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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello everyone I just found this forum so I thought I would drop in and share my story with you and ask a few questions while I am at it. I will try to keep it as short as possible but I do apologize ahead of time if things get a little long. Anyway here is my story.

I am a 33yr old male of avg height / weight and for the past 2 1/2 years have had recurring back problems that would last anywhere from 6days to 2weeks at a time but my last episode has been going on since March of this year and in May I finally decided it was time to have my first MRI which showed that I had a herniated disc on L5/S1 and at that time my primary care Dr. put me on pain medication (hydrocodone 7.5/650) and sent me to see a neurosurgeon who immediately tried to set me up for surgery a week later which I happily declined in hopes I might get better with more conventional therapies and just taking it easy but here I am 6 months later and still not any better so about a week ago I went back to the neuro and told him to go ahead and set me up for the surgery which is going to be on the 29th of this month.

Anyway my questions to everyone is

1.) Do you think I am doing the right thing by setting up the surgery now or should I wait longer ?

I guess what I am basically getting at with that question is if I sound like a good canidate for surgery because I have had these problems for over 2 years now and they are not getting any better so what would you do in the same situation ?

I know answering a question like this depends on alot of factors so here is a little time line (with approx dates) to help show the progression of my back problems.


[B]July 2005[/B] - Initial onset of moderate lower back / buttock pain on rt side (pain subsided on it's own after 2 weeks)

[B]Feb - Aug 2006[/B] - between these 6 months I would have moderate to severe lower back / buttock pain lasting anywhere from just a couple of days to upto 2 weeks at a time.

[B]March 2007 - Present[/B] - For the past 8 months I have had moderate to extreme pain everyday which started out just in my lower back and buttocks but for the past 4 months has also included my right leg and foot as well. I have had some tingling sensations in my right foot but nothing I couldn't resolve on my own by changing positions.

In the past couple of months tho the pain in my leg (and ankle) has gotten much worse and where I used to be able to be almost pain free when laying down I find this no longer to be the case and there doesn't seem to be any position that really relieves the pain without taking medication although I have never experienced any numbness in my leg or foot the pain itself has increased alot.

I have also tried PT but was unable to continue past the 2 week mark because I was in too much pain to do the exercises.


2.) The type of surgery the neuro wants to perform is a minimally invasive micro discectomy and since I have never had any surgery before I wanted to know what I can expect as far as pain goes after surgery and generally how long will I need to be on pain meds after surgery because I have been taking them everyday now for about 2 months straight (even though I am only taking half of what the prescription says I can take) I am worried I will become addicted if I don't stop soon.

Anyway thank you for you replies in advance and I wish each and everyone of you a wonderful (pain free) day.

Hello again everyone and thanks again so much for your replies and camperboy your post really did hit the nail on the head what I mean is over the past 8 months (since the herniation was first discovered) the leg pain has kind of come and gone but for the last 4 months things have gone down hill and the last 2 months have been especially painful but a few days ago I ran out of my pain meds and had to go for 1 1/2 days without them and thought I would die but it turns out it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be but in the end I did realize that I cant just really live like this anymore even if the pain subsides for a few days it always seems to come back and I just need to have the surgery and move on with my life because as it stands now I might be alive but I definitely not living.

Anyway thanks one and all for your replies and I will keep you all posted as to my progress. I will also post my MRI report(s) when I get them (should be the day after Thanksgiving) which reminds me if I don't talk to everyone again before then I wish you all a good Thanksgiving and once again thank you all for your comments and time.

Hello again everyone. I know I have been posting alot today but I have gone through alot in the past day so please forgive me. Anyway I just wanted to know how long after surgery are you supposed to stop feeling the pain your legs. I had a minimally invasive microdisctomy performed yesterday at the L5/S1 level and I heard that 99% of the time the pain goes away immediately but for me it was gone yesterday but seems to be coming back today and I know I am just barely 24 hours out of surgery but I am kind of nervous that things did not go well so I am hoping I just haven't given it enough time yet but what does everyone else think.

BTW all I have done for the past 24 hours is lay in bed and I got up like 7 times to use the bathroom and I have been very careful not to bend or stretch or carry anything heavier then a pillow so why is my leg starting to hurt again. I have also noticed alot of pain in my upper back where I did not have any before is this normal as well.

Finally I was just wondering if it was ok to lay on my side when my back starts hurting alot. And for that matter when should I be getting out of bed and trying to sit on my couch or drive my car or try and do a little housework. All my neuro told me was I could remove my bandage on Saturday and take a shower then and not to lift anything over 10 pounds for the next 2 weeks so I am not sure what the do's and don'ts are so hoping someone can enlighten me on all of this stuff.

Mike it is normal to have some leg pain after surgery because they move around the nerves during surgery. Just be sure to keep ontop of those pain meds around the clock so the pain does not get ahead of you because it will take twice as much to bring the pain levels back down. If you pain meds are not covering your leg pain, I would call your doctor and let them know. They can prescribe some nerve medicines such as neurotin or lyrica or topomax or cymbalta to help with the pain.

I assume your surgeon knows that you are traveling so soon after surgery. My recommendations would be to stop every 20 minutes or so to stretch your legs. I know it will take you a long time to do the trip but if you do it all at once, you are going to be a hurting puppy. Also hopefully you are not the driver so you can recline in your seat or lay down in the back seat proped up on pillows.

Yes, you can lie on your side; however, you might want to use a pillow in between the legs to take some pressure off the legs and back.

YOu might also consider using a trash bag under your hips to help you slide easier in bed when turning from side to side. Did anyone show you how to get out of bed using the log roll?

Lastly, don't feel bad for asking alot of questions that is what this board is for to support you during a time of need. Take care and I am praying for you.
Hello again everyone and thank you for the reply 123DietDrPepper. I am glad to know that it's normal to still have leg pain after the surgery. I was worried that I did all of this for nothing. As far as the trip goes I think I will wait one more day just to give myself a better chance and no I will not be driving so I will be able to lay back in the passangers seat and I will ask them to stop every 20 mins or so like you suggested.

As far as the trashbag thing goes I read about it but did not really know if I needed it or not but I will def ask for someone to put one down on my bed today. As far as the pillow goes I did get a pillow from my couch and have it propped under my legs when I am laying on my back and between them when I roll over on my side.

I don't have alot of support here. Pretty much left to my own devices 99% of the time so I don't really have anyone helping me get in and out of bed and the bed is really low to the floor (no frame just a box springs and matress laying on the floor with a memory foam matress topper on top of that) so I am worried about being so low to the ground and how I should get out of bed. The last thing I want to do is re injure myself because of something so silly.

Thats the reason for going on the trip tomorrow because when I am going I will have someone able to take care of me and the bed is more off the ground so I should have an easier time getting in and out of it.

If you could tho please explain the log roll thing thing as I am sure I will benefit form that as well. What I have been doing so far is placing my arms to my side and just sitting up alittle at a time until I am almost at a sitting position and then pushing myself off the bed with my arms while trying to keep my back as straight as possible. I know it's not how I want to do it but I don't know of any other way and like I said my Dr. did not really give me any advice and I don't have many people here who will help me.

Thanks again for your time and replies I will be thinking of you all and wishing each and everyone of you a happy and painfree day.


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