Discetomy Operation Experiences

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Would anyone be willing to share their Discetomy Experiences? 

I am trying to avoid this operation at all costs, however feel I'm losing a winning battle. I have a L5/S1 disc prolapse which is compressing on the S1 nerve root. I'm in my 5th week since the prolapse (I believe the benchmark is normally 6 weeks before an operation is recommended)

 

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  • Posted

    My disc prolapsed c.3-4 years ago. It virtually filled all of the spinal canal. It's now reduced to about a 1/3 of its original size (admittedly several years on). My doctors were very bad to begin with. They just didn't seem to want to help. Now I've waited all this time, things have eased off quite a bit.

    Firstly, ask about spinal injections. I found that they helped me quite a bit (although some people find that they don't help them).

    Secondly, if you do find that you need an operation, ask about an Endoscopic Discectomy, which is truly minimally invasive and only requires a c.1cm insertion point to extract the protruding disc. The rest is done with various instruments and cameras. Both the so-called Microdiscectomy and Discectomy are Open Operations that will require a several inch scar down your back, cutting into muscle and bone, and needing a longer recovery period. Also, a few years down the track, you may find pain that problems develop from the operation scarring.

    Anyway, in the meantime, you might want to think about trying the injections without jumping to the 'nuclear' option of surgery in the first instance.

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  • Posted

    Hi sally30573,

    Sorry to hear about your disc prolapse as it's incredibly painful as well as being debilitating. As for the op' it's a godsend after you've lived with the condition for 9 months! Do your research & make sure you have a surgeon who specialises in spines. Having had the op' in Dec 2011, I spent 1 night in hospital & after doing the stairs exercise with the Physiotherapist I was allowed home that evening. I was back driving within 2 weeks & improved day on day and religiously adhered to the set exercises. The scar looks horrendous to start with, even if it is only 2" long =) but nothing a little bio oil doesn't take care of! Can't even really notice it now. So, hope this info' is reassuring & If you have any questions, ask away.

    Best wishes,

    Kim

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    • Posted

      Hi Kim

      Many thanks for sharing your experience.

      I can't believe you lived with the condition for 9 months and I take my hat off to you.

      I've lived with it for one month and due to all the pain killers, I've just spent a couple of days in hospital following 2 enemas!

      Your email has given me hope and that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

      Please can I ask post op if you had any physio or actupuncture and also after six weeks, were you leading a normal every day life (my consultant thinks I'll be back at work)

      Many thanks

      Sally

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally, I had this same op about 3 weeks ago. 1st week post op I felt great, in that the agonising sciatic nerve pain had gone. Since then I have unfortunately been having debilitating muscle cramps from buttock down through thigh and calf. General medical opinion seems to be that I did things I shouldn't have, cos I felt so much better and I'm a wife and mother of 3!! :-). I'm now confined to bed* on pain of death from my family until I see my surgeon again next week.

    * not literally in bed all day- I always get up, showered, dressed and do my exercises, walk down the garden & limp back, dose up on painkillers, THEN go to bed :-)

    Anyway, despite all this post op pain, I would have it again in a heartbeat- nothing is worse than the pain from the compressed nerve.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally.....in terms of a disc prolapse 6 weeks is nothing...I urge you to wait, you need a minimum of 3 month from date of prolapse for relief, the 'standard 6 weeks' is nothing, after 6 weeks I had little relief but at the 3 month mark I was 80% improved with little leg pain...surgery is invasive whichever operation you have, there are, even though small major risks involved and you need to weigh up could you live with it if the pain got worse after surgery as this is also a possibility....your body has the innate ability to heal itself, you just need to provide the best conditions to allow your body to do this...it is hard I have been there to not worry/feel frustrated/ and at a loss, but positivity, a good chiropractor/physio/osteo, an inversion table, possibly IDD (80% success rate) and the right advice can get you onto the road to recovery....a prolapse is a temporary experience keep telling yourself that and put surgery as the last resort. 
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