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discectomy.. what should i expect?

Started by laxgirlie13 on 06/15/2010 12:52pm

i'm a 16 yr old female with a disc herniation at L4-L5 with grade 3 spondylolisthesis. i'm getting a discectomy tomorrow and i'm not sure what to expect. can anyone help me out?

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Don't worry all will go well. Since you are just 16, I'm curious as to why the doctors recommended surgery at a young age? Have you tried all conservative therapies including cortisone shots?

Well the microscopic diskectomy surgery is not as painful as the other invasive procedures. I have been through one in 2003. At your age you shd heal very quickly. Post operation you will have pain but that's controlled very well by the pain meds. Just ensure you follow your doc's advise well.

Recovery is key. Do as MUCH walking as POSSIBLE. This is the best recovery path along with lying down and getting rest. Avoid sitting as much as possible. You should be in a very good shape in 3-4 weeks.

Once you are seen by your doc and feel really well, ensure you focus on developing your inner core around the spine through safe, good exercises for a long term benefit.

Keep us posted on how you do.

God Bless.

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well i tried the epidural shots twice then steriods and physical therapy but it was just getting worse and worse and worse. i can barely walk because of the pain. and my surgeon wasn't too keen on doing the surgery either but he's hoping that this will keep me away from the fusion until my 30s. how long was your full recovery?? and are you almost the same as before the pain? and how long were you in the hospital? i'm hoping i'll be able to take my regents test on friday and next tuesday but my surgeon doesn't think it'll happen. and i'm hoping to be able to play lacrosse again by october.

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I was 30 when I had my surgery. I came back to my senses after the surgery pretty late (probably too much of anesthesia) so was kept overnight and discharged in the morning.. I had pain but was able to walk around and do things on my own.

I don't think you will be allowed to take tests etc that requires prolonged sitting etc. At this stage you need to avoid sitting as much as possible for the first 3-4 weeks. It it very critical you follow all instructions for the next 2 months and work on strengthening your core muscles. You might never need to see a spine surgeon ever again and seamlessly play Lacrosse :)

I did the same, took time off, focused on a lot of walking etc. I was painless for 7 years but am now into another herniation on the same disc. I am trying hard to avoid a fusion and the epidural shot worked well. I am hoping to get a booster shot to make it better.

Well, is there any way you could move the surgery and have it after the tests?

Best Wishes.

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i can't sit now as it is so there's no way i'd be able to take it anyways but it was just a thought.
thanks =)

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There was a saying when I was a kid and it's been true most of the times. "Good things come to those who wait..."

All the best for the surgery and stay well.

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I had this surgery done in Jan for my L5-S1 level. I'm 30 years old now and I thought I was young to have spine surgery but you are extremely young.
After surgery I was able to walk around that same night and was able to go home. It wasn't all that bad at all. I was able to control the pain with meds.
Its been almost 6 months post op and I just recently found out that I reherniated that same disc.

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well i just got out of the hospital today.. they thought they were going to be able to do just a microdiscectomy but they had to do an open discectomy and they cut through a lot of my muscles which made me a lot sorer than expected... me and my surgeon are afraid of me reherniating the same disc. but i'm hoping that i'll be able to make it quite a few yrs before that happens. my surgeon also said that my spine is extremely weak and unstable at the bottom but he really didn't want to do the fusion (which i'm totally happy with). i'm just really sore and i have to go see him again next thursday. does anyone know how long it'll take until the pain calms down a bit? i'm on hydrocodone and oxycodone but i really don't like taking that much of it..

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Glad you are out. Assuming the doc had the MRI, did he tell you what made it difficult that he had to open the area out to perform the diskectomy? Just curious.

Well, painkillers are something you will need for atleast 4-5 days at this point. Atleast one of them.

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he really didn't say what made it hard for him to take it out.. after the surgery he told my parents that my surgery took an extra hour and a half than what he was orginally thinking. another question.. did you try icing after surgery? the PT that i had in the hospital told me that i could if i wanted because of the swelling but she said that it might burn or sting for the first few mins.

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Ice therapy works for many. It's used commonly like we use it in sports injuries ]basically to reduce inflammation that leads to pain.

Don't do a direct ice patch, keep a towel in between since you have a open wound there. In normal sports injuries you keep ice for 15 mins every 1 hour. More than 15 mins can cause frost bites :)

check this -http://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/documents/Patient%20Education/LumbarDiscectomy-th.pdf

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thanks for the website!! it answered a lot of questions that i'm having now.. =)

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No problem! That's what discussion forums are for.

Just don't sit too long, and keep walking a as much as you can, but don't over do it.

Did you have pain going into your leg before the surgery. How does that feel now?

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i actually had all but maybe 5% percent of my pain in my legs.. now it's totally gone. and believe it or not it's 1000 times easier to deal with the new back pain/soreness knowing that it'll decrease in the next couple of weeks

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Well, you answered it :). I think that your surgery was 110% successful.

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i'm hoping but so far so good =)

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