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hi just found this site i see that my problem is wide spread.

i too suffer from a prolapsed disc L5 S1 and the pain is driving me crazy have been suffering for 3 years with very few spells of minor painand have sat on the edge of my bed in tears many a night im a guy aged 39 have now been referred to a doctor in belfast for a discectomy i live in northern ireland. was wondering if you could give me some info on the op and an idea of how long i will be in hospital?

thx for the help and i hope you all get some relief soon!!

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    hi chris

    welcome aboard, i hope you find this site informative and supportive as i have done. i, not much help on the back issue(i have cervical prolapses) but if you browse the site im sure you,ll find plenty who are, sorry to say :cry: as it is a very painful thing to try and live with i too like you have suffered a long time (2yrs) and am currantly waiting to have my appointment for my operation. how are the waiting times in n ireland are they any better than mainland uk? as you see by the forum there are an awful lot of us just waiting to be admited. hope you get results asap. gail

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  • Posted

    hi gail thx for the reply i think this site is great learned more from here than from the doctor.

    waiting times here are not much better than ao the mainland im afraid to say, but we live in hope.

    hope you get your appointment soon and that things work out well for you best wishes chris

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  • Posted

    Hi 230Chris,

    I'm 40 and I have also had a Discectomy L5/S1, I had the Op on 19th January this year, sadly it was unsuccesful but I was in hospital 4 days afterwards. The pain was kept at bay with Morphine. I had trouble peeing so had to have a Catheter fitted, sometimes this can happen as there so close to your bladder, nerves etc.

    I had staples in my back and had to go to the Doctors 2 weeks later to have them removed.

    Unfortunately I've had nothing but trouble with my back ever since the Op I've had 2 Steroid Epidural Injections into the Spine, a Nerve Root Block on 4th May this year and endless MRI Scans of my Spine and Neck. The last MRI Scan (July 07) showed that my Disc had actually crumbled away, this was why I still had the pain and Sciatica. I have been backwards and forwards between my Doctors and the Hospital for months and months, now I have to have another Operation called PLIF (Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) they removed the disc totally put 2 metal cages into the space where the disc was, they are then filled with the bone removed from the spine and blood, they then put 4 screws into your spine 2 on each side and fix 2 metal rods in place fusing your spine together.

    I was thrilled about the Operation until they told me on 11th October that I had a 4-5 month wait and this was on the [b:b864e039c5]URGENT[/b:b864e039c5] list. The trouble is my pains gradually getting worse and I have trouble peeing again which is a sure sign that I have badly damaged nerves.

    My Doctor has wrote to my Consultant explaining the trouble I am having and I now wait to see if I will have the Op any quicker. (doubt it)

    Everyday I take 1 Lansoprazole, 2 Indometacin, 1 Fluoxetine, 8 Tramadol tablets and I have a Morphine Patch which I renew each week. I feel like a Zombie some days. How much pain do you have to be in before anyone listens to you.

    If I had my time again I would still of had the Operation because the pain I suffered prior to the Op was unbearable. There are a certain % of people who never suffer or have any another problems (like my sister, she had the same Op but it was her right side that was affected) and some that need more surgery to correct the problem. (like myself)

    Go back and read some of the other reviews there are some Happy Endings.

    Think positive and Good Luck I hope this has helped.

    There are plenty of sites to visit just type in Discectomy in the Search Box and you'll be surprise how many sites there are.


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  • Posted

    hi angela

    are they doing the next op at the same place? why on earth didnt they take the whole disc away when you had your previous surgery(i thought thats what a discectomy was) i had a leaflet from my surgeon in july (its turned brown now lol) stseing what they will do and it says they,re taking the whole disc and putting a artificial disc in (fusion) i would have thought thats why your having all these problems but there again im not a doctor and there could be good reason for it. hopfully it,ll be sorted next time eh. gail

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  • Posted

    Hi Gail,

    Yes I'm having the Operation at the same Hospital as before. I thought that's what happens too, if they had taken all the disc out previously then I wouldn't been in so much pain now.

    Still there supposed to be the Professionals, but they've cost the NHS the price of 2 Ops instead of 1.

    Bye for now,


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  • Posted


    I hope that you are not taking Tramadol & wearing the Morphine patch????? That is a recipe for overdose.

    I was put onto Buprenorphine patches (which is similar to Morphine in that it is a very strong opiate drug) and was told that under no circumstances to take any other opiate based medication with them such as Tramadol (this was by GP's and hospital). I did once without thinking and I was literally sick for the whole day along with being in a state of almost comatose & not being able to muster the energy to move. Even a few puffs on a cannabis cigarette (on the off chance it might have made me feel better & was suggested by my OLD GP!) whilst wearing the patch would make me feel lethargic and unable to do anything (although the pain was still present).

    The last thing anyone wants is for someone to overdose on medication (the feeling is not great as I had a mental lapse twice last year and tried to OD myself because of it all).

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I'm having a L/5 S/1 discectomy tomorrow afternoon...just been packing my bags. I'm told I'll be in for 1 or 2 nights and will need help at home for the first week...my hubby is great,bless him. It started in February and by the end of March I was prescribed Morphine tabs for the pain which I can compare to childbirth only it's with you constantly and there's nothing nice to show for it afterwards. I've been fortunate with my care. As my local hospital was closed to referrals I was referred to a private hospital which the NHS is paying for. I've also had hydrotherapy which has helped as prior to this I couldn't sit down. I am apprehensive about the op but I'm focusing on my recovery and keeping active within my limits. It is good however to hear other experiences because sometimes things dont always go to plan and it's good to prepare for this mentally. It can seem like a long ols struggle, but hang in there. I'll keep you posted with how it all goes.

    Take care :D :D :D

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  • Posted

    Hi Darren,

    I am using the Tramadol and Patches at the same time I also take other meds too. I've been fine on the Tramadol and Morphine Patches my Doctor never said anything about taking both together. The only side effect I have is I feel tired.

    I'm going to see my Doctor next week so I'll ask him about using both together!

    Thanks for the advice.


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  • Posted

    Hi Angela

    Feeling tired is one of the effects that powerful opiates have on the body. If your Doctor has put you on both together (along with the others), then there must be a reason for doing so. I can only go on what I have been told by a couple of different medical staff with regards to opiates as my old doctors refused point blank to put me on morphine.

    All I know is that when I took a Tramadol tablet when wearing a relatively low dose Buprenorphine patch, I felt sick as a dog for the whole day (this was when I consulted the medical staff as I had not felt like that before).

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  • Posted

    Hi Angela,

    I'm also on Buprenorphine patches & Tramadol the first week I was fine but the second week I've never felt so poorly in all my life.

    I was vomiting had loss of appetite felt tired all the time my mouth keeps drying up,I even felt confused & was talking rubbish half the time.

    I rang the doctor who told me it was just side effect & would ware off!!! it did 4 days later.

    The doctor has kept me on the patches but told me not to take the Tramadol

    until half way through the week unless I really need them.


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  • Posted

    Hi DebRob,

    I haven't had any problems except for the tiredness taking the Morphine with Tramadol.

    But a couple of months ago now I had an Allergic reaction to the patch, so I was put on to Morphine Sulphate Tablets, I'm now taking a 100mg a day plus 8 Tramadol as well as a few more, to get me through the day.

    Sorry to hear that you had a rough time. My mouths dry too and sometimes I'm a little confused but I can put up with this if it helps with the pain. I've just had a procedure done yesterday at the Hospital, Bilateral Sacral Facet Joint Injections, (into my lower spine) it bloody hurt like hell, but today I feel better than I have for a long time now.

    Hope I've been of some help to you.


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