Anyone gone through microdiscectomy?
Hi, I'm finally seriously contemplating the above and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on my reasons as to why I'm now considering moving forward. I had disc herniation at the L5-S1 from golf 10 years ago at the age of 25, leaving me bedridden for good 6 months, unable to bend my back forward even slightly without excruciating sharp pain throughout my lower back, sciatica, and the whole 9 yards. I was absolutely a surgery candidate, but because the surgeon told me that studies have shown that in a 5 year period patients who had surgery and no surgery fared about the same, I did not go through with it, especially given my age I figured I could get better. The only thing is that I chose to give up pretty much all sports. 10 years later, I don't have sharp pains in my back, or sciata down my leg, but I have deep aches that prevent me from sitting at a desk long enough to hold a regular desk job. I've taken some time off and decided to focus on really working on my core muscles through physical therapy, to a point where I could even play tennis--I get soreness but as long as I take a brief break to stretch between sets I'm ok. The intense workouts seemed to have helped me with the deep aches, but now I injured myself frequently from doing mundane things, like sitting down, which gets me in a state where it's very difficult for me to move around for about 2 weeks--this use to take 6 months, but it definitely helps that I'm in much better shape. These episodes have occurred about every 2 months now over the last 8 months.
My surgeon believes that a discectomy wouldn't get rid of my deep aches when sitting but primarily the sciata down my leg, which I do not have. However, in my experience, my deep aches are usually much worse following these episodes wheres I get the shooting pain that leads to the 2 weeks of severe immobility, which I would think is caused by the herniation impinging on my nerve. Therefore, if the herniation is removed via discectomy, I wouldn't have these episodes, and eventually through my continued strengthening of core muscles, my deep aches would go away.
On the one hand, I'm having a hard time justifying surgery because I can do almost anything without pain; however, on the other hand, I cannot sit long enough to hold a regular desk job, and I know that eventually when I do get back into a desk job I will not be able to maintain my exercise regiment, therefore, my core muscles will weaken, and the deep ache will probably return.
Would love to hear especially from people who had microdiscectomy, addressing your experience with recovery timeline, repeat surgery, spine instability, etc, and in light of this, whether you would proceed if you were me.