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Microdiscectomy Recovery----HELP

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Old 01-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: washington dc
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classicfairlane HB User
Microdiscectomy Recovery----HELP

I had l3-l4 microdiscectomy surgery on Sept.23, 2011. Before the procedure, both legs & feet had significant numbness and I staggered & limped badly. I've followed my doc's instructions and have taken it easy (walking & hydrotherapy). I'm off all meds & walking much, much better.
I'm wondering if it is normal to be 3+ months post-op and still feel the huge heaviness in my back. The numbness in my legs & feet have gone down, but it's still there. Is the heaviness & numbnesss due to internal, post-op swelling? At my last followup(Dec 3), he didn't seem at all concerned & said that it'll take more time.

Please help.....I 'm worried that the surgery failed!!!

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
Railroad Man
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ga.USA
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Unhappy Re: Microdiscectomy Recovery----HELP

[I] Dear Friend, I am 59ys. old and have had two laminectomy's 1999 & 2008 My first was for L-4-5 and then the second wa L-2-L-3 & L-3-4 & L-4-5 alot of pain was removed but if you don't teach yourself to take it easy, and try to think you Cannot do some of the things you use to do. My leg pain had returned real bad some day's and the there are days that it doesn't bother me. I know my problem is that I don't exercise enough and I am a overweight for my age.I try not to take any pain medicine unless I work outside in my yard to much. I have tried two epidurals back in November for the leg pain which lasted for two or three weeks,now it's back, the pain mgt. wanted to do the nerve eblazion, I 'm not to fond of that but I'm willing to try something else rather than having another sergury. I have found a little releif by doing some exercises on one of those exersize ball's. Lay on top of the ball and roll forward towards you hands and the reverse roll back to your knee's & feet, doing this 4-5 times. The first two or three days you're going to be sore, so be prepared for this. Back surgeries affect people different, and no two peoples PAINS are alike. You might want to wait a little farther down the road to try the ball rolls.

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classicfairlane (02-21-2012)
Old 01-07-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Microdiscectomy Recovery----HELP

I'm not really sure what you mean by "huge heaviness" in your back, so can't say whether it is normal, or not.

Too many patients are of the opinion that a micro procedure will result in a quick recovery...and therefore end of with unrealistic expectations. It can take a good six months to recover from a discectomy, and that's assuming everything went perfectly.

It is too early for you to spend too much time worrying. I would suggest you continue following your doctor's instructions as carefully as you can, and continue to walk several times each day. They don't have to be long walks, but it is important to get out there and stretch out those spinal nerves that have been affected by surgery. Walking does this better than any other activity. It will help to keep any scar tissue from attaching to the nerve, too.

Depending on how badly the nerve was compressed prior to surgery, and for how long, it can take a very long time to recover...up to 12 to 18 months. Hopefully the numbness you are feeling will gradually go away.

Just try to be patient and to continue doing what your surgeon instructs.... I don't think you need to worry about a failed just need more time for recovery.

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classicfairlane (01-09-2012)
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