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Would like some advice/comments good and bad with regard to my experience of recent surgery.
First off here's my story.
Twelve years ago I experienced a pro-lapsed disc which left a snag pushing into my sciatic nerve.
Despite having two epidural injections and a nerve root compression this left me with permanent sciatica in my right leg from my hip through to my knee and at its worst down to my foot and Achilles heal. It mostly sat between my right buttock and knee only straying beyond that point when I pushed my back too far due to the nerve damage and bulge it then all settled down for a while if I rested, it was quite manageable..
Their where further ruptures in 2005, 2009 x2 and a final massive rupture in January 2012 this was the gig shift. It was at this point as there was no significant recovery compared to previously after a few weeks I sought further advice from my GP. I was referred for another MRI scan which showed a massive rupture and complete breakdown of the Disc at L5/S1 but further debris had entered the sciatic nerve chamber causing now severe and acute sciatica. The nerve was now critically damaged. There was also the early telltale signs of arthritis
Again there was some settling down during the summer and my Consultant Surgeon suggested we wait and I agreed as it felt reasonably okay. I had after all got used to degrees of pain thresholds and the symptoms of sciatica for 11 years by now and my attitude had always been to fight against it and avoid surgery
Unfortunately come the autumn and winter it all started to go wrong again my consultant was reluctant to operate and we waited again. In May of this year following another MRI showing some degree of settling down I agreed to one last Root Nerve Compression/Epidural which sadly appeared to do very little although in June and July with the minor heat wave again it showed improvement and I was even able to play tennis once a week something I could not have done in the previous 12 months when I was forced to give up consideration of youth football coaching due to the effects on my back from the pain and acute sciatica. In was in June that my Surgeon decided to operate in an attempt to alleviate the back pain and give me back as much sensation in my right leg which had been partially lost as a result of the sciatica and nerve damage. He also felt the particles from the L5 Disc in the sciatic nerve chamber where getting too close to the outer wall of the chamber and the remains of the disc's outer sack where not helping in regards to the level of pain I was now experiencing.
On the 3rd August 2013 I had a Microdiscectomy which went well and the Surgeon described it as a complete success removing what was left of the L5 sack and removing the particles and debris from my Sciatic nerve chamber and completing a cleaning and flushing out the entire chamber at the nerve root point. Yes the nerve had thinned and was kinked due to the numerous bulges and the arthritis had increased slightly. Overall he was not worried and felt I would be fully recovered and pain free within about 8 weeks although some degree of sciatica would remain due to the nerve damage.
Post Op for two weeks I was fine was walking and some minor back strengthening exercises could be undertaken I felt great the Sciatica was reduced and the pain in my lower back and buttock gone.I had not felt this good for years.
By the third week all hell broke loose I woke up one morning and the sciatica was back but worse than ever and in other parts of my right leg where it had not been before and now it was showing signs of being in my left leg where it had never been in all of the previous 12 years since this had started. My GP prescribed Gabapentin 300mg to counter act the spasms and pins and needles which were now increasing at an alarming rate. These helped and I am still taking them currently.
I spoke to my consultant’s secretary who intern spoke to my consultant who was surprised as this was not the way a recovery form this operation should be going according to his experience however I still had 4 weeks before I was supposed to see him post op and he told me to see how it goes until then. The following week again I was presented with something else this time symptoms that where all too familiar to me over the last decade. I woke up in morning and got slowly out of bed realizing that the symptoms I was now experiencing where of a ruptured or pro-lapsed disc, but it could not be the L5 as that has all been removed and the L4 above and all my other discs where in good shape as per the last MRI at the end of May. The pain was back and worse than before, the sciatica increased although this was being masked by the Gabapentin and still is. I was also presented with severe pains coming from my right hip and right butt cheek which remain to this day.
I saw my Surgeon on the 11th September at my scheduled out patients appointment... He reiterated that it had been a successful opp however when I had the opportunity to speak he seemed surprised at the symptoms I was presenting and how poorly my recovery had gone. He stated there was a "low probability of a further rupture especially with the one immediately above (L4). He examined me and agreed I was presenting symptoms of a further Pro-lapsed /Ruptured disc and the fact I had sciatica in my left leg was of great concern to him as this in fact unusual to have sciatica in both legs .He immediately called for a fresh MRI to determine what is actually going on and that where I am currently.
I have a scan scheduled for mid-October and see him Mid November. Meanwhile I cannot work, and can do very little without aggravating the symptoms further. I can Walk and do lots of it although it is very painful. To be fair there has always been some degree of pain at times since 2001 but now the pain is intense and severely distracting. I try to do the back muscles strengthening exercises but these are difficult. Sitting for any length of time is painful as is standing. Driving is nigh on impossible past about 2 to 5 miles due to the pain in my lower back, buttock and occasionally shooting up to my right shoulder which is very unusual for me. I have tried to get the scan brought forward so I can then badger my Consultants secretary for an earlier appt with him, all to no avail.
I feel I am now in complete limbo and am very worried. Days before this opp I could run, walk miles, drive, and work etc and now I cannot even do any of that as I am worse than I have ever been since it all started in 2001. I take far more medication that I have ever had to. Even in 2009 when I had two lapses I could get by on occasional muscle stimulants.
The operation as it stands now looks like a very poor decision but I felt it was worth the risk as despite a recovery I did wonder if like the Autumn of 2012 by this Autumn it may deteriorate again.
I am currently at my wits end the pain is worse than before and the sciatica is all over the place now. My GP is reluctant to do anything as I am under a Senior Consultant Surgeon and I cannot see him until the MRI scan is at least undertaken.
It’s all very disheartening and I find it difficult to equate how I can enter hospital for an operation to alleviate these symptoms and come out even worse.
What makes it worse also is that people around you treat it all as a bit of a joke and don't seem to realize the extent that these symptoms have on your everyday living. People think I should have recovered by now and I am a malingerer/lazy. This could not be further from the truth as I have always fought against this but now it seems fully in control. I was nearly 40 when this first presented itself I am now almost 52 and it has had an alarming effect my life at times.
Sorry for rambling on but I wanted to give a clear picture as to what is happening and had gone before.
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