Back Surgery??

Lounge By fancyface Updated 21 Jun 2009 , 6:29pm by MelJo

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fancyface Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:14pm
post #1 of 6

Has anyone had back surgery done on their lower back to relive pressure from a disc on their siatic nerve or spinal cord?? I'm going on june 26th to see a nerosurgeon , but if someone could give me a heads up of what to expect & important questions to ask??
I'm in quite a bit of pain now .. have been since May 11th
I can't even work & have to use a walker in order to be mobile.

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shelbur10 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 10:13pm
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Hi Michelle,
I had a ruptured disc at L5 S1 a couple years ago. I was in miserable pain for months, and actually lost the reflexes in my left ankle (not that I really miss them, lol). I had a microdiscectomy (sp?) to repair the disc. They found that the disc material had rubbed through the nerve covering (don't remember what it's called) and they had to patch the nerve. That surgery went well, but about a month after surgery, the disc ruptured again. Months later, I had a second surgery which resulted in scar tissue that compresses my sciatic nerve and now there's nothing I can do except live with it.
I won't say don't have surgery, because I know it's a very successful surgery for most people, I was just one of the unlucky ones. Ask your dr. to be very frank with you about recovery expectations. I was led to believe that I would be recovered in about 2 weeks and it just took a lot longer. Ask how best to prevent re-injury. Be prepared that you won't be able to lift anything more than about 8-10 lbs (about a gallon of milk) during your recovery. You can't bend, lift or twist AT ALL. In order to get out of bed, you will need to roll your entire body like a log (easier said than done). You will need to have someone around to help you for the first few days, I couldn't even sit up by myself. In addition to your surgery recovery, your back and leg muscles are weakened because you haven't been able to use them. After the surgery, listen to your body and don't rush anything. When my disc re-ruptured, I felt the 'pop' and obviously the pain returned, but I let the nurses convince me that it was normal pain from the nerve healing and I delayed returning to the dr.
I can't think of anything else right now, but please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. I might also suggest that you see a pain management doc in conjunction with the neuro, mine gave me some meds (not just pain pills) that were very helpful in managing the nerve pain. Also, look at your MRI with your doc and determine the odds of the disc healing itself. That can happen and it's always better to avoid surgery if you can, although I know you're just miserable right now.

Sorry for the novel here - hope I've helped some.

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Kpow Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:56pm
post #3 of 6

I too have had a microdiscectomy at L5-S1 to relieve pressure on my sciatic nerve. Mine was extremely successful. I had had back and leg pain for 7 months before having surgery, but was still able to do most everything physically during that time, i.e., walk, work, etc. I had all the standard conservative treatment first -- anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, epidural steroid shots -- and nothing helped. My surgery had me in the hospital for about a day and a half, then I was off work for three weeks. My mother stayed with me for the first week, and made sure that my house was "prepped" for the next month or so, so I wouldn't have to do any major bending or lifting. It's very important to be careful for the first few weeks/months while the disc is healing, as that's when re-rupture is most possible. Almost three years later I still occasionally have back pain and a tiny bit of leg pain if I overdo things, and I make a conscious effort to get help with heavy lifting, but 98% of the time I feel great and can do whatever I want. From the sound of your situation, you definitely need some help soon. Make sure you are comfortable with your neurosurgoen and ask him every question you can think of about how many of these surgeries he's done, his success rate, his follow up routine, his expectations for your particular situation, etc. If he's short with you (as the first surgeon I saw was), find someone else. It makes all the difference in the world to have a doctor you're comfortable with in this situation.

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Unlimited Posted 19 Jun 2009 , 7:23am
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Yep, I had back surgery... best thing I ever did. I was terrified of being knocked out for surgery (had two C-sections but I was awake) so I tried everything that I could to avoid it for 8 months. What was I thinking?? I couldn't sit or bend (without an ice pack) so it definitely put a huge impact on my life. I decided to go ahead with it when I could no longer dress myself (could put one leg into pants or shorts, but not the other one)!

I used the same microsurgeon that my friend used and recommended with wonderful results. My recovery was more like three weeks instead of the expected two weeks, but we're all different... he said he was fine after a few days and it was no biggie. I think he did too much too soon because he had to have the surgery again, and again for the third time now! The doctor apologized to him and explained that it doesn't always last for a small percentage of patients. If I blow my back out again, I wouldn't wait... I'd want it fixed right away. Much luck to you--hope you get some relief from your pain.

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fancyface Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 12:11am
post #5 of 6

Thanks for your responces ! They have helped

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MelJo Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 6:29pm
post #6 of 6

Hi, I'm a newbie here! Just wanted to let you know that I have had 3 back surgeries in the past two years, the last one being a fusion. Just follow doc's orders and watch your lifting. Surgery is no fun...but the results are worth it!

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