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Discectomy - After the Operation

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

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  1. Rwindshadow

    Rwindshadow New Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    So much for a United Kingdom Wendy & CatMac.

    Great to hear that the NHS is coming through for you Wendy and I hope the surgery helps you as much as it's helped me
  2. Gerik

    Gerik Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Hiya Labrador1.

    You are very welcome to HP.

    Sadly, I have to inform you, that you have ‘also just joined’ a long and illustrious list of members, who’s Surgeons have treated them just like mushrooms, keeping us in the dark and feeding us on #”&~+!##?? And like the rest of us, you are now suffering from the same stresses, indecisions, and mental anguish, about ‘whether or not’ to undergo a very serious and major surgical procedure. All because of the lack of simple, clear and factual information from the same Surgeons who intend to ‘root around’ inside our backs and who expect us to trust them!

    Now, I don’t want to worry you unduly Labrador, after all, as you can see from past posts, many forum members have had ‘positive clinical outcomes’ having been given ‘very little’ pre operation information at all. But if you are like me and others, you will want to know exactly What is proposed? How safe is it? What are the likely complications? When you can resume work, and so on!

    If you feel you ‘want and need’ this information Labrador, I think you will have to be direct with your Surgeon and demand more info! But be warned, He/She won’t like you questioning them, not one little bit. But if ‘you feel’ this information is important for you to know, and from your question above it sounds like you do, I’m sorry to have say Labrador, I don’t think there is any other way within the time scale you quote, to get the answers you need.

    If you want any more detailed information about the disc, please, post back soon!

    We are all here to help.

    Best wishes

  3. Susanne W

    Susanne W New Member

    Dec 10, 2010
    Hiya Labador!

    Following on from last post below!

    I have some central bulges, but nothing impinging, so I can’t advise you directly, but here are some additional links I looked up and read, to sites specifically about central disc herniations, imagesand its possible complications. See if you find them of any use in understanding, comparing and evaluating your symptoms.

    I have cut and posted a couple of paragraphs below, the contents of which may ring some bells?

    Kind regards





    The most common levels for a herniated disc are L4-5 and L5-S1. The onset of symptoms is characterized by a sharp, burning, stabbing pain radiating down the posterior or lateral aspect of the leg, to below the knee. Pain is generally superficial and localized, and is often associated with numbness or tingling. In more advanced cases, motor deficit, diminished reflexes or weakness may occur.

    Generally, only the relatively uncommon central disc herniation provokes low back pain and saddle pain in the S1 and S2 distributions.

    A central herniated disc may also compress nerve roots of the cauda equina, resulting in difficult urination, incontinence or impotence. The medical history and physical examination may disclose bowel or bladder dysfunction. In such cases, immediate referral to a specialist is required for emergency surgery to prevent permanent loss of function.

    Often the most difficult aspect of evaluating patients with symptoms of a central herniated disc is differentiation between low back strain and herniated disc.

    Pain caused by low back strain is exacerbated during standing and twisting motions, whereas pain caused by central disc herniation is worse in positions (such as sitting) that produce increased pressure on the anular fibers.

    Questions about whether the patient's pain became worse while driving to the appointment and sitting in the waiting room may be revealing.

    The pressure on the intervertebral disc is increased during sitting and bending postures, as opposed to standing or recumbent positions7 (Figure 3). This explains the exacerbation of herniated disc symptoms when the patient is in the sitting position.
  4. aliyah<3

    aliyah<3 New Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Hello all

    I had a missed call from the appointments dept at the hospital yesterday. I phoned them back this morning and I have the pre op booked for next Monday morning with the possibility of going in for the operation on the 31st of January. This is due to my doctor getting involved and because of a possible cancellation but I wont know for sure untill next Wednesday. Fingers crossed!!
  5. qeecsuqqibgixoeun

    qeecsuqqibgixoeun New Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    United States
    Thanks SPINELF,

    I did email my consultant who advised me that my disc was protruding so I have cancelled my surgery.
    He said it doesn't matter if it is just protruding or extruded and it has no effect on the outcome of the operation. But, I think if he is going to slice into a disc with a solid outer membrane and make a hole in it to remove the bulging section it will increase my chances of reherniation and maybe fusion.
    Thanks for the info - I have already been looking through chirogeeks site which I must say is excellent.
    I have emailed Mr Knight to see if there is anything he can do for me but I know I do not want to go down the standard discectomy route as it would be like opening up a whole can of worms.
  6. Willy Douglas

    Willy Douglas New Member

    Dec 10, 2010
    Hi Guys,

    Sorry I haven't been on with how I got on on Wednesday but you won't believe what happened.

    I went for my appointment and the Dr admitted me to the hospital for 3 days bed rest. I was only in the bed for 3 hours when another Dr came round and examined me, he came back and told me not to get comfortable as he was refering me to a hospital called the Souther General in Glasgow which is a specialised head and spinal injuries hospital.

    OMG I was admitted at 6pm that night and had my operation at 9am on Thursday morning.
    They took out two bulges and two splinters. As soon as I woke up I had not pain. I couldn't believe it.

    I was discharged this morning at 11am, two days after surgery, I will be in my bed for the next 2 weeks recouperating, but honestly can't believe how good I feel, obviously I have 8 staples in my back, but its more of an ache than a pain, so I can't complain.

    To all you guys who are considering the operation, from my point of view it has changed my life, I just wish it was done months ago as 8 months of suffering is far too much.

    Just a quick thank you to Cat Mac OldSkool & Spinelf for all their encouraging words.

    I;ll keep you guys up to date with my progress.

    Thanks Again

  7. yzeaiuzfiajixuedq

    yzeaiuzfiajixuedq New Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    United States
    Hi Wendy

    I wondered why you hadnt been on here the past few days, now I know why. But by god, what excellent news!! I am so happy for you. I bet you thought a day without pain wouldnt come, I know I can scarcely remember what it feels like and I havent been suffering for anything like 8 months.

    Do keep us up to date with your progress, I know it will be really encouraging to me and others perusing this website the same way we did. It's great to know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

    Take care and I'll be in touch soon

  8. Misc Tech Advice

    Misc Tech Advice Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Hi guys,

    I have suffered from lower back problems for about 3 years now. I'm 24 and feel more like 60. When it started I thought will disappear soon but it didn't and my journey to doctors started. First time I went in 2009 and been told to take some painkillers. Of course that didn't help so cm back and got 6 physio treatment but didnt want them before i get xray and will found out whats wrong with my back. Gp told me that it wont be anything major and x-rays are not being used in UK but I begged her. The diagnosis was little straightening of the lumbar lordosis and a subtle scoliosis concave to the left which could well be the consequence of muscle spasm, mild disk narrowing at L4-L5. The pain in my back on right side got worse and worse and started having pain in my right leg, hip and buttock. Came back to gp but she ignored me and told me to live with it and take painkillers. In 2010 went to private Back Pain Clinic in Poland (my original country) for 2 weeks where had lots of treatment such as hydro massage, criotherapy, electrostimulation, magnetic field therapy, infra-red laser stimulation etc. It was great, reduced my pain for about 2 months. In 2011 I've had leg pain every day and the pain was excruciating to the point couldn't stand or sit any more and had to lie down during work. Went to gp again and I've asked for MRI scan and got told I cant have one on nhs but can pay £600 if I go private. Went back home again in May 2011 and paid £100 for MRI scan. The diagnosis was dehydration features of the L4-L5 intervertebral disc. At this level a central and paramedian herniation of the intervertebral disc for about 5mm to the spinal canal and to the lateral recesses with modelling of the dural sack. No features of spinal stenosis or pressure on the spinal roots have been found. I went to see gp in UK again, the same story was ignored. Fortunately got permanent job and used my private health to pay for osteopath treatment. It helped me a lot but recently my legs gone worse theres not an hour without pain and I'm losing feeling in my feet which is scary. Also started having pain on left side cos the other one is getting tired. I think i've used every type of painkillers, hot patches, cold sprays, back support etc and nothing seems to work anymore. Went back to see GP but got absolutely no help!!! My osteopath sent a letter to GP if I can get MRI scan here and see some specialist, have an appointment on Friday and will see what's gonna happen. I feel so frustrated that i cant get help anywhere and have no idea what to do anymore. I dont know if i require discectomy but i dont see any other options at the moment. I always was against operation cos for me it was last resort but I just can't carry on like that anymore. Every day it's a struggle and feel more and more depressed.. I'm 24 and can't do things like people at my age! Don't remember when went out last time lol

    Sorry for boring you all but I needed to tell someone who understand how it's like. Wish you all the best
  9. Suger Rush

    Suger Rush New Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Glad the info helped Labrador.

    I am so glad you are taking your reseach seriously and I agree with your conclusions and decisions. I sincerely hope that Mr. Knight can help you and that you can get help towards NHS funding for his treatment, some areas do offer this, so make sure you ask your local P.C.T. and GP.

    All the very best of wishes

  10. Bianca True

    Bianca True New Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Just to let you know im going into hospital Monday morning at 7am for a Discectomy.
  11. Rhalina Fassett

    Rhalina Fassett New Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Hello to one and all,

    Having trawled through the web on l5 s1 issues i finally found a decent forum. Such a relief.

    I'm mid 30's / active. I have a ruptured l5 s1 with sciatia that started mid dec 11' its now jan 25th 12. Up to the injection i was in agony, the muscle cramp was unbearable.

    I'll keep it short. - I'm 1 wk after getting my 1st SNRB cortisone injection, meeting neuro 2mrw after ringing his office 2 days ago with my progress (as requested) to say sciatia had gone from being constant but presented after & sometimes during sitting down. Intermittent cramp & severe sharp pain in various positions but the following day the same positions pose no pain?? i.e laying face down, leaning back with head moving back. Sharp electric very sore pain. All the while constant lower back and tail ache ( not so much pain just numb ache) unless laying down on my back flat. - pain free blish!!

    He told me id be able to go to work the following day while wheeling me down to theatre. Completely the opposite - worst day by far.

    Anyway sitting is now reasonably ok. I get cramps after sometimes but mostly burning feeling and odd numbness (light) in right foot., When i awake i have lower back ache and this escalates during the day - after 2 hrs i'm on the couch.

    I drove for the first time yesterday - it was back to square one once i got out of the van. And last night was painful and today. That constant ache all day.

    This evening i took x2 tylex & 1 difene and drove the same route. It was uncomfortable but i could do it and there was no major pain. So here lies the problem. No.1 i can't dose up and drive. I have a commute of 3hrs a day and then sit in work all day. When i mentioned the sitting issue (which is lessening to a degree) the neuro's secretary had a chat with the neuro and relayed to me that i should come in tomorrow and maybe discuss a possible discectomy.

    So can anyone please advise. I seem to be in a situation that life without any normal drive to & do a normal days work is problematic without taking heavy meds that can impair my driving. Do i give it another 2 wks and be out of work nearly 2mths in the hope the injection will have more of an effect? Or engage surgery with a view to it being a complete solving of my issue and i return to work. Has anyone ever solved a ruptured disc with one cortisone injection and a exercise / posture change?

    I'm very much uncertain here so any advice is greatly appreciated.
  12. kansasfan

    kansasfan Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    I had a lower discetomy 2years ago,my leg pain had gone but ever since i have severe pain in my back its worse after sleeping for 2 to 3 hours i take tramadol and oxycontine. Im very over weight and my consultant said 2 years ago to do myself a favour and lose weight and so i did but the pain got worse.
    I don't want to go back to the consultant and my Gp reckons Im probably stuck with the Pain got some days the Pain is manageable i work full time and Im very scared about my future.
  13. legenddael

    legenddael Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    Hi,everyone I am new to these sites but felt I needed to say something as I have suffered severally with pain especially down my left leg so after trips to a chiropractor and physio my doc referred me for an MRI I had it on the 8th of December Which confirmed I had L4/L5 prolapsed disc I then had a call on the 29th to see the consultant on the 30th!!(and yes this is the Nhs) I then had an appointment through for the 30th of jan, I have to report that the pain in my leg has completely disappeared, the op took 4hrs instead of 1 and they had to call another consultant(which wasn't good for my husband who didn't know what was going on) but I feel really good and it has only been 9 days, I am really pleased I opted for the op as I can now have fun with my 2 young kids which was impossible before. Good luck to everyone who has the same and I hope it works out as well as it has for me!!!! Emma
  14. Philip McCrevice

    Philip McCrevice Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    Dear Emma

    It is so nice to hear that surgeries do sometimes work, unfortunately wasn't the case for me. My only advice would be don't rush recovery and take things slowly. During surgery you would have had medication in your spine to help the pain and it can take a couple of weeks for this to wear off. I didn't know this at the time and did far too much is the first month and ended up with my disc coming out again, back to square one!

    Stay positive and enjoy the rest Wend x
  15. dianee

    dianee New Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Hello all

    The surgery went well. I was in for three days and I was up and about the afternoon after surgery.

    Almost two weeks in and im having some serious nerve pain again. Ive been back to the doctor and ive been told this is due to the sciatic nerve starting to work again after having been trapped for so long and that over time this will decrease. The Gabapenthin and Epilim have been increased to help.

    Over all I feel like im on the road to recovery, yes the pain hurts but I do feel better if that makes sense? I do trust my doctor as hes been fantastic in helping me through all of this.

    May I ask a question?

    Im confused as to when I can drive again. Ive been told various times from people and am really not sure what to do regarding this. Ive been out to start the car during this cold weather and im able to sit in the driving seat ok, albeit with slight pain.

    Thank you all for the support during my time here on the forum, youve all been fantastic


  16. Rick-E

    Rick-E New Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    I think that there are insurance issues if you have not had permission from your doctor to drive after an operation, I think the standard is six weeks, contacting your car insurance people could be a good idea!
  17. shama s

    shama s New Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Having spoke to my doctor this morning ive been advised to refrain from driving for another two weeks then he will review it. I tend to agree. Even though im an impatient bugger there is no point in risking everything thats been done so far.
  18. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu New Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Hi Deboy,

    I'm 4 days post op. Discectomy / laminectony. I was only 8wks with symptoms. On the day of leaving hospital the surgeon had a good chat with me. He said the nerve was very blackened and red due to compression. It made think of people who have had to endure the pain of this for longer periods than i and the damage it can do in that time.

    I still have twinges but there are easing. The left side (opposite to original sciatia) seems numb while laying down. Im hoping it'll settle down.

    I guess what i trying to say is. fairplay and keep positive. Do as little as possible and don't be rushing into trying to do things that can wait. The longer the rest the better it will stand you.

    best of luck!
  19. qixlhegv

    qixlhegv New Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    United States
    I too have had back problems for 19 years, which got progressivley worse 3 years ago. Believe it or not it too started with me putting on a pair of boots!
    My left ankle was very painful and this went into my left calf, thigh, buttock and lower spine..
    Many months of going to my GP, Physio (which was unbearable), Osteopath, Chiropractor (which made me considerably worse and cost me a small fortune) i went back again to my GP who sent me for an x-ray whilst waiting for an MRI appointment. The x-ray showed scoliosis and curved lower spine to the right. I was also tried on many different medications, heat and cold compresses, Gabapentin, Amitriptlyne,Naproxen, Methocarbamol, Co-Codamol 30/500mg and Tramadol. In the end I was taking Tramadol like eating sweets....

    Having had my MRI Scan I then went to see my Consultant osteopathic surgeon and he said that i had a prolapsed disc at L4/5 He asked if i wanted the soft tissue injection first in my spine before the discectomy..
    I said i'd try anything to get rid of the excruciating pain i was having all down my left leg, bum etc and i went in the week after.
    Face down on the theatre table he numbed my lower back then went on to take photos as he did the epidural injection, he had to do this throughout the procedure to make sure he didn't nick the spinal cord. I watched on the screen as he explained what he was doing, then i felt the anaesthetic going down my left leg which was uncomfortable but bearable.

    After the procedure i was allowed home after an hour or two bed rest. The pain was less but still there, though i was able to do more walking and standing than before. But you've guessed ! my pain came back especially when standing in a queue or watching my lad play footy, then started whilst sitting at work and going numb on my buttock and top of left leg.
    I had another appointment booked for 3 months after the soft tissue injection so when i saw my consultant again he offered the Discectomy. I went in for the procedure on 5th December 2011 at noon, Had my op at 5pm at night and was up with help going to the bathroom at 2am, In the morning i was able to get out of bed and potter around my room. Admittedly I was in pain down the left leg when trying to sit as my nerve was still sore but this faded over the next 3/4 days.
    I was walked down the corridor of the hospital by the physio to see if i could manage a few steps then discharged. Being given 3 days of painkillers and a follow up appointment for 6 weeks time. Happy Days...
    The first few days were hard as getting around was tiring and painful(due to the wound). I spent the first week mainly laid in bed just pottering about. Gradually over the weeks i went walking slowly but was still tired by mid afternoon ( a lot to do with the anaethetic in my system). Sitting was the main problem and still is. I feel pain at the op site and takes me a while to get up and walking but im only about 11 weeks post op....
    I only started to drive at 8 weeks post op and it is uncomfortable still, can't go far either prob 4/5 miles before the need to get out and stretch, walk about, etc.

    I am still not at work as yet because i'm sat at a desk all day and my doctor realises the need for me to be fully recovered with having back problems for the length of time i have suffered.

    I would recommend a discectomy to anyone in as much pain as i was, it is worth it.
    Though i had terrible withdrawl symptoms from coming off Tramadol.

    Sorry to go on but was meaning to sign up before i had the op but never got round to it.

    Please do not overdo things after the op, be patient, I know it's hard but it is for the best.
  20. KiSsnDMaKeUp

    KiSsnDMaKeUp Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    Hi Everyone

    I'm really hoping someone can give me some advice here - apologies if what follows is a bit of a rant but I am so frustrated

    I have been having back problems for around 10 years now, and have been to various GPs on and off. I tried a chiropractor, but after spending nearly £600 I felt like they were just clicking my back one way one session and the other way the next, and I was getting no relief from the pain.

    The GP eventually referred me to the physio at the local hospital, who said that my lower back pain was a result of me having short hamstrings, with the nerves also being short. I stuck with physio for over a year, and it did nothing to help the back pain.

    Then in Feb last year during a particularly bad episode with my back, I woke up one morning to agonising pain in my right leg, it almost felt as if it was being flattened by a steam roller. I went back to the GP, and had 2 x 40 min appointments with a trainee GP who checked all my reflexes, and advised me to wear more sensible shoes ( I am a teacher and wear Ballet pump style flats).

    Over the next few months I experienced an increasing weakening in my right leg, with a weird movement when I walk.The leg also 'gives way' every now and then, which in June resulted in me severely damaging my left ankle as I fell. The leg is also numb down the outside of the leg and calf, and over the top of my toes.

    I was seeing the GP roughly once a month in agonising pain, and was told that my back was going into spasm, and I was prescribed diclofenac and diazepam. I tried to have a deep tissue sports massage, and found it excruciating, especially around a point in my right buttock.

    It wasn't until September, when I saw a GP at the practice that I had not seen before that I was referred for an MRI, when the results came back the GP was so concerned, that as he could not get hold of me when he called, he rang my housemate's mobile (who is registered at the same surgery).

    It turns out I have an extruded and sequestrated disc at L4/5 where the disc has migrated upwards within the spinal column the whole height of the vertebrae. The GP siad that if I had not told him about the numbness in my leg (which none of the other gps had asked about) he would not have even referred me for an MRI as I am very young for this (I am in my 20s). He told me he had spoken to a spinal surgeon who had said that I needed to be referred for surgery asap.

    I then did not get an appointment with the consultant until 23 Jan this year (4 months after the GP referred me), I saw one of the Fellows as the consultant was not in that day, who confirmed that the herniation was very severe, and was pressing on the nerves for the whole height of my vertebrae, but he was hesitant about referring me for surgery because of my age, and because the pain I appeared to be in does not match up with the MRI and he had to "treat the symptoms not the MRI". Now I am aware from previous injuries that I have a high pain threshold (I once broke a bone in my foot and did not realise, it wasn't until 2 yrs later when I had my foot xrayed for a different reason that it was picked up as it hadn't set straight), I have also been brought up to get on with things so I have forced myself to carry on with work even through the extreme pain. I also had the appointment when I was not in the middle of an episode of extreme pain. Luckily my Dad had gone with me to the appointment, and with him backing up how much pain I was in when my back got really bad, the doctor said he would put me on the waiting list for surgery, but told me that the waiting list was up to a year long.

    I am so frustrated now, it has taken me years for doctors to take my back pain seriously as I am so "young" and refuse to give in and take time off work, and now I am going to have to wait up to a year to get surgery, and I cannot cope with another year of diazepam and diclofenac - which is starting to give me really bad stomach upsets.

    With typical luck the weekend after my appointment, my back "went" again, I actually felt a grinding in my spine which really scared me. I rang my GPs who would not give me an appointment but gave me a prescription for tramadol on top of the drugs I already have. I then found it increasingly difficult to pass water, which I know is a danger sign in terms of disc problems, so I rang 111 for reassurance, who sent an ambulance and I was hospitalised for 2 days, then discharged as I was not 'losing control of my bowels'. Since I have been home I have researched how much it would cost for me to get the discectomy done privately (approx £6500 which there is no way I can afford). I have also since received a letter from the QMC giving me a second appointment with the consultant on 23rd Feb, and I have an appointment with my GP on Sat about referring me to the pain clinic. I am still having difficulty passing water, and although I try to not take the tramadol as they really knock me out, I cannot go for a day without taking them as I cannot cope with the pain.

    Soooo apart from needing to offload as I am so frustrated I just wondered if anyone had any advice on speeding things up a bit as I really do not think I can cope with this for another year? Does anyone know whether it is possible to get referred to a hospital with a shorter waiting list as it seems some people have only had to wait a couple of months ( or would it be that they had just gone private)? Has anyone else been to a pain clinic and does that help?

    Any advice would be amazing!!



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