I have L-4 L-5 herniated disk the pain goes all the way down to my legs and feet it is worth on my right side. My surgeon says I have to do do the surgery since it has been bothering me for a while. I have fears about the surgery some people I have talked to say that the surgery made them worth. I am tired of the pain but afraid of surgery, so please help me to decide.
Have had the same 3,5 year ago. If the complete disc has to be removed, ask for a fusion. I've had two hernia surgery's and now a Medtronic PEEK CD horizontal disc has been placed on the 7th July in Belgium. Can walk 3 times a day and having minor pain, no pain in the legs.
So be prepared, if rest (6 weeks horizontal) does not work and the disc has te be removed fully, go for a semi rigid fusion. Bas-Holland
Thank you Fran for you reply. How long did it take you to heal after the surgery? I am planning to go back to school this fall and probably have the surgery next week, I hope I can go ahead with my plans. Thank you, I feel a bit better after hearing that youa re doing well post surgery.
First, have you had another opinion from a different spine surgeon that is not associated with the one you are using?
It really is best to get at least one other opinion before embarking on any kind of spine surgery.
It's also important to be sure that there is no other cause of the nerve compression on the nerves beside a herniated disc.
If you have any narrowing of the foramen that the nerves past through, then that area needs to be widened along with the microdisectomy, otherwise, you will not get the full relief of decompression.
The most common cause of failed spinal decompression surgery is the failure to release the nerve compression in the lateral recess area of the foramen of the vertebrae. The end result of this error in decompression has resulted in many, many fusions being done that should not have been done.
Another thing to find out before your microdisectomy is how the surgeon will access the disc. More and more surgeons are not doing a full laminectomy to do microdisectomes because it has the potential to make the vertebrae unstable and ultimately require a fusion to prevent the vertebrae from slipping.
The best way to access both the disc and the vertebrae, if any widening of the foramen or lateral recess is needed is to do what is called a laminotomy. Only a small part of the lamina is removed on either one side or both to perform the surgery.
This leaves the vertebrae with far less of a chance of slipping and causing further problems.
I had both a microdisectomy and a widening of the foramen and release of the lateral recess.
I was up and walking in less than 3 hours after surgery, went home less than 12 hours after and the post op pain from a 1 inch incision, was nothing compared to the pain before the surgery. I think I took one pain pill the night I came home from the hospital.
I had one stitch to close the 1 inch incision and a clear bandage covering it. I couldn't twist, turn, bend, stoop or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for 2 weeks. Had the stitch removed and went for a full 10 week round of physical therapy to strengthen the core muscles, learn proper moving and doing things and once released I continued with the exercises twice a day since.
The physical therapy exercises will become a permanent part of your life for the rest of your life and you need to do them every day or you will start to stiffen up in the the muscles.
You will need to be somewhat careful of your spine for about a year after the surgery, and then just follow your doctors instructions.
I would say that I felt 100% after about 6-8 months, but I was in my mid 50's with my surgery and age and other factors can make a big difference.
I was on my feet about 6 hours every saturday, starting in Oct, and that was hard. By the time I got home from 1 day a week working, I would feel it for several days. I knew it was more than I should be doing, but sometimes you don't have any choices and you have to just do what you have to do and suffer.
I can't say if you will be OK to go back to school in the fall or not. It will depend a lot on your body and how you heal.
BUT, I would strongly suggest that you get another opinion before surgery next week though.
Thank you Fran this is very informative, you gave me more information then my doctors and surgeons, THANK YOU.
There is only two spine surgeons in my area and one is out of country until end of August. But this surgeon keeps saying surgery would be the way to go. My primary physician says I have to try steroid shots and surgery should be my last resort. So I am confused. I do hear some horror stories about back surgeries, fusions and lots of pain killers post surgery. I am very healthy and still quite young late 20s, and this backpain is my only major problem. It goes away for few months and when it comes back it is sharp pain all the way down to my legs and 2-3 days I would be miserable and unable to do anything. I had been dealing with it for a while (4-5 years), actually I was pain free symptom free for almost 2 years and 2 months ago it came back bad, I was unable to walkk for 3 days and again started physical therapy and antiinflamatory drugs muscle relaxers, and was better after 2 weeks, the back pain is still there but I am used to it still get all my things done, have 3 young children, work part time. My days are quite busy. My legs started hurting especially my right side the whole leg and feet feel like the bones are on fire after mid day I kind of have to drag my right leg, so that is what is concerning me more. I had MRI done just over a week ago and it shows disc herniation in both sides but the right seems to be the worst L4-L5 and it is pressing on spinal canal, the surgeon says that is what causing the pain in my leg and all those feeling. I guess after you feedback I think I will wait for 2nd opinion for sure even if it couple months and probably try the steroid shots and do some more physical therapy before I would let them cut into my back. would I get any permanent damages if I wait another 5-6months? How long did you have the problem before you decided to do the surgery? And all the post surgery limitation seems to be more then I could do I think, it would be very hard to limit bending, lifting and twisting for me with my children still being quite young. 7-5-2. Thank you again for taking time and replying to my questions.