View Full Version : Discectomy - After the Operation

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03-06-2012, 04:19 PM
gregdfc best of luck for your operation.

Good news that you are doing so well Jess.

Melza - So sorry to hear things are not going so well for you. I can only wish you best of luck and hope that somewhere, somehow, there is something that can help you with your pain. I agree degenerative problems are hard to deal with - I empathise somewhat, as I deal with degenerative problems too. Fingers crossed very hard for you.

03-06-2012, 04:23 PM
Gregdfc, sending you best wishes for a quick and pain free recovery, I really do hope it all goes ok for you.

Ski, your symptoms sound very similar to my own. I had my op on 7th April and although I appreciate it is still very early days, I seem to be deteriorating with pain and mobility. I have never experienced pain like I get now, even having 3 kids does not compare to this agony. My GP spoke to my surgeon yesterday who stated it is probably swelling and it should ease in time, in the mean time I am fast turning into a Morphine junkie... never touched the stuff pre op!!!

I am lucky to have a very supportive family and a brilliant husband.

Sending love to you all,


03-06-2012, 04:26 PM
Thank you Chiddy, how are you getting on? Are you still getting the pains in your claves?.. sorry I meant Calves...!! Morphine !!

I do hope that you are recovering well.

Best wishes x

Chill Out
03-06-2012, 04:27 PM
thats me home from the the op , which i had on friday, but still have pain in the left leg but not in the right anymore. quite sore , but pain killers do !
will post more soon, need to rest now !

Pat the Bat Burrell
03-06-2012, 04:30 PM
Well done Gregdfc, I too had leg pain following the operation... still do three weeks post op but am told it is nerves/swelling etc. Hang on in there and take it easy...


Alyssa D
03-06-2012, 04:34 PM
Went into hosp on Thu. but no beds for me so go put in ENT Ward. had op on friday and 8.30am. About 3pm really needed to do a pee so stood up and walked very slowly with a nurse and fainted in the toilet. so got rushed back to the bed. On Saturday the doctors came round and said they trimmed back one of the discs and took another one out. They said i could go home if i can walk up stairs, which i did. Walking ok but very slow. Pain killers are great ! My left leg is sore , but the pain in the right has gone !
Would recommend any one for this !

One thing i noticed is my posture is great now ! even taller !

03-06-2012, 04:36 PM
well done Gregdfc. Glad you are feeling so well.

jessica t
03-06-2012, 04:37 PM
Just thought id say hi,

i've just been given my op date for the 15th May - discectomy on L5 / S1 and i won't deny that im properly scared.

You read all the stories on here but all i seem to remember is the horror stories, if i can get through the op i'll be happy.

I do have the advantage of running a Gym (great advert i know) so have access to aid recovery etc.

I wish everyone well on here, the hardest thing i find is talkin to family about it, my Mum who's running my business and is tired and worried about me, my fiancee who's tryin to hold it all together with an 11mth old boy an an 8 year old girl.

So just tryin to put a brave face on.

Good luck everyone you have my thoughts


Bad Apple
03-06-2012, 04:40 PM
Hi Stu

Being afraid of the unknown is natural.

My own experience of having the same op (L5/S1) was of immense relief. I had some discomfort following the procedure but it didn't compare with the pain I had before the op.

It was like being given a new lease of life, though you have to be sensible and listen to your body.

Good luck with your procedure and I am pleased to hear that you have a good support network!

03-06-2012, 04:41 PM
Having my micro-discectomy (L5/S1) next Thursday. Fortunate enough to have Bupa, however I'm still awfully concerned! I've spoken to a few people who have had it done and read all the reports on here and that has given my some confidence, so I'm a bit happier. Hope that the disc isnt degenerating, because if it is, he says he will remove the whole thing & not just chop off the bulge & clean out the fluid. The thought of bone on bone isn't very nice.... Just can't wait to get it over & done with now.

03-06-2012, 04:42 PM
Hi All,
Thought I would do a google for info after a discectomy and found this site. I am on day 13 after my op and am in more pain now down my leg than before.
After surgery which I had at QMC it was brilliant NO pain at all except the obvious soreness of surgery.
The last 3/4 days though the pain has started down my leg, the numbness isn't as bad as before but the pain in my bum cheek and down the back of the leg is alot worse. I have rang the hospital for advice but can't manage to get anyone to talk to. I am doing my exercises but after reading the posts on here I think I might be sitting too much.
I have found it hard as I am not supposed to bend, stretch or lift but as most people know if you feel ok then it is hard not to do these things but I am trying to be good.
Anyway now I have bored you all I will go and do some exercises.

03-06-2012, 04:46 PM
Hi Nicky,

Glad you found this site, because everyone on here will have experienced things that you have and so hopefully you can get some good advice.

I have had 2 microdiscectomies, so am a bit old hat myself!!

Sitting for long periods will seriously aggravate and cause pain, its only recommended to sit for short periods, i.e. 20 mins or so.
You nerve has been tinkered with during surgery, and was squashed for a fair while prior to surgery, so needs time to recover.
If the leg pain gets worse or is prolonged, then see your GP. It may be that a short course of stronger painkillers is needed, then you may be ok.
I would still bring it up at reviews with your surgeon though.

I hope i have been of some assistance to you!!!

Anyhoo.....Subi, Jess, Tracey, Melza, Olli....How be you guys?

I am trotting off to physio now.
I have decided to opt for the epiduroscopy to rid my poor back of the adhesions. They are seriously interfering with my life and am getting fed up. I am still popping loads of mind bending pills every day.
I have the feeling i may have a fight on my hands, as the last review i had with the surgeon, he practically told me they wont do anything if my scan results turned out to be adhesions. I am ready for them though.....bring it on!!!

Corrienne McCalister
03-06-2012, 04:51 PM
Hi Nicky,

I had my operation 3 weeks ago, and I was also ok for a few days following the operation and then my leg pain increased and I was in a really bad way for a few days. My GP put me on MST and Oramorph and slowly over the past week I have improved simply by resting up and not doing too much. I am now off the Morphine and doing really well. I still get leg pain but it is much better and each day I am doing more and really starting to feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I guess what I am trying to say is hang on in there. Take the pain killers offered, rest up, small amounts of exercise and most of all as every one else says listen to your body.

Wishing you all the best


03-06-2012, 04:54 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm three weeks post-op from a L4/L5 discectomy. I had no pain before the operation but had a "big" disc that resulted in foot drop and some bladder problems. The size of the disc, total lack of reflexes, foot drop, bladder troubles, and absence of any pain put me on the urgent list. As I started to move around more after the operation (beginning of the second week), I noticed pressure in my head and some nausea, especially if I was on my feet too long. The more I was upright, the more intense the pressure (at the back of my head and in my jaw up towards my temples) became, as well as increased nausea and dizziness. A trip to my doctor and a call to my neurosurgeon resulted in a diagnosis of CSF (cerebralspinal fluid) leak.

Has anyone else experienced this? My operation went well but my recovery is being compromised by my having to be on complete bed rest while I wait for the leak to heal (hopefully). I was wondering if any of you could recommend a website of exercises that move the spine - but that can be done in bed?

Mum knows best
03-06-2012, 04:58 PM
good to hear from you...i have been thinking of you! sorry to hear things haven't improved and GOOD LUCK with the fight for the epiduroscopy. if anyone can win that one, you can!

things are still going well with me. back doing 2 dance classes and trying to get down to an acceptable size! still get an achy leg quite a lot, but it has usually gone by the morning. occasional pins and needles in my foot too, but nothing that's interfering with every day life.

to everyone who is about to have the op, or in recent recovery....good luck! stay as positive as you can and do what the physios tell you! suza1973 - i know someone else who had a csf leak and had to have complete bed rest too - maybe you should check with your GP whether you should be doing any exercises while resting?? the hospital gave me some basic ones that could be done lying down, but i'm not sure if they might aggravate the healing tear...

hope you all enjoy the long weekend!
jess xx

03-06-2012, 05:00 PM
Hey Jess!!

Good to hear from you!
Well I saw the surgeon who i like, that was a good start!! lol
I have scar tissue wrapped around my nerve and is squeezing it, and it was already badly damaged during my last op...Muchos painos!!

The good news is, he said he doesnt want to give up on me, and is referring me to a pain specialist, who has a special interest in cases such as mine, and knows a bit about epiduroscopies.
He was shocked that i even knew about it, I printed out the research that i had made into it, and he was well impressed!!
So....nuts to the last surgeon i saw who told me that nothing can be done for me if i have adhesions....cos he is wrong wrong wrong!!!

I still might not get the procedure, its still being developed by NICE (National institute for clinical excellence), but the findings of it so far are very positive. I am quite happy to be a guinea pig lol!!
I at least walked out of there happy and with hope, i normally come out of there angry and upset!!!
And he isnt discharging me either, he said he is leaving the door open for me if i want to see him, i thought that was really cool.

So i am a very happy Ali!!

Jess, its great to hear you are managing well, we do have these mishaps, but i totally believe in staying positive. I have my down times, but have a 'Its happened, I just have to deal with it and make the best of it as much as I can' attitude. If it turns out I can't have this procedure, then at least i will have tried eh?

Much love to the rest of you guys both pre and post op too, it can be a long hard slog back to recovery, but you will get there

Much Luv, Ali x

Trevor C
03-06-2012, 05:03 PM
Hi Monty2,
Sorry it's taken so long to reply i'm the only1 without a computer in our house and so have to beg borrow and steal to get on one..haha
I am still doing well in my recovery, still get some pain in my calves mainly lower but after seeing the physio and report of my op this is explained due to severe nerve damage but I am VERY Thankful to have been informed that the nerve had mainly been sitting on my spinal cord and I am lucky to have any use of my bowel etc, to which Thankgod I have full use and control of, obv I feel very lucky.
I am at physio again on monday and back to my surgeon tuesday so he can give me the all clear to fly on the 11th he was informed before my op that we were going away so fingers x there is no prob, sitting on the plane i'm not looking forward to so i'll have to go walk about throughout.
I hope all is well with you and you are more comfortable and in less pain.
I will keep my fingers x for your full recovery.
Kind Regards and positive thoughts sent your way.xxx

Hannah Steele
03-06-2012, 05:06 PM
I have been looking everywhere for answers to my op questions. I am so glad im not alone. just before christmas my leg was in agony, I have my own business so had to keep going. Then on the 30 the March after numerous attempts at trying to get someone to believe in my pain and after the hospital told me I had nothing wrong with me I was admitted to A+E. My legs and bum were numb and burning and my back had completely gone. I was rushed to Newcastle General where i was told that if I had the discectomy the worst case scenario was the loss of the use of my legs. If I didnt have the op I would eventually lose my legs, bowels and bladder, some choice! Its been 4 weeks, Thank God my bowels and bladder are in good working order, but the numbness is still there. I cant walk far but I am getting better. I am frustrated more than anything because of my business but mostly because it could have been avoided if the doctors at my hospital had taken the time to see the bulge on my disc. I am not in any pain but I am on excellent pain killers. Not morphine, though not through want of trying haha. I know that the surgeons at Newcastle General will always have my gratitude, I have been told they are the best at what they do and I couldnt have been in a better place.

03-06-2012, 05:10 PM
Monty 2
I would just like to say plz go back to your doctor and make him listen to you. I dont think you should be in as much pain as you are. My pain post op was non existant and Im not saying that is for everyone but I am still numb and my calves wont take me for the long walks just yet but I am not in the agony I was like before my op! I hope you can get this sorted before you need a detox for the morphine!
Good luck

03-06-2012, 05:13 PM
I feel a bit silly really as in the last 5 days I have had a complete turn around. I am completely off ALL prescription pain killers now, detox was not pleasant but only lasted 3 days, still taking Naproxen but only as a precaution. I am very mobile, not experiencing hardly any pain at all now and feel great! I can only say that my 'relapse' following surgery was possibly down to trying to do too much too quickly and/or swelling etc.

Chiddy, glad to hear you are progressing well, bet you are really looking forward to your holiday. We are going away in first week of July and I am really looking forward to it now.

Love and best wishes to everyone...... keep smiling!


03-06-2012, 05:18 PM
Hey Monty,

Glad to hear all is going good for you now.
I had to go through detox too, it was only just over a week, but was the longest week EVER!!! It was the most horrendous experience i have ever endured!!

I am going on holiday too at the end of next month, need a change of scenery in the blur of all the hospital/physio appointments etc....will be good to get away
Hope you enjoy your holiday too, and hope things continue to improve for you.

Luv Ali x

03-06-2012, 05:23 PM
Hi everyone

I have not posted for a while and am sorry that I have not kept up with all your posts. I am at my whits end my disc has gone for a 3rd time. !!!! I am feeling sooooo depressed. I cant keep coping with this .

Fireolli. Hope you and your family are ok. Can you let me know what streching excersises you do on a dialy basis?

I had a massive prolapse on my L5/S1 and had no option but to have a discetomy as i could hardly move, so this happened on 31st Oct 2007. Same disc prolapsed again in july of last year, it was a smaller prolapse and had prolapsed into my spinal canal. Again the pain was pretty hordendious they decided to give me a nerve block. This seemed to be ok for a while, then in mid feb of this year started to get nerve disturbance in both legs on and off , the usual low back pain that stinging ache. The increase feeling of numbness in my foot and back of the leg, both my lgs going hot and cold etc.

I had a MRI scan 25th April 09 which showed that the b**** disc had gone again, roughly in the same place and into the spinal canal and is slighty bigger than before. But the weird thing is its painful but not as much as before. I am on pain killers and i am off work, my dr has signed me off for 6 weeks, I am going for another nerve block hopfully next week.

I am scared that it may go again. Can anyone say any words of wisdom to keep me going.

Best wishes to you all

03-06-2012, 05:24 PM
Cas08 - oh dear, you are going through a bad time!
I've gone through just the one discectomy, so am not quite in the same situation as you.
But I wish you best of luck, and I hope that the nerve block works for you.

The Kitten in Clothes
03-06-2012, 05:27 PM
Hi there, have only just found this forum. Has anyone any news of COLROB1 they posted on the 27th Nov 2007? They were going to see a Mr Martin Knight at the Spinal Foundation in Cheshire. I would like to know how they got on.
I had a L4/L5 Discectomy and far lateral decompression in August 2006, after the op I still had lower back pain and numbness in my left leg but managed a 380 mile walk in Spain during May 2007 (the Camino) and started skiing again in 2008. However the last couple of weeks I have been getting increased pain and numbness (it never actually went away completely just diminished) and I fear more nucleus material may have pushed through. According to COLROB1 this guy Knight can seal the annulus with a Laser to prevent this happening.
I think this may come under "the grasping at straws" heading but I definitely don't wish to return to the pre-op pain level. Any news on Mr Knights ability will be greatly received.


TTC 19 month #1
03-06-2012, 05:31 PM
Hi Cas08,

I am so sorry to hear you are going through this a 3rd time, i have been through it twice so can appreciate how frustrated you must feel, have they not considered fusion?
To have this happen a 3rd time is just devastating, i was devastated when my disc went for the 2nd time (this was 8 weeks after my first op).

I asked for fusion, but they refused, saying the risks to the discs on the other levels would be too great. Thankfully though the 2nd op rectified the 2nd prolapse and the disc is now where it should be.
Surely it should be an option for you though hun, especially with the disc having gone a 3rd time.
I am stuck with epidural adhesions now, that aint no picnic, i am too signed off work indefinetely until hopefully, some kind of treatment can be found, as my mobility is rubbish.

I hope something will be done for you hun, and swiftly,

Love Ali xxx

03-06-2012, 05:35 PM
Hi AliH78

Thanks so much for your kind words ALiH78, and Hope you are OK

He did say that I could have a 2nd surgery or to try the injection again. like you I asked about a fusion and he said that it would put to much pressure on the discs above. He felt that at the moment surgery is to drastic. I am also very scared that 2nd surgery in the same place. As not sure whether it could cause more problems, more nerve damage and or more scar tissue.

Would you say that your 2nd opp was sucessful? what are epidural adhesions, what causes those? sorry to have to ask.

Luv Cas08

03-06-2012, 05:40 PM
Hi Cas08,

I do alot of hamstring streches throughout the day but once a day i will do a big stretch session, this mainly.(al these are done in sets of 3 and for 30 seconds each time)

Lay on back bend legs and roll your legs from side to side.

Lay on back with one leg straight and the other bent, pull bent leg across you. do both sides

Lay on back with one leg straight other bent, put hands behind thigh of bent leg and pull towards you. do both legs.

lay on back with one leg straight, try and get the foot of your other leg to the shoulder of the opposite side. this is a very hard stretch and should be taken one step at a time.

stretch your calf through the day as well as this will stretch your nerve a little.

All these stretch may make your legs ache for a while after but its better to keep your nerves moving than not at all.

Hope this helps.

As for me i am doing ok. my right leg keeps giving me a bit of jip on and off but i am plodding on and hope it settles down again. the problem is if the nerve gets angry it takes a long time for it to recover

Hope everyone is good


03-06-2012, 05:43 PM
Hi AliH78 and Fireolli

Thanks guys for you replies and support. Much appriciated.

Its difficult to know how much movement to do while you are waiting for treatment. As you dont know what is safe to do and what is not. I know I am better if i keep pottering about.

Hi Fireolli, Not sure whether to start the streches yet or leave it until after the Injection, which I am hopping will be in the next 10 days. Hope your leg settles down again soon. Did you know what aggravated it?

Hi AliH78, Thanks for that, I will bare in mind the information you have given me on having a 2nd opp, but thought i would take the less invasive route first. Hope you are getting on Ok.

Take Care

Hope everyone is doing well.
Luv Cas08

03-06-2012, 05:47 PM
Hi cas08,

Well i think it was 2 days of wall paper stripping, lots of bending and stretching.

I also haven't been to the physio for about 6 weeks and i normaly go every 3-4 weeks to sort any niggles out.

The one thing i have learnt is even when you get a few pains or pins and needles you must still do the stretching and exercises. Just ease up a bit but keep going it all helps in the long run.

I would start the stretches now and gauge what you can and cannot do, you never know it may help anyway.


03-06-2012, 05:51 PM
Hi Fireolli

Thanks for that, without this forum, knowing that you can talk to people who really do know what is like to have the difficulies that we have all experianced, I think i would go mad so thanks for your help and advice.

I can understand that 2 days of wall papering bending and streching would aggravate your back. Take it easy though! Do you go to a private physio or are you still seeing one in the NHS? Hope you dont mind me asking?

I have printed off the exercises that you posted, so I am off to try a few streches. Take care hope your back settles soon.

AliH78 Hope you are doing Ok. Speak soon.

Hope everyone is doing well.
Luv Cas08

03-06-2012, 05:53 PM

NHS are sh!t, sorry but they are. I go private and she is very good. Knows what do to get things settled down.


03-06-2012, 05:55 PM
Hi Fireolli,

Thanks, I'll ask around and see if I can info on any good ones in my area. I think you are probably right with the whole NHS thing!

Tried the streches you said, was sore but felt a good sore if you know what i mean. Did not realy understand the last stretch though copied below. Can you make it any clearer, remember I am on a lot of pain killing drugs so maybe thats why I am abit muddled.

lay on back with one leg straight, try and get the foot of your other leg to the shoulder of the opposite side. this is a very hard stretch and should be taken one step at a time.


Ms. D
03-06-2012, 05:57 PM

Ok, we will stretch the right leg

Lay on your back. have left leg straight. bring the other leg up and rest your foot on your knee. put your left hand on your right ankle and your right hand on your right knee. slowly pull your right knee to your left shoulder.

you may only be able to pull a little way at first but you will get better.

Hope this helps


P.s. If you live anywhere near Wigan you might want to look up the Physio at total fitness, she is the one i see and she is A***

Marquis de LaDeaux
03-06-2012, 05:59 PM
Thanks Fireolli

Will print that off and try it.

Hope your leg is a better and has settled down now.

Take care

03-06-2012, 06:00 PM
Its coming up for 3wks. After op. I have one disc out and one shaved back. I did had pain in my legs, after the op and still do but not as sore. Sometime pin and needles in the toes and calf. So Last week my doctor phoned the surgeon 'side kick' and they were worried that it could have been nerve damage. (Im only 18 !! (at college training to be sport coach ) because I had no ankle reflex. But now they think it was swelling. Got a letter for my '8' week appoinment. Its ............ 6th Dec 09 !! thats not 8 weeks thats 32wks ! So I phoned up but that is right, thats the next one. And they said if i had any problems phone up. NHS Tayside for you !
But the good news was I got my physio letter through, this thursday.
Can someone tell me what that is about , what they do ?
Also Im going to back to college next week against Doctor and Surgeon orders,they don' want me to go back until next term. but I have lots to catch up on. Don't worry I won't do any sports but I will just watch. Hopefully starting swimming soon, need to keep my self fit ! lol.


03-06-2012, 06:02 PM
Hey Greg,

32 weeks??? That is an absolute bloody joke!!!
A 6-8 week follow up is routine for all spinal ops!!!

Its good that you are going to start physio, they teach exercises to stretch the nerve and build core strength.
Your physio can advise when its ok to go back to college and what other execises you can or can't do, just take it easy!!

Luv Ali xx

03-06-2012, 06:05 PM
Hi everyone, well I'm home! Had the op last Thursday morning, apparently all went well & to plan with no problems. Fortunately the disc was healthy so it was not removed completely, just the bit sticking out! Sciatica has now gone completely, still got the crazy feeling in the ball of my foot and some mild pins & needles, but the surgeon told me that this is normal and should go away after a few weeks. Had gas to knock me out so my needle phobia wasn't a problem .
Pain Thursday night/Friday was quite considerable, but having never had an operation of any description before I had no idea what to expect. Physotherapist had me walking on Friday, was okay. Went for another short walk in the afternoon with one of the nurses, not the most pleasent stroll I must say but apparently it has to be done - followed by 30 minutes lying on my stomach. Felt a bit depressed/upset and sorry for myself - pain and the future going through my mind but c'est la vie! Saturday, Sunday and now today, the pain is getting gradually less, walking is now okay, stairs are no problem & how lovely was it to sit on the toilet last night without hideous leg pain during & after!!!.
Regime is now quite strict for the next ten days, walk/sit for 20 mins max, then lye on my front for 20 minutes seems to be the order of the day, otherwise its bed rest. Got some basic excercises to do whilst I'm lying down (on my back & front) to strengthen the muscles at the base but thats no problem and straight forward.
So, all in all, it would seem that its gone well, I just hope that after this six weeks I can start to get my life back in order, then by the time our holiday to Majorca comes in September I'm going to be really getting there.
Please feel free to ask any questions if needed.
Cheers, Colin.

03-06-2012, 06:10 PM
Hi all, first post but have been reading alot of what has been written on here, i really do sympathise with those of you who are suffering. I am now 24 hours post op (l4/l5) and sciatic pain has gone, the incision in the back is painful but this is normal according to the surgeon. He said the needle tore a small part of the membrane and therefore I have had to bed rest for 24 hours. I will be attempting to walk later today so will let everyone know how this goes.

For those of you not getting anywhere with your GP you have to be persistant beyond belief, I must of been to see him 10 times in the space of a month before he finally wrote a letter and told me to take it to a and e. At first they tried to fob me off with painkillers etc. I had been taking tramadol (max dose) co codemol (max dose) diazepan (3 times a day) they finally agreed to send me for a scan and gave me a depositary of diclofenac (think thats how it spelt) I was in observation for two days and once the surgeon had seen my mri results he agreed to operate, 5 days later and this is the stage that Im at now. I only wish I had pushed my GP harder for an emergency referal (a little tip, if you say you find it difficult to pass water or bowel movement you will get the op you want) I know this is wrong exagerating the problems but its the only way they will take you seriously. Only us lot posting on this board know how unbearable the pain is and even loved ones sometimes cant understand why you are literally crying in pain. Anyway ill keep you posted on my recovery, as im a personal trainer it is going to be difficult for me to return to work soon but i am hoping that as im reasonably fit this may aid my recovery. All the best to those of you still waiting for your scans and ops


03-06-2012, 06:11 PM
Hi everyone!
Some of you won't know me but I was here last year. Had a bi-lateral discectomy in July on L4/L5 privately.
Well best thing I ever did with regards to my back.
I haven't taken a single pain killer since the two a day in the hospital for two days following the surgery. Strength and mobility have returned to practically normal and the spine is returning to normal lordosis. I can workout, walk, run, play golf and enjoy life again.
I have only experienced a mild pins and needles in one foot when I have sat awkwardly - a good reminder to maintain good posture - and visited a physio for a good massage only recently for the first time since the op.
I wish everyone the best and keep up the core exercises!

03-06-2012, 06:15 PM
Thanks for posting that JayBoy, very reassuring for me and the many others like me I'm sure. The long term situation is something which has been concerning me quite considerably. Glad your all fine & dandy!

03-06-2012, 06:19 PM
great to hear from you! your posts were really inspirational to me pre-op when things were awful. it's so good to hear your recovery continues to go well...sounds very similar to mine. i am now 9 months post-op, back doing dance classes and lots of walking. still a bit stiff and get the occasional ache and pins and needles in the 'bad' leg, but feeling much happier, healthier and still so glad i had the op.

good luck to all the new(ish) post-oppers....remember to do what you're told! and come off the painkillers as slowly as you possibly can!

lots of love,
jess xx

ps...just a warning - i tried the 'can't pee' thing (it was true) at a&e and it was fobbed off as a side effect of amitryptaline (still can't spell it) and as being due to the discomfort of sitting on the toilet!

Wajahat A
03-06-2012, 06:22 PM
Just a quick update on my progress. I am nearly 11 months post op and things are great. I am back to full time teaching exercise and doing 17 classes a week. I sprint, run, jump and and really do what I want. I have the occasional ache and and stiff in the lower back sometimes but put this down to the amount of exercise I do.

To all you new post-oppers I would recommend that you take things slowly(I know that's hard!), do the stretches(carefully!) and exercises given to you and try to rebuild your core strength with pilates. I am a pilates teacher and would be more than happy to list some exercises if anyone would like them.

Gregdfc, Be careful returning to college so soon, sitting can be a problem too!!
Colin. Well done on surviving the op! Take it steady and you should be ok for your holiday!

cas08 so sorry you are facing a 3rd op. Keeping everything moving is the best option, stretching will be very hard for you with a prolapsed disc so be careful and dont worry if it's too hard and painful.

Ali. Any news on your adhesions etc?

Take care all and i wish happy and speedy recoveries to all.
Much love

03-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Hi Chris12.
I would def agreee that as a personal trainer your body will be strong and will help your recovery. Your only problem will be being patient! I was desperate to get back to teaching and had to fight with myself to wait until 8 weeks(surgeon's reccomendation) before i started again even though I felt I could much earlier.

Try and enjoy the rest your body deserves and needs it!!
Take care

Good gone girl
03-06-2012, 06:26 PM
Wow, great to see such positive stuff... I am now 5 weeks post op L4/L5 discectomy and am progressing well. Had my first Physio appointment yesterday which was all of a 10 minute chat and he then said I was doing so well there was no need to go back unless I felt it necessary. Stated he would keep my notes open for 6 weeks and if he hadnt heard anything by then he would discharge me. I rarely get any pain now, doing loads of walking, (not enough stretching.... note to self, must do more!) but pretty much back to normal. Got follow up appointment 28th of May and hoping to be able to go back to work on 1st June.

Its easy to forget just how much pain and misery this problem causes, it has been a real eye opener for me as I have been lucky in that prior to this I had never needed an operation before or experienced symptoms that affected my quality of life so severely. Surgery was described to me on many occasions by medical staff as a 'last resort' yet so many of us having had the surgery have been given our lives back.. makes you wonder doesn't it?

Best wishes... Michelle

03-06-2012, 06:29 PM
Hi Fitbird!!

Good to hear from you, I am still suffering i'm afraid, but have hope in the shape of a pain specialist, he may be able to help.

But if he can't, I have been in touch with the Spinal Foundation, and Martin Knight, the leading surgeon, and he said he can help me, I am going to my GP to get referred there.

The Epiduroscopy, the procedure that the Spinal Foundation used to use to remove adhesions, they don't use anymore as it is ineffective, so they do something else which i will hopefully find out what very soon!!
I am really chuffed, because I have 2 referrals to specialists now, after that other divvy doctor telling me that nothing can be doen and i am stuck like this for the rest of my life. Poo to him!!!!

Fitbird, I am really pleased to hear that you are pretty most back to how you were. Brilliant news honey!!
I hope to be back that way myself one day!! I am still staying positive, it really helps to keep going and not wallow, thats not good!!!

Love and best wishes to the rest of you guys, pre and post op, keep smiling

For all the facebookers out there, there is a fan page for the Spinal Foundation, Click this link....

And for all you who aren't into social networking, the website for the Spinal Foundation is....

The website is very detailed and has loads of info about all kinds of back problems, hope it helps

03-06-2012, 06:30 PM
I have been making enquiries today and have made an appointment for an acupuncture session tomorrow!!!
Never had it before, but have heard many praises sung about it on here, so thought i'd give it a go!!!
Neeeeeedles!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!!!

03-06-2012, 06:31 PM
Hi Fitbird,

I would be grateful if you could list some stretching excercises, suitable for my current situation - 1 week post op, then increaseing to when I can do much more.

As everyone can probably tell, I was absolutely pooing myself at the thought of the op, so yep, to say I 'survived' it was probably the correct term!!

Everyone's postings on here are so encouraging, however I feel for those who havent had it as easy & been so successful

Cheers, Colin.

03-06-2012, 06:33 PM
Hey all,

Went for my first acupuncture session today, it wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be!!
They put 3 pins in me, one in my wrist, tummy and foot, it felt a bit tingly, but didn't hurt.
I am booked in for next week, then a session every fortnight and then every month.

Olli....How many sessions did you have until you felt a difference with your pain levels?

I hope you guys are all ok, and having a (relatively) pain free day

03-06-2012, 06:38 PM
Hi Alih78

How are you. I tried accupuncuture a while a go before I had my opp. I found it really good. So I hope it works for you.

Wanted to ask a question to you Alih78 and to any other fellow suffers on here.
Are people after there opps, like a year down the line still suffering with nerve pain?? if so are you taking anything for it and what is the you are taking??Has anyone had the sensation of a horrible intense stinging ache that is in the lower back and radiates into the coccyxs??Hope everyone is doing well
Best wishes

03-06-2012, 06:41 PM

cas08, I still get a bit of pain if i do too much which seems to be most days at the moment. I do have a damaged nerve in my right leg so it can be a bit painful sometimes. I just take codien some nights.

Ailh78, It was about 4-5 sessions before there was a big difference. It was like it all happened after a session about a month after i started. I now get it every 4 weeks to settle everything down.

Had some the other day which helped but it has been busy at work and i have done a few training sessions this week with some running so i am feeling it a bit today.

I will be ok, the stretching eases everything off


03-06-2012, 06:43 PM
This is my first posting, however thank you to you all who have put their experiences in writing as they have been very well 'received'!

I had a micro-discectomy 6 weeks ago after starting with problems exercising / walking early last year.

Post op was such a relief, no sciatica, no pains, just a little sore around the wound. Would recommend the op after the months of discomfort suffered.

However 2 weeks to the day post op my torso bent in the evening and I started slanting to the left. Walking and movement started to be affected again and I started to experiece pains, aches and twinges in the left buttock and top off the leg (original problem was all right side). I managed to see the specialist, his post op nurse, and 2 physio's who have all said that this was a back muscle spasm and the physiotherapy should sort this out.

Nearly 3 weeks on, the physio exercise have straightened me back up a little, however the pains are still a problem, to the point off being back on half doses of the painkillers that I originally had.

The specialist see's me this week for the 6 week post op check, however he did get another MRI done yesterday, just to put his (and my) mind at ease. My problem is that I really struggled to get up off the board after the MRI. Stairs and slopes still are a problem too.

Has anyone else suffered these type of problems post op or may I be in for a shock at the meeting this week?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Many Thanks

???ll? ß????
03-06-2012, 06:46 PM
Hi Ade, I am 6 months post op and suffered the same problem a couple of months ago. At first I had a muscle spasm that hurt like hell but when that eased off I really thought that was the end of it. I now have a wonky hip which will sort of straighten after exercise but then drifts out again. It hurts more, probably because I am out of line and putting too much pressure on other parts of my back. Will be seeing the consultant soonish I hope and find out what can be done to fix me up again.

I'm relieved it isn't that painful and I can still work, but anything beyond work is just impossible. It's really strange because doctors were very impressed with my recovery and the suppleness of my back after surgery. Let us know what the verdict is with you so I can be prepared, I have a horrible feeling they'll say they can't do any more for me though.

Hello everyone, couldn't resist popping in for a minute, hows it all going folks? Did the acupuncture work Ali? I'm still waiting for surgery on upper back...ho hum!

Love to all


03-06-2012, 06:48 PM
Hi everyone. I am now 1 week post op (L4/l5) and all things considered its going ok. The only real problem I am experiencing is sciatic pain when trying to sit/lie down. The sciatic pain feels different to before the operation and is somewhat stronger but then dissapears after a minute or too. Has anyone got any ideas about what this could be? Apart from that things are ok, ive cut back on taking the full dosage of all painkillers, diazipan and diclofenac. Walking three times a day for 10 minutes and performing pelvic tilts 4 times a day.

If anyone could give me any advice on what im doing and if I can do anything else to help that would be great.

The surgeon mentioned that I also have a prolapsed disk at l5/s1 but didnt operate on it as it was not compressing the nerve, so i am wondering what can be done to avoid this disc becoming worse? Once again any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and good luck to you all recovering

03-06-2012, 06:49 PM

Im 3weeks coming up for 4 weeks since op. Still got really bad pin and needles and when I lay on my side the pain really bad. Can't stand for too long either.
Went to physio and they said to to 3 5mins walk a day and then build it up slowly. Still can't do swimming .
Going back to college today but only for watching (Im a sport student). Hopefully get on ok.

?Miss Inquisitive?
03-06-2012, 06:54 PM
Hi everyone

Does anyone know how much the Injection is?? or how I can find out how much it would be and to get the nerve block done privately.

I am so angry listen to this.

I had a discectomy on my L5/S1 end of Oct 2007 after serveral months of the most horrendious pain that i have ever experianced and then ending up in hospital for a week. Then In july of 2008 It happened again at the same level, again the pain was horrendious. This time they decicded on a nerve block rather than surgery. Then I start having problems again in mid feb 2009 they gave me another MRI scan towards the end of April to find that the disc had gone yet again. I have oppted for another nerve block which the consultant said he could get done quite qickly. i am now off work yet again waiting for this injection.

Ive phoned up the receptionist just to find out about a possible date, she was a bit funny with me and then said did I know that there was a 5 Month wating list, I asked her what I could do and she just said " nothing youll have to just wait". I told her that I could not wait that long. I then phoned the consultant and told him. I dont think that he was awhare that there was that sort of wating list. I did say that If I have to wait that long i stand a good chance of loosing my job and have now left it with him to chase.

I am soooooo p****d off dont they realise that we are real people with lives to lead. They send us home with pain killers and very little infomation and we just have to wait for them to get ther act togther. They dont take back problems seriously and yet the problem can change your life dramatically. When this sort of thing happens your life seems to be on hold. One of the consultants said to me, people with back problems need to try and stay at work for as long as possible or they get depressed and can loose their jobs. Yeh I thought that becacuse we are sent home to cope with pain on our own and told to wait some rediculious amount of time for some treatment, all the time the nerve damage is getting worse.

Rant over

Hope everyone else is doing OK!
Thanks for listening

Tee Tee
03-06-2012, 06:57 PM
Hi chris12. Same as you, I had discectomy on L4/5, but also have disc prolpase at L5/S1 (and just for good measure, L2/3..) I have found that a good physio program is a good way to try and make sure that you are doing the right exercises, stretches, strengthening etc to help try and avoid further disc problems. Also being careful about how you lift things, and taking care about how, and for how long, you sit. I figure any attempts at prevention are worthwhile.

Happeh Gurl C:
03-06-2012, 07:01 PM
Cas08 sorry to hear of the problems you are having. I just hope that there will be some answers for you soon. I am not surprised you are angry. I would be too. So frustrating.

Lovely Anderson <3
03-06-2012, 07:04 PM
Hi Melza, and thank you for your reply, glad to hear of someone with something similar, but not glad to hear you have if you know what I mean!
My 'wonky' back seems very similar to yours, better somedays than others which causes some backaches.
My major concern are these pains in the left hip & thigh which I shall report back on after Wednesday.
I cannot though carry much more than a small shopping bag in weight, or a tray with a plate of food on without the pains increasing, equally if i cut back on pain killers or first thing in the morning it seems much worse. I shall keep you advised.

Cas08, very sorry to hear of your story. I did see about some 8 - 10 pages back one guy advised sufferers to use a weakening bladder control story to gain prompt attention. I dont neccessarily condone this, but when I went for my pre-op I was told that my op had been postponed for 3 weeks due to an emergency. However when asked had any circumstances changed, which they had, as in the previous week, I had lost total control over my bladder twice, the op did take place 3 days later. As I said, I dont codone 'fibbing' but keep an eye on this as an issue of worsening condition. Many others have written about this subject being taken as a priority condition.
As for costs of nerve root blocks mine was NHS, but had no effect, indeed seemed to be the start of a worsening in condition.

Indeed has anyone during nerve root block had to have the needle changed 3 times as it has bent? The 'injector' said I had very strong back muscles causing the needles to bend. When another 'injector' took over he said that they were bending as they were trying to get to the right spot!
I was'nt totally convinced when he said 'hope that ok as thats about as close as we can get' at the end of the session either!

Chins up fellow sufferers!


03-06-2012, 07:07 PM
Cas08, you have voiced my feelings about treatment for back problems...apparently back problems cost the country millions you know, and here we are begging for treatment! I would love to write to an MP, assuming I haven't just paid for him to go on a long holiday, and get these problems recognised. Are there enough consultants I wonder.

I wrote to the Southampton consultant and asked him to review my scan results as he told me the the cervical spine problems are inoperable. Only one procedure has been agreed but wonder whether its worth going under the knife again if it won't make that much difference to the pain. I also requested he take on all of my spine rather than me getting a referral to another hospital to deal with problems in my lumbar spine. Apparently getting an appointment sent through but that was a week ago, not even confirmation of proposed surgery agreed on April 2nd. I really believed this could all be cured and forgotten about but now not so sure....its all so frustrating and depressing! Back problems are about to celebrate their second anniversary, do I celebrate? We have no choice but to play the waiting game...but I wish we did.

Chins up folks!

Sea Cucumber
03-06-2012, 07:11 PM
Hi Subi, Ade-Wsm and Melza

Thanks for answering my ranting moment. Just somtimes you need to let off steam with people who really do know what its like. I often wander how a good dose of a prolapse pain on some of these people, that make it difficult for us to get tretment, would fair. I think the long waiting lists would become shorter. They are putting money and budgets before peoples health and its not right. Sorry I needed another rant obviously not got it out of my system yet.

Hi Subi, you mentioned that you have another prolapse on L5/S1a and L2/L3 does that give you any pain or other problems. how do you manage at work with sitting??

Hi Chris12 What about you, you still have the prolapse on the L5/S1, did they say anything about what might happen with that, are you getting any problems with it?

Hi Melza I am sorry that you are still having problems. Are you in a lot of pain? Have you still got problems with your lower back as well as the upper part. How are you coping?

Speak soon
Luv to you all

03-06-2012, 07:16 PM
Hi Ade-Wsm

I have not experainced what you mentioned ealier on your post, On your torso becomming bent that must have been a bit alarmimg. It was good that you had another MRI scan done so quickly. Good luck with the results your seeing him this week I think you said. let us know how you get on.

Best wishes

03-06-2012, 07:18 PM
Hi Cas08

Having read your recent posts I can totally sympathise with your situation, its not right or fair when someone in so much pain can just be sent home without any help except painkillers. I myself had a similar cycle to you. I visited my GP 10-15 times, went to A and E twice all with no result. Having to wait for a scan on the nhs was going to be 8 weeks of more intolerable pain which I couldnt take. Only finally when I mentioned to my GP i found it hard going to the toilet that he wrote a referal and told me to take it to A&E and they would have to treat me. A&E wernt happy seeing me as I went to a hospital further away than my local A&E but I decided to do this as my GP recommended this hospital due to their neurosurgical department. Anyway they agreed to keep me in overnight on a huge dose of painkillers and fit me in for a scan the next day. I actually found that i got great pain relief from diclofenac but in the form of a dipositary (SP) that you stick where the sun dosnt shine. It may be worth seeing if your GP can give you some of this?? The doctor at the hospital said it was the most effective, quick pain reliever they use!

Anyway the next day I had a scan, which the neurologist took a look at and told me I needed the op at l4/l5. Didnt know about L5/S1 at this time. 5 Days later I had the surgery and am currently 1 weeks post op.

As far as the L5/S1 situation I dont know if this is causing my current slight sciatic pain when sitting or whether this is nerve irritation from the long term compression of the nerve at L4/L5. I guess only time will tell. The surgeon didnt mention if at some stage ill need L5/S1 doing aswell but i will find out at my follow up with him in 5 weeks time.

Got my staples out on thu and cant wait to have a proper wash and bath.

I hope you find some resolution with your problems in the near future, keep at them, they will have to give in EVENTUALLY!

Badboy Mikey.©
03-06-2012, 07:21 PM
Hey all,

I bloody slipped down my stairs last night banging my lumbar spine on each step!! YOWCH! Spent the night in A&E, nothing broken but the doc told me something interesting that wasn't picked up on before.
I have degeneration of my L4/5 vertebrae!! He found it on my last MRI scan which I had done in March. My surgeon didn't pick that up, thats worrying!!
I don't really know what can be done about it if anything, does anyone here know?

Cas08, I did continue to endure nerve pain after both my surgeries, but kept being told it was because my nerve is damaged/scarred.
I can appreciate your frustrations over NHS waiting times as well, as when my disc went the 2nd time, I had to wait 5 months to get an appointment, and wasn't operated on until 6 months after that, no wonder my nerve has so badly hammered!!!

God bless the NHS!!

03-06-2012, 07:26 PM
Hi Cas08.
This forum is a good place for letting of steam. Many of us have needed to do it at some point. And, on here, we 'get it' if you know what I mean. So vent away on the days when you need to, we've all had those days (weeks, months ???) too.

Occasionally I feel 'twinges', but nothing that I can't manage from day to day. The one at L5/S1 prolapse was marked on my MRI as 'severe' but it seems like it is not pressing on the nerve (as yet, let's hope it stays that way). I now know that it I did feel sciatic pain that was increasing in severity that I would seek medical advice immediately. I am VERY careful about how I carry things, and the amounts I lift. I do my exercises and stretching every single day. I figure any preventative measures are worth it.
In terms of sitting.... 6 months post op I work at a desk job on average of 10 hours per day... it's not ideal but I can manage it now. I try and make sure that I am not just sitting for hours at a time. I used to time myself to make sure I wasn't sitting for longer than 30 min at a time, but now I just know when it time to stand up, move around and so some stretches. I also make sure I have both heat and cold packs at work to use.

Ali, hope you are feeling better very soon - going back to hospital does NOT sound good. My MRI had Degenerative disc disease listed as well. (has DDD been your diagnosis too??).

Wishing everyone a pain free day (or at least, less pain).

c?c? ch?n?l ?
03-06-2012, 07:30 PM
oh ali! what a nightmare! hope you're ok!

subi - i too got a written diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. was a bit concerned about having a disease so spoke to my physio, who said that every adult out there has degenerative disc disease, because everyone's backs degenerate with age, and our discs kind of dry up. not sure what your doctor person was on about ali....don't really understand how vertebrae can degenerate... any news on the procedure for the adhesions?

melza...good to hear from you and so happy that the melza sense of humour continues to be so strong!

all good news from here. my back is reeeeally achy today after a long drive, but otherwise all ok and looking forward to an exotic holiday in june

lots of love,
jess xx

03-06-2012, 07:31 PM
Hi all
I've been looking at this website for some time now as I've been having back problems since Feb 07. At first it started as Sciatica and I decided to just take ibruprofen. I then went to Florida in June 07 and think the one and only roller coaster I went on, actually made it worse. When I returned home, I went to see my osteopath for a number of sessions and he recommended I needed to see a consultant and get an MRI scan done. This I did and it showed I'd got two bulging discs L5/S1 and L4. My consultant initially recommended surgery or a nerve root injection. I opted for the injection. This was absolutely awful .... I had to ask the anaethnatist to stop 3 times whilst putting the injection in. I had 3 weeks worth of pain relief which was absolutely fantastic but then when it wore off, my life was an absolute misery. I couldn't sleep (maximum of 3 hours per night), tried every drug going from the doctor and nothing seemed to work. I felt at my wits end. I have recently tried traction with the physio which I feel has made it worse. Today I decided to go and see another consultant. He said that, whilst I could have another injection, the fact that the previous one only gave me 3 weeks worth of relief, it was highly likely that I wouldn't get much more than 3 weeks again. I've now decided to go for the microdiscectomy and am absolutely worried sick. I've read many posts where people have said it's the best thing they've done but you always have it in the back of your mind that it might make things worse. I always thought surgery was for people who couldn't get out of bed or were in absolutely agony all day but I've now come round to thinking that I can't continue only being able to sleep on my left hand side all night, every night or that I can't go for bike rides with my children due to the pain. I'm just looking for some reassurance from people that I am making the right decision and that my life will be better for it. How long is it before I could go back to work? I currently work in an office and my consultant said I couldn't drive for 6 weeks. Ideally I would like to be back in 4 weeks ... your thoughts?

03-06-2012, 07:33 PM
Hey Jess,

Yes it wasn't the most cleverest thing, falling down the stairs!!
I haven't been diagnosed with DDD (degenerative disc disease), but wear and tear degeneration in my vertabrae, thats whats causing me extra pain, along with the adhesions. It can be an early sign of arthritis, makes me feel SO good!!
I am going to my GP on thursday, will chat to her about it so she can explain it more.

As for the adhesions, i have an appointment with the pain clinic next month and am hoping for a referral to the spinal foundation.
Hopefully something will be done eh?

Sorry to hear you been achy honey, hope your pain settles soon xxxx
I have been put back on codeine phosphate and diazepam, all whilst i am trying to get off the tramadol!!

03-06-2012, 07:39 PM
Hi Granne69

First off dont be frightened I know it earsier said than done. If your buldging discs are pinching your nerve and in all this time the imflamation has not gone down to allow the blugde to realise the nerve, Then a discetomey could be the right way to go. Even though I have had 3 prolapsed on the same disc which is soooooo rare. I am still glad that I had the discetomy as my quality of life was none exsistent at the time.

Some people I know that Have had siatica which I belive is the nerve being pinched and have managed to stop it getting any worse by by doing certain physo exercises, But they do have to do them every day and for the rest of there lives.

If you decide to have the opp you should realy be off for 6 weeks. moving and walking around not do alot of lifting or bending or sitting for to long. Towards the end of that time you should start physio and stretching excersies and then just build yourself up to doing ie walking swimming or some other good form of excersise all of the time. Like you I do an office job. when I went back to work the DWP along with my employer paid for me to have a special chair and desk, so you might want to look into this.

Hope this info helps

basketball addict
03-06-2012, 07:43 PM
Hi Grainne69

Sorry forgot to mention, yep you should not drive for six weeks after the opp. What might make things a bit easier after the 6 weeks is up, if your car has the very bad design of seats that some cars do, where the seat slopes backwards at a very deep angle. Buy a car seat cushion its in the shape of a wedge and so it makes the car seat flat to sit on. Ive got one and with out that I would not be able to drive the car even now.

Best wishes

03-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Hi Grainne69,

After being advised I had an L4/L5 prolapse, I too was petrified of having the operation. For me though, my quality of life had deteriorated so much, I didnt consider there was any other option. All of my pain was leg pain, I very rarely experienced any back pain, and as such I was advised the operation should be a success. I personally would recommend having the op, however it has been by no means easy. I am 6 weeks post op and am still experiencing pain in my leg. Recovery for me is slow and painful, Its like 3 steps forward and 4 back at times, although I do think some of this is because I do tend to overdo things... I am learning to listen to my body.

If you do go ahead, take the time you need to recover, I think every individual case is different and as such you may well be fit to return to work etc after 4 weeks but my advise is not to rush things and take the time you need.

Best of luck


03-06-2012, 07:49 PM
Hi All,

Have just returned from 6 week post-op check up, unfortunately the specialist who I have got great faith in was called away from todays appointments so I ended up with a 'locum'.

As previously mentioned on last few pages, my spasm slant is 85% back to being straight. Over the past 3 weeks though, the pains in the LEFT buttocks, hips and thighs show little signs of getting better.. Indeed went for a 2 mile walk last night, came home and led down flat on sofa, An hour later went to get up and could'nt put any weight on left leg due to severity of pain! All this of course had to be explained to the locum....Unfortunately the MRI results from last saturday have not been 'written up', but he viewed the pics and they show what he called a minor problem with the 2 discs above, but what seems like more of an issue with more material out of the disc I had surgery on. Remember this is now the left side, not the right that was the original problem.

So that the MRI results can be viewed and reported on by the experts I now have another appointment in 10 days time with my specialist, also to see if my left sided issue stabilises or gets better / worse. I was told though any sign of 'bottom end' control or numbness must be reported to A&E asap.

So for Cas08 thats where I am at, and for Grainne69, please do not let any of this put you off! You mentioned about cycling with your kids etc, I related straight with this and have the same problem, cant arrange holidays, activities, camping etc. I can assure you that after what the last 12 months were like (See previous pages) being as I am now, even in pain, I am a damn sight closer to being able to do things with my kids again now that before. My surgeon told me that discectomys are 75% successful, however i think it was Melza has had this problem 3 times now. Just my luck at present being in the 25% eh, however this has yet to be confirmed.

Its interesting though what different people are told, I was told I would be off work for 3-4 weeks. Yes, no sitting for first 10-14 days, however when I could sit comfortably for 20 mins I was told I could drive. My work does involve a lot of driving and travelling, indeed I find my car seat is the most comfortable seat that I have, upright with the lumbar support out fully. My physio said (although still bent) that I could drive sensibly, getting out every half an hour or so to walk, stretch and exercise. Therefore, with his permission at wk 5 I went back to work 2 days a week on the road and half day in the office. (Understanding bosses considering I only started with them in January!) I actually ask if my customers have a room somewhere for me to lie down in for 5-10 mins to do further exercises, mini sit ups and pelvic exercises etc. You dont know unless you ask eh?
However I cannot lift more than the weight of say a laptop due to the pain down this left side.
So I think each case is slightly different, or maybe my problem is as someone put in their recent thread, listen to your body, but do not overdo it! Or maybe I already have, thus the left sided problem now?

Good Luck!


03-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Hi Ade-WsM

Have been thinking about how you got on. What a bummer that the consultant was not there and that they had not read your MRI Scan yet. Its like the NHS are on a permentant Goooooooo Slooowwwww.

The disc material still might go back in to the disc over the comming weeks. That what my consultant said to me, that when a disc prolaspes the body is amazing at healing it self, granted not all the time!!. But there is a 90% chance that the prolapse will go back in or might be aborbed by the body depending on size ect.

Good for you about asking about being able to lie down when you need to stretch and do some excerises. When this sort of thing happens to you its kinda hard to ask for help from people, (a British thing I think),or thats what I found. Once you pass that barrier you more often that not find peolple are happy to help.

Hope you keep on improving
Best Wishes

LiL Mrs. CrAnKy PaNtS
03-06-2012, 07:53 PM
Hi all,

Well its nearly a year that i had the op. I have good times and bad times since with pain. Most of the time it has been good and i have been pain free, at the moment my right leg is start to feel like the pain is coming back. I have a small amount of pain all the time and a lot of nerve twitching with hot and cold flushes up and down my leg. I am still doing all the exercises and stretching which helps.

In the back of my mind i think its not true sciatica but there is always a chance that something has happened. I know the right nerve is damaged so it could just be a bad reaction to some thing i have done.

Feeling very sh!t today, i wish i was one of the guys who has had the op and has no pain afterwards. such is life there are many of you out there in a worse position than me and i should count myself lucky.

Anyway i hope everyone is doing well in there recovery. Keep going and it will work out ok.


03-06-2012, 07:56 PM
good to hear from you olli! just wondering how your wife is?? how long to go now? i am guessing there is a day in the not too distant future when your life is going to change soooo much that you'll no longer notice funny feelings in your leg and back

ali...good luck at the gp and pain clinic. keep us posted!!

take care all xx

03-06-2012, 08:01 PM
Cas08 and Monty 2 - many thanks for your kind words. Now I've made the decision, I'm coming round to thinking that this is now what I need. I know in my own mind that I've tried everything and now feel that surgery is the right thing. I've obviously been delaying the inevitable. Things (hopefully) will only get better. I don't know how you've coped with having 3 prolapsed discs!! I can certainly understand how depression can sometimes kick in. I've got a great husband and kids that just keep me going.

I'm talking to work about working from home rather than worrying about driving to work so fingers crossed they can get me set up. The point about a good chair is something I'm also looking at with work so this should be sorted by the time I get back. It's good to know by reading other people's experiences just what to expect post-op. I'm just waiting now on a date which could be mid June. Will keep you updated .... many thanks

Now Now
03-06-2012, 08:02 PM
Hi AliH78

Just wanted to find out how you after your fall down the stairs. Hope you are ok

Speak soon
Luv Cas08

03-06-2012, 08:06 PM
Hi Fireolli

How is your leg pain are you feeling any better?

I am doing the streching excersises that you sujested and I am getting on well with them, they seem to be helping. I have also been walking into the village and back once a day for the last few days and that seem to be ok too.

The pain in my leg seems to be decreasing as well and my back pain is not so intense. Makes me wander if the prolapse has started to go back, I hope so. Seems weird though if that is the case makes me wander how it pops out and what may have triggered it. If its that vunerable it could happen again. Sorry rambling thoughts!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway thanks for you advice.

Best wishes

03-06-2012, 08:08 PM
this is totally unrelated to this forum so please feel free to ignore and skim over... old habits die hard though and i have a new health issue and thought it would make me feel better to write on here, as it did so often with my back problems. i will look for a more suitable forum, but wanted to share with some old friends first....i had a blood test at the docs last week due to the length of time my husband and i have been trying for a baby, with no success. got the results today - a one-liner delivered by the receptionist in front of a full waiting room: "you are not ovulating". she could offer no further explanation and i can't speak to my GP until tuesday. i am trying to keep things in perspective, but am devastated

sorry for the self indulgent and inappropriate use of our discectomy forum!!

hope you're all well xx

03-06-2012, 08:12 PM
Hi Jess, lucky for you there are rambling females on here too. You shouldn't have received such a flippant diagnosis that way, it doesn't really mean a lot without other tests or a gynae visit anyway. Please don't worry about it too much until you have all the facts....and complain about that receptionists abuse of your right to confidentiality.

If its any comfort my daughter, aged 20, had a few general problems and had some blood tests done. She was told she had failed the fertility test, although she didn't realise she'd had one as she isn't even considering babies yet. She was instructed to go for another blood test and had the nurse asking her if she'd been trying for a baby for long (????) and rambling on about how difficult it could be trying for a baby. It seems she has PCS, that should be polycystic ovary syndrome which may have affected her fertility. You must hang on to the thought that ovulation can be given a kick start these days, there are loads of treatments around. My daughter may have to take something to regulate her hormones to get her back to normal levels, but that doesn't stop her dramatically claiming she's a 'barren woman'. See your doc to talk about it properly, you should be referred to a consultant and then all will become clearer...I hope.

Take care

03-06-2012, 08:15 PM
Hi everyone. Its now 16 days since I had the op & all is going well. Was a bit foolish last Sunday and did something I shouldn't have which I feel set me back a few days, however I generally feel great. Went for a walk today in the sunshine & no problems. One thing I will say, when the surgeon tells you to do nothing for two weeks, listen to him!!! I was feeling so good I obviously thought I was superman.... erm, no!

All those who are suffering have my sympathy - I know how you're feeling.

Presently, I'm really chuffed I had the op

03-06-2012, 08:16 PM
Hi cas08,

Yes leg pain has gone, it seems to last a week or so then goes. Had a big fire at work the other day, so if its not one thing its another, my back cramped up and the left side is aching a lot. I am thinking about getting a massage to ease it off.

I think due to my job and the amount of training i do i am always going to have ache's and pains. I just get a bit pis*ed off if it lasts too long.

Well on other news we have only 9 weeks to go before the little person pops out. Thats when all the fun starts. The little bugger is moving around loads. Went to a concert the other day and when the band came on and every cheered the bump was rolling around all over the place.

Hope all are well


Carlo De guzman
03-06-2012, 08:19 PM
Hey all,

I have indeed been in hospital, following my tumble down the stairs, i seem to have a pinch in the nerve that helps me to go wee wee's and so have a catheter now to help with this.
I am home now, but will have the catheter in until at least next week when i link up with the district nurse.

As for the pain, well it is worse and so am on a cocktail of painkillers to help relieve this, but send me to la la land!
I am off for a sleep now, so ta ta for now xxxxxx

Best wishes 2u all

03-06-2012, 08:24 PM
Hi. I am in the US. I had an L5 discectomy in 2001 for SEVERE sciatic pain which had me on the floor, huddled, crying, and unable to even go to the toilet. Crumbled parts of my L5 were irritating my sciatic nerve root.

For several years after I felt fine. Within the last year some tingling in my feet has sadly returned. I also get this pain in my left thigh, on the side. When awake it is mild but many times when I awake I have this painful nurning sensation in my left outer thigh - it's obviously something touching my nerve. I do not know if it is from the area of the operation or another disc. Added to this is that I am liosing my job soon and since I am an American I will have no health insurance. I am probably going to make an appointment with a doctor to get this looked at before then. I really wish it never came back.. (sigh)

Lola S
03-06-2012, 08:27 PM
Hi all. A little update from me, im 2 weeks and a day now post op and suprise suprise i sem to be getting the same symptoms as pre op. I wonder if any of you can give me some hints and tips. Should I be sleeping on my back as the last few nights ive slept on my side with a pillow between my legs, could of this made symptoms worse? also ive gone off all the painkillers for the last 4 days, should i go back on them? any help would be great

Mystery Girl 11
03-06-2012, 08:29 PM
Hi Chris12,

From my experience, I continued to get awful pain in my leg for a good few weeks post op. I didnt come off of the prescription drugs until about week 4-5 and now at 7 weeks post op, I am still taking paracetamol pretty much every day due to aching type leg and buttock pain. I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow for my follow up check and will certainly raise the issue of ongoing pain with him but I am pretty sure he will say its scar tissue etc etc. My advise to you is to try and stay really positive, I know its hard but you are only 2 weeks post op, which is nothing. I was told not to be scared to take pain relief, it is there to help you. I'm sure in time, with plenty of rest and taking things easy you will start to improve.

I have decided to go back to work on Monday, Doctor allowing.... and have booked my first Pilates consultation for early next week.... has anyone else out there tried Pilates and if so did it help??

AliH78, so sorry to hear you are is such a bad way. Sending you love and best wishes...


03-06-2012, 08:30 PM
Ali - so sorry you have been back in hospital Again. Poor you. I hope you are feeling better soon.

chris12 - I too had some symptoms similar to those you describe. But they did go within a few days (they came back a few times, but happy to say they did go). Eventually, you will get to work out your 'plan of attack' on your bad days. Sometimes you will find you need lots of rest, other times lots of stretching and walking, other times an ice pack or a heat pack, other times - a visit to the physio or a couple of TENS machine sessions. I was told by a GP soon after my op not to hold back on the pain relief (within reason of course ). It can certainly be helpful during these difficult times of pain.

Monty - I highly recommend pilates. I have been doing pilates now for about 5 months (I am nearly 7 months post op). I love it. Stick with it though, it takes a while to build, and then of course maintain, core strength. I figure any preventative techniques are worth it. Plus core strength helps with heaps of other things as well, so is helpful anyway.

Best wishes to all you post and pre-oppers.

03-06-2012, 08:35 PM
Hi guys


thanks for the advice its hard to know what to do regarding painkillers but ive had a small dose today and hopefully that will allow me to go a little walk. Good luck with your surgeon and let us know how you get on.


thanks also, ive decided to take it very easy for a few days and see how it all goes, i think its normal to expect nerve pain due to the time the nerve takes to repair, i hear the l4/l5 nerve takes the longest to repair so gonna stay positive and hopefully the pain will gradually get easier.

I do find it very intriguing how for alot of people the pain goes away for 2 weeks then at the 2 weeks mark it comes back, anyone got any ideas as to why this is?

i have also found a video of a lumber disectomy if anyone is interested in seeing what goes on (dont watch if you dont like blood and guts etc)


all the best everyone

03-06-2012, 08:38 PM
my surgeon told me that during the op, the damaged nerve was sprayed with cortisone (i think) which would have a numbing effect for a certain period of time - up to 6 months from what i remember. perhaps in some people that wears off after 2 weeks?! who knows. i think it is more likely that we can all handle doing very little for about 2 weeks, then get bored and complacent and do a little too much, causing more discomfort.

what i do know for sure, is that sciatic pain means a nerve is damaged and will therefore take time to recover. during that recovery, it will 'fire' signals by mistake, causing pain and making you think there is damage, when really everything is physiologically fine. that is completely what i believe from my experience, as there was no pattern to my post op pain. hope that helps....see some earlier rambling posts of mine for more info.

sending lots of healing vibes to all, especially ali...can't believe you are back in hospital again. hang in there...hope you feel better soon.

jess xx

03-06-2012, 08:40 PM
Hi folks

I had an emergency lumbar discectomy L5-S1 two weeks ago. I had some physio in the hospital but since discharge I can't get my doctor to refer me for further physio consultations (I live in Germany and the system here is a bit different to UK). The hospital exercises are all done lying down and seem a bit too limited. I would love to know what exercises others have been prescribed for the first weeks after the op? I have an 8 week old baby and a toddler and am desperate to get a strong and healthy back and core muscles as quickly as possible. In particular, my whole pelvic floor was really damaged in the birth and this may be why I had the disc prolapse.

Specifically, I have been told to do the following:
1. An exercise where you clench buttock, and stomach muscles and hold while breathing, 3 x 3

2. Pelvic tilts while lying down

3. Theraband work with the arms, aimed at strengthening back and stomach muscles.

And that's about it. I would really like to hear some other ideas.

Thanks and good wishes


03-06-2012, 08:43 PM
Hello all..This is my first post. I am so relieved to have found this forum and to find people who can all relate..

I had my Microdiscectomy 3 weeks ago exactly on my L5/S1 large prolapse Suffered back pain since May 08 and numbness and Sciatica since Jan 09. I woke up like many of you with instant relief they could nt believe how much I was smiling in Recovery

I was up in 2 hours walking around and able to go home the next day. I noticed slight pins and needles in my toes walking out of hospital which later progressed into a bruised feeling in the ball of my foot. I have put this down to the nerve damage and it seems to be getting better.

Been off the crazy amounts of painkillers I was taking before just take two before bed to make sure I sleep all night.

DAY 5-I noticed when doing the exercise where u lift the leg upwards I had the same familiar feeling of Sciatica. Instantly disheartened I contacted the hospital they told me to STOP doing this particular exercise.

Generally feeling good as long as I do not over do it. Pain of the incision seems to have almost gone but back pain around the disk area is most definately there. and foot pain and tingles vary everyday. I am sure this is nerve damage.

I went back to work yesterday, earlier than I really wanted My back has been aching and not happy that I am in the sitting position for quiet so long just yet.

Anyone have any advice on comfort at work?or a ideal seat I could buy?

The constant reminder of 'listen to your body' has finally been inbedded in my brain when u hav done to much it tells you.

Walking is amazing for ur back/strength and sanity!having good and bad days the docs words-'the body is healing and the nerve has lots of different messages going through it now its on the mend'

Good Luck EVERYONE!!I wish u all to be pain free as soon as possible. Keep taking it easy. Xxxx

03-06-2012, 08:47 PM

Hope your all well.
Im 5 weeks tomorrow post op and still have some pain. Going to my doctors every 2 weeks, hes great, and physio every 2wks as well. A couple of wks ago the Nhs says my 8 week check up was in Dec 09 !! But now they have changed it to July which is alot better.
Still get pain in my calfs and still can't stand for more than 15mins max after that the pain is really bad. Any time I do stand up , I get pain starting from the top of bum and going right up my spine (through the wound part).
Im only 18 and a very active guy (sports coach) so really finding it hard to not do exericse. The phyiso and doctor say there is no nerve damage, just swelling.
Hopefully I will get the ok from the physio tomorrow for me to do swimming.

Keep your head up everyone !


Corrienne McCalister
03-06-2012, 08:49 PM
Hi Fireolli

Glad to hear that you leg pain has gone. Glad to here that your wife and baby are doing so well as. 9 weeks is not long, does it seem that its gone quickly to you. Really sweet how the baby was responding to the music at the concert that you went to. keep us posted on the baby front.

I have continued to do the excersise that you kindly gave me and I have been going for a walk everyday. The pain in the last few weeks has gradually gone from my right leg, but somtimes I have, what I can only describe as a fuzzing ache in my left leg I dont know what thats about?? The pain however is now just constantly situated in my sacrum and coccyx and its a stinging ache . so it makes it a bit uncomforable to sit or stand in one position for very long.

I am still waiting on the wonderfull NHS for my injection. I am going to try to go back to work in a couple of weeks and do a phased return. I thought it is best to try to go back and see how I do while i wait. I have been told that if the pain shifts from the leg and goes back to the back area it a good sign What do you think? I supose it could be the maybe the disc is going back, or I dont know whether that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Anyway hope every one is doing well. Ill keep you posted.

Best wishes

Mystery Girl 11
03-06-2012, 08:51 PM
Hi Carly 22

Do you mean that you have you gone back to work 3 weeks after the opp ?? were you forced to go back? Be really carefull they do sugest at least 6 weeks.

I had my opp at the same level as you back in Oct 2007 and like you it was a very large prolapse. Unfortunatly for me I had another prolapse on the same disc agin in July 2008 and then again in March of this year.

Sitting for to long will aggravate it, make sure you get up every 15 mins for a strech and a walk around. I got a chair and a desk supplied to me though the DWP, they paid two thirds and my employer paid one third. Its called a free floating chair and my dest is electronic so it moves up and down. I can stand or set it to the hight I need as I am quite tall. If you need the more deatail about the chair or the desk let me klnow.

Just be really careful, you have had a major opp I know its micro surgery but if you push it, and not allow it to heal properly it could happen again. Sorry to sound like a drama queen, I just know from experiance.

best wishes

03-06-2012, 08:56 PM
Hi Cas 08

Thank you for your advice. I am going to look into contacting that company tomorrow your chair sounds amazing. 3 weeks is far to early I can feel my body is not quiet ready but I am making sure I walk/stretch every 20 mins.
I have a holiday (relaxing one) as of next Monday so I will be back to resting for another 2 weeks.

I am sorry to hear about your 3 prolapses how are you doing now??have you had additional MDs?I have been worried about causing it to prolapse again. Are there any tell tell signs?I still have Sciatica although 1/4 of what it was before and back pain-it sounds silly but I cant decide if its the same back pain as before?I am finding at the end of the day I am shattered and very achy .

Can I ask do you know what caused your first prolapse?
Hope u are well
Speak soon Carly Xxxx

03-06-2012, 08:57 PM
Hi, I am new to this site so please bear with me. My story is very similiar to those already posted on this site - and its so good to hear I am not alone. My problems commenced in November 07 pushing a shopping trolley around my local supermarket - I actually felt a "popping" in my back but didnt worry too much thinking it was a muscle! The sciatica kicked in just days later. As a police officer getting to work and doing my job was nigh on impossible and so I began my regular journey to see my GP who for some weeks didnt even examine me but pushed a variety of useless drugs at me. Boxing Day 07 I ended up in A&E having had a huge muscle spasm and not being able to get off the bathroom floor! After six weeks I finally found out I had a slipped disc!
An MRI scan in Jan 08 confirmed this - I was told to go home and rest up for 3 months and given a stack of pain relief which didnt come close to easing the pain. On the 15th Jan 08 my left leg gave way and I returned to the GP who told me to go home and get into bed! On the 16th Jan my husband literally carried me into the surgery demanding to see the doctor - my left foot had dropped, I had no feeling from my knee cap down and the pain - was - well I cant describe it! My GP sent me to hospital and I had my L4/L5 discectomy on the 18th Jan 08. I woke up completely pain free, sensation had returned, but I was left with drop foot and massive muscle wasting - so much so I literally had to learn to walk again - with the help of an amazing physio I was finally up and independant of sticks by April 08 and I found an amazing company in Hampshire who custom made my foot orthotic so I didnt have to wear a brace.
Just when life was beginning to look up - November 08 - local supermarket - back went again - same disc! This time the pain was no where near as bad and I didnt get any tingling or numbness - and my GP was quick to move. I decided to go private this time and went back to see my original consultant. We went down the physio route - didnt work, the epidural route - didnt work and so on the 13th May 09 after much agonising I decided to go for the L4/L5 revision surgery.
At this moment in time - 17 days post surgery - I wish I had not bothered. I woke up pain free except for a lot of aching in bad left leg and back, but within days my left hip stiffened up, although its not painful but effects my attempts at trying to walk. My problem is the continued leg pain. Fact is I cant make my mind up if what I am feeling is sciatica. My experience of sciatica is waves of pain which radiate down the outer side of my left calf - you can feel the pain but it doesnt leave your muscles tender and sore. I am getting very local pain in the middle of my calf muscle opposed to the outer calf. It comes intermittently in short bursts of a couple of seconds and feels like I have been stabbed in the leg, but the area around this pain is incredible tender and sore to the touch. I am still getting aching pain in my left hamstring and this feeling is definatly what I am used to. I have been so worried that I actually got my GP to check it out - she initially thought it was a DVT but a blood test has ruled this out - she is now not sure if this is nerve related or if I have something going on in my muscle.
I guess I was wondering if anyone had experienced anything similiar? Second time surgery for me has been a completely different experience - Its great not having to learn to walk again but the pain in my leg is really getting me down. My dear husband keeps reminding me its only 17 days post op and I need to let my body heal - I just feel a bit alone and this time there is no physio on hand for that extra bit of support. All I am doing is the four exercises given to me at the hospital and trying to walk as often as I can.
There - I have poured out my heart - there are 57 pages of thread here, I am sure youve heard it all before!
I would give anything to get my life back - the last two years have been ........! Just wanted to tell someone.

03-06-2012, 09:01 PM
Hi Bonnie10

I am so sorry that you have had such a crap time you poor thing. It still makes me angry to hear that when there is a real problem with the back and the nerve pain is unimaginabley painful that we are still not taken seriously.

I think your husband is right you are only 17 days post opp, I know its hard but try and be kind to yourself and be paient. The nerve takes ages to heal about 1 milimeter a day and you have had two prolaspes. Although I am no expert I think you might have nerve disturbance (damage). Doing streching excersises a few times a day are good walking is also good towards the end of the first 6 weeks, but everybody is different. Listen to your body if the excersie hurts stop doing it. Fireolli a member on here was kind and gave me some strching excersise to do they are discribed about 2 pages back, They are good. I also have a realy good book called Treat your Own Back, by Robin McKenzie. This has some good excersises and explains what the excersis does to help your back. Some members on here have continued to have some pain and discomfort after their opps and have been told that it takes a while in some cases for the to settle. If you are very concerned speak to the consultant and ask him about the discomfort that you are still in and ask if its normal etc also ask if there are any physo classes that you could attend.

like you My husband had to more or less carry me in to the doctor surgery before I was admitted. Then at A&E I colapsed twice in the waiting room with all these people staring It was sooooo humiliating. Then I started to shout that I really could not get up and could someone help me and get me a bloody trolley. They then noticed me laying on the foor!!!!! I have had 3 prolapses on the same disc this is however incredibly rare. Someone on here also I think had some problems with there hip go back about 3 to 4 pages and you can read their post.

Hope you are painfree soon. keep us posted how you are doing. Hope some of my ramblings help you.

Take Care

03-06-2012, 09:03 PM
Hi Carly 22

Firstly have a great holiday!! Hope you continue to improve hun.

I first hurt my back in 2003. I lifted a very heavy pot and twisted at the same time to throw it over the fence, which i hasen to add was still part of our garden and not somone elses!! and I felt some thing go in my lower back. I was then plagued with a very bad back on and off until my opp in 2007. The surgeon said it had proabley had been slowly prolasping over those 4 years. If I new then what I now know, I would never have lifted that pot and I would have treated my back with more respect as you only get one.

Let me know if you want more details on the chair I have the poduct code etc. There are several back specialist office furniture companies that do them. It was the DWP (The Department of work and pensions) that helped to pay for it. You will have to have a work place assement done with them but they are brillaint and really on your side. Without my special chair and desk I could not have been able to return to that particular type of work.

I have had One MD which was on the first prolaspe back in Oct 2007. the second prolaspe was last July 2008 I had a nerve root block, which was very good, and I am currently waiting for another nerve root block. Although in the last 3 weeks my leg pain has gone and I am getting a stinging ache in my sacrum and coccyx and that was constanly there but today its hardley been there at all which is lovely. So I am hoping that the disc may have started to go back in by itself. Which I was told in 90% of cases they do.

Dont go around worrying that it might go again. It is very rare!!, just be sensiable learn to pace yourself, I am still learning that one. Take your time when doing jobs or housework etc do it in bits. I have bought myself a helping hand which is a clippy thing to pick things up instead of bending forward to pick something up. Bending repetively forward is the worst thing anyone can do alot of when you have had a prolapse disc as it can re-open up the split in the disc agian. I try not to stay sat to long or stand for to long. change your position frequently. look after you back learn to say no.

You will be shattered at the end of a day I was for quite a while not only tdo the pain killers make you tired the anehtetic that you had in the opp stays in the body for up to 6 months after the opp and can make you feel shattered.

Hope some of this info helps you. Have a great holiday
keep intouch and let us know how you are doing.

take care

03-06-2012, 09:05 PM
Hi folks!

Haven't been on for a while.

Ali - you poor thing. You really don't seem to have much luck do you. Hope you are feeling better.

I am nearly 10 months post op now and improving in core strength all the time.

I have to share this with you all because only you will know what a big deal it really is for someone who has been through the op. I was at the swimming pool on wednesday with my friend who is fairly new to swimming, especially lengths of the pool venturing into the deep end. I was swimming in the laned section of the pool ( which was busier than usual due to half term) when I heard her shouting and flapping in a panic in the deep end. I could see she was in difficulty so yelled and waved my arm at the lifeguard, then I swam to her and held her up and managed to get her to the end of the pool. I am so chuffed for two reasons:
1. I helped my friend to safety
2. The really exciting thing is that I did this and despite the effort I had to put in to keep her afloat ( she was using my shoulders as a float to keep her above the water which made it very hard work for me as i could have gone under myself) I have had no after effects with my back so this proves that I am getting much stronger than I realised and that has lifted me so much.

I dont expect to be 'normal' again and accept that I will always suffer pain when i overdo the bending etc but I know that I acted on impulse when I saw her panicing and if i had stopped and thought about it I would probably have said to myself I can't do anything because my back isn't up to it.

Sorry to go on about it but like i said only you would understand.

Have a great weekend everyone


03-06-2012, 09:08 PM
Hi Bonnie 10, Greg fdc, Carly22

Would love to know exactly what are the post op exercises you have been told to do? I listed mine above, but I don't have any leg lifts in there, and wondered if I should be doing some.

Also, does anyone know whether there are ways to reduce the risk of scar tissue binding with the nerve?

I am 18 days post op now, with various weird nerve disturbances in both legs. Desperate to get strong quickly so I can hold my 8 week old baby and look after my crazed toddler... I looked at Fireolli's exercises but felt some of them are too advanced for me right now.

Healing vibes to all...


03-06-2012, 09:10 PM
Hi Cas08

Thank you for sharing your story. You have come such a long way and you sound very strong. I am so so glad that your pain has been reduced. Roll on Summer days for you sitting in the garden and sipping cocktails like all those lucky people who havent had to go thru with all this.

Thank you for ur quick reply I have arrange to have the assesment at work when I get back. Slightly worried I have had abit of a set back this weekend. I let work early on Fri as I couldnt even sit down the aching in my bak was unreal. I went home and laid flat as this seems to help the pain but when turning onto my side I felt a popping feeling and jumped out my skin at the thought this might be the disk. I stood up but felt no additional pain and on Sat I walked around for about 2 hours pretty pain free just needing the odd paracetamol.

Today I feel I have taken a step back. The pain has not really increased I am just alot slower, I think I am just so worried. My Sciatica has not come back like it was only thing is my legs feels so weak I cant really lift them high enough to tell If it is still there. I have made a promise to myself If i feel like this when I get back I am not working for a good couple of months.

Generally I am ok and feeling better than before op apart from aching stiffness in my back. So you think much to the popping feeling I had?It doesnt really help me as i have been told by my physio I have a high pain thresh hold so I may not be feeling things as I should.

I am going to try and get on with it and hope this is just a 'flare up' I cant bare the thought of this happening again!It just makes life so tough at times.
I think I am very similar to u with having to learn to pace myself. Before all this I was so constant I have never been one to sit down for two minutes and lived for the weekends...but I now know the time this may take.
Slightly annoyed at nhs though as altho they were very good with the whole op etc..When asking the physio in the ward when would be ok to go back to my job (office based) He said I should b ok 1-2 weeks and ok to drive in a week!sounds crazy now but I was starting to go by that advice.

Hope you have had a lovely weekend will keep u updated with what happens whilst I am on holiday.

Carly Xxxxxx

03-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Hi Penny lane

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very happy for you and all your progress. you give us all faith. keep up the good work xx

Carly xx

Jonny Mick
03-06-2012, 09:18 PM
I am new here.
The following might sound rather crude, for which I apologise, but I really need some advice.

I have had a L4/L5 discectomy and laminectomy nearly 3 weeks ago. I am rather worried, as I have had numbness in the genetalia area, which I noticed on my bed bath the morning after the op. I can still go to the loo OK ish, as I have an uncomfortable feeling of urgency building up, but do not know when I have finished. I cannot stop mid-stream as I cannot clench anymore. I cannot clench to check if I have finished emptying my bowels. I can feel the toilet tissues, but when I stop wiping, it feels as if the toilet paper is still there. I have to listen to know if I have finished urinating and use moist toilet tissue, as I can feel the cold and wet, otherwise I do not know if I am clean. I feel as if I have a big balloon stuck to my bottom (no not piles!). I am embarrassed to say that I have had an accident and cried like a baby. I am also feeling very depressed and isolated, as I do not go anywhere without spare clothes, even to the physiotherapist. I stay home and spend most of my time on the toilet, waiting.

I was wondering if anybody else has had this experience and if they know what this is and also how long will it last.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I am going to see my consultant on Wednesday for a follow-up. I am also worried about going back to work, as I work in a school and don't want to have any accidents in a class full of teenagers.

By the way, my sciatica started in 2003.


Terry Z
03-06-2012, 09:21 PM
Hi Joasinka

I know how embarrest you must feel. I had my Discetomy opp in Oct 2007 on L5/S1, after my opp I noticed a simmilar thing. My buttocks where completely numb and felt like they were hard and clenched all of the time and in between my legs around all the private bits. I could not feel when I had finished weeing or pooing and had to check myself, its a very weird feeling and quite alarming. For along time I was worried I would have an accident. An when I needed to go to the loo, I could not hold it like everyone does somtimes, I just had to go. Its like you have lost your ability to hold yourself properly. I never did have an accident though thank goodness.

I can say however, that its better now I have more feeling there now or though its not as normal as it was before, but its alot better and the ability to hold and push have come back. I do urge you to speak to the consultant when you see him and explain exsactly what you have said to us to him, they are used to hearing detail. When i told my consultant about this problem he said that if the numbness was not there, in that area before the opp and only occurred after the opp then in time it should lessen or go completely. But do let your consultant know its important.

As you get better and you work on your pelvic floor muscels this will help.
Remember your body has been really messed around with the nerves are delicate things and can take ages to heal, 1 milimeter a day.

Hope this information has helped.

Take Care

03-06-2012, 09:25 PM
Good work in the pool Pennylane.

Best wishes to everyone out there, and hope your pre and post-op discs are behaving themselves.

03-06-2012, 09:30 PM
Dear Cas08

Thank you so much for a quick and detailed reply. I am sure people here would love to ask questions but are too embarrassed, but your detail was such a pleasure to read (if you know what I mean) as many people tend to hide from talking about these things. When people ask me how I am, I try to hide these details. If a female friend asks, then it is easy to explain, but when it comes to neighbours, etc, I do shy away, as I feel rather silly.

I did think that maybe it was the Ibuprofen that made me dirty myself. Last time I took these tablets, they made my stomach bad, but now, with loss of sensation too, just could not stop myself.

I have some questions for you, if you have the time: You say that you had the op in October 07, so when did the sensation go? Was it straight after the op? Also, when did it start to come back? How long did it take to feel some improvement? What is this condition called? I would like to know what it is called, as I need to tell work and others and I would rather say I have 'so and so', rather than 'numb bits' or ' numb genitals'.

Thanks again for taking the time to make me feel better.

Janice R
03-06-2012, 09:32 PM
HI all,

Just arrived back from my GP and thought I'd share his input with you.
I am 3 weeks post op and was absolutely fine for the first 2 weeks post op, however the past week has been terrible. The old symptoms have come back in a big way and I am now back on all the painkillers. So thought I thought best go and get a new supply of them all and also another medical certificate. I know GP's get a bad rep but I must say mine has been fantastic, before my op he did everythinmg he could to get me my operation and I cant thank him enough. He even said he would take me to a&e after his shift finished if I couldnt get there. Anyway back on topic he thinks theres several reasons why I am getting the pain again. Firstly is that there may be imflamation where they operated and when walking etc I am increasing the imflamation thus pressing on the nerve again. Secondly he said that there is a small chance of another prolapse and has written to my surgeon to get he to see me asap. So now im going to take it easy for a week and see how it all goes. Keeping my chin up

03-06-2012, 09:37 PM
Hi Joasinka

I am so glad that we have this forum to talk about problems after and before the opps/treatment that we have. I wish that the NHS gave more help and advice to people about possible problems that we may encounter it would stop a lot of fear out there. But I think that they are frightened to give too much info just incasre they are sued.

I have some questions for you, if you have the time: You say that you had the op in October 07, so when did the sensation go? Was it straight after the op? Also, when did it start to come back?

It was about 6 months although I think that the improvemnets in the sensation, pushing, clenching and holding etc. It was so gradual that I did not notice anything much until it was more noticeable if you know.

I would like to know what it is called,

I think its just plain old nerve damage.

Since I have had this probelm and second time last July 2008 and then unfortunatly in March of this year on the same disc. Which i want to stress is very rare!!!! I was told that my Disc had prolasped into my spinal cannal. I was so freaked out I thought, its going to paralyse me if I have another opp. I have since done alot of reasearch on the spine and how it works and its been so fascinating . I think if we understand how something works and what position and movements make it worse then I think we can help prevent having more problems.

I found out that the spinal cord finishes around the L1/ L2 area although that varies with different people. It then splits into a bundle of parallel nerves called the Cauda Equina or the othewise known as the horses tail. These nerves supply the bum and the grion area. So when we have surgery on the lower spine no wonder it caused problems in that area.

When you do see the consultant again ask him about the problem. Then they know and they may be able to sugest something.

Anyway hope you dont mind me sharing a few facts with you. You said you were a teacher I hope your not an English teacher you will see how bad my spelling is!!!!!!!!!!!

Take Care

grandma zaza
03-06-2012, 09:40 PM
Hi Cas08

Don’t worry about your spelling. Hee hee. I used to be a supply teacher for 11 years, but now work as a Cover Supervisor. My subject is IT, so no need to worry.

I am so glad that you have shared your experiences, you poor thing. You have been through so much.

I am only 3 weeks post op (today) and I see my consultant tomorrow, so I suppose that I must not expect too much.

I too wish that they would tell us more before the op. I was told that I may have a bad headache due to the possibility of the surgeon going into the dura tap, but nothing about numbness. They said that if this happens I would have to be left in a darkened room for 24 hours. I was lucky, I suppose, cos this did not happen to me.

I had more physio yesterday and she noticed a swelling in my left leg. This is where I have some numbness and have had this since the start. She said that it might be nerve damage.

6 months seems a long time. How did you manage? Did you go back to work during this time? And if you did, did you have to wear nappies? I don’t fancy having an accident in school. Just imagine the kids laughing cos the teacher has pooed her pants. That is a definite NO NO for me. With covering 5 lessons a day, I deal with around 150 kids a day. I can’t just run out of the classroom to the loo!!!! Also, the loo is downstairs and I might be in a room upstairs. We never know what room we are in until the morning we turn up for work.

Don’t worry, I will attack my consultant with loads of questions. I have also kept a diary of my goings-on.

Thanks again for all your advice. Are you the only one here who has had this problem, I wonder?

03-06-2012, 09:43 PM

Hi I was given four post op exercises to do which involve lying on your back and strenghthing the core muscle group.
1. lie on back with knees bent - pull in your core muscle (try to use the muscle deep in the vagina) - hold for a count of ten and then relax.
2. lie on back with knees bent - with your hands flat beside you try and bridge your back - your back will come off the floor but feet stay put.
3. lie on back with knees bent - pull in core muscles and tilt your pelvis backwards - this makes the small of your back go into the floor - hold for ten.
and finally lie on back with legs out in front of you - bring one leg at a time up towards your face keeping your heel on the bed/floor - pull in your core muscle.
I have to repeat these exercise twice a day and usually do two lots of ten repetitions.

If you are only two weeks post op I would stick with these until you get chance to speak with a physio - the last thing you want to do is put your back out again.

I get all kinds of weird sensations in my leg too - from muscle twitching to aching the weirdest thing is watching my toes jump at night when I lie down- if the muscle twitching keeps you awake try taking a glass of tonic water before bedtime - the quinine calms things down.

hope this helps - good luck with your recovery - you will get there and before you know it you will be cuddling your little ones again. Be positive x

That one Dude
03-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Hi Cas08
thanks for your post - I think you may have been right about my stabbing pain being nerve damage. Since my first post the pain from this eased up quite a bit, became barely noticeable yesterday and today - no stabbing! I am hoping that I am turning the corner. My leg generally aches from the butt down but this feels more like muscle fatigue and the back of my calves are very tight - have to keep stretching off. Hip is doing a lot better now, just my hamstrings which remain tight and achy - but good news is I have got my first lot of physio booked for Friday - this girl is fab and really knows her stuff - so hopefully I have anything else going on other than immflammation she will be able to tell me. Its come around at a good time as I have my post op review with my consultant a week today. Trying hard to take your advice and remain positive x

♫ Melissa™ ♥
03-06-2012, 09:46 PM

Thanks so much for that. They are pretty similar to what I was told to do in the hospital - I feel relieved that I'm probably not missing anything crucial right now. Although of course after the birth of my son 9 weeks ago now my pelvic floor is in pieces!! But I know, I know, need to work at it.

Anyway, I am glad to hear that things feel a bit better for you. I really sympathise with you having to deal with this twice over - that is s***.

But we just have to keep positive as you say make the best possible recovery. Take care. xxx

03-06-2012, 09:49 PM
Hi Joasinka

I didn't have exactly the same problem as you, but after my son was born 9 weeks ago, I have had urinary retention - problems peeing - and have had to use small catheters to make sure my bladder empties itself properly. Actually since my discectomy 3 weeks ago this problem has got much better so I think that the two things were related, and that all these problems were caused by the birth itself.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that self-catheterizing is easier than you think and might be one way to have more control over your bladder. It's really not that bad, and would make you feel more relaxed in the classroom because you could use the catheters during the breaks to reduce the likelihood of needing urgently at the wrong time.

The pooing thing is more tricky - I have the same problem of sphincter weakness, also since the birht of my baby, and that hasn't improved much yet. I guess you have to do the pelvic floor exercises as often as you can and that should help the muscle tone in the sphincter. LEt me knwo what your consultant says about that.

All the best!


03-06-2012, 09:51 PM
Hi again to all fellow pre and post op sufferers!

Further to my entries on P54 & P55, I had post 6 wk post op check from my specialist on Monday, although as mentioned in previous entry this is now wk 8 as the specialist was called away for the first appt!
I went rather dubiously to the appt with some issues around further aches and pains in left Buttock and leg thinking possibly the worst. Indeed after having the muscle spasm in wk 2 post op i felt that some of the exercises the physio had requested i do may have actually made things worse. I can understand the feelings that Chris 12 is having with a relapse and back on the pain killers in wk3.
However after explaining for the first 5 minutes of the consultation that I really felt that possibly things were going nowhere as the pains were causing speradic discomfort and I'm back on half doses of medication including anti-inflamatories etc, the specialist looked me in the eye and said 'Are things better than they were pre-op'. I must admit this stopped me in my tracks because of course they are! An obvious thought, but still enough to shock me a little. He reminded me that the operation is not a quick fix and everyone has different ways of dealing with recovery. I'm nearly 47, a little overweight and more of an armchair sportsman nowadays. My aches and pains are only my bodies way of getting back to normal after the whole set up was not right for the last 9 months or so! He did say that my 5 wk post op MRI that he arranged to have done showed that I still did have signs of swelling, but I should really now start to push myself rather than ease up when the going gets tough. At 8 weeks although still needing to be treated with respect, the actual time now is to start with more exercise, swimming etc. Indeed he praised the physio for the exercises that has got my body back almost up dead straight again after the spasm as well as the exercises for the post op disc.

After arriving home I went off for a 3 mile walk and thought of myself as being a bit of 'wuss' after thinking things were wrong, and on Tuesday drove a 340 mile round trip for business, followed by a 3 mile walk with no
bad effects. Tomorrow another 350 miles with breaks to stretch and walk every 40 minutes or so. Indeed I am pleased to say that I shall be back at work full time the week after next. Equally thru the whole process I have even lost 3/4 stone!

I just would say to all post op sufferers especially during the first 4-5 weeks or so, just answer yourself the question he asked me, and if things are not better, then the 6 wk post op check is your time to speak out. For those who it does'nt work for, i'm sorry but I do feel for you.

If anyone from Mr Nelsons team at Frenchay in Bristol reads this..... Thank you for your help, but most of all Mr Nelson himself for his sound, reassuring way of dealing with my situation. Thank you. Now I'm looking forward to seeing him again in another 6 weeks with a clear bill of health!

Now something for the boys ....On the topic of exercises, I cannot help a lot of you with what I have done exercise wise as it seems lot of ladies write on this forum! All I can say is my physio gave me some to get my body back up straight after my body went into spasm, but he said for blokes deal at first with your 'pelvic floor'.... Lie on your back, head on a low cushion and legs slightly bent at the knees and slightly apart. Now imagine a bag of ice under your 'dangly bits'. Keep the stomach musles tight and breath normaly 5-6 times. Do this 4-5 times day to get the stomach muscles stronger. This can also be done when sitting down or driving, (just dont let anyone see your face!).
Equally lie in the same position doing the same as above, but with one leg in the air, slightly raised so your shin is horizontal, then repeat with the other leg. Mini sit ups can also be attempted to, but let your body tell you in the early stages if you are ready.
I shall see my physio on friday with the fresh specialists advice and let you all know if theres anything to add.

Take care and hang on in there!


blue heart
03-06-2012, 09:53 PM
Hi msksquared

Thanks for yor post. I remember after my last baby was born. He was 9 and a half pounds and I also had weird feelings down below. It is similar to what I am like now, but went away rather quickly, so quickly, that it didn't bother me much.

I have seen my consultant and he said that I need to see a physio about pelvic floor exercises, so I will be seeing 2 physios. He doesn't want me to go back to work just yet. He is so lovely and said that I was doing quite well, which is very reassuring, so I went away quite happy with myself. He is also referring me to a colon doctor, but I cannot remember the word he used for him.

I can also start to drive again (but, I do have an automatic). My dodgey leg will not be needed for any emergency stops. I will go for a short drive with somebody next to me first. But, still will take a change of clothing with me, just in case.

As Cas08 said, a little at a time, a millimetre a day. That's something worth thinking about when I feel down in the dumps!

Thanks again

03-06-2012, 09:55 PM
Hey all,

I made it out of hospital on yet more pills following the fall, but because of the retaining of my wee wee, i still have the catheter.
The district nurse said it could take up to 4 to 12 weeks for the swelling and bruising to subside, not only that, but the hospital i was being 'treated' in, left me filling up for 7 hours and so my bladder is 2 and a half times the size it should be.

I am seriously depressed now, and am on anti-depressants, its not even a setback cos the NHS couldnt fix my adhesions, its just another problem to add to my list.
I still have the hope of Martin Knight from the spinal foundation fixing me up.
I have asked my GP to refer me but she wants to see if my NHS surgeon is ok with it, and i think he will, because he said he felt bad i was left in this situation.
Its the battle with my local PCT that may hinder things, because I will need them to fund any treatment i may get from him (Martin Knight).

But.....at the moment i feel like crap, in pain 24/7, peeing into a bag....all at the age of 30, and with an 8 year old daughter to look after.
Thankfully i have help from friends or i don't know what i would do.
But my daughter says she wants to do this and that, and i just can't and she is always so disappointed, so i feel worse.

Sorry guys for the negativity, but i have been trying to keep positive for so long, i am just worn down now.
I am seeing my GP regularly, she is helping me through my depression, she is wonderful.

I hope you guys are doing better than I, and i hope my next post will bring happy news )

03-06-2012, 10:00 PM
Hi ALiH78

I am soooo sorry that you have now more to deal with. You have been through so much already, its not fair. I can really empathise with you going through all of this and being so depressed. I know how hard it is but hang in there hun. I know its hard but Try and hang on to anyhting posative and concontrate on that, that will help you though this.

Speak soon

erfan a
03-06-2012, 10:04 PM
Hi ALiH78

Its me again, I was just sorting through some things and came across something a friend sent me, I thought it might help you. She wrote "Concontrate on the things you CAN DO and not on what you can't". I found this really helped me. I know it easier said than done and I originally thought yerrr right, but I did try it and it did help me!

I just think when you get depressed you need a servival kit of things you collect, do, read or listen to that help you. The website www.painsupport.co.uk I found, was also useful. Hope this helps a bit.

Take Care

03-06-2012, 10:05 PM
i just logged on here to have a big old moan about my achy leg and have read ali's post and have got some serious perspective! i am so so sorry to hear how awful things have been for you ali. it just seems like when you get one thing sorted, another hurdle presents itself. it's great to hear you have lots of people around you....i think the emotional support they can offer is probably the most valuable thing...better than any little tablet the nhs might shove your way. i realise as a cyber friend my knowledge of your situation is pretty limited, but i know you can get through this because you have been through worse and come out smiling and joking and helping other people feel so much better about life (me included). i think you need a new 'gavin and stacey' style prog to help you through the tough times...any suggestions anyone??
lots of love to you all,
jess + achy right leg xx

03-06-2012, 10:07 PM
Ali - I'm so sorry - I understand how the whole thing can certainly wear you down...
Glad you have a good support network and a decent GP to assist.
I hope there are some brighter days ahead for you very, very shortly.

03-06-2012, 10:09 PM
Hi Ali, sorry to hear you're still having mega problems. Both Tracey and I are struggling too, I'm just having a break from constant whingeing. Never mind, I see the consultant on the 16th July...which will be another opportunity for him to dismiss my problems, for whatever reason, and for me to travel back feeling miserable as hell.

How long have we been pushing ourselves into the positive approach? Seems like years. I'm still working but really suffering with neck and shoulders, plus my now wonky back. I wish obvious back problems could be taken more seriously. I had to laugh at the bit in the newspaper where the experts are concerned people with back problems could end up having unnecessary back surgery through the use of holistic treatments. I wanted to write in and say 'no chance of that my friends, you can't even get the necessary surgery done these days!'

I have to say I'm slowly giving up hope for recovery.

Leaha F
03-06-2012, 10:13 PM
please don't give up!!!!!

last year my aunt was told her back problems (chronic sciatica, drop foot) were inoperable and the pain could only be managed by (useless) drugs. she was discharged by physio, had to take early retirement from work and was struggling with basic household tasks. BUT...when i saw her last weekend she said the pain was under control, she was more active and actually really enjoying her retirement. she had managed a 2 hour car journey and you honestly would not have known there was anything wrong. unfortunately she wasn't hiding a magic wand in her handbag that i can pass on to everyone, but i really think that it does prove that even when things seem hopeless, they can get better. and often for no apparent reason. so please don't give up hope...

lots of love xx

run and tell that homeboy
03-06-2012, 10:15 PM
Hi Ali

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.
I do hope that you get your meeting with Martin Knight and that he can offer you some help. I can understand why you are feeling so down.

Everyone on here feels for you because your posts have been so regular and you are always trying to offer help to newbies. We all feel like we know you and wish we could do something to get your life back to some sort of quality again.

I know you don't feel very positive at the moment but you must try to get that back. The longer you feel down the harder it will be to climb back.

Thinking of you and wishing you well

pennylane x

03-06-2012, 10:18 PM
Hey all,

Thank you so so much for your kind and lovely posts, I have started anti-depressants and see my GP regularly and am going to have some counselling hopefully within the next few weeks.

I have spoken again to the Spinal foundation and they said a surgeon's referral will be a stronger factor in getting PCT funding approved, so i phoned his office and spoke with his secretary and he is back on Monday and she will discuss it with him then.

I was really touched by your posts, and Jess and Subi and all those needing a laugh (Inc.myself!), watch youtube vids of 'Michael McIntyre', He is mad and hilarious!
I am seeing him live in October, me and a few mates, will be great!
I am also a big fan of 'Chris Rock',check him out too, he is really funny!
I am looking forward to the 3rd series of Gavin and Stacey, its on later this year, its also on BBC3 every Monday, i never get bored of watching it!

Thanks again everyone, although I have a long way to go, your posts have put a smile on my face and thats a really good start eh?

Love and hugs to you all xxxx

ian s
03-06-2012, 10:21 PM
I have had an L5 S1 discectomy on 29th April 2009 which seems to have been a success apart from the left leg sciatic pain which the surgeon warned me may remain for the rest of my life.
As I am only five weeks into my recovery, I am very happy that I am not feeling any sciatic pain when standing still.
My operation was done by a surgeon in Pemassageplanetorough who also does private consultations as well.
I am looking to hear from anyone who has had this operation and am interested in hopefully helping others from the good and bad experiences I have encountered from problems with my back since 1995.

03-06-2012, 10:23 PM
hi all, this is my first post and iam having l4/l5 discectomy on wednesday, could anyone tell me what to expect when i wake ,how long will it be before i can get out of bed, will the numbness and weakness in my left leg and foot go, also going back to the op itself could anyone put my mind at rest iam terrified of having a tube down my throat and this could be the deal breaker because my fear of choking is so strong also would they make me have a catherter which again i will not have ,iam panicking over everything help!!!!

03-06-2012, 10:27 PM
Well I have just completed my first week back at work which was great. I managed to drive to my appointments and the office without any pain at all and have been off all drugs completely now for the best part of 3 weeks. I went to my first Pilates session on Tuesday, the teacher immediately identifying that I stand slightly leaning to the right, I need to work to correct this and she also started me on some core stability breathing exercises which to be honest I havent had time to do as yet.

So for me, now nearly 9 weeks post op, life is pretty much back to normal. I am still very concious of my back and very paranoid about hurting myself but on the whole the op has given me my life back - one thing learnt though, never take your health for granted.

For those of you post op experiencing leg/buttock pains, I too had this for a good number of weeks into my recovery - still get the occasional twinge. My consultant told me it may never go completely, but each week that passes it seems to happen less and less - so hang on in there guys, keep active and most of all stay positive.

Ali, so sorry to hear things are not so good for you, sending you best wishes and I do really hope thinks start to look up for you soon.

My first grandchild is due in 9 days, and the best bit is that thanks to the operation I am now going to be able to really enjoy being a granny!

Keep smiling guys


03-06-2012, 10:32 PM
good luck with your op bmw1! remember there are 100s of these done in the uk every week and according to my consultant, they are one of the easiest operations out there.

everyone on here has had different experiences, but have generally found the op itself to be relatively stress-free. i had no idea about the tube down the throat thing til i woke up with a very sore throat. it all happened while under the general anaesthetic.

at my hospital they had me up on my feet almost immediately. i was still on a pca morphine drip overnight, but they had me up and using a comode straight away. i was threatened with a catheter if i couldn't pee normally. let's just say that helped the flow...!

the horrendous sciatic pain was gone when i woke up, but i have had occasional (manageable) twinges ever since the op (10 months ago now), as well as pins and needles and some weakness. the pins and needles weren't there for the first few days but appeared once i was home from hospital. all very scary at the time, but just the nerve coming to terms with all the trauma - see my older posts for all the details!

we all seem to have had such different outcomes from this op. so much seems to depend on how long we had been suffering before hand, as well as hundreds of other factors.

please let us know how you get on!!
jess xx

ps...ali - i too have michael m tickets for october!! i'm not going to watch his new tv prog cos i don't want to hear all his stories before the live show. can't wait!! and although it's more serious, i really recommend the box sets of 'lost' for total escapism. big hug x

03-06-2012, 10:37 PM
Hi bmw1

Firstly dont be nervious and don't panick, if you are in alot of pain now it will be so much less after opp. You will not know anything about the thing that they put down your throat as they do it after you've gone under. They only thing you will notice is a bit of a sore throat for a day and you might wake up to the plastic tube buy your side as they tend to leave it there after use. I wondered what it was and then someone told me. So dont worrie about chocking.

You will proably be in for a 2 to 3 days after the opp and the next day they will get you up so you can have a walk. I did have to have a catheter for ones day as I sooo needed to pee after the opp (due to the bags of liquid that they put through you), but i could not for some reason some people have that problem and others dont, but it was fine and the relivef of being able to pee was great!! if you know what I mean.

The information I was given after my opp was not to pick up anything heaver than 7kg, not do any sudden twisting or bending. you really do have to take it easy and i mean easy for about 6 to 8 weeks or longer depending on your job. I was told to start doing core stability exercises after 6 weeks which have been brilliant for me, but you do need to keep them up or some form of suitable exercise for good. Ask your Dr or the physio department at the hospital. I am afraid you do need to ask questions as they will not offer the information to you, that unfortunataly is how the NHS works.

I had a disectomy on my L5/S1 back in Oct of 2007, my scar is only at the most 2inches long and looks very neat also if you are on alot of strong pain killers that will make you horribly constipated. Make sure they give you laxatives and that you can go to the loo both ways after, before you leave hospital as it can cause problems. Sorry to be so blunt!!!!!!

This was my first ever time in hospital, my first opp and I remember being absoultey terriffied, so I do understand how you feel. BUT TRY NOT TO WORRIE. Let us know how you get on.

Hope this puts your mind at rest abit
best wishes Cas08

03-06-2012, 10:42 PM
Hi Jess

you online now the green light is on!! How are you doing


03-06-2012, 10:44 PM
Hi dalep 115

Glad you opp went well and you are recovering ok.

I had a discetomy opp done in Oct 2007. It was a very large prolpase on the L5/S1. Unfortunatly the same disc went again in the July of last yr 2008 rhis time they gave me a nerve block, which worked well. But then it went again in March of this year. It is very rare for the disc to go twice let alone 3 times.

I am waiting for a nerve block at the moment. But over the last month the pain has subsided form my leg and I have been suffering with a stinging achey pain in sacrum and coyyxs which makes it hard to sit or stand for to long. I have reduced my pain killers, but i think this pain is nerve pain that i have which is harder to manage. I am doing streching excersies (that Firolli gave me another member on this forum, check his posts if you want to read about them . They are about 3-4 pages back) twice a day and going for a walk and I think all of this is helping.

I think excersie is so important and I think that you have to have it as part of your daily routine for life.

So glad you are doing well.
Keep us posted
Best wishes

03-06-2012, 10:46 PM
Hi ALiH 78

I love Michael McIntyre. He is so funny one of the best comedians around. We have got his Alive and laughing Dvd. I have whatched it many times ans still find it great.

Hope you have a great time when you see him in October!!

Hope you are feeling a bit better today.


03-06-2012, 10:49 PM
Hi bmw1

Firstly, best of luck with your op. Hopefully you will feel a lot better after the operation. I think we have all felt the trepidation you feel now, before the operation. I know I was terrified. But I am very glad I went through the procedure. It has definitely improved my quality of life.

how long will it be before i can get out of bed,

I think most people seem to be up on the same day, for me it was a few days longer as there were a few complications, but generally it seems to be on the day of the op.

will the numbness and weakness in my left leg and foot go,

Hopefully yes The nerve pain certainly went on the same day as the op for me. The weakness has taken some time to improve on but is now getting a lot better.

iam terrified of having a tube down my throat

I didn't even register this before or after the op. It all happens while you are 'under'. I had a slightly sore throat but didn't think too much of it. I wouldn't have had a clue what was going on - you are not aware of any of it while you are having the op itself.

would they make me have a catheter

Seems to vary. Sometimes yes, sometimes no...

Cas08 has also given some excellent advice.
Again, best of luck and hope it all goes well for you.

Aly C
03-06-2012, 10:53 PM
Hey all,

I see there is a bit of fear about the anaesthetic when the newbies have their op's.

Guys, honestly, once you are under anaesthetic, you know absolutely nothing about the op until when you wake up. This will be in the recovery room, the only thing you feel, is as the others said, a slight sore throat and uncomfortableness in your lumbar region.
You will be attached to a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) which is a morphine pump with a button you can press every 3 minutes, it really does help with pain control, and makes you feel comfortable.
You won't be transferred back to the ward until your pain (If really bad) is controlled.

As for getting out of bed, different hospitals vary. My hospital had me out of bed the next day.
After the op, they taught me bed exercises.
You will not be discharged until you can pee, poop and walk in that order!! (I had a little chuckle typing that!)

I am a bit of a veteran, along with a couple of others here, i have had more than one op. There is no need to worry, the nurses will go through everything with you before your procedure and can alleviate any worries you have.

I really hope this can help you, any other worries, just ask

As for me, I am having a very amused afternoon watching only fools and horses re-runs on sky+, i got it (The sky+) to alleviate my boredom!

Subi....If you dont have only fools and horses in Oz, check it out on youtube!

Love n hugs from Ali xxxx

P.S. Jess, Michael M's show was on TV on friday night and i turned it over, i wanted to watch it so bad but like you, don't want to hear his funniness till october!!!

03-06-2012, 10:55 PM
Evening Cas08,

Hope you are well.
I always say that there is always someone worse off than me in the world although I always feel sorry for myself like I suppose others do as well.
My condition of health is not bad at all.
I must admit I feel a bit bad now having read yours and other peoples accounts of the lumbar discectomy problems.
I do hope your problem is eventually resolved with the nerve block which you hopefully wont have to wait too long for.
My problems started because I never used to warm up or cool down before and after exercising as well as not letting injuries heal properly.
I am doing physiotherapy exercises twice a day and go for numerous short walks daily. I will look up the info. 3-4 pages back as I am sure they will come in very handy.
Do you know what caused the original disc prolapse? Hope you dont mind me asking.
Again, i hpe you dont have to wait too long for the nerve block.

Take care


Sharlene Arlene
03-06-2012, 10:57 PM
Hi Guys

I find myself typing on here again, only this time I need some help myself. I am soo scared, I am arranging to go back to work next week to a desk based job. I have a good chair and desk, I have been off work for about 7 weeks after my disc prolapsed again. Some off you know this already form my other posts. I have to go and see the occupational theropist at work she is nice and I have seen her before, also I am seeing my Doctor this week, to ask for his advice.

The thing is, the pain in the right leg thats now gone its just a bit achie and feels abit weired somtimes. The pain just seems to be in my lower back it aches or has a stinging ache in the saccrum and the coxxys and this is not all of the time. I am down to have a nerve block injection but there is a waiting list of 5 months. As I feel better than I did I want to try to go back to work and I know that they will let me do a phased return over a few weeks.

But I am soo worried What if sitting agraviates it and I have to go off work again?? What if I cant do it and i loose my job.I am soo worried. I am now feeling horribly sick and ill, at going back to work next week, and the thought of not being able too do my job and maybe loosing it. I know shoud not be playing the WHAT IF GAME. but I realy am worried.

I have no one to talk to thats why i am posting this. Please can somone give me some words of wisdom!!!

Very depressed
and tearful

03-06-2012, 11:01 PM
Hi Cas08

Sorry you are having a bad day. I am constantly getting the what ifs, so I know very well how you feel.

But it sounds like you need to breathe deeply and try not to worry so much. It's very good that you have an OT at work who can maybe support you. And you have a decent desk and chair so that should help to minimise the stress on your back. Combine that with a rigorous regime of getting up and moving/stretching every 30 minutes. And you could maybe get an exercise ball for the office - I have one and it's a constant talking point and fun thing for colleagues too.

Hopefully being at work will also help by making you focus on other stuff - I am sure I am overthinking about my health because of being at home all the time, and not having to work at the moment. So I am sure it is the right thing to try to go back if you feel well enough. Just make sure you don't try to overdo it in terms of hours - phased is definitely the way to return.

Hope you feel a bit better soon. Cyberhugs!

03-06-2012, 11:04 PM
Hi Folks

My turn to ask for words of wisdom! Had my discectomy 4 weeks ago, and the leg pain was pretty much gone a few days afterwards although I still had lots of numb bits and other strangenesses in my legs. But since this weekend the pain has started to creep back again. Should I be worried? It's not excruciating, more of a dull ache, but I am concerned that it is getting worse not better.

Does it mean I have injured myself again, or is it normal to have increased pain after a few weeks? And when the nerve is pained like this, is it better to try to stretch and challenge it, or to rest it?

Answers on a virtual postcard, please...

03-06-2012, 11:09 PM
oh cas08 your message sounded so familiar because that was me back in november!! i used to get the stinging in my coxyx if i sat for too long, particularly in the car and i really noticed it after going back to work. i have a desk based job too and in spite of my new super-chair, i still got sore and achy from sitting, even just for 20 mins. i got braver as time went on and was more able to get up in the middle of meetings (still do!) and just smile politely at all the people who stared at me as if i was mad.

my advice would definitely be to not be afraid to speak up...if you are starting to feel achy, or even anxious about getting achy, then don't be afraid to say that you need to go home or to lie down or whatever. i also do a lot of driving and it took me a while, but now i am not slow to say when i think a drive will be too much for me. for a while i had a reminder set on my work email, that flashed at me every 20 mins to remind me to get up and move around. it was incredibly annoying so i had to turn it off, but i definitely recommend that if you can tolerate it. also, if your work is anything like mine with draconian absence management proceedings, involving scary letters and threats, then please, please don't worry. you can only do what you can do. take care of yourself and speak up when it hurts. stay as active as you can and remember you have been through so much worse and things are going to get better.
let us know how you get on!!
take care,

Smart Guy
03-06-2012, 11:11 PM
Hi msksquared,

I am also just over 4 weeks post op and had similar problem to you that started about week 2 post op, i had the same pains as before the operation and although not as bad it was still worrying. Around the same time I came off painkillers which was the wrong thing to do. You must keep taking anti imflamatories at least as you need a certain amount in the blood to keep the imflammation down. I visited my GP a week ago to tell him about the pains I was getting, he told me to take it easier for a week, dont stretch and let everything settle down aswell as taking a higher dose of diclofenac and diazepam (allows the muscles to relax whilst resting) I followed this advice and am pleased to report that I feel much better and now taking diazaepam once a day and diclofenac twice a day. Bear in mind that the nerve has been trapped for a long time and although the pressure has been relieved it will take time for it to recover and the relapses are normal. Ive also read that the nerve is sprayed with cortisone during the op so this will wear off after a short while.

Hope some of that helps

Hi Cas08

reading your post I totally sympathise with your fear about going back to work, the important thing to remember is that your health comes first and if your in too much pain then dont suffer in silence. Talk to your OT and explain the situation clearly so that there are no suprises to them if the worst happens and you have to have more time off. The other posters make great points about keeping active and it sounds like you have your chair sorted which is great. I myself am self employed and anxious to get back to my job as currently savings only are my only form of money but hey guess thats what there for. Stay strong and think positive


Mistress Mayhem
03-06-2012, 11:15 PM
Well hello everyone it has been about 8 weeks since I last posted anything, the nerve root block worked for the entire 8 weeks lol.
I am now back to normal (how insane is it that I now think of crippling pain as normal?!).
Fortunately for me I managed to sweet talk my consultants secretary into getting me a quick appoinment with him. I saw him yesterday and he has recommended that I have surgery now. I'm quite relieved but also totally freaked at the same time.
I just started a new job, got the offer the week after my NRB. Don't know what to do for the best, should I get the op over with now or wait a few more months until I've been in the job longer?

Luckily my new boss is incredible and is actually suffering from a bulging disc in his cervical spine so is totally understanding. I haven't seem him today so will sit down and have a long chat with him to see what he thinks about the situation.
My Mam ever the nurse has told me it is a no brainer and should have the surgery no matter what. Will she pay my mortgage if I'm let go? lol

I am on the waiting list already and could be in as soon as 4th August, unless something crops up.

Any advice or opinion is always gratefully recieved, hope everyone is doing well,
Scissorhands xxx

03-06-2012, 11:19 PM
Hi Msksquared, Jess 22 and Chris 12.

Thank you so much for you kind and encouraging replys. it ment so much to me. I think that all the points that you all made were good. I dont feel so alone as you have all said that you have been in this postion with the very worring thoughts and the what ifs. I just think sometimes when you are at home and your worring about your health all sorts of negative things go through your mind and if you can talk about them to anyone espeacilly if they have not experainced it, then bassically you are on a roller coaster heading down wards. I am so pleased that i have you guys to talk to. i will keep you posted.

I think partly why I feel like I do, is because I have had 3 prolapses on the same disc, the first time I had a discetomy in Oct 2007, the 2nd time I had a NRB in July 2008 and now still waiting for now another NRB after it prolapsed a 3rd time in April 2009.

Hi Jess 22, Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. how long was it before you started to feel comfortable with your back at work and sitting, I mean the stinging achie pain? How long is it since your opp now?

Hi Msksquared Thanks for you encouragment and picking out the posatives in my situation. what sort of excerises do you do on the gym ball at work? How are you now after your emergancey opp it must be nearly amonth ago now.

Hi Chris, How are you doing you opp was a bout a month ago aswell. thanks for your sensible thinking and posative thourghts too. I think it must be more of a worrie when your self employed so I do appriecate that.

Thanks again

Luv and best wishes to every one

Kc Snoek
03-06-2012, 11:23 PM
Good evening Cas08,

Try not to feel down.
I think you should look forward to going back to work, it will occupy your mind and take your mind off worrying.
When you get back to work, I think you will wonder what you were worrying about.
Just try to do what you can at work and do not be too hard on yourself.
There are enough people in the world that can make us feel bad about ourselves with doing it yourself.
Like you, I am hoping to go back to work soon.
I felt alright yesterday but went for physiotherapy today and wondered if I would ever recover from the L5 S1 lumbar discectomy.
Try to be positive and look forward to going back to work.
Make sure you get back to work the sooner the better and you wont have time to worry.

Take care


03-06-2012, 11:25 PM
Hi dalep115

Thank you for your posative thoughts its much appriciated. its made me feel better.

How are you doing? are you 6 weeks post opp now? have you gone back to work? I hope your recovery is still good.

speak soon
Best wishes

angry elf >:p
03-06-2012, 11:27 PM
Hi dalep115

Sorry miss read your post, When are you hoping to go back to work?Thanks again for your post.

best wishes

03-06-2012, 11:32 PM
God morning Cas08,

Hope you are OK.
I go to see my consultant tomoroow at 4.20pm who should hopefully give me the all clear to return to work sometime next week.
My return to work will be probably be staged just like yours.
I have also got to see an OHA from work before returning.
Whilst I feel OK, it is sensible to take it one step at a time and not rush anything.
The only problem I really have is waking up with a pain in my left leg which could be to be do with sleeping a sofa bed, I am going to buy some memory foam soon which should help me sleep.
I have not forgotten about the exercises you kindly mentioned which should help my long term recovery.
Try not to worry and look forward to going back to work.

Best wishes


03-06-2012, 11:34 PM
Hi dalep115

I am so glad that you are recovering well. I think that sleeping on a sofa bed is probably not giving your back the support it need. A friend of mine has a memerory foam mattress. I rested on it once and I could not belive how fantastic it felt it was so comfortable. Try to get one that is thick rather than the thin ones they are no so good. I think the only trouble you will have then is being able to get out of it in a morning as its so nice and comfortable!!!

You seem so chilled and a very confident level headed person, which I think you are lucky. Sometimes I feel so confident and able to posative to others on here as in some of my earlier post to people. But I am such a worrier, I worrie about every eventualy sometimes. I am worried about going back to work as I have not had the Nerve block injection but as you know the pain in my leg has gone and I have just got low back ache in the sacrum and coccyxs which is sometimes a stinging ache. so the type of pain is better.

I spoke to my boss yesturday and she said that she wandered whether there is a problem at work that has made my disc prolaspe twice since my opp. she wandered whether a sitting job, as I am a Finance clerk was a good job for me to be doing???? Of course I worrie about the sitting thing and hence my post and panick yesturday. So I think that is my main worrie that I want be able to cope and will loose my job eventually.

Good luck with seeing the consultant tomorrow. let us know how you get on.

Best wishes

Just call me Hor.
03-06-2012, 11:40 PM
Hi Jess

Hope you are ok

Thank you for your post, there were some good points in it. I just wanted to ask you do you still have problems with sitting? Do you still have to be carful how much you do? do you have any nerve pain still somtimes?

I have just mentioned to dalep115 that I had a converastion with my boss yesturday and she said that she wandered whether there is a problem at work that has made my disc prolaspe twice since my opp. she wandered whether a sitting job, (as I am a Finance clerk) was a good job for me to be doing???? . Of course I worrie about the sitting thing and that is always at the back of my mind. so I think her coment just made my worrie worse. My main worrie that I want be able to cope with sitting and will loose my job eventually. I think the coment she made sent me into a MAJOR PANIC which I am still recovering from today. Any thoughts gladly reciceved.

Best wishes

03-06-2012, 11:42 PM
Hi there everyone,

Just wondering if anyone else suffered from headaches after their MD?

I'm four weeks post op and have been getting headaches pretty much every day - seem to be brought on when sitting and on short passenger journeys (15 mins max) in the car.

Everything else seems to have gone really well apart from the odd expected twinges along the nerve. The headaches are really beginning to get me down now! I had an MRI scan and blood tests done last week which came back clear and according to the surgeon the dural tear which occurred during the operation has healed well. Standing and walking cause no problems!

Th headache seems to start in the neck and shoulders and then the forehead.

Any help much appreciated!


Tamie L
03-06-2012, 11:44 PM
Afternoon Cas08,

Thanks for the advice.
I shall look into buying a sofa bed with a memory foam mattress if one is available or will buy a bed with a memory foam mattress.
Thanks for the advice.
Some advice I was given by a physiotherapist when I was suffering with left leg sciatica before my op was not to sit down for more than 1 hour, go for regular walks on lunch breaks, sit correctly which should help your posture and try to keep in these good habits.
It sounds easy to do but is quite easy to forget which I have done before and suffered a relapse before my op.
I am normally easy going by nature although I would say that I am not perfect and am starting to get a bit bored.
Have a chat with your boss and the OH when you see them and discuss going for a short walk every hour. It only has to be for a refreshment break or to use the toilet. You may need to go and see a colleague or another dept.
Try to plan your work day around regular breaks.
I do hope you get on OK when you return to work.
Just as you are doing on this forum, let your boss know your concerns and worries.
This all depends of course if you have a good boss.
Do you have a proper chair at work to sit on which takes into account your back problems?
Look forward to hearing from you.


03-06-2012, 11:46 PM
Hi Cas08,

I worry about some things just like anyone else.
I just try to cope with worrying in different ways.
Occupying my mind by reading, working, swimming lessons etc... seems to help.
When I was suffering from left leg sciatica, the only sport I could do was swimming without aggravating it.
I am going to start private hydrotherapy soon and am currently having NHS physiotherapy. Have you had either treatment?


03-06-2012, 11:48 PM
5 weeks to go!!!!!!!

Sleepless nights, lots of crying, funny smells, lots of hugs.

Oh my god, what have i let myself in for.

5 weeks to go until another Oliver will come into this world. I will keep you all updated on how it goes.

I am 1 year and 7 days post op. I am doing good. Still get a bit of nerve twitching and funny aches in my back and legs but i am 90% pain free. The pain i do get will last a week and then settle down. Its not real pain its just me getting frustrated that i am not pain free and then i think about it all the time until i am distracted.

All i can say to all you folks that have just had the op is to start walking and stretching on day 1 after the op. If you cannot do this then try swimming once your scar has healed.

Keep going and stay positive.

P.S. I need some idea's for names, i only have one on the list. "Josh"

03-06-2012, 11:50 PM
Olli, my suggestion would be 'fire'. or at least 'firejosh'. sounds brave and strong like dad...

cas08, i am now 10 months post op. sitting is still not good for me....it's not good for anyone cos we were not built to sit! the new chair at work really helps - it moves with me when i bend forward or sit back. i can now sit comfortably for up to an hour, but try not to because then i do ache later. all i need to do is get up and stretch my arms up over my head and just gently bed forwards and backwards. that seems to ease things off so i try to do that at least every 30 mins. i find it can easily be combined with a trip to the loo, or to make some coffee, or to get something from the printer - the usual! hopefully that will be easy for you to manage too. DO NOT let your boss or anyone else bully you into saying that your back difficulties mean you can't do your job. THEY have to accommodate your needs. anything else is in breach of the disability discrimination act. i know employers just don't want to live with more periods of absence, but supporting us and making small changes would be far better than bullying people out the door. sorry for the rant, but it just drives me nuts!

i do still get nerve pain periodically. sometimes i have no idea why and that's when i get anxious. a second prolapse is always at the back of my mind, even though my physio says i am no more likely to get one that anyone out there on the street. and probably less likely because i am more careful than most people. i do have to watch my sitting time and try to do no more than 45mins-1 hour in the car (just bought a new car today...so exciting!!). i tend to lie down when watching tv and am the most fidgety person in the world at the cinema

anyway...just back from my ballet class (see what's possible post op!!) and am off to make some dinner.

lots of love to all,
Jess xx

Question Guy
03-06-2012, 11:52 PM
Hey Jess....

I just got a new car too!!! I have always still been able to drive (thank you Lord or i will have gone crackers!)......Its so cool having a new car isnt it!!!

I however....Have just found out today that my NHS surgeon has approved my referral to the spinal foundation!! I might have a mountain to climb getting primary care trust funding, but half the way is better than none!!


Roborovski hamster
03-06-2012, 11:56 PM
Good morning fireolli,

Cas08 mentioned to me some exercises you have recommended following an op which I will refer to in the near future. I recently had an op and should hopefully get the all clear today to return to work.
Its 6 weeks since I had the op and I only feel slight pain when I sleep which is more than manageable.
Do you have to wait for the scar to heal before starting swimming again?
I think what you said certainly rings a bell with me.
If you occupy your mind, it takes your mind away from the pain most definitely.
Good luck with the new olli arriving soon.


The Coast Guarder
03-07-2012, 12:00 AM
Hi everyone

I got a new car too! It must be a side effect of this operation! Mine has a built in lumbar support, and is a little higher off the ground (SUV shape) which is good for the old back.

jess, you have some good comments about work for Cas08. People who have not been in 'our' situation can lack understanding and be discouraging. Initially I had good support from my work, then I think it got to a point where their patience ran out and they just thought I was 'fixed' after my op and should get on with it. I was told not too kneel down when I was at work as it 'looked bad.'....?? The recommendations about moving around as much as possible during the day and not sitting for too long are SO important. I can now sit for an hour comfortably but I generally try not to sit for even that long. Break it up, move around, don't load your spine too much by putting extra pressure on it by sitting for long periods of time. I figure people just have to get used to me standing up in meetings etc. I do a lot of interviewing in my role so I need to warn people I might stand up. (I don't want them to think I am bored and trying to leave prematurely!)

I am now 7 months post-op. I have good and bad days, but I try and be careful all the time. A few times I have lifted something too heavy, or have done too much and have regretted it and felt like I set myself back. This is a long term issue, which needs careful management. That said, I am looking forward to my first attempt in a looong time at competing in an equestrian event this weekend. Riding is incredibly tough on the spine but I am pleased to say I have been able to get back to it again ok post-op.

Olli, I like the name Josh.

Oh, and I have been enjoying watching Michael McIntyre on youtube, thanks to this forum, now to find your other youtube suggestions Ali.

Pants On The Ground
03-07-2012, 12:01 AM
fantastic news ali! well done you.

and congratulations on the new car to you and subi. i am feeling a little sad that mine doesn't have lumbar support, but the driver's seat does move up and down so that's kind of exciting.

just been to see my physio for my occasional dose of "stop panicking jess". works a treat. did i mention to any of you about being filmed for a dvd back in august (when my back was so bad that i couldn't sit up straight and had crazy sweats from the painkillers)?? my physio was filmed too and we got sent copies a few weeks ago. it is an awareness raising dvd for health professionals, all about recognising patients presenting with neuropathic pain (nerve pain), so hopefully it gets diagnosed quicker and treatment provided in good time. i reeeeally hope no one i know ever sees the dvd, but hopefully it might help some people in the future. in case any of you come across it, i am the one who looks drunk, sitting at a funny angle, making very little sense!!

lots of love,
jess xx

03-07-2012, 12:03 AM
Hi Cas08

I actually used my ball as a seat for quite a bit of last year, when I started having lower back problems (before prolapse, though). It makes your back muscles work harder to maintain core stability, and is a nice thing to swap in and out with a normal chair. But if you didn't want to do that, you could just have one around to sit on during meetings or whatever, plus there are loads of exercises you can do on them (though maybe get some advice from a physio about what would be best for you). They are quite cheap and we started quite a craze for them in my office.

Good news about the Spinal Foundation Ali. Well done!

K x

03-07-2012, 12:06 AM
Hey Jess and Subi!

We all have new cars!! How exciting....and strangely co-incidental!!
I dont have lumbar support, but my car is high up so its easy to get in and out of.....I had a friend years ago who had back problems, she had a little fold up lumbar support seat that she used in the car, home etc, it had a carry handle.
I am yet to find one myself, but it was a really helpful thing to her.
If i find it, i will let you know xxxxxxxxx

Nikki N
03-07-2012, 12:09 AM
Hi Cas08,

Got the all clear to go back to work yesterday.
Been advised not to do impact sports for 3 months following op.
Dont lift anything heavy for 10 weeks following op.
Am allowed to drive again which is good.
Just need to see OHA at work before being allowed to return to work.
The days are counting down for your returning to work.
Hope you are thinking positively.
There has been some very good points from all of the other nice people on the forum.
I have too been told not to sit for more than an hour, go for regular walks and maintain the correct posture although it is easy to say but not always do.
Subi, I will have to try out your good point when I return to work in the near future and am in a meeting.
Initially, I think I will feel a bit awkward but hope people will understand.
Will give it a go.
I am so glad I found this forum as I have learnt so much over a short period of time.
Thank you to everyone who has given me advice so far.

Thank you


Bill Q
03-07-2012, 12:12 AM
hi, thanks for all the info i went in for discectomy on tuesday by wednesday morning i was totally freaking out called hubby to come and get me i was in a terrible state luckily a kind nurse calmed me down and i had the op woke up to find a drain coming out of my back and drips and morphine pump in my arm, it is now friday and iam in quite a bit of pain ,so have spent all day in bed this is probably the worst thing to do but hopefully i will feel a little better tommorrow, i had l4/l5 removed and a laminectomy , i hate not being able to do anything but i suppose it will get a little better as the days go on.

Adam M
03-07-2012, 12:16 AM
Hi mw1

Glad that the opp went well. I understand about the freaking out bit. But just be kind to youself. You have been through a horrible time, you need to give youself time to heal.

keep moving gently about, dont do any bending picking up heavy objects ect. when you feel up to it go for a little walk. A bit later on do some streaching excersises. Fireolli another member on here posted a few good ones, look those up. Most importanlty listen to you body if something is not right your body will let you know. push your self a little bit, as you feel a bit better but dont over do it. Dont sit for to long, make sure you change your postion regularly. Eat lots of fruit and vegs good food! Have you got any physio booked yet with the physio department?

Best wishes

03-07-2012, 12:19 AM
Hi dalep115

How you doing.

I have had physiotheropy with the NHS but not any hydrotherapy, it was useful, definaltly do it.

I am so glad that you got the all clear to go back to work thats great. I was given the same advice only never to pick up anything heaver than 7kg, but i guess this may differ with different people. Let us know when you are to return to work and how you get on.

I am now going to post about my visit to the dr yesturday above this one read it and let me know what you think?

Best wishes

T. dub ? {kiss my sass}
03-07-2012, 12:23 AM
Hi everyone

Hope you are all doing well. I want to tell you all about my visit to my GPs yesturday and your coments.

As some off you know that I have had 3 proplapes. An MD opp in Oct 2007 for my L5/S1, then a nerve block for another prolaspe on the same disc 27th July2008, and am awiating another nerve bock for a re-occurance of prolaspe on the same disc March /April 2009 . Which there is a 5 month waiting list for this???????

So I am feeling better the pain has now gone from my right leg, I just having some odd sensations down it on and off. I have now just got an achie pain and sometimes a stining ache in my sacrum and coxxys ( i think every time i spell this word its different ) and its most of the time.

Anyway so I tell the my Gp that Ive not had the injectionand and all of the things in the above paragraph, and that I want to go back to work and do a phased return. And that I am seeing the OH peolpe at work next week to discuss me comming back ect. Oh and that my boss has said that she wanders whether its that I have a desk job, that I have had 2 more prolaspes since my opp.

He said " I need to think about this for a minute". He reads the letter that has been recently sent to him from my vistit to the consultant in May. "You have to remember that you have a disc problem, that has not been resoved. You may or may not need surgery or and injection sometime in the future. "it may flare up again in 6 months 1yr, 2yrs 5yrs or never I dont know???. If you go back part time, it could happen, if your are whatching the Tv it could happen ect ect. A phased return is usually for people who are better, and they are getting back to work. Your problem has been not been resovled". He said "even if i have a good chair and desk that has adjustable height, it said in your letter that my best possition was lying down. I told him that I would have to get back to work sometime or I would loose my job . So its not black or wight.

He said "thats it was like someone who had breast cancer and who has has a mascetomy and all the horrible treatment that goes with that and they are in remittion, like you. But he can not be sure that the cancer will not come back 1yr 2ys 5ys down the line or never!!!! He said you have a disc problem and it could re-occur you will have to tell that to your employer.

Guys, I came out of there thinking am i suppost to spend the rest of my life on the floor!!!!!!! Thats it, my life is over. I am living with a ticking time bome. Surley your disc can not keep prolapsing you only have so much gloopy stuff in the middle of it. I dont no what to think now he certainly made me feel that i should just go a leap in front of a bus. ba#'##'#/.,

I dont think any of that was possative!!!!


Very down

HI everybody
03-07-2012, 12:25 AM
Hi Cas08

Im sorry to hear about your experience with your GP, it is such a shame that he has poured cold water on you going back to work. I would definately consider changing GP's if this is possible. It has took me 4 different GP's to find one that I can get on with and who understands me. You need to remember that they are general practitioners so they have brief knowledge about a wide variety of illnesses/injuries. Infact they probably know less than most people on this forum about lumbar surgery. He told you that you could relapse at work or at home watching tv so I personally dont think theres a problem going back to work, you cant live the rest of your life on the floor. You must do your best to get back to work even if it is just part time, this will help distract you from thinking solely about your back. Dont let the GP get you down, get a second opinion and I would also highly recommend Sarah Keys, Back Sufferers Bible to understand exactly how the spine works and how it is possible for you to help yourself. Dont give up, stay positive


Jesse J
03-07-2012, 12:27 AM
Cas08, I am sorry that you have had this experience and I can see what it would get you down.

I too have a number of other problems with my spine (other disc prolapses, stenosis, spondylosis, osteoarthritis, loss of disc height), which may flare up in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, never (as you say - who knows). I just figure I will do what I can while I can. It is not always easy, but I have managed to return to a full time desk job which is very demanding, and I often spend 50 hours a week at work. (I am now 7 months post op) I also have returned to doing a lot of sport which is very physically demanding. My GP, neurosurgeon and workplace have all been very negative about whether I could achieve returning to my 'normal life'. I wouldn't say things are completely back to normal, but they are a lot more normal than I thought they might be at this stage (does that make sense??)

Please don't lose heart Cas08. Many of us have been able to return to work and other daily activities we enjoyed eventually. Hopefully with the right support you will too.

professor love
03-07-2012, 12:30 AM
Hi Cas08,

I agree with chris12. I think you should think about changing GP's.
Is your GP normally miserable or negative. It certainly sounds like it.
Before I had an L5 S1 discectomy, my GP was so negative about me going through with it I could not believe it.
I am only 6 weeks post op but am extremely happy at the moment.
What you need to think about is how you can be positive in life and enjoy yourself.
If something is going to happen, it will do.
I might cross the road tomorrow and get hit by a bus. I hope not but you never know.
I am going to enjoy life and encourage you to do the same until something does happen.
I hope you go and see OH at your place of work and they allow you to go back in stages/phased.
I have just placed an order for the book mentioned by chris12 as I want to do everything to make sure I stay as healthy as I can.
Try and be positive. I know it is not always easy to do.


03-07-2012, 12:35 AM
Hi All
am now four weeks post L4/L5 revision surgery - leg feeling much better, general aching and muscle twitching gone - just get the odd "fizzing" sensation in the top of my calf muscle which I can live with! Still got really a really stiff left hip, its not painful but makes walking hard going, in addition my hamstrings are still stiff and after a good old walk they ache like mad. Doing the stretches fireolli suggested which are the same as my physio gave me - just wondered if anyone else has or had same problem and how long does it take to go away? Am a bit down by it, want to know if its a new problems, knackered and fed up nerve, or if my muscles are in spasm - my back incidentally has been a nightmare - struggling to get the tight muscles under control - any suggestions?

03-07-2012, 12:38 AM
Cas08, Well if you ask me your GP is a nob. Of cause it can occur anytime, it could happen to anyone. There comes a point when you have to try and get on with things and your GP cannot hold you back just because it might happen again. I would get a second opion.

Bonnie10, Getting tight legs and hips is all part of the recovery. If i do too much my left leg, back and hip get tight. Increase the strectes to an extra session a day and get yourself in a hot bath every day or every other day. Anti-inflamatories work as well just to settle things down. If the pain gets too much i would see a physio. It may sound a bit backwards but some light exercise should loosen off your tight legs, exercise will keep everything nice and warm and loose.

Hope everyone has a pain free Sunday.

The sun is out and i am off to bloody work!!, I'm sure they don't get fire's on a Sunday i must be able to stay at home


Jack D
03-07-2012, 12:42 AM
Hi Folks

Am now 4.5 weeks post op and feeling that my remaining nerve pain has settled into both legs for good. It's generally manageable but the big problem is that I get shooting nerve pains in both calfs if I try to kneel or squat on my heels. As any of you with small kids knows, being able to kneel and squat is essential to being a parent, especially if you want to avoid bending over too much. I am feeling very worried about it, especially as it is in my 'good' leg too.

So I just wondered if anyone else had this problem with kneeling on their heels after the operation (do you have this, Bonnie?)? Is it better to rest the nerves more, or to just try to get on with things even if they get irritated still further?

Cas08 - I echo everyone's view that your GP has got it all wrong. I am surprised, because I thought dox were under pressure these days to push people back into work and off disability allowances wherever possible... And also because all the NHS advice emphasises the importance of routine, work, getting out of the house, and generally keeping your life as normal as possible, to support a better recovery. So if you need a doctor's OK to go back then I think you must find another doctor. But definitely don't get pushed by doctors and bosses etc. into not going back unless there is really a sound reason.

Hugs to all xxx

03-07-2012, 12:44 AM
Well, I can't believe that after reading this thread for almost a year I'm finally off to have my surgery. Despite all the fab advice, I'm still scared stiff - literally - my back is solid and my shoulders are sore and I've been grinding my teeth

Briefly, I fell down the stairs 3 yrs ago - I fell in a seated position - the pain was so intense that I threw up. Since then I've had people "tell" me it was a misaligned hip, sacroilial pain, bruised coccyx - the lot. Finally a phsyio I was seeing recommended me to a specialist and finally I got the MRI I knew all along (3 yrs!) was needed to FINALLY diagnose my pain. I'm 41 now and feel 90 - I've gone from a very active, rural lifestyle to groaning as I rise from the sofa and spending hours laid up on codeine (which they hand out like sweets and which is working less and less as the months go on - I've been on it for 5 months!).

I have some "silly" questions, if you don't mind... mostly about recovery - I've resigned myself to actually having the op, but I'm scared of doing something silly during recovery as I'm really REALLY bad at being waited on - hate feeling helpless and out of control.

So, my questions

1. What was your day like? I figured I could get up, walk around garden for 10 mins, go back to bed and recline/watch telly. Get up lunch time, walk round for 10 mins - back to bed. Now, should I recline or lie flat or on my side or what?

2. I have a LayZBoy recliner - can I use this?

3. Food - been told I need lots of fibre, that's all - what sort of stuff did you eat (or did you feel like eating?).

4. Getting home - I live 60km on a remote rural road from the hospital ( i live in NZ now, from UK originally) which has its rough spots. I am told I will be going home the day after op (1 night in hospital) but I'm worried that 45mins in the car is a good thing?? How did you get home and how long after?

5. When can I start to do general things like hoover or load the dishwasher or load washing machine? Thankfully my hubby is a total star but I don't want to be a huge burden after the op as he's been 'caring' for me for so long with the pain etc.

6. I suffer badly from depression (bi-polar) and am on anti-depressants and have been for 20 yrs. Has anyone else with depression had problems with recovery - my main worry is my terrible anxiety, especially about moving my back afterwards.

I'm off to buy some slippers and a dressing gown tomorrow - have to look respectable even if I probably won't care after the event!

Oh, and were you ok using your normal home toilet afterwards or did you have a raiser-thingy?

Thanks all, it really helps to hear from others whether the experience is good or bad. It's early a.m. here in New Zealand and I've got another sleepless night ahead. I know reading up on it is bad, but I just can't help it!


03-07-2012, 12:45 AM
Hey all,

How are we today?
I have been feeling better since becoming very low due to these adhesions i have, they are really painful and it never lets up.
I have got halfway through the referral process to the spinal foundation, i know that its a long process, but halfway is better than none.

I just thought i'd drop by to say hello

Ajay A
03-07-2012, 12:47 AM

Having had an L5 S1 discectomy six weeks ago, I will good luck to you.
If you follow the guidelines of the physio, you should be OK.
It is natural to be a bit apprehensive, I know I was.
Look forward to the good times ahead is what I would say.
Sometimes I have felt older than I am but then I say there is plenty of life ahead for me and I am sure it is the same for you.
1. Physiotherapy should tell you to roll in and out of bed in a controlled fashion.
In my six weeks recovery, I go for three or four 20 minute walks every day. I have been given a high seat with a soft cushioned back and seat in order to maintain good posture which I will return when I feel I am ready to do so.
Dont lift too much for the first ten weeks as a definite.
2. I don't know if you can use a lazyboy recliner. Best to ask.
3. Generally I ate what I normally eat except I did not have the normal appetite due to not using the usual amount of energy.
4. I dont see a problem with this. I live 22 miles from hospital and travelled on a 45 minute journey home the day after.
The hospital staff will try to mobilise you the day after the op and as long as you can walk up and down the stairs, you should be aloud home.
5. No lifting anything heavy for the first 10 weeks and no impact sports for 3 months following the op. I can load and unload the dishwasher but just ask for somewell else to push or pull the trays in or out when full.
6. I have only been on amitriptyline since last September when I started suffering from left leg sciatica but have since stopped taking them.
When feeling anxious, try to take your mind off your anxiety by reading, watching the TV etc..

I was provided with a high seat for using on the WC and hope you will be provided with the same.

Good luck


03-07-2012, 12:52 AM
Hi Bonnie 10

I get the odd sensation in the top of my calf muscle and am six weeks post op L5 S1 discectomy. I hope mine goes like I hope yours goes.
I can only presume as I was told that no lifting anything heavy for 10 weeks from the op and no impact sports three months from the op has some bearing on the sensation we are both feeling.
Whilst we are not lifting, we are bending our legs as if lifting.
Only three months after our ops will we be able to tell.
I would hope all of the feelings in your back and legs is it just settling down.
Are you sitting down for more than an hour? I was advised not to.
Are you walking regularly? Short walks during the day break the boredom and keep you mobile.
I must have listened to the 1000 songs on my mobile and MP3 player a couple of times at least!
Keep up the physiotherapy exercises twice a day as a minimum but stop if they hurt.
Positive thinking and doing things like reading, watching films etc... should help.


03-07-2012, 12:57 AM
Hi All

I wrote on here a few weeks ago had my MD 6 weeks ago..went on a 'resting' holiday 2 weeks ago but had to return early as I could barely walk due to severe Sciatica and back pain also new numbness in toes. Hospital told me to go straight to a n e..I was admitted given morphine and had MRI..I was in there 5 days as they couldnt decide whether the new pressure on my nerve was disk or scar tissue. My neurosurgeon ruled scar tissue out as he said it was to early. He doesnt want to give me a seconf MD as my disk is collapsed and the chances of it coming out again are high he has recommended I have a fusion...

I have come home to rest and think for a few weeks..neurosurgeon said there is a small chance the disk may come off my nerve if I take it easy.
I just feel I have no option but to have it fused now. I have all faith in my neurosurgeons opinion I am just so unsure of what to do...Does anyone have any opinions on my case??

I feel this is my only option to get rid of the pain..Have quit my job today and doing bar minimal at home!!

If anyone has recently had a MD DONT LET MY STORY DISHEARTEN YOU I have been told what has happened to me is very very rare.

Any advice/views would be really appreciated.

Carly Aged 22..trying to keep positive!

03-07-2012, 01:00 AM
Carly 22
sweet heart get a second opinion before you agree to having a fusion. I had a second prolapse on my L4/L5 disc last year (just 9 months after the original prolapse) - and I had my revision surgery 4.5 weeks ago. Fusion is a last resort - a revision md is less invasive. Its a massive decision to make and I can hear in your words how much pain you are in and how down you are... but if you can get a second opinion my advice would be to do so.
Are you an NHS patient or do you have private medical insurance? If you are private look up the spinal foundation - they are based in Congleton in Cheshire - the surgeon there is Martin Knight - he is a spinal specialist and specialises in laser surgery for prolapsed discs - I think a consultation with him is about &#00163;200, if you can stretch to it, it may be worth asking him to review your scan and give you his opinion. I only wish to god I had medical insurance before my first disc prolapse - he removes the gunk and then closes the hole up to prevent further problems. Sods law that insurance companies will not insure you for an existing problem!

03-07-2012, 01:03 AM
MSKSQUARED - Hi, I do occasionally get sensations in my left leg (bad leg) when I squat. Its not pain though its a very short burning sensation which comes and then goes within seconds (it doesnt radiate down my leg). Mine occurs in the nerve bundle just below the knee joint. I do have some nerve damage from my first L4/L5 herniation, no doubt exascerbated by a second herniation at same site - so although it bugs me I am trying to reassure myself that I am only 4.5 weeks having had revision surgery and that I am still healing.
How long ago did you have surgery? Prior to surgery I had sciatic type symptons in my good leg - my surgeon explained that it was swelling in the soft tissues which had put a little pressure on the nerve the other side of the damaged disc - it could be that you are still swollen - try not to panic (I am a right one to talk I analyse every little twitch!) - but keep an eye on it. Hope that helps?

The Thinker
03-07-2012, 01:08 AM

Hi, hope the op has gone well, if you already had it? My op was on 13 May (L5 -S1, emergency so no research beforehand! Maybe a good thing!), so am almost 5 weeks along now.

1. I think your day plan sounds good - you will prob get some exercises to do lying down from the hospital physio, initially. I think lying on your back is good, with your knees on a pile of pillows maybe if that makes you comfy. I was told not to sit for more than about 30 mins at a time. I have been going for walks of anything from 10-45 minutes, depending on how much time I have and how I feel. But for the first two-three weeks I was very slow and tired. This is improving now.

2. Food. I have been trying to eat well and include high quality protein in particular. I'm usually veggie, but have reintroduced chicken and extra fish into my diet while I am healing. I am also breastfeeding, so it's extra important for me to eat well. Having lots of fruit and fresh veg - but it's summer here more or less, so that's easier than in NZ!

3. Getting home - sounds a bit hard going, but I am sure if you take it slow it will be OK. If your car seat is very deep and buckety, then take some pillows or blankets to sit on. If you can stay an extra night in hospital maybe that's not such a bad idea.

4. I have a toilet seat raiser, which is good, and have also invested in a grabber for picking stuff off the floor and a long shoe horn. I also bought a wedge shaped cushion which helps you sit in a good position on your chair, and not to sit at too deep an angle. In addition, we raised our bed with bed raisers and might do the same with a chair or two.

5. Being a burden. I'd say just go with it for the next 6 weeks. Don't risk anything. It would be much worse for your husband if you try and do things and then put your disk out again. It's really hard to just relinquish all control, I know at first hand, but you really have to be disciplined about *not* doing things. This gets harder as the weeks go on and you feel more capable. If need be, get someone to come in for two hours a day to do stuff - paid if necessary - so your husband doesn't have to and you don't have to worry about it.

6. Depression. I suffer from mild depression and high anxiety levels, and I am definitely having bad days and good days. I find it hard when I go out and see people who are less fit and strong than me having a normal life doing all the stuff I want to do, and I have a severe case of the 'why me's and the 'not fairs'. Better days are when I make an effort to talk to or see friends, and that makes me feel more cheerful and takes me out of myself.

I do worry a lot about doing something to damage myself again, or whether my recovery is going OK, or whether I'll ever be able to do this or that again, but my better days are definitely the ones where I have less time and space to think these thoughts.

Hope this helps... Good luck and let us know how you are.


03-07-2012, 01:11 AM
THanks, Bonnie. My op was on 13 May so must have been not long before yours, right? The pain in the leg went away for about two weeks and then came back, in both legs, which is what freaked me out a bit. I will talk to my physio about it this week and then I have my 6 week appointment next week. I know nerves take ages to heal, and I am a very impatient person - just seems that others are in less pain at this stage after the op, and that makes me worried in case something is wrong. But let's see. Trying not to panic!


03-07-2012, 01:12 AM
Hi Bonnie

Thank you for your advice I contacted Mr Knights sectretary this morning and she has advised me to get a referal from my docs and fax it to Mr Knight. Have you had surgery with him??How are you doing with your recovery?

Take Care

Carly xxxx

03-07-2012, 01:16 AM
hi all, thanks for the advise i recieved from you all i have now had the l4/l5 disectomy and laminectomy 6 days ago , was in a bad way panicking because the numbness has been worse down my left leg but i have now got times where it goes down my right leg too iam hoping this is just from the swelling, how long will it take for the numbness in my bottom to go this is not very nice at all, cannot really tell yet whether i have improved because of the pain from the op but the staples come out on monday and iam hoping i can get in the bath for a much need soak i hate showers but that is all i can have at the moment.

03-07-2012, 01:18 AM
Hi Carly 22,

I am too trying to get referred to Mr Knight, let me know how you get on with yours xxx

03-07-2012, 01:20 AM
Hi all, hope you well.

Over the last 2ks I have improved alot. Been to the physio for the last 2wks. And now im going to the spinal clinic for 10ks on the trot.
However I do have sleep problems, still pain in my calf, but they say its swelling.

03-07-2012, 01:25 AM
Can anyone offer any advice regarding pain I am feeling following an L5 S1 discectomy on April 29th 2009.
From the second week following the op, I started feeling a slight left leg sciatic pain normally after 4 hours sleeping at night.
I have also started feeling a slight pain in my left calf muscle on ocassion.
My history of back pain is as follows:

1995 Pulled a muscle in my lower back which a chiropractor resolved.
2007 Suffered right leg sciatica following falling down the stairs, the sciatica went after 3 months.
2008 Suffered left leg sciatica following a bad tackle playing football.
The sciatica never went and I required an operation.
I also have a L4 slight central disc bulge but was told this should be ok.
Any helpful advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


03-07-2012, 01:30 AM
I can't thank you enough for your detailed reply, it's really helped both me and my hubby to read it. I'm home today - the operation was Wednesday afternoon and all seems to have gone well. Sciatic pain gone, as has the "poking" feeling I had at the tip of coccyx. However, I am in immense pain around the surgery site, bruised, tight and my hips hurt. Am finding it hard to relax - I feel like a plank of wood if I lie on my back, so I'm lying on my side.

Exhausted after a 8-10 min walk round house, legs shaking alot and one nearly went from beneath me. Thankfully hubby is being allowed to work from home for as long as it needs, and surgeon signed me off work for an initial period of 45 days.

I can't type much more right now, too much pain/tired and pretty drugged up

Thanks again, raised my spirits.


03-07-2012, 01:32 AM
Hi dalep115

Thanks for your upbuilding comment on ealier posts, after my bad trip to the doctors.

I am no expert, but i think its your nerve stettling down. I remember that other people on here in the past have said about a bit of sciatica in their leg on and off for awhile afteter the opp. I had not so much sciatic pain but odd sensations in my legs after the opp, very very achie and shackey legs and I did get very bad muscel carlf ache like very thing was overly tight..

Still mention it to the consultant, but I think it normal it will go in time. Just keep up the excersises and keep active.

You might find putting a pillow inbetween your knees helps. it stop the strain on the lower back when you are lying on your side at night.

By the way have you ordered that book called "The Back Suffers Bible" I got it of Amazon and its brilliant!!!! Everyone should have a copy

Take care

03-07-2012, 01:35 AM
Hi Chris12

Thank you for your upbuilding words in your earlier post to me, it was much appriaciated.

I am now the proud onwner of the book you sugested to get "The Back Suffers Bible". I got it off Amazon and its quite simply BRILLIANT . Everybody should have one. Thanks again.

Hope you are doing Ok.

Best Wishes

03-07-2012, 01:41 AM
Hi Subi

Hope you are Ok. Thank you for your post I found it very helpful. I am so sorry that you have all those problems.

How are you on a day to day basis? Do you get pain every day or not? How do you get on with the desk job, do you still have to have regular breaks get up and move about?

I just cant belive how well you are doing condidering all that you have been through, and that you said lots of poeple were negative about how much you would return to doing. You have done so well. You are an insperation.

sorry to ask so many questions.
best wishes

Chickwith Adick
03-07-2012, 01:42 AM
Evening Cas08,

I had a bit of a mare when typing and pressed enter before finishing my reply to you.
Please see above.


Abcdef Ghijklm
03-07-2012, 01:45 AM
Evening Cas08,

I do hope you are right and it is the nerve settling down.
I think psychology has a big bearing on how we all feel, it certainly does for me.
When we are occupying our minds, the pain is not so noticeable.
Thats certainly how it feels to me having experienced no or very little pain when with friends and family and experiencing some pain and wondering if it will stay or go when on my own.
I am doing exercises recommended by the NHS hospital physio I have seen 3 times since my op.
Normally I put a cushion between my knees and always sleep on right side as the last pain before the op was left leg sciatica.
Sometimes I forget though. Well I am a man, what can you expect!
I have ordered the book with Waterstones and expect to receive it at some stage next week.
Looking forward to reading it.
I presume you went back to work OK?
Hope it all went ok if you did.

Best wishes


Malik $Ahab
03-07-2012, 01:46 AM
Hi Moorfnz/Helen -

Great to hear that your op and recovery are going well so far. Keep us posted with how you are getting on. My experience so far is that a lot of patience is needed to avoid overdoing it!!

To all -

I have the Back Sufferer's Bible too and also Sarah Kay's book on joint care. I think they are both good although I imagine some of the ideas in there are controversial amongst the medical mainstream. Can also recommend Back Care BAsics, a book focusing on yoga exercises for back care by someone called Mary Pullig Schatz, which includes a chapter on post-surgery issues.

Going for my 6-week check next week, starting to make a LONG list of all my questions for the not-very-communicative ortho doctors at the hospital...

03-07-2012, 01:50 AM
As other posters have advised you, PLEASE, only accept 'spinal fusion' as a very, very last resort and only after every other option has been excluded and you are convinced that you are totally happy with it on that basis.

The 'spinal fusion' procedure was not originally introduced to British surgery as a spinal treatment, it was first used around 1905 to correct the curviture of the spine caused by severe muscle spasms, which were in turn caused by 'TB'. The only reason it was used for spinal conditions was that as side effect of stiffening the spine, it appeared that a lot of patients also gained an indetermined amount of pain relief.

It has been used as the standard NHS treatment ever since, even though I have failed to find any results of trials regarding this most destructive of
spinal treatments which would in my mind justify its use. Neither could I find any records regarding the safety or efficacy rates of fusion.

The Consultant Orthopeadic and Neurosurgical Surgeons who largely carve up the Spinal Surgery lists between them, are aware of how destructive 'fusion' is. One Orthopeadic Surgeon who I was refered to, threatened me with 'fusion'!! because the conservative treatments she gave me failed to work, and in her mind, this made it my fault!!

So please Carly, don't be pushed or bullied in to accepting this very destructive treatment. Do your research, there is '21st Century' treatments out there, you just need to look!

Good luck & best wishes


03-07-2012, 01:55 AM
A quick count shows 650 reports on the Trip database;


I appreciate the you've probably had a bad experience with the NHS, but I don't think you can lump all NHS consultants together, since most do private as well as NHS work.

Perhaps I'm as biased as you are because I wouldn't be here without the excellent work carried out by the NHS. Therefore, the truth probably lays somewhere between your view and mine.


otterly evil
03-07-2012, 01:58 AM
I would agree with you 100%.

I also would say that all medical employees should not be tarred with the same brush, in fact, I would say that the vast marjority of are doing a great job in difficult curcumstanses, that includes my spouce.
However! there is a small 'but very powerful body' of personnel within the NHS establishment who are 'holding back' the introduction of cutting edge spine surgery treatments for reasons that only they can explain.

One thing I do Know though, whatever that reason is, it is not in the interests of the patients suffering with long term chronic back pain who are, possibly at this very moment, rolling around the floor in excruciating pain whilst not knowing who to believe or where to turn to relieve themselves of this hell!

I am glad your condition did improve and 'no' I don't think your not biased, we should all applaud excelence in the NHS whenever we see it, not enough thanks are given to NHS staff who do good things every day.

Best wishes


Alazzi Alghalisi
03-07-2012, 02:00 AM
I have had 2 MD's and now have scar tissue wrapped around and stuck to my sciatic nerve, and has left me disabled.
I firmly believe that I should have been fused in the first op, as 8 weeks post op first time round, my disc prolapsed again, resulting in me needing a 2nd op, thus rendering me with these adhesions. The NHS cannot rid me of them as they do not perform the procedure anymore, and so am having to rely on my PCT to fund treatment from the spinal foundation, for minimally invasive spinal surgery from Martin Knight.
I do not know if the PCT will grant me said funding, but if they dont, i will be left a 30 year old disabled single mother of an 8 year old.

What do you guys think? Do you think i would still be in this position if i had been fused from the off?

John de Witt
03-07-2012, 02:05 AM
I have to go out now, but I will come back on your questions later this afternoon!

Keep your chin up!

Best wishes.


Allie Jane ~
03-07-2012, 02:07 AM
Sadly ALiH, I personally think that you would have been just as worse off.

Maybe you would have been better off in the sense that you may have had less scar tissue due to the fact that you only had 1 operation instead of 2, but as I have stated below, the fusion procedure is every bit as destructive as open back decompression, because the Consultant Surgeons would still cut through the same amount of tissue, nerves, muscle and sometimes bone in order to gain access to the working area,
and all those areas would have to heal in order for you to recover fully. In my experience, this rarely happens

For the good news, I totally agree that your decision and direction to go for funding, If you need further help, please post again.

Best of luck and speak to you soon!!


Nicky Alien
03-07-2012, 02:11 AM

Thank you very much for taking your time with your detailed reply. I very much agree with you that a fusion must be the last resort.I have been researching allday into the minimal invasive laser option and your recovery and over all outcome does sound amazing.

My worry with another disectomy style op is that there will still be collapsed disk in there. I would hate to have another prolapse later in my life when I decide to have a family etc..do you think that would be a concern with the laser surgery?
I am very confused but am most definately doing nothing until i am 100% comfortable with the decision.

Many Thanks, I am very happy to hear you are doing so well its very inspirational!!

03-07-2012, 02:15 AM
Thanks for your reply SPINELF

I am seriously frustrated now, the orthopaedic team want me to see the pain specialist before referring me because they are concerned about me having more surgery, even though the spinal foundation have an 80% success rate removing adhesions.....i go to the pain clinic next week.

I thought the referral had already been sent off, but no......its gonna be a long drawn out annoying frustrating process whatever happens.

03-07-2012, 02:19 AM
Hi Carly, your welcome!

Given your previous failed procedures you have every right to be worried. The risk of further failier is a very real risk after 'any' future procedure. However, If you keep reading the web sites you will see that this minimally invasive root will minimise any such event. When you compare that to standard further open back options I am sure you will agree, that the evidence will leave you with only one sensible option.

Best wishes


kasey. ?
03-07-2012, 02:22 AM
The problem I have with your Consultant's decision, is that this 'Pain management specialist treatment' is classed as a 'conservative treatment' and as such is a 'pre-surgical' option amongst other 'pre-surgical conservative treatments' that should have been exhausted prior to any of your operations.
Q: did you have pain management treatment before you operations?

I fully understand and sympathise with your frustrations! I've been there!!

I wish you the very best of luck with regards to your PCT.

From experience, I know that wether or not your PCT 'procures and funds' this 'cutting edge' minimally invasive spinal surgery will largely depend on the interlect, integrity and determination of the your GP, Consultant and PCT panel members.

I know this to be true, because in my case, even after my GP, Spine Consultant, MP, Local Councilor, Assembly Member, Local health Board's Decisions Panel Members and the Welsh Assembly Health Minister all accepted 'AS FACT' that this surgery was:


and they also accepted that the only NHS Hospital that I was allowed to recieve open back laminecomy at:




Inspite of all the above, I was still refused funding!!

I would suggest that you approach as many of your local bodies as you can manage and try to get them to support your cause.

Some English 'enlightened PCT's' have aready and do regularly refere people to your proposed clinic, your 'local trust' or 'PCT' area board may be one of them, check it out first!

Best wishes


03-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Good Morning
Just to give you a brief history had 1st discectomy l5/s1 in Dec 04 after years of on/off pain which GP put down to recurrent back strain. Post Op was brilliant, back working and playing sport about 4 months later. No pain at all until about Oct 07 when i started to have twinges and aches in my back, then in Jan 08 it all went pear shaped. whilst away working went to lift some glass and excruciating pain in back and left leg which made me collapse in agony. luckily i was due to see my consultant 2 days later. when i went to see him i could only walk using crutches, he was fab and put me on emergancy list for 2nd op which i had 1 month later in feb 08 on l4/l5 & l5/s1 which comprised of discectomy & laminectomy. that month was the longest month of my life, i spent it on the sofa munching my way through as many tramadol, diclofenac & diazipam as i could get away with. the operation was not successful and i was still in pain, however i returned to work after 3 months. my employers have been brilliant and as soon as i returned i was now working at a desk instead of travelling around the country. anyway, consultant sent me for another mri in oct 08 as i was still in pain which showed another rupture in l4/l5 which meant 3rd op which was done 28th june 09. i am now at home recovering from op but still in pain. i have come to realise that this could be my lot in life and will have to get on with it. i am aiming to get back to work begining of sept. employers have again been brill. i have got to say a big thank you to my family who have helped and supported me, i don't know i would have coped otherwise.

i only found this site about 3 hrs ago, as soon as i read it i joined straight away. it is inspiring to read some of your thoughts and the trials & tribulations that we have had to go through just to get through the pain.


03-07-2012, 02:25 AM
Just curious to know if anyone has tried Bowen Therapy following their surgery to help get rid of the lingering niggles? If so I would be really interested to hear thoughts, responses to the treatment etc

GETitGIRL ------------
03-07-2012, 02:29 AM
@Andrew 06

Gosh, what a nightmare you've had. Any idea why you got so many prolapses? Had my op in May (L5-S1), and the thought of ever having to have another one is really terrifying.

Really hope your recovery goes well this time and that maybe your problems will be resolved.

The Undertaker
03-07-2012, 02:30 AM
Hi andrew06

I am so shocked, How horrible for you, what a nightmare!!!!!! So sorry that you have been through all of that.

I have had 3 prolpases on the same disc L5/S1. M/D opperation on the 31st Oct 2007 and then a reacurring one in July 2008, I just had nerve block for that, and I am currently off work after having another prolapse in March/April 2009. Fortunately this time it seems to have improved of it own accord and I am feeling alot better, I still have a few problems. I think beening drugged up on th usual painkillers and staying active as I can and doing specific excerises as helped. Also I have been having some treatment with a Holistic Osteopath, and a Physio.

I am on the waiting list for another nerve block and I still have not had the appoinment through and its been 6 weeks already. But have been told that if the leg pain is not there when I get my appointment they want give me the nerve block anyway, as that is what its for. I Hoping to return on 13th July for a phased return and I will have to see how I do. I think unless I try to get back to a Normal life whatever that is I wont know if the leg pain will come back or not. Which everyone says is possible but i might be fine who knows?????

Sound like you have got some good support around you and that is so important and try and stay possative. Thats not always easy I have had some very wobbley moments and aired them on this forum, But I have had some great support from lovely people on here, which I have greatly appriciated.

Hope you continue to recover well, keep us posted.
Best wishes

03-07-2012, 02:34 AM

I have had a few sessions of Bowen therapy. I didn't like it, i found it a bit of a waste of time. I prefer a good old hands on and get those elbows into the niggle spots.

Saying that though my friend has had Bown on a knee problem and thinks its the best thing since sliced bread.

If you are into relaxation it may be the thing for you.

03-07-2012, 02:37 AM
Hi fireolli

How is your wife, and it must be realy soon now, When is the little one due, bet you can t wait

Hope you are still doing well and pain free.

Best Wishes

03-07-2012, 02:40 AM
Hi bonnie10,

I had one treatment of bowen therapy whislt suffering left leg sciatica before an l5 s1 discectomy and found it very helpful.
I suffer from tight hamstrings and it loosened my muscles and hamstrings giving a feeling of wellbeing.
Since the op, I have not had any more bowen therapy although I was considering it as well as the Emmett technique as well.
If and when I do have some of this treatment in the near future, I will let you know how I get on.

best wishes


03-07-2012, 02:42 AM
Hi andrew06,

You have certainly been through a lot.
I hope your pain is going away steadily as time passes by.
Keep thinking positively and keep your mind occupied which is sometimes easier said than done.
I have said this before that occupying your mind certainly helps.
When I have been driving this week on my own, a slight pain in my leg sometimes comes and goes.
However, when I am driving with family and friends, I never notice any pain and even on the very rare ocassion I do, occupying my mind with others certainly takes the pain away.
I hope you get back to work as planned and it is good to hear to have a good employer especially in the current economic climate.

best wishes


Jennifer Lopez
03-07-2012, 02:45 AM
Andrew, I am so very sorry to read about the truama and suffering you have had to go through since 04. Sadly, your not alone.

I bumped in to a friend last week, he had the same type of sciatic decompression as me, he went for the standard 'open back surgery root'
and I went for the 'minimally invasive endoscopic' options.
I am walking miles now and looking forward to more vast improvements soon. My friend summed up his condition to me thus 'I'm bugged'.

he had recieved 2 full lumber decompressions that left him with massive scarring in that area, this prevents him from having further open back surgery in the future. He also has a leg twist and foot drop.

When he told me, my heart sunk, I could have cryed!!

He know joins a 20 person long list of my family, friends and work mates who have all suffered the same fate as you. The have almost all undergone 3 operations before being told they have 'failed back syndrome' or have 'failed back spine surgery'. The inferrence is that 'their'' backs have 'failed to respond possitively' to this type of destructive surgery.
Because of these reasons and the scarring, they have almost all been refused further surgical interventions and left to suffer.

It saddens me to hear you say that you believe that you my remain with this pain and disibility forever, please dont give up! Do your research,
There are treatments available out there which will not cause the further trauma that you so fear.

Check out these minimally invasive endoscopic spine procedures in the US:

Happy reading.


03-07-2012, 02:46 AM
Thanks for all the responses, I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow evening for my post op appointment. He has already told me I cannot have any more surgery due to the amount of scar tissue there is from the previous ops, so who knows what is going to next. I still need my crutches to get about but as long as I can get about, that is the main thing. the pain is manageable with medication so I'll be back working soon, from home to start with then back to the office come Sept. One of worst things though is the lack of sleep, I get about 4-5 hours a day, so feeling constantly tired is not helping I suppose.
Cas08, what is a nerve block? Is it a cortisone injection, I have never been offered this before so it may be an option.
Msksquared, to be honest, I haven't a clue why this keeps reaccurring, maybe I am just unlucky or maybe I haven't been looking after myself and doing to much. Prior to my 2nd op I used to do a physical job which included a lot of long distance driving and long hours which probably didn't help. I think the latter would be the more accurate statement.

Anyway, I hope you are all ok, and i will speak again soon



03-07-2012, 02:47 AM
Hi everyone, Im new to this forum and not too sure if I should be reading it when my op is one week away.

I have had problems with my back for about 6 years, unfortunately have a job within the NHS that requires an awful lot of lifting. I have had two episodes when I had to have 4 months and 6 months off work respectively. I have the greatest respect for the NHS (I know how hard we work!) but my first episode was ignored completely and it was only when I broke down in my GP surgery after 12 weeks of agony the second time around did I get a MRI scan. This shows a L5/S1 prolapse. However by the time my follow up to get the results came through my leg pain was resolving so nothing more was done.

Now I have been off work for 9 weeks. Just started with a slight pain in my leg which over a week progressed into the worst pain I have ever experienced - my whole leg and buttock was cramping every few minutes. For 3 days my lovely GP tried to control these spasms with varying degrees of medication but by day 3 when I could not move my leg even slightly without it going into spasm an ambulance was called (now that was embarrassing - yep, im a paramedic). I spent a week in hospital and eventually had an epidural which didnt work.

Now I am due to have a microdiscectomy next week. All I can say to anyone waiting on a very long waiting list is to get as many people on your side as you can (your GP, physio etc etc) and get them writing letters on your behalf. I had a horrible outpatient appointment with a locum dr who was completely dismissive of my symptoms and I am just glad I have a little medical knowledge and was able to stand my ground and argue my case.

I hope Im doing the right thing? There seems to be so many negative posts and its worrying me greatly. But I cannot stand this continued pain even with Fentanyl transdermal patches, oramorph, diazepam, diclofenac and good old paracetamol. My job is so so important to me that I will fight this thing! Maybe I might have to take it a little easier. Is there anyone out there who has had a positive result despite a demanding job that involves a lot of lifting?

Dads boy
03-07-2012, 02:50 AM
Hi sarsy,

You certainly haven't been treated very well by the NHS and it is certainly ironic you work for them. Certainly not very funny as you are in pain.
I felt just the same as you when I first found this forum.
I can speak from personal experience of having a l5 s1 discectomy on 29th April 2009. I felt OK for the first two weeks and then I started experiencing pain.
Thankfully as I started back to work today, the pain seems to be less and less frequent.
I would encourage you to be positive and can say I have spoken to a number of people who have the same op and they are fine now. One male friend said he was not in much pain but he had that bit of pain for 18 months although he returned to work after six weeks.
I would hope your employer will look after you like mine thankfully has me.
You are so close to the operation date, I do hope you go through with it.
When you have recovered six weeks you may be able to return to work.
I would hope you would be put on light duties when returning to work.
Is there another job you would like to do within the NHS which would not put as much strain on your back?
When you have been operated on, it is essential to do the physiotherapy to prevent scar tissue.
My physiotherapist could not stress the importance enough to me as well as stating not to lift anything heavy until they advised me to do so.
I do hope you the op goes OK.
Try to occupy your mind in some way to take your mind off the pain.

Best wishes


03-07-2012, 02:51 AM
Thanks so much for your reply. I am feeling a little more positive. Spoke to a friend in New Zealand this morning who had the op in April and she is so positive it makes it hard for me not to be. I will go ahead with op as I feel I have little choice now, my physio says there is very little option now as the disc is so unstable.

I too hope my employers are sympathetic and give me light duties for a while - but I will wait and see and feel abit cynical about that issue. The caring profession does not always care for their own!

Hope your recovery continues well and thanks so much for a positive response.

03-07-2012, 02:56 AM
Hey dudes and dudettes,

Well i trotted along to the pain clinic today, and not really enamoured with the options, they are as follows.....

TENS machine
X-ray guided nerve root block (Had 3 of these already, didnt work)
Increase in my amitriptyline.

So, these are just pain management, not what i wanted.
But.......the doc was all for me persuing the spinal foundation, thats what i DID want so all is not lost!
Unfortunately, my GP isnt convinced that its the best route to go down so its convincing her thats my next job on my to-do list!

03-07-2012, 03:00 AM
Glad you are being considered for the spinal foundation Ali. That is something at least. You have been waiting so, so very long. I hope you have some good answers soon.

sarsy - Hello. I am someone who has had a positive result. I would not say every day is a breeze but things are way better than they were before I had my op (7 months ago). The operation has been a very good thing as far as I am concerned. If it was a choice between the hideous sciatic pain and the back pain compared to the back pain and barely any sciatic pain that I have now, I would choose what I have now. I definitely don't regret having discectomy at all.
Best of luck to all of you out there. What a great place this forum is for people like us to connect.

03-07-2012, 03:05 AM
Hi all,

I am sure I have read this somewhere before on this forum but felt it only right to add another blog stating my experience.
I was not happy with my physiotherapy from a local hospital post op and went for a second opinion with a physio through a charity organisation.
To my surprise, he stated I so far behind with my physiotherapy, he was surprised.
I have also been to see a private physio who I saw before my op and she has given me some exercises to do. Some which has been suggested on this forum, some that haven't.
I have only been doing them two days and the left leg sciatic pain I was feeling mainly after sleeping is going rapidly and my core strength is certainly improving all of the time.
I do not like to slate the NHS as my op was performed by a very good surgeon and all of his theatre staff.
The nurses on the ward were also excellent.
It was just when I left hospital whcih was the problem. Arranging the physiotherapy two weeks post op went pear shaped and on top of that, I was allocated a physio who is not competent from my experience to do their job.
Hope everybody else is as good as they can be.

Best wishes


bunny adderstein
03-07-2012, 03:08 AM
Hi Spinelf
Been to see my consultant and you were spot on, i have been diagnosed with failed back syndrome. I now have to go to pain management, have injections and see another consultant to have nerve stimulation done. I will also be starting a new course of medication for the stimulation (can't remember the name) in about a weeks time.
I am hoping to start working from home in the next few weeks so that will occupy me mind, as I have said before my employers have been fantastic and have given me massive support and haven't put any pressure on me, so that is one less worry.

Thanks all for taking the time to listen to my ramblings, it is most appreciated.

Speak again soon


friend to everyone
03-07-2012, 03:11 AM
Hi Carly 22
was wondering how your referral to Mr Knight was going? I wish I had seen him before having revision surgery on my L4/L5. My recovery is going ok, its a slow process and at times frustrating. Dont have any sciatica just an achy leg like I have done a mad session down the gym having not been for years! I have problems with tight muscles and my piriformis keeps going into spasm which is a pain in the butt - literally, but I hope as the tightness wears off this will stop.
Back at work now 4 hrs a day and am knackered!
Just out of curiosity did you ever find out what the popping sensation/sound was in your back a few weeks ago.

Lucy Lou
03-07-2012, 03:15 AM
Hi all - Long time no post!!!! I had a slight case of headupmyowna***itis, it a condition that is otherwise known as being 'totally fed up' I see there are lots of new folks posting & some really positive results.

Alas, I hate to be the voice of doom & gloom (some things never change) as you may recall I had my first microdiscectomy L4/L5 May 08, then surgery to clear out the infection, 2nd Microdiscectomy L4/L5 Nov 08. I didn't recover as well as I had hoped & continue to struggle at the mo. I've still got the urinary incontinence & mobilising far is a definate no no. He who must be obeyed (aka .. my ortho surgeon) was against a repeat MRI as he felt it was too soon & it was simply the nerves recovering. Well, since then I have had so many possible diagnosis thrown at me by various doctors that I was a nervous wreck.

The truth is now out!!! My rheumatologist sent me for MRI's (was seeing him as I am getting big problems with my neck, arms etc) & the results are Brain scan - Clear!!
Neck scan - arthritis!!
Lower back - 3rd Prolapse to L4/L5. Report states it is a large prolapse, seen to be narrowing the spinal canal & also impinging on the nerves to the rt.
So i'm off to see Mr Ortho on Tuesday armed with my list of questions.
Unfortunately I also have a meeting with work soon. As I am off work again they are going to discuss the possibility of terminating my contract on the grounds of ill health. (its a long story & i think i may have ranted a little too much already)
Although I havn't posted recently I do still read what you are all up to

Tracey x

03-07-2012, 03:16 AM
Hi all...

Am now almost 8 weeks post open discectomy on L5-S1. Have noticed increasing 'pulling' pain along the spine in the last couple of weeks, whenever I bend or curve the spine forward. It extends up to the middle of the spine. Feels like pulling something really tight. Did other people have this problem post op? How did you deal with it? I assume it's probably really tight muscles, but it's strange because it feels like the pain is right on the bones of the spine. Any advice welcome.

How are all the other post-ops out there going?

K x

03-07-2012, 03:18 AM
I'm so glad your employer is sticking by you, during this difficult physical and financial period, they are one in a million.

I am very, very sorry to hear that your Consultant has deemed your back to be sub-standard and non responsive to his 'crappy surgery', but I am not at all suprised, this common diagnosis is the refuge of the 'clueless'.

He is now proposing loads of conserative treatments of 'dubious efficacy' and these should have been given to you pre-operatively.

Just one last thing Andrew, be carefull of what drugs they offer you as they 'all to often' increase blood preasure and cholestorol levels, which you can't afford if your mobility is becoming limited.

Best of luck


wild bill
03-07-2012, 03:23 AM
It sounds to me that you are experiencing post operative muscle spasms.
These could be caused by the post op inballance of the spine.
The more exercises you do, the worse it will probably become, because the muscles are resisting your movement in order to protect your spine.
Whether this is due to a genuine problem or simply a reaction to you op will need futher investigation.

Have a word with your GP and ask him to explain the benefits of low level muscle relaxants such as 'Amitriptyline' and see if you think it is OK.
I found them very good at low dosage (20-30mg) in allowing me to start physical rehabilitation, it's all going well.

Best wishes


03-07-2012, 03:25 AM
Did you check out the sites I posted to you last time?
They will be usefull to you, as they explain about Minimally invasive endoscopic optons that offer the possibility of surgical treatment after being diagnosed with 'failed back surgery'

See what you think? Let me know!

Best wishes

Check out these minimally invasive endoscopic spine procedures in the US:

Happy reading.


Caveat Lector
03-07-2012, 03:28 AM
Sadly, I am not as shocked at your Consultants refusal to give you an MRI as I should be, The dupicaty and protectionism that I found during my search the for funding for my surgery was truly shocking.

I would love to hear from you about your Consultation with your Ortho.
I hope it went well!


??????™ ?
03-07-2012, 03:31 AM
I am very similar to u!!I had microdiscectomy on L5/S1 9 weeks ago this wed..I have the pulling feeling!its very tight almost like the spine is locking. I had this in the bottom of my back originally now its crept up. I cant do many exercises at the moment to relieve it but I think its just away like SPINE ELF has suggested of protecting itself whilst repairing.
Lots of physio and swimming when your ready I am sure the spine will loosen up. Good luck with the recovery. keep strong xxx

03-07-2012, 03:35 AM
I see my ortho surgeon tomorrow & i'll let you know what he has to say.

I'm quite angry right now with the rheumatologist that I saw last week. Although he was very good in ordering the MRI's he appears to be lacking a little when it comes to reading the results.
I've managed to get my mitts on a copy of the report. My brain is indeed clear other than a little mucosal thickening within right maxillary sinus.
However, my neck scan doesn't mention arthritis (although this was picked up in febuary by xray) what it does say is
'Evidence of degeneration of C5/C6 moderate rt paracentral disc protrusion at this level which is producing some narrowing of the spinal canal with anterior impingement of cervical cord noted'

whilst my lumbar spine reads
'There is degeneration of L4/L5 disc associated with chronic vertebral end plate changes. This is a large right paracentral disc protrusion at this level producing narrowing of the spinal canal & compression of the thecal sac & also impingement of the right exiting nerve at this level'

I feel this should make for a very interesting meeting.

Will post again when I know what his plans are

Tracey x

03-07-2012, 03:38 AM
Hi Bonnie

After alot of research into my neurosurgeon I have decided to stick with him and possibly have the fusion in a few weeks if my pain stays the same. So I do not really have any news on Mr Knight I am afraid. Altho I did look into his type of procedures and they have many brilliant outcomes. specially in America where they have been using laser surgery for years now.

May I ask how your pain is now??do you still have Sciatica?

Carly xxx

cap d
03-07-2012, 03:41 AM
My referral to the spinal foundation has finally been given the go ahead!!!

Now its battle with my local primary care trust, they have cut back on funding within the health services from the last annual government budget.

fa fas
03-07-2012, 03:42 AM
Hi folks,

Me again. I am now 2.5 weeks post-surgery (open discectomy) and am now feeling absolutely great. NO leg pain, NO sciatic pain and NO lower back pain (mind you, I haven't hiked a hill,yet).

So, how has recovery been?

As you can see from my above quoted post, pain at first with stiffness. So much stiffness, in fact, that I was ambulanced back into hospital a week after the op with horrendously painful (we're talking me shouting "LEVEL BLOODY 10, LEVEL BLOODY 10) when being asked "does it hurt" and I have a high pain threshold!! A night in hospital with more morphine and lots of valium to relax muscles did the trick. The verdict was that, as I had been sent home with the instructions "small 10 mins walks round house per day" but NO other physicaly therapy instruction I had simply seized up. It's strange that some Drs on here give exercises (which I mentioned to my surgeon) but he said absolutely not.

Perhaps that's why, at 2.5 weeks, I am feeling back to normal!! My movements are all pre-sciatica (haven't tried to touch my toes yet), I am off swimming next week and intend to get on my bike again once I've done a couple of pilates sessions.

So, all in all, despite my initial fears and reservations about someone mucking about with my spine, the decision to go for surgery was very much the best one, for me.

Good luck and gentle hugs to all those pre- and post-op. It's worth it.


03-07-2012, 03:46 AM
Good news regarding your referal
Hope all goes well with the PCT

Tracey x
(Have sent a messge to your email)

03-07-2012, 03:47 AM
Hi All,

My wife Andrea gave birth to a baby boy this morning (2 weeks early). James Matthew Deller 7lb 4oz. Both mother and baby doing well. I am totaly knackered and i think i will sleep for a week.

Cheers Olli.

03-07-2012, 03:51 AM
CONGRATULATIONS olli and wife! such exciting news and a lovely end to a positive post-op year for you.

i am just back from an amazingly relaxing holiday to mauritius. survived two 12 hour flights with lots of walking around. so much is possible post op. i have also just started a 2 week 'boot camp' at a local gym because i got so fed up with being a post-op pie who is too afraid to do stuff in case of injury. i did 2 hours of exercise last night, including a circuits session and an hour of toning work. can barely walk today, but it's a whole other kind of pain to this time last year....really sore muscles, but no hint of nerve pain. so please stay positive....you never know what you might achieve 11 months down the line.

i'm off to read all the other posts from the last couple of weeks now! just had to comment on olli's first!

take care all xx

03-07-2012, 03:56 AM
Hello all! As the subject says, had an opp as a 'medical emergency' about 8 weeks ago, although I have suffered with repeated sciatica and crippling pain for about 2.5 years previous. Long story short, got taken in to A+E as couldn't get off the floor! MRI and 3 days later, snip snip, micro discectomy! Now, in the words of the consultant 'don't worry about it prolapsing again as most of the inner part of your disc is in the bin' Seems the more the chopped the more came out...was home ay after opp, moving was quite sore but not excruciating, night time though, bad! Couldn't get comfortable in nay position and found the only thing i could do that was OK was to keep moving, especially during the day. 4 days after it felt good, had been for a walk, no problem, next day, agony! Felt like somebody was crushing my spine every step I took. I had called the consultant and told them the symptoms but they didn't seem concerned so I just put up with it. From that point on progress has been very slow, bending is still an issue, can't put my socks on or shoes without the aid of a massive shoe horn and still get pain across the top of the hips and into the abs. The follow up MRI looked to me anyway, to show that part of the disc towards the back was almost non existent yet towards the front, was about half the height it should be! I've been told that my recovery may well take 'longer than expected' and that my long term prognosis is 'fine' not exactly encouraging! I'm not sure how long to leave it before I should start asking some more searching questions as to what next, I don't want to be like this for the rest of my days as I have to young boys who need a good duffing up and a ball kicked about a bit, which is the furthest thing from my mind at the moment. Has anybody else on here had similar symptoms or could offer any words of wisdom as to how to cope and get on with it? Any experiences shared would be welcomed so I know I'm not going mad! Thanks

Hanz K
03-07-2012, 03:59 AM
Hi folks

Feeling pretty low today - eight weeks post discectomy and although my leg pains are a lot better now, the last two weeks I've had increasing pain and tight pulling/stiffness right up my spine. It goes way above the incision site and doesn't feel muscular. I think that it might be tethering of the dural nerve due to scarring, and I'm really worried that it is just going to get worse and worse. Not sure what to do - my doctor (who is a nightmare) was very dismissive about it and also muttered something about scarring but didn't really explain. My physio also doesn't seem to have much of a clue. I keep trying to stretch it by humping my back (eg cat stretch) but doesn't seem to be improving, and today I have all sorts of funny extra pains in my hips, legs, buttocks.

I saw you were having something similar, Carly22 - what did your doc say? And did any of the other post-op people have this problem? Did it get better?

Moorfnz - great to hear that you are doing so well! Keep it up, but don't overdo things!

Fireolly - Congratulations! Our littlest one is 12 weeks now and it feels like years since he was born - you have to enjoy every day as they change so so quickly.


03-07-2012, 04:04 AM
Hi Msksquared

Reading your post I feel the words coming out my mouth as you explain how your feeling. The fact we both having a stiff spine at the same point post op (altho painful) is quiet promising as it may just be a stage we need to go through. I havent been to the doc about it yet as I truly think its the spine reacting to us not bending/moving as we normally do for the last few weeks.
I find it causes my whole back to ache and makes me rather tired, I brought a lumber support pillow for when in the sitting position that gives relief. also ice I find loosens my back or wheat packs are great.

I hope this is slightly comforting to you. I will keep you updated with any news I have regarding our stiffness.

Carly xx

║▌║█ ☠Deviddoâ˜
03-07-2012, 04:06 AM
Dear Carly 22

Thanks for your message. It does really help not to feel completely alone! I am probably over-reacting and panicking a bit unnecessarily. It doesn't help that my doctor is so hard to talk to... I want to change but I live in Germany and I am struggling to work the system.

Anyway, let me know how you go along and thanks for the tips about dealing with it. Maybe you are right about the lack of movement thing, and I liked Spinelf's theory about muscle spasms too, but I don't think I can get anyone to prescribe me anything for that although I will try again...

Take care and hope all in pain feel better soon

msksquared x

Mike Hunt
03-07-2012, 04:11 AM
Hi Spinelf
Had a look at your sites, could be another option. Do you know if they do this type of procedure via the nhs because going private is not an option at the moment. My next appointment with my consultant is not till Oct 30th so maybe I'll make an appointment with GP, see what he has to say.
At the moment just taking it day by day, some days better than others.

Speak soon



Amy Miller
03-07-2012, 04:16 AM



Good luck with your referal.

Hope everyone is doing well. I am in good shape and approaching one year post op. Exercise classes are going well and i can now do a small amount of jogging to some of the sets of music which we use in our class without feeling any pain or discomfort. It has taken much longer than I expected to get to this stage but I am not complaining because I know some of you have struggled more than me.

Keep doing those exercises and stetches folks!

Luv pennylane

03-07-2012, 04:20 AM
Congratulations Fireolli

Good to hear the news re your referral Ali. Fingers crossed for you.

Best wishes to everyone out there in your recoveries.

kiks for jokes
03-07-2012, 04:22 AM
Hey all,

Firstly, a big congratulations to Olli and Mrs Olli on the safe arrival of baby Olli!!! Wonderful news

Secondly, I am writing this from my hospital bed as i took another tumble down the stairs on tuesday and made the already unbearable pain even more unbearable.
My affected leg gave way and i went headfirst, it was awful in the ambulance, every bump in the road had me howling so much that the paramedics had to pull over to give me more morphine.

I am here until at least tuesday when i will be reviwed by the spinal team.
I have been on strict bed rest, but may be up with the physio's later.

I am a bit of a Calamity Jane at the mo!!

Anyhoo, I hope the rest of you guys are having as good a day as you possibly can,

Luv Ali

03-07-2012, 04:27 AM
take care ali.
thinking of you xx

03-07-2012, 04:29 AM
So sorry to hear your news!!glad u are in hospital now tho and being given pain meds when you need them. I will pray for you tonight for a good painfree recovery. Keep us updated xxxx

03-07-2012, 04:32 AM
Hi Firollie

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to you both on the arrival of your baby boy. lovely news.

Luv to you both and the little one.

03-07-2012, 04:33 AM
I have discovered your website for the first time and i've been sat here reading your stories with tears streaming down my face and not knowing what to do. I am 29 and was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc in April, i had back pain for about 18months following a car accident and had been sent to accupuncture by my GP. After months of it getting worse i eventually paid to see a private physio who said i had a prolapsed disc and then paid to have an MRI as my GP told me that it was muscular and they weren't paying for one!

Anyway i have since had an epidural/steroid injection and i have to say that i have made an improvement, my leg is a lot better and i only suffer with mild sciatic pain now with the majority of pain being in my back. I find sitting for long periods difficult and feel like a 90 year old. I have no social life as going out for a night would be immaginable at the moment. I was meant to get married in a rainforest outside of Brisbane in June but we had to cancel (well postpone for a year as i couldn't bare the thought of fully cancelling) as i couldn't sit for the flight.

Sorry i'm rambling, i feel like i've now reached a plateau. I'm still off work as get quite a lot of back pain, still taking the painkillers which do help but feel like i'm trapped. The disectomy was suggested at first but at the moment i'm having physio every week- 2 weeks (depends when they can fit me in) however she has only given me 3 stretches to do for the last 3 weeks, not told me to increase these and has given me a course of accupuncture in my last session and barely spoke to me! Do you think that i should push for the operation as i just want to get back to normal and worK! I Want to plan for my wedding next year and don't feel that acupuncture helps me. However i feel like no one is listening to me with the only answer being "wait and see". I know time is a healer but how long do i have to wait?! and as i have been told that my disc could cause me as much pain as it was at any point i'm concerned that if i don't have it i will be in this state of limbo for the forseeable future.
Any suggestions? Also thanks, as at the moment although i have a fantastic fiance and family at times i feel very isolated and you really have helped.

03-07-2012, 04:35 AM
Hi Lakey
Sorry to hear about your situation.
I get so frustrated with GPs on occasions, I know what you are going through, it was years before I had an MRI through my GP.
With regards to having an operation, go through all the options before you decide. I've had 3 ops and am still in pain but after the 1st op i had a couple of good years before the relapse.
I am glad you decided to join the forum as there are so many people here with so much experience of what you are going through that you will receive so much good advice and encouragement that you won't feel alone.
Hope everything goes well



Taylor K.
03-07-2012, 04:37 AM
Advice desperately needed ...................

I am in a real pickle & desperately need other peoples opinions ....

I finally got to see the big man himself today as he was on annual leave when I got to my appointment last week.

So he had a good look at my MRI results, ummed & arrr'd for a while, mumbled with his registrar then summoned me up to the computer. He showed me the disc prolapse which is 'humungous' & gave me a choice. I can have revision discectomy OR spinal fusion L4/L5 & L5/S1. We talked a little (actually i cried & lost my temper just a tad) & I have been summoned to return on Wednesday when I must have decided which option I am going for.

Previous History
Microdiscectomy L4/L5 May 2008
washout & debridement June 2008
Revision discectomy L4/L5 November 2008
Large prolapse L4/L5

Any ideas????????

03-07-2012, 04:39 AM
Hi Lakley

I am so sorry that you are having to go though this. When i read you post I so empathise with you. I know exsactly how horrible this is for you and the feeling of being in limbo and will i ever have a normal life again.

Firstly you have to demand an MRI scan. I am so fed up with these bl**dy doctors give them a dose of prolapse pain and they would soon change their mind. I had to demand an MRI scan. You just have to be really pushy make nusaince of your self, its your life.

I agree with what andrew06 has said go through all your options. You can improve the prolapse situation with how you are doing it, it takes awhile i suppose it depends on the size of prolapse.

I have had 3 prolapses on the same disc L5/S1 the first was a very big prolapse and rendered me disabled so I had no choice to have a discetomy in Oct 2007. However my second prolapse July 2008 I just had a nerve block. I had another prolaspe in April 2009 and this time althought I am on the waiting list for the N/B again I have seemed to got better with pain killers and staying active seeing a Ostopath and a physio. I am however still geting pain in my lower back but the consulatant said that if the pain has gone from my leg they want give me the injection.

Saying all the above I do not regreat my discetomy. It is very rare to have a 2nd let alone a 3rd prolapse on the same disc. There are plenty of people on here that have done really well. It has however left me with a weak point and I will have to do pilate excersises every day for the rest of my life, to keep up my core stabilltity. On the whole I could not have stayed in that awful pain.

Stay active as you can and as posative as you can do your exersises. I know how frightening it all is. Its good you have found this site as you will get a lot of support from the people on here. Do your research ask loads of questions, if you did go for the opp they would need to do a MRI scan anyway.

keep intouch
Stay posative Flower

03-07-2012, 04:43 AM
Hi all, Hope you all well.

I had my op on 23rd April, have been seeing my Doctor after that etc but I got told from the doctor that I was doing fine etc.. Going to Physio every 2wks for the back class. Was playing football (im a sport coach) last saturday, but since then I have had really bad pain in my legs, hips and the whole back rather than lower back, I can't sleep, taken codipar again to get me to sleep. Im 18, 2ks until 19, so Im very young , and love sports .

I have my check up with the hosp. next wednesday and have physio next thu. do you think i should just wait until next week or go and see my doctor this week about the current pain ?

Thanks in advance

03-07-2012, 04:45 AM
Hi Greg

Sorry to hear about your new pain!I had my op just after you at the beginning of May. As I am also young 23 I expected quiet a quick recovery and I was getting back to work/holidays 3 weeks after now I know this was far to soon!while on holiday I was experiencing all new pain in my back and awful Sciatica so we returned back home and went into hospital. They put it down another small prolapse but others there thought it could be a flare up. I was advised to rest for 4 weeks and if pain had not gone a fusion could be done!after plenty of resting its completely calmed down and I only take pain meds to fall asleep!!there is a point to me rambling on!!-Playing football may have just caused it all to flare up. your moving and twisting in all new ways since the op and it may have agravted the nerves.

So I think it depends on your pain to whether you see the doc sooner than later they will probs give u some stronger painkillers, my advice would be rest for awhile!let it all calm down..the hospital are probs the best people to help you with any new pain.

Hope this helps alittle xx
Carly xxx

03-07-2012, 04:49 AM
Hi gregdfc,

Having had an L5 S1 discectomy on 29th April 2009, I can sympathise with you.
I haven't tried playing football yet but would like to.
I was not allowed to go back to work for six weeks, no heavy lifting for 10 weeks and no impact sports for 13 weeks.
I am not too sure what I have done but have aggravated my back somehow and am just resting it and would encourage you to do the same.
My sister in law always encouraged me to take the medication as it seems to relieve the pain and it certainly helps in the long run for my recovery.
I would wait until you go and see the hospital on Wednesday and physio on Thursday and see if time and rest is a healer.
I go and see the physio this Tuesday and the surgeon this Thursday.
Hope you get on well with both appointments and just try to take it easy.

best wishes