces was removed.

    The doc further elaborated that I might experience a small amount of leg pain due to the nerve being very inflamed ("would last for only few days")

    That night and since last wednesday it has gotten 10x worse. Finally this past Saturday I called the on call doctor, he was no help, so I had to wait till today to make contact (note: during last week I did all that was expected, I tried walking, not laying around, resting, icing, doing all that was recommended).

    So today I finally spoke to my doctors nurse. They ordered me a steroid pack to hopefully calm the nerve, and orderdered me another MRI with die contrast. I had that done this evening, with results being sent this evening.

    From what I have read, many patients have leg pain for months (I can't imagine the living with this pain for months till it heals). I know they just did surgery and stirred things up, but I don't understand how it got this much worse in such a short period of time.

    My thoughts were that my nerve was so inflamed that yes I am going to have to deal with a rather large nerve that has been irritated, or that I ruptured another disc Or something?

    If it's just so inflamed, is there a general time frame that this will continue (should I keep getting steroid packs). I had heard that walking was such a good thing, gosh I can barely walk my yard, and I need my hiking staff just to get up.

    I was happy that they did do another MRI to overule aything, just can't see myself doing anything, I have barely done anything.

    Please help me, is there anything I am missing, anything I can do, any help, thoughts, opinions, suggestions, etc.

    I am a retired deputy sheriff, left the job on disability, have been through 6 knee operations, neck surgery, bicep/rotator cuff tear, stabbed in hand (surgery for that), I feel like a mess, however I am still in great shape.

    I am so depressed, I have been on my hands in knees in tears, at my girlfriends feet, my German Shepherds look at me like I am crazy. It means so much to be able to walk them, and thats something I haven't been able to do, due to this.

    Also, in the past 1.5 years, I have had 4 epidural injections (3 worked-lived in NC at time, loved the doctor), the 4th down in SC, didn't do nothing (didn't have hernia at time in NC).

    Anything please.

    Thank you.

    Jack

    Last edited by JasperLoki; 02-22-2011 at 12:17 AM. Reason: added info

     
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    Old 02-22-2011, 06:04 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Microdecompression for herniated disc failure?

    Welcome to the board, Jack. First, take a deep breath and try to relax. It is my experience that surgeons tend to minimize the impact of what they do to the body. They tend to err on the conservative side when telling a patient how long he'll be off work, how long the pain will last, how bad the pain might be, etc.

    It's good that you had a new MRI just to be sure that you did not reherniate, which is unlikely. It will also show if there is a disc fragment floating around that was missed during surgery. Sometimes when there is a rupture, a disc fragment will not be readily visible and it can be missed. Then when the patient begins to move around, when tissue swells, or swelling goes down, something allows that missing fragment to move ever-so-slightly and it presses on the nerve.

    However, the most likely cause is that the doctor had to tug a little to free up the nerve, and it is simply ticked off. Nerves are notorious for recovering VERY slowly. Hopefully the steroid pack will have an effect...it will help relieve swelling...and no, you will not continue to take them. The most I've heard of is taking the one pack and then repeating it for a total of two packs. If you don't have relief at that point, chances are that the pain is being caused by something other than inflammation, and, it is just not good for the body to take steroids longer than this.

    Sometimes the surgeon will order a steroid injection laid in at the level where you had the surgery if he still thinks inflammation is the culprit.

    In the meantime, drink lots of fluids, preferably water, and keep up the walking. Walking frequently is more important than the distance. Even a little trip around the house many times each day will be beneficial to you and will help to keep scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it forms. Also, minimize the time you spend sitting. Fifteen minutes at a time is enough at the beginning. Sitting puts something like 30% more pressure on the lower lumbar spine than does standing or walking...so limit yourself to a couple sessions a day. Otherwise, recline or walk.

    Remember not to bend or twist at the waist. Avoid reaching overhead or to the side, avoid pushing, pulling, and lifting anything heavier than about 8-10 pounds.

    The disc is most "at risk" during the first six weeks after surgery, but keep in mind that it takes a good six months for the disc to toughen up after surgery...so, again, be patient and keep in mind that you've just had back surgery and act accordingly!!

    Know that the pain you are feeling is not all that uncommon!! Hopefully it will diminish as the days go on and you will be feeling much better very soon.

     
    Old 02-24-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
    JasperLoki
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    Re: Microdecompression for herniated disc failure?

    Thank you tetonteri66

    Well we received the results, and their is more broken fragments within the area. After further talks with my doctor, my concerns, I am going to undergo a second surgery to remove them (this coming Tuesday).

    The steroid pack has given me no relief, I am feeling the same exact pain as prior to, and not one bit of relief has set in.

    There is going to be additional surgeons as well to assist in my surgery. The doctor says he will explore abit further as well, but not too much more. He says because I am so young (43) and in great shape, I have a better chance of recovery. He feels that removing the rest of the fragments should help.

    It's funny, everyday, morning, evening and night I try to change things up, I hope for just one little sign that something would change, and I wouldn't have to go through with this, however every day I wake up and experience the same thing.

    When I am loaded up with pain, muscle relaxors and soma (and ice packs) I can stand it, but when it wears off, the pain is just too intense.

    When I showered tonight, I couldn't stand, I just sat on the floor and let the water drip on me, just the short few moments was so hard to stand. My best time is the middle of the day.

    Tomorrow I am going to buy a pad for my chair, so when I have to sit, I have something to sit against. The gel packs I have are from my rehab center (when I had my knees done, they are huge and very comfortable), plus I have a cryo cuff cooler.

    I hope that good luck comes to me on tuesday, I don't know how some people can live with this pain.

    I can't remember if I mentioned, but I am also taking Neurontin, I asked to try that. Lyrica was rejected at first, I will probably have my doc resubmit after it fails me. I have heard better things/results about Lyrica.

    Thank you very much for your post, I really appreciate it.

    Sincerely

    Jack

     
    Old 02-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Microdecompression for herniated disc failure?

    Lyrica is supposed to have fewer side effects than neurontin. I've used both and haven't noticed much difference between the two, and neither affected my nerve pain, at least not much. Usually if insurance rejects lyrica and you then try neurontin and it is not successful, they will then pay for lyrica....I hope it works for you, although hopefully it won't even be necessary if you can get all those fragments removed and get the nerves to calm down.

    You may as well get the rest of the disc fragments out of there. There's no point in letting everything heal up and then decide later that you can't deal with the pain. At least this way, your body should probably be under the impression that you're just recovering from one surgery, so hopefully you won't have twice the amount of scar tissue!!

    The steroid pack would only help with inflammation. Your pain is coming from a disc fragment that is irritating or compressing the spinal nerve.

    I'm not sure why you need more surgeons in there. Perhaps he is planning on doing more if he runs across additional issues. In any case, you'll be out and won't be aware of what's going on. I'm sure the surgeon will be much more careful this time to get everything. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

     
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