Discectomy L5 S1 & S2 and referred pain?
I am a fairly healthy 31 year old who has suffered from back pain since I was a child. Even when I was very young I remember suffering from sciatica down my right leg but I didn't understand what was causing my pain. An X-ray as a child showed spinal stenosis but it was never followed up. I finally had a MRI as a young adult and the findings at the time were that I had bulged disks at L4 and L5 but only on the left side as well as arthritis, moderate DDD and a small fusion of my vertebra to my sacrum that I was born with. My two disks look black and have no fluid left in them. Chronic pain has been part of my life for as long as I can remember and it effects my ability to work and care for my family.
I saw a neurologist after my first MRI but at the time he said he couldn't help me since I was only herniated on the left side but my sciatic pain is most severe on the right. I though this was strange. It must be some sort of referred pain. In an attempt to reduce my pain I managed to lose 100 pounds (partially pregnancy weight) through diet and exercise. I am down to a healthy weight but my pain is worse than ever. I recently has another MRI which showed L4 is unchanged but L5 is now herniated on both sides. It is still worse on the left and almost fully compressing my nerve. I still only feel pain mainly down the right leg. Has anyone had this happen to them? I saw the same neurologist who I saw years ago and he agreed he could help me so I am booked for surgery in November. I have to say, I am pretty nervous! I have never had any major procedures before.
He said he plans to remove the herniation on both S1 and S2 at disk L5. He didn't mention any plans for a fusion and he isn't going to touch L4 because it is not as bad. This surgeon has been practicing for many years and I hear he is good. He preformed a similar procedure on my step mother and it helped her until she developed severe scar tissue. I just wonder if this sounds like the best route for me? I don't see a lot of mention of s1 and s2 being worked on during the same procedure. Is this common and will my recovery be harder because of this? Maybe I am just confused over the procedure because this is fairly new to me. I just signed the papers for surgery two days ago and I am second guessing myself even though I would cut my own leg off some days. The pain can be unbearable and I have been on codeine for years on a daily basis.
Any insight into this procedure and recovery would be very appreciated!