Discectomy, what does the future hold?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello, I guess I should start from the beginning...

I'm 25, a stay at home mum to 3. I've had problems with my back for a few years now which was put down to spinal stenosis. I've been in and out the gym for a long time, but I started to enjoy running in the morning too. My back then started to get worse, so I was referred for physiotherapy.

At the end of November to the start of December 2015 I started to get sciatica symptoms, it started just over a week after I started physio, I kept going for a few weeks which was difficult but I wanted to give myself a good start at recovering. I got very bad very quickly on the 18th Feb, I couldn't do anything without being in agony. I was admitted to hospital for a week to try manage the pain, I was given an injection into the nerve ending and sent home. This worked for a day!

The symptoms came back with a vengeance, I couldn't do anything, walking only to the toilet, which I'm ashamed to say I didn't make it in time every time. I couldn't sit up. I spend my time on my front with my knees tucked under me, it was the only position that reduced the pain to make it easier to deal with. I was on 50mg of mst, taking oramorph every couple of hours, and a few other meds. My gp was amazing though, he could see the pain was too much, and instead of a referral to surgery, he called a spinal surgeon himself. After getting an appointment the following week the surgeon agreed I needed urgent surgery, thankfully! After my pre assessments I has my discectomy. date for the 14th April 2016! So I've been lucky to be seen to soon.

The surgery went to plan, they done all they had to and without any problems. My blood pressure and heart rate caused some issues after the surgery, BP too low, heart rate too high. I was given 2 drips which did improve it temporarily. The results were instant, the pain had reduced, I could sit and walk the next day. There was pain, but nowhere near as substantial. I was sent home 2 days post op, on the ground i my pain medication from the gp Monday morning.

Today is Monday, since I've come home I've felt a whole lot worse, i feel ill. I struggle to eat, I keep getting dizzy spells, my heart keeps going crazy, hot flushes, then coldness. If it weren't for this, the recovery would be so much easier. I'm hoping it corrects itself, and doesn't warrant a visit to the gp. I feel I've overdone it and my leg has been very painful today, since this afternoon I've done nothing but worry about my future. Will I recover? Will it get bad again? Will I have a good quality of life? I only found out just before my op there are 3 damaged discs the middle one l4/l5 is the one that herniated. What would that mean for my future? Will that cause more problems?

Thankyou for reading

Sorry for the panic at the end there


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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Good evening Sinead.

    Just I little bit about my back history, I had a discetomy (l5-s1) January 2015. And it's worked wonders for me!

    I had the same symptoms as you previously the pain was unbearable! The surgery went to plan I didn't feel 100% afterwards had had numbness in my leg.

    But with small back exercises and waking the feeling eased off. I'm well over a year post surgery and I'm back in the gym playing football (which I hadn't done for years) and lost almost 2 stone! I had 10 months off all sport just to make sure my core was strong. I'd advice you to see a Physio to work on your core I did some private Pilates with mine. just take it easy! Look at the postives an work to improve your back. I hope this helps smile

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    • Posted

      I'm glad you've had a good recovery, it makes it much easier to feel positive when I know other people's positive outcomes.

      I felt so good about it before the surgery, the thought of walking again got me through. I guess I'm just very nervous that it will come back.

      I'm going to ask for a referral back to physio, and start with some gentle swimming in about 4 - 6 weeks time.

      Fantastic that you've lost that weight, I need to lose a couple of stone too.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sinead, I am four and a half weeks post double discectomy. I suffered with terrible pain, burning sensation, aching, throbbing, stabbing pains, partial numbness etc from my hip to my ties for nearly a year and a half. I got to the point where standing for longer than 10 mins was agony and so physically exhausting.

    The day after my operation all of the pain and numbness was completely gone. I couldn't sit up for first 2-3 days because I couldn't lift my hips or buttocks. I had bad reaction to anesthetic - vomiting and I had some sort of attack where my throat closed up and I guess went into shock. After that my leg started shaking violently for over 10 mins. I had to have a drip for one night but if I was told why - I can't remember (medication head). I managed to stand up on the 3rd day and was allowed to go home 4th day. The scar pain and surrounding area was very painful for first 2-3 weeks. I felt rotten for some of that time, out of it because of pain killers. Had terrible headaches and some of the numbness came back to my toes. I am managing to walk on average 2.9 miles throughout each day now. Although I did more at the weekend and I suffered a little for that.

    I've not had any leg pain since the operation, and I hope it stays that way. I do know someone who had the operation a year ago. Hers failed, but she blames this on not following what Dr's/physio etc said and doing too much too soon.

    If you are worried - call the hospital or arrange to see your local nurse or Dr. I hope it all eases for you. x

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    • Posted

      I'm feeling a lot better today, Ive actually managed to sit for the whole day so far which is making me so incredibly proud of myself. I'm not able to walk much because I still have pain in my ankle and foot which is making it pretty difficult. The surgeon did mention there will most like be some bruising on the nerve due to surgery, so I'm trying to stay positive that eventually, the pain will go.

      It sounds like you've been doing so well! 2.9 miles is amazing, did it take you long to work up to that? I'm hoping to start walking more so my children can enjoy the outdoors more freely.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like you are doing better. Keep persevering. It took me until Friday just gone to be able to walk 2.9 miles. For first 2 1/2 weeks it was too uncomfortable to walk too far - even with rests in between the day. I found it really difficult to sit for longer than about 15 - 20 mins initially. It's only been this last week I've been comfortable sitting. I still have trouble getting comfy in bed and on sofa, but it has improved so much.
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    • Posted

      That's a really good improvement, I hope I manage to get up and walk further. I'm going to pick my little one up from nursery tomorrow, I'll only have to walk around the school grounds but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I've sat up a lot of the day, for a couple of hours straight, I was so proud of myself I got emotional.

      I'm so glad I've joined this community, my outlook has changed. I felt defeated and so low, I'm much more positive

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  • Posted

    well done Sinead keep up the good work
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  • Posted

    I'm sure it will improve. You can feel like its not going to, then you suddenly realise how much more you did that day without being overly aware of it.

    Keep up the good work

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