update after my microdiscetomy

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Had a micro-discectomy two weeks ago and wanted to give update on progress for those interested!

Background.  Had a prolapse of disc nearer the base of the spine which resulted in the worst sciatic pain imaginable down left leg concentrating in hip area, behind knee and especially the ankle, honestly felt like someone had broken all my bones and set leg on fire was the feeling I was getting!  After suffering with this and getting progressively worse over two months had MRI where consultant spotted the prolapse and booked me in for an op.  (no pain med worked on the pain apart from Naproxin which worked to a degree!, hot water bottle was much better).   Went to physio but they made it worse (nerve pain due to prolapse is nothing like pulled muscle symptoms and little a physio can do)

After waking up from the op had no pain whatsoever (think it was all the anasthetic etc they give you during the op!)  and after an hour got up and went to the loo fine – oh the joy of having no pain! 

Had my main scar glued together (about 1.5 inches long in total) which felt a bit weird and was told to leave the wound uncovered to let the air get to it.   Took two hours from when they knocked me out to when I was conscious enough to look at the clock in recovery, apparently takes a while longer if you are being glued as have to wait for the layers to dry.

Next day discovered my underwear and trouser waistline was right where the scar was which made the glue come off a bit so was advised to cover area in breathable gauze which worked perfectly and prevented any more glue coming away, especially at night when turning over. (oh the joy of being able to turn over without any pain!)  Had a small bit of blood which over the coming days got less and less but still kept with the gauze until day 12 when the glue came off naturally.

Day 3 started to get a few familiar sciatic twinges in the same 3 areas, some days there were a bit worse and some a bit better.  Noted it was when had been doing a bit too much.   Got a bit worried as thought it had started to prolapse again but apparently they nearly all do this as takes a good while for the nerves to settle down again. 

Am now on day 16 after the op and the twinges getting less and less but being so so careful about not sitting for too long, not carrying anything heavy, not twisting and remembering to do the exercises they give you.

Will update again in a week  

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Well done. Sounds good. Just a word of advice as I went through something similar.

    Do be cautious, even after you are feeling more or less fine. My microD was fine at 6 weeks. I was feeling, not exactly good in the sense of strong, but I did not feel like I was about to wreck anything. But I did overdo it with hiking and cycling and it was never the same again. 

    This won't happen to you if you are careful. So no bending lifting and twisting until 6 weeks and even then, only a little. Treat yourself as in recovery for at least 12 weeks. A lot of the healing is going on even after all the discomfort has gone. Your back heals really slowly. So good luck and do be careful. My surgeon repeatedly tells me "recovery is much harder to get right than the surgery". He/she is an expert at surgery and we are not experts at getting better from back surgery after all. Enjoy the fact that the pain is on its way out but don't rush back to "normal life". Give it lots of time, like I say, even if it feels "fine" try to stay well within the bounds of what you know is safe. 

    Wishing you all the best. smile

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  • Posted

    Thankyou Liz, my husband is having exactly same symptoms and finally after 5 months and on crutches he's having an op in 5 weeks. He's not internet friendly hence me posting, but we will be interested to see how your progress is. Good luck 

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    • Posted

      can't believe he's coping with that for 6 months.  I had two months of it and that was bad enough!  would advise he doesn't rely on the crutches too much as will have muscle weakness in back and leg and you need a good core and strength otherwise when it comes to after the op the recovery process might be a bit harder as your body fights to adjust to walking properly again.  But if his doc advised it due to something specific then obviously stick with it  :-)

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  • Posted

    Hi Liz, thanks for that advice he was given them when he couldn't walk but today he managed a little walk around the house without them, but can't go far with or without them .

    I don't know how he's put up with it, Gp would not recommend MRI until I had to insist on his behalf after months of agony. He's only getting op in 5 weeks as we paid to see neurosurgeon and he put him on his NHS list otherwise it was 6 more months.

    Hope each day is better for you 😊

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  • Posted

    now on week 4 and a bit.   Still had been having pinching feeling in seat bone area and sciatic twinges back of knee and ankle but been sitting down more at work and chair not comfy.  Much better after putting cushion behind back to make me sit up straighter at desk.   Now at end of the week four it's much better and only twinges a bit when I try and reach for something without thinking.   The scar is almost faded which is amazing!

    Certainly won't be complacent and will ensure never do anything strenuous with my back again which is a shame as wanted to get back to horse riding.

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