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Discectomy - After the Operation

Discussion in 'Injury Recovery Rehabilitation Massage' started by Some One, Mar 4, 2012.

MoonLight Spa
  1. Easy Going

    Easy Going New Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    Hi all im new to this, I had a discectomy in August this year after many years of a terrible back. It got to the point where I couldnt even walk. I as referred to a private hospital for my operation which went well the surgeon said it was a nasty disc and had to remove quite a bit of it as my nerve was vertually squashed flat. Its 2 days before Christmas and Im in absolute agony again, I had a set back in October and the surgeon said he hopes its just a blip maybe a muscle spasm but this week I have got the the point where I cant even stand, i have massive pain in both legs and again can walk for a couple of mins before I can no longer stand the pain. Im on diazipan and some other muscle relaxer and my surgeon is currently out of the country I am so scared its the same again has anyone else had any thing like this after surgery?? I was so happy to feel so great, Ive done pilates and walks and felt great now feel terrible this will be my 3rd Christmas like this so pretty depressed
  2. meerkat

    meerkat Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    I'm now 4 weeks post recovery and although I'm still getting some discomfort down my leg, due to a possible bulging disc, I feel this could have been avoided if I had been given some exact advice before leaving hospital, so here it is. Do limit sitting for the first 2 weeks even if you have no pain as it puts extra pressure on your lower discs. However when you do sit ensure you sit correctly, sit upright with a natural correct curve of your spine and avoided tiliting your pelvis at all costs. This will prevent your vertabrae opening at the rear and allowing your disc to move out towards the nerves, especially whilst it is unstable and still healing which takes 4 -6 weeks.

    I've been given exercises to encourage the disc to move back into its correct position but as you can imagine I'm scared to do anything. So take heed of everyone who says to take it easy.
  3. Nix

    Nix New Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Hi, I ended up back in hospital after my operation in August 2011 I had to have an epidural steroid injection which wasnt too nice. The surgeon is hoping its not another problem with my discs and that my nerve is just very tender and still playing up so he hopes the steroid will help, this was done on the 29th but today 3rd Jan still not too much better I am dreading it as im pretty sure Im going to end up back in hospital for another MRI. Cannot begin to say how depressed I am as I thought after the op this would be it but it seems not
  4. Cheetah

    Cheetah Member

    Nov 24, 2009
    I am so pleased to read about your improvements old skool, well done, good work. Keep on going!!

    Best of wishes

  5. Bo??s

    Bo??s New Member

    Dec 9, 2010
    Gosh your story is a carbon copy of mine - I had a disectomey L4/5 in August 2010 as I was told by the Consultant (Private Hospital) that this was urgent as it was bulging so much, could break off at any time, post op 10 weeks brilliant was signed off by Consultant after 6 weeks, am now, and have been from the 11th week post op, in more pain than prior to the surgery, am locked over to one side with muscle spasm, permanently, have tried every anti-inflmatory/diazepam etc was even referred back to my consultant, who deemed the operation "a success" after another MRI, he said my latest symptoms were nothing to do with my disectomy!!! and I would just have to live with it.

    Am at my wits end, have finally persuaded my GP to refer me to a different neurosurgeon for a second opinion as I cannot continue to live like this.

    Don't give up, request a second opinion with a different surgeon - by any chance was it a private hospital in the Midlands???

    Good luck, keep at it and push for a 2nd opinion.
  6. Pompal 09.

    Pompal 09. Active Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Hello all

    Well ive been back to the doctors today. I saw the consultant on the 14th December and have not heard back from them since. My doctor is going to chase up a date for my discectomy which I had been told will take place in February sometime. My doctor has put me back on Gabapentin as well as all of the other meds im taking as the pains and spasms are on the increase again. Im now taking 18 pills a day to deal with the pain.

    Im still off of work, have been since July 2011 and am going round the bend. Ive been put on different anti depressants and am due to have councilling in the next couple of weeks. Going from being an active Dad to doing nothing has really effected me mentally. Also, not working im receiving benefits which im totally against as I should be providing for my family. Ive also seen several so called friends from work who have questioned my pain. This I find really difficult to deal with.

    Im sorry for all the negative posts. By talking and visiting here it really does help. Im hoping my next post will be better news
  7. Popiepesate

    Popiepesate New Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi all

    I've just joined this forum as I am desperate to be able to chat with others with similar problems to my own. As I havent had a discectomy or even been told I may need one yet I wasnt sure whether this was the appropriate forum, but I've been reading the posts on here for the last few weeks and it seemed to fit the best.

    As a brief background, I first went to the doctors in November 2010 and said I thought I had sciatica. I was suffering from a nagging pain in my lower back/hip and in my left calf. He said it was related to ageing and just one of those things that nothing could really be done about. I didnt think any more about it and just took the occasional Ibruprofen in the morning if it felt a bit sore.

    Gradually it got worse until it was a constant nagging pain in my calf, I couldnt walk very far without sitting down and couldnt stand still for more than about 10 minutes. I went back to the doctor's in September and he sent me for an mri scan. Fortunately I had the scan 3 weeks later, which revealed a prolapsed disc at L4/L5 and spondylitis of some of the surrounding bones. The doctor referred me to a spine consultant and said if I hadnt heard back by mid-Jan to go back and they would chase it up. (This was mid-Oct now). He didnt give me any medication but said to keep on the over-the-counter ones for now.

    Come December and the pain was getting unbearable, I couldnt stand still for more than a few minutes and I constantly had to sit down. I saw another GP who prescribed me co-codamol, Naproxen and Amitriptyline. He also said the previous doctor was rather hopeful in hearing back from the spine consultants that quickly and it would be more like 6 months.

    The pills a little bit of good but I still was getting worse. Last Friday, I went back to the GP. This one actually seemed a lot more concerned, he examined my reflexes and foot/leg strength and dictated a letter to the hospital saying I needed an urgent referral as I could barely walk more than 50-100mtrs and was in constant pain. He also prescribed Gabapentin, 3 a day for the first week then 6 a day for the second and then to go back to him in a fortnight.

    Well, I woke up yesterday morning and could hardly get out of bed the pain was so bad. I eventually made it downstairs to a dining chair, my husband got my morning pills and I just sat there waiting for them to kick in. With his help I got into my computer chair, which is the most comfortable position for me at the moment. A little later I managed to get to the loo with the aid of an old walking stick and any wall/furniture I could hold on to. It wasnt until after about 11 am I could shuffle around unaided. Needless to say I couldnt go to work.

    This morning it's even worse. I managed to sit on the end of the bed with my leg propped up on an old paint tin to stop leaning on the nerve in my buttock, and had to sit there for 3/4 of an hour before I could manage to drag myself downstairs. Hubby is going to move a bed downstairs now. I've called the doctor's this morning too see if they can give me something stronger or up the pills I'm on and I'm waiting for a call back.

    Sorry, this was meant to be brief, not an essay, but it is such a relief to be able to communicate with others who know what the pain is like, I'm sure no one else understands. I've read many of the posts on here and have decided I will opt to have the operation if I can; although I realise for some on here it hasnt been successful, for others it seems to have worked wonders, so it does give me hope. Thank you all and I hope to be able to read some more informative and encouraging posts.

    regards Trina
  8. Tenster

    Tenster New Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    We all feel your suffering deboy!! Stick with us butty!!

    I so sorry about you deterioration and mental issues, sadly, your friends like so many other non sufferers, have no clue!!

    If you feel the depression it's getting worse deboy, please, PLEASE don't hesitae to get help, you payed your 'dues', you are entitled. No shame!!

    Speak to you soon deboy.

    Best wishes and kind thoughts!!

  9. Nicky V

    Nicky V New Member

    Oct 26, 2010

    Just thought I would give a little update as my discectomy was done 4 weeks ago today. Saw the consultant (Mr Sheard) last week and the physio yesterday. Everything is fine and the scar (about an inch) is healing well. In terms of the pain I'd say I'm about 95% pain free - still get some twinges down my right leg but nothing compared to before. My leg feels shorter than before so I've got lots of exercises to stretch it back out!!! Went to the gym for the first time yesterday and again today....I'm allowed on the cross trainer, to go swimming and a few weights machines. To be honest I'm hardly doing anything, and certainly not breaking sweat, but it is nice to be back in the building!! I'm also back to work now(I have a desk job) and one of the best things was being able to leave the house in the morning without an ice-pack, a tennis ball and a pick'n'mix bag of painkillers!!

    Sorry to read about other people joining the forum because they are suffering. If you are worried about having a discectomy then all I would say is that it worked for me and my only regret is that I waited so long before getting something done about it
  10. catini

    catini New Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Best wishes dml, I hope you continue your improvements!

    All the very best

  11. AmandaS

    AmandaS New Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hi guys,

    Yes its 6 in the morning and I have been up for the last 2 hours crying with the pain in my legs, 8 months ago I bent down to put my boots on and OMG the pain just overwhelmed me and I collapsed on the floor, it took the dr 3 hours to come to my house and issue me with an injection of pain relief. I have now been suffering ever since, had total loss of feeling in my right leg, I have been on so many painkillers and muscle relaxants that I think the drs have ran out of ideas, I eventally got sent to Physio about 3 months ago, they after 5 weeks decided they couldn't do anything for me and requested and MRI, I received this on Tuesday of this week and have already came back to tell me I need surgery ASAP as the disk that has slipped is pressing on my nerves and is also putting pressure on my bladderand bowel and that if I dont get it done soon they are concerned that I may become incontinent, I am 43 and have two kids, I run my own business with my husband (who works away Monday to Friday all over Britain) and have relied heavily on my family over past 7 - 8 months. I cried all day today when I got the phone call and have been so scared as to consequences that the operation may have on me and my family as my poor kids, they haven't had much of a mother over the last 8 months and that makes me feel guilty.

    I have spent the last 2 hours reading through this forum and actually feel quite positive now, thanks to all who have posted, its good to realise im not the only one who is going through this pain and the anxiety. As someone already stated I would rather be in labour than have this pain, its unbearable 24/7, I have absolutely no pain relief at any point during the day, I can hardly walk some days and have been put back on crutches, I sleep for a couple of hours at a time and wake up in complete agony, i have some time had to shout on either my husband or my older daughter to help me out of bed, how embarassing that my daughter has to help me, shes only 9, I should be the one helping her.

    Although the NHS have said that I need this ASAP don't know how long their ASAP is, they physio has requested an urgent appointment with the spinal unit as well as the orthopaedics, should I wait and see how long this will take or should I go to my dr and get a referral letter and go private?

    Sorry this has turned into war and peace, but I am so greatful for reading this forum and getting this off my chest has also helped me, as my husband is one of these people with the attitude of get up and get on with it and doesn;t understand the pain.
  12. Nathan H

    Nathan H New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Hi Wendy

    I too just joined this site this week as, since Monday I can no longer walk more than a few yards even with sticks, so havent been able to get to work, although I was in work on Friday. Anyway my story is a couple of posts above so I wont go through it again.

    I thought my pain was excruciating but OMG yours sounds much worse. I really feel for you. Unfortunately, I cant offer any advice as like you, I am waiting for an urgent referral on the NHS. One of the reasons for joining this site was because of all the informative and encouraging posts there are on here, so hopefully someone who has been through the op and referral process might be able to help you.

    Another reason for joining is that the guys on here have experienced the pain we are going through, but those who havent just cant comprehend what it is like. Fortunately my husband has been very supportive, but he also feels helpless as he cant do anything to alleviate the pain - maybe it's your husband's way of trying to combat this feeling of inadequacy that makes him appear unsympathetic.

    Anyway, welcome and I hope you (and I) hear from the hospital soon.

  13. maps3333

    maps3333 New Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Hi CatMac,

    Thanks for replying to my blog, or war and peace as it ended up. lol

    My husband has been great today, we sat and discussed everything as I stated we have 2 small kids and a business, he has assured me that he will be there for me no matter what, as I am the worrier and always assumes the worst case scenario, i.e. in wheelchair etc, I know i amd just being over dramatic, but I just worry about the kids.

    He has told me to arrange an appointment with my GP asap on Monday to get a referal letter and we are going private, as he doesn't want me to worry any longer than I have to, god love him, so I guess I;m kind of lucky that we can afford it.

    I'll keep you posted, likewise let me know how you get on and hopefully you will be put to the top of the list and we can sit and discuss knitting patterns during recouperation together.

    Thanks again

  14. WhiPatuiuo

    WhiPatuiuo New Member

    Jan 12, 2011

    Best wishes

  15. Ruth .H. <3

    Ruth .H. <3 New Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hi Wendy

    I'm so glad to hear you sat down and cleared the air today, it must be a weight of your mind.

    I cant imagine how it must be to cope with two small kids and your own business, I feel such a burden with just us two (my kids have flown the nest) as husband now does all the cooking, cleaning, shopping as well as a full time day job. Today he even ironed his own clothes for work tomorrow and I didnt think he knew how to plug an iron in!! To make it worse, this time last week I actually did the ironing, made lunch, washed my hair even though it was a bit laboured, now I cant even contemplate it I've gone downhill that fast.

    I know what you mean about the war and peace bit - mine was only supposed to be brief and turned into about 1/2 a page! I think it helps putting it down in words to an audience that understands.

    Anyway, do keep us posted how you get along as it goes and I'll do the same.

    cheers for now

    ps You havent seen me try to knit
  16. Slim Shadez

    Slim Shadez New Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Hi Spinelf and CatMac

    Thank you so much for your kind words, it;s nice to see spinelf still giving encouragement to these kind of posts after being on here for so long, thank you.

    I know what you mean CatMac by going down hill so quickly, my mobility has decreased so much since Tuesday after the MMR, I actually came out of the machine crying like a baby it was so painful. I have since been advised to use the crutches again, but nothing is eleviating the pain, and although I hadn't actually fully gained feeling in toes in my right foot, the numbness is starting to creep up my leg again.

    Hubbie done all the shopping and everything today, but he goes away tomorrow morning until Thursday evening so I am very apprehensive about it, my parents will be over tomorrow but it's not the same, I know they want to help and have been great but it's hard when hubbie isn't here, hopefully I will get a quick appointment with my Dr and get referred quite quickly to private hospital and see what happens.

    Thank you all again very much for taking the time to read my post and actually reply, you are my mental crutches at present.

    Thank you

  17. SuzieD

    SuzieD New Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hi Wendy

    Sorry if you know this already and I have posted this before so sorry for the repeat. But I hope you realise that you don't have to pay for the private treatment. The NHS Choose & Book system means that if you want to go private the NHS will pay. This is what I did and it cut 3 months off my wait. Would have been a lot more if I'd found out about it sooner.

    As a follow up to my last post, I'm now just short of 5 weeks post operation and back to work full time (teacher) and have very little pain or discomfort. My life has quite simply been transformed by the operation, though I know unfortunately that's not everyone's experience.

    All those who are still having to suffer, you are in my thoughts and I wish you well. As has been said before on this forum - empathy is one thing we've got in bucketloads.
  18. annie42

    annie42 New Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    Hi Old Skool

    Thank you very much for your response but I had actually read your previous post, and did check it out, but unfortunately I live in Scotland and this does not apply up here, as we have a completely different system to England and Wales. BOO HOO.

    I have today received a letter from NHS giving me an appointment with spinal surgeon on Wednesday of this week so OMG things are either really bad and I have been pushed right to the top, or I have just waited that long and my DR complained about it that they are trying to compensate, as 8 months have passed and I am progressively getting worse.

    I went to my dr today re private operation and she said wait and see what happens on Wednesday, I'll keep you guys posted.

    Sorry for doing this every time, but thank you all for taking the time to try and help and reassure me.


  19. keezy

    keezy New Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    I have finally read through all of the comments from previous years.
    My story is quite typical really - I woke up one morning with a stiff/sore back and upon the advice of a friend went to visit a chiropractor. Two days after this I was dragging my right foot and the pain in my back and right leg was shocking.
    That was four years ago. Within that time I have had physio and been given pain killers and anti-inflams by my doctor.(I didn't take the tablets because the side effects looked terrible) The pain has gone from periods of being manageable to the worst pain I have ever felt. Recently over the last three months I feel disabled - I can't walk without my foot going numb and being a mother I don't feel that I am doing all the things I should be doing. The pain also moves from one leg to another.
    I had an mri in November and this shows a central disc herniation l5 s1. My consultant said it will only improve with surgery and I am booked in for a weeks time. He actually said it was in a horse shoe shape.
    However, I am terrified. I asked him if the disc was protruding or if it had actually ruptured (protruded or extruded) He wouldn't tell me and said it wasn't for me to worry about. I'm concerned because if it is just protruding there is a chance it may be reabsorbed. But if he has to cut the outer membrane and remove it he has then created an opening for any other disc material to come out of.
    I feel like I am on a real roller coaster, one day I think I really need to go ahead and have the surgery the next I am against it.
    Has anyone else had a central disc bulge that can offer any advice.
    Many thanks.
  20. Kel

    Kel Member

    Nov 16, 2009

    Fantastic news about your appointment Wendy, that was extremely quick. As you've been suffering for 8 months, I expect they felt a bit guilty and got you in quick. Let us know how it goes, wont you.

    I'm hoping I'll get lucky with a cancellation or something so they can fit me in quickly, but I saw my GP today and he expects I'll be lucky if I hear within the next month. He's now upped my medication to make it easier while I wait. Although, in a way I'm fortunate to have only been in excruciating, unable to walk pain for less than 2 weeks, before that I could at least get around with some discomfort.

    Old Skool, I looked up the NHS Choose and Book scheme and it only applies to England, unfortunately I live in Wales, so like Wendy it's not available here.

    Last but not least, welcome Labrador1! I'm afraid I cant help with your dilemma as I havent had surgery yet, but hopefully regulars like SPINELF and Old Skool can give you the benefit of their knowledge and experience. I think that's the reason most of us are joining as it is a great source of information and relief to find others who have been through the same, or worse.

    thanks all, will be back soon

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