Can't sleep worried about discetomy operation this weekend help!!!

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Hi I have a l5 s1 herniated disc, I have my op this sat and I am making myself I'll with worry can't eat can't sleep... Hearts palpitating! I am so terrified, i keep reading horror stories of spinal fluid leakage, scar tissue, terrible pain! I feel like I'll pull out... I've had a really bad back for two years now, feels like something caught in the base of my spine \ buttock only 6 weeks as go it ended up in hospital for 9 days I could not stand up or walk at all! I'm on oramorph and the pain isn't as bad in the leg I can walk for couple mins now! I'm terrified I'm doing the wrong thing and wonder if I should just suffer as I'm worried it'll be worse after or something bad will happen! I'm a student nurse and I've had to take a year out of uni... Just so fed up right now. 

Hope I get promising feedback 

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  • Posted

    You say that you are worried about scar tissue. A disctectomy/microdiscectomy operation (whichever they chose to call it) will leave a several inch scar down the bottom of your back. As long as you know and accept this, that is alright. Scar tissue isn't 't just cosmetically unattractive as, over time, and the healing process can cause pain problems itself.

    Have they informed you about endoscopic discectomy operations and, if not applicable in your case, why they are not applicable? They only require a c.1cm insertion point, are much less painful post recovery and require less recovery time. To properly and legally obtain a patient's consent before an operation (they will require you to sign a Consent Form), the doctors/hospital is technically obliged not to just tell you about the pros and cons of the type of operation they've offered you, but of all suitable alternatives as well. Without this, should you be unsatisfied afterwards, you could argue that because you weren't informed of the alternatives, you therefore had not properly given your consent and basically sue them.

     

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  • Posted

    No need to worry..............that's easy to say isn't it, but I can say that because I've had it done and trust me it was nothing, it's worth going through just to get rid of your current pain, that's for sure. I've had back trouble for years, on the ocassion I had the surgery I had popped discs L3, L4 & L5 with the exact main impingement as you on S1, I also had foot drop too, that just put the icing on the cake. I know where you're at and I know where you will go!

    I tried facet joint injections to help and they did nothing and I was at a point where the nerve impingement was so severe that I was advised without surgery, the nerve would die!? The surgery at this point was no longer something I could debate, it was to be a definite.

    I got the surgery and came round, found it strange that my sight was blurred, that's because, for obvious reasons they had me lying face down. At this point you feel no pain or anything. Later that night I started to feel a little sore, but their regular medication put a stop to any of that.

    I had a decent night, and the next day was asked to get out of bed to allow the physio team to show me how to move and what was right and wrong, again a little sore but always given medication. Later that same day I left the hospital and went home. You will be sore, as I'm sure you can imagine, I was for a good few days, but your training as a Nurse will tell you to maintain your levels of painkillers and they will help. Certain movements will hurt more, getting up and down put extra strain on me, getting in and out of bed, but you shouldn't get much more than that. Honestly, no horror story to tell you. Make sure you have pain killers at the ready and support around you as you MUST rest as well as move around. Basic stuff like filling a kettle and carrying it full, this is a no no, making beds, hoovering, if able to, get your family and friends in to assist.

    It cured my foot drop and back issues at that time, and I'm pleased I did it, although, if I didn't have to, if the injections had worked, I would never have considered surgery.

    Try not to read the horror tales, I don't have one and with three disc popped and foot drop to contend with, I know the pain you're in and more! Your surgery will put an end to that, try to concentrate on that. I know it's hard to do, but think past the op and consider your recovery.........plan that holiday you will need after all you have gone through.

    My very best wishes are with you. Take care :0)

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  • Posted

    Hi no I read that scar tissue can form on the inside, I'm not worried about the cosmetic side I'm worried about the pain... 

    I keep saying it'll go away on its own, I know it won't, even sneezing or coughing I feel like its an electric shock in my buttock! I have oramorph etc, and hopefully that will keep the pain at bay afterwards. 

    I really appreciate the time in replying it means an awful lot x

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  • Posted

    Injections did work for me quite a lot. Some people don't find that they do work, but I found them helpful.

    I also believe that time is a great healer. My disc badly herniated c.5 years ago now and I very nearly had an operation. However, in the interim I went onto injections. 5 years on I'm beginning to feel a bit more like my old self, with some extra limitations still there. Ultimately, without any red flag bladder and bowel symptoms, I suppose it depends upon how much pain you can put up with and how much time you have.

     

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    • Posted

      My surgeon didn't offer the injections that's genuinely what I thought I would get... Hoped I'd get, he said they wouldn't work, as there is no where for the herniation part to go, it's completely filled the gap where my nerves run down... I am really scared but I have no quality of life telly for last two years with this bad back ... 😞
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    • Posted

      My herniated disc used to completely fill the gap where the nerves run down. Several years on it's now reduced to about a third of its original herniated size. I'm not expecting it to reduce any more and accept that it's now as good as it's probably going to get. Some people's discs, however, just don't go back down.
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    • Posted

      The surgeon did say maybe through the years it could go down, maybe not the thing is I'm a nursing student uni can't let me on patient while I'm in such pain so I don't have time on my side either! Plus I hate the pain ... I'm so glad you feel better x
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  • Posted

    All operations leave some scar tissue. Once you have the op, you will go for an MRI again but this time you will have the dye injected, this allows them to differentiate between you and the scar tissue, if you know what I mean. They advise about it from that.

    I wouldn't consider the surgery at first, as like you, everything was a concern, it's not something to be taken lightly. I opted for the facet injections, but they had no effect on my condition at all. 

    Honestly, if it's hurting as much as I know it is, the long term effect of some scar tissue is nothing in comparison to what you have now.

    I've had the surgery and it will be sore, but it's very concentrated, whereas now you will have pain in you back, feel like your hip is out of joint, knee pain, leg vibration, ankle and foot tightness, freezer pain, electric shocks etc. etc. Your surgery puts a stop to that, but of course you will be sore. I remember saying to my husband it's like a strange throbbing in my spine but it was sore, nothing whatsoever like the pain I had suffered before. I knew it was there but it was so much better than the constant horrific pain I had previous to the surgery. I'm being very honest with you. I was walking around the day after and I didn't go into the theatre until five in the afternoon. I honestly know that you will be in more pain now, I had three prolapsed discs in one go along with foot drop, the after uncomfort is nothing to the way you body hurts now. I was also amazed that for the first time after the surgery, I could lie on my back!? It was great. I just assumed that afterwards it would be impossible but I couldn't feel a thing!?

    Ah, poor you, try to think of getting rid of the awful pain you feel now, being tender and sore for a few days afterward will be worth getting rid of what you have at the moment.

    The pain killers you have will be great too. I had the district nurse round on a regular basis, which is standard aftercare and they help too, and questions or concerns, and they are there.

    Bless you, try to think of being pain free :0)

     

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    • Posted

      Yeah I suppose, when I lie down on my side I think ok I can handle this, then I stand up and realise I can't walk, so I've been indoors a lot last few weeks as I can't go out walking its too sore ... The pain just feels like everywhere when I was admitted in to hospital 6 weeks ago I had pain in my side\ stomach same side as the disc herniation... Did u have that they said it was referral pain as I mean I was crawling the floors 
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    • Posted

      Seriously, I was in pain 24/7. I reached a point where I would have accepted anything they offered to take the pain away. I couldn't move and getting up and down stairs was on all fours. Walking was an absolute last resort! It absolutely killed me. You overcompensate with the side that doesn't hurt, but then because of that you get spasms and that side starts to hurt, it's ridiculous.

      I obviously ended up being taken into hospital for a while which is when I got all of the treatment.

      I know exactly how you feel, it's serious pain and I think I have a good strong pain threshold, but by goodness, I felt that! 

      Crutches helped me loads as it took the strain from that side, if you can get your hands on some, grab them, they may help you move around.

      I know it kills, but being up and trying to move used to move my pain around so it wasn't so concentrated in the one place - usually the backside and hip. 

      Try anything if it helps, but remember, you will be sorted soon, like I was :0)

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    • Posted

      Ohhh thanks so much, I'm not on all fours at the moment like 6 weeks ago but I feel every nerve that's trapped! Like I want to take it out myself I can't stand longer than 5 mins.. Nightmare 

      Again thanks so much x

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    • Posted

      Your last comment made me laugh, I remember saying to the consultant, if you give me a knife, I will rip the nerves out myself! I think there may have been a swear word in that comment at the time! It was the medication speaking.......I think!? Haha

      You take good care of yourself, and be sure to get a message through afterwards. XOX

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    • Posted

      Haha! Yeah it's that sort of persisting burning horrible feeling yiu can actually feel the trapped stuff! Yeah I will, terrified of the anaesthetic! I need to be stronger and stop being a baby I have two kids I'm worse than them 
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  • Posted

    Hi Lorraine,

    I have the same as you L5 S1 prolapse and have just been listed for surgery. I'm a nurse and i think sometimes knowledge is not always a good thing. Ive never had any kind of surgery before so like you i'm terrified but staying in as much pain and having a poor quality of life at the minute made my mind up and will get me through the hospital doors to go for it. All of the positve comments have helped reassure me hope there helping you.

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    • Posted

      Yeah they are ... Your right more knowledge is worse than less... I seem to focus on the bad ones and not the good, it's not healthy! When is yiur surgery? I only seen the surgeon last week and I'm going in on sat.. 😁.  Are u in agony at the moment x
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    • Posted

      Mines not till the middle of next month so lots of time to stress about it lol I wish mine was sooner rather than later.

      Its difficult not to think about the negative stuff especially when people love to tell a horror story.

      It feels like im in agony most of the day and just cant get comfortable no matter how or which way i sit, stand or lie down. I feel like a drug addict watching the clock for when i can take my next meds :-/

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    • Posted

      Did you get any stomach pain? I have what they said is referral pain, I don't know about that! Yeah I feel like an addict to, wouldn't have ever used morphine or diazepam now they are my best friends! I recon I'll have withdrawals! Well I know on sat morn I will probably faint with fear... 😁 terrible and yes people love a horror story 👍
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    • Posted

      I havent had stomach pain but ive had pain/pressure over the pubic area, that bad sometimes ive had to sit down. Its very bizzare. I think after my op im gonna speak to a pharmacist and get some advice about coming off the meds. Im best freinds with codine and gabapentin!

      I'll probably have an anxiety/panic attack on the way down to theatre. I get them if im really stressed sometimes.

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    • Posted

      Yeah I get panic attacks, and I prone to fainting... I will definitely have a panic attack... Getting anxious thinking of it. I'll let you know how I get on xx
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