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Back Problems Message Board

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Re: Microdiskectomy
Feb 20, 2001
Hi Seabee Wife. I just re-read your post of February 11th. I too, am a secretary who works on computers all day. The doctors said that that could be one of the reasons my L5-S1 disc herniated. By sitting most of the day and the pressure that it puts on that last disc. I am not CONSTANTLY sitting. I do the regular routine of making copies, filing, faxing, and all of that. I can get up whenever I want, walk down the hall, do whatever. Now, after this "injury," I make it a point to get up every 1/2 hour to stretch out, take a walk down the hall....on nice days, go outside for a bit.

I've had this sciatic nerve pain for just over 1 year. I've been through bed rest - didn't help. Physical therapy - didn't help that much. It did take the tingling away from my toes and the calf doesn't hurt as much. Had the hip pain, limping, all of that. Been to a few MRI's show a severely herniated L5-S1 disc, pressing on the nerve root. I've now got some weakness in my right leg, burning pain in upper right leg, definite numbness in that area too, and just plain old sciatic nerve pain. I need to find relief NOW. Don't think I could go on like this for much longer, so I scheduled a mircrodiscectomy for March 13th. I hope that all goes well and that things get better. I have got to get that disc off the nerve.

I don't have TOO MUCH back pain. Mostly in the butt and hip area, and all the way down the right leg. The disc seems to shift from time to time and it affects my left leg sometimes.

A microdiscectomy is where the doctor will make a one or two inch incision on my back, go in, move the nerves to the side to get to the herniated disc, take out the part of the disc that is pressing on the nerve, then sew me back up. The way I just described it sounds "easy," but believe me there is so much more to it. I saw a video on it. (Maybe I shouldn't have before the surgery)!!! ha ha!

I'm nervous about the surgery, but at the same time, looking forward to it. I am hoping that this operation takes care of the problem. I've gotten about 4 or 5 opinions. All doctors agree. They say I don't need any other tests as the herniation clearly shows up on the MRI. And I'm greatful that no other tests are needed.

So, that's where it stands right now. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear a little more about you and how your handling your back problems. Do you have leg pain? Or is it all back pain?

Talk to you soon.

Re: Microdiskectomy
Feb 22, 2001
Hi Everyone!

I am so glad I found a way to get on here today(laptop internet hook-up is stretched waaay out :0) I've been getting pretty bummed-lot's of tears. The wedding is in 2.5 weeks and the pain is not improving. I know a positive attitude is key, so I've been watching comedies and reading positive books etc, but basically I'm insanely jealous of everyone who is "normal" and can exist without pain. I'm getting weird, so I thought I'd better stop in for a reality check.

Where did you get the info about the muscles going into a permanent spasm for a few weeks? I have never heard of that before, but definitely hope it is true. This would all make a lot more sense. Your point about the nerve damage makes a lot of sense for me too. I have the copies of my Aug and Jan MRI's and my Aug one shows the nerve being compressed(although someone read it wrong back then) and in the Jan one you can't even see the nerve since it is so smushed and my spinal cord(which is actually a bunch of cords at that point) is actually moved over by the herniation. Your point makes so much sense. The pain before surgery was not so much caused by the disc pushing on the nerves as by the damage caused to the nerve(by the disc pushing on it). Like you said, the nerve is still damaged and needs to get better. It makes it a lot less scary to deal with it. I've been getting nervous that it reherniated or something and it's pushing on the nerve again and that's why the pain is so intense, but most likely that isn't the prob at all.

As far as babying my back, I wonder what is too much. The last few days I've spent 90% of my time on my back or side. I know that too much bed rest can sometimes be harmful, but it seems important to let it settle down. The weight part was not a problem before (size 8-10 work out 4-5 times a week), but may be since I haven't been able to work out since Aug. I'm going to talk to the doc today and get some ideas.

Do you guys know if it is smart to exercise "through the pain"(like take pain meds, etc so that I can start a walking routine etc) or should I listen to cues from my body? If I listen to cues, my body is saying "lay down and don't get up" and that can't be good for long term recovery, but helps me feel better now. Any ideas??

Thanks so much for being here and taking the time to answer questions. We are all going to get better. I truly believe that knowledge and support are the keys. Looking forward to hearing your replies.


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