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Double Laminectomy and Discectomy L4-L5 and L4-L3 Severe Pain

Started by Pride and Pain on 04/27/2012 1:24am

Hello fellow sufferers. I had looked every where for someone who had had the same surgery as me and had issues finding anyone else so I thought I'd share my story. In 2008 I was changing positions in bed and felt a weird sensation in my back and felt my left leg start tingling. When I got up I had severe pain going down my left leg. I had back pain before and thought it would work itself out and struggled to get ready for work at a portrait studio. By the time I got to work I could no longer stand, sit, or move. I didn't have insurance so I went home and tried to let it run its course. This would happen 3 more times throughout the year, and finally went to the Dr and was told I had sciatica due to disc herniation. I'm a stubborn person so I let it go bc I was a single mother of 4 and did not get child support so I didn't have time for PT. I got married to a wonderful man in August 2011, and decided I would finally go to the DR again. Before I could schedule the appt I was sitting at my child basketball practice and went to pick up a ball for team mate. As I bent down I felt a hard pull in my back and both legs radiated with pain. Every move I made sent razor blades through my legs and back. As quickly I as I could I rounded up my 4 kids without trying to draw attention to myself. Then for the firtst time in 10 years, I cried. I still had to drive home, breathing and panting like I was in labor. The next day the Dr scheduled an MRI for the next day, 2 days later I was in the office being told I had multilevel disc herniations, mulitlevel facet deteriation, spinal stenosis, DDD, and bundling of the nerves at the spine. I was then scheduled at a neurosurgeons. I was told there that I had no option other than emergency surgery due to the conditions, and that the 2 discs were barely in my spinal column. I was scheduled for surgery the NEXT day. I was told I would wake up feeling immediate relief of the sciatica nerve in my left leg. I woke up in the most severe pain I had ever felt in my life. To this day I cannot describe how bad it was. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk, it was pain that I never felt was possible without physically dying. To make it worse the Dr was right, I felt immediate relief of pain in my left leg, all my pain was now highly condensed in my RIGHT leg. HE said it was due to the swelling bc he had to pull the nerve off the right one so far due to my left nerve almost being completely severed. I was then taken to my room and put on a dilauded drip. Every task was horrible and I was sent home 24 hours later. I actually blacked out from the pain on the way home and only remember being placed on the couch. When I had to go to the restroom, it took 4 hours for my husband to help me up. Even though he was doing all of the physical pulling and lifting, every move felt like electric shocks through my body. After 2 weeks I could walk with a walker to the restroom, 6 weeks later I could finally stand erect. The Dr just said that the damage to my nerves was severe but that I would have no problem returning to work in 12 weeks. Now I am a very strong willed and even stubborn woman. I drove myslef home from the hospital after all 4 of my c-sections (my first husband was an ass), and returned to work 4 days after having a double tendon repair in my foot and ankle. I consider myself to have very high pain tolerance, but this surgery has tested everything I thought I was. I went back to the Dr 3 days before I was suppose to return to work, still having the severe pain in my right leg and now was having my back go out every time I bent over. The Dr then told me that only 15% of people with my surgery ever return to work, and doubted I ever would either. He scheduled another MRI due to believing I had a 3rd herniated disc. (I was forced to resign from my supervisor position of 3 years at a local television operations team.) Told I went back to the Dr to be told that the surgery was a success, but that the pain I had was due to PERMANENT nerve damage, that there was nothing else he could do, and that my condition and pain would likely NEVER change. He then recommended I go to a pain clinic. I walked out of the office feeling like my life had just ended. Knowing there was nothing else he could do was devestating. Knowing that at only 30 years old, I was destined to be on pain killers for the rest of my life. To make everything worse, that having children with my new, amazing husband would not be recommended. I was told if I were to conceive that the baby would be lying on my damaged nerves and that I could take nothing for pain. When I said that having a baby with him would be worth it, he told me that my body may miscarry the baby due to the amount of pain I would be in and that being the bodies natural response. Nine months of pain would be worth it to me to have a child with this amazing man, but I'm afraid that the pain and heartbreak of losing it would push me off the edge.
Everyday for me seems like its filled with nothing but taking pills, pain, and complaining about being in pain. The pharmacys treated me like an addict bc I take oxycotins, and so do the office staff. They all treat me like I want to have to take pills, but the truth is I would love to not have to revolve my life around a little orange bottle.

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3 Responses


I see this was a few years ago. No comments or updates. Are you still around? Did it get any better? I am very similar right now. I was a star athlete in school, had a microdisceptomy in 2003 but I improved and got married in 2009, had my first child in 2015. I had back issues bad again in 2012 but I was able to move past it with Dr. Sarno's "healing back pain" book. So I thought I would never be hurt again. But 6 months ago it came back. It came back angry. I need a double laminectomy. I am told my foot drop is probably permanently damaged nerves. This is due to insurance not allowing my surgery right away. I'm now at 6 months and love in bottles of oxycodone. My poor little son has this bed ridden garbage of a father to look up to. My wife has to do everything. I was a happy, in shape, healthy, dad and husband. Now I consider ending it all on a daily basis. I live day to day by eating pain pills and washing it down with alcohol. I'm so depressed, I've tried everything. I don't want the darn surgery. Everyone has horrible outcomes it seems. I'm in my early 30's. I'm about to lose everything. The alone feeling is the worst in the world. No one will ever understand what this is like. Yet every single person around me tells me what I should be doing and treats me like some project or something.... I hope you improved. I would love to hear a happy ending for you. Maybe that you make me feel like there's a light at the end of this dark horrible tunnel that is now my life.


WE are not alone. WE just need to take that little step forward and communicate to the world thru the internet and you will be very surprised at how many brothers and sisters are wearing the exact boots WE are.

I had a L4-L5 Lamenectomy both R & L side for bone impingement. One month after surgery in Sep. 2015 extreme pain started in RT back down thru hip and RT leg to toe. Had numbness, tingling, shooting pains and 24/7 aching. Have now progressed to leg spasms and cramps so bad that my RT leg looks like a rope tied in knots. Taking 10-325 Perks 4 times daily with no relief. Spine surgeon says it is due to massive scar tissue that is about 3″ long on spine from L4-S1. I had the caudal lysis of adhesions with saline, hyalurondase, laticane, and steriods injection. No help for a whole month after. then got direct injections into the scar tissue at L4, L5, and S1. Still no help. Now scheduling lots of appointments with surgeons. First one wants me to go on medical marijuana and says that there is no surgery or any other thing that will ever help me. I kept a positive attitude that when they say no help or hoe means that they are scarred to touch me now. Saw my last surgeon yesterday and he said that he can go in with an endoscope and remove as much tissue as possible and that if performed 2 times 2 months apart with special PT inbetween it will eliminate at least 70% of pain. This is the last stand I have cause my body rejected the stimulator implant that I tried for 7 days. It is now Feb. 2017. Please everyone WE have to be persistant and think positive no matter how bad it hurts you physically or mentally. I am a US Marine Corps Veteran and I will fight to the end. Semper Fi


Hello fellow sufferers...I'm curious to know what locations you all had your surgeries? I live in an area where my largest metro hospital's neuro told me my issues I had were so bad I'd need to go to Memphis, which I did, and I highly recommend Semmes Murphey. If y'all are anywhere close to there or may call them and get their recommendation of people they're familiar with in your areas. I played a lot of sports in high school and beyond then I played softball in a local league for about 8 years. In high school I was injured in a basketball game, having fallen straight down on my side on floor while battling for a rebound and unfortunately my opponent (who was very heavy) fell directly on top of my side and twisted it while having done so. It hurt, but that dang old saying, no pain no gain, well, you know. Anyway, the next morning I could barely walk and any attempt to do so led me to fall straight on my face as if my legs were jerked out beneath me. I had to miss several games, as I was unable to do anything and my dad took me to several different chiros for help, to no avail, if not it was only getting worse. Finally, he said forget this and to me to my reg family dr and he did an x-ray and determined I was born with a defective spinal issue at L5 called spondylolisthesis. The injury only brought it to light and I suppose at my young age and tenacity, I was back out on the court after taking some very high dosages of anti-inflammatories which he prescribed. I was shocked how quickly I improved from how horrible it was. Little did I know, I'd suffer with it the rest of my life at least 3-4 times a year until I was 38. By this time, I was working out in the gym, walking being active and injured it in the gym, was off work several days, got enough better, kept going on. A year later I had become more or less a couch potato as I had to stop all my physical activities I enjoyed as the only relief I obtained was by sitting, and it wasn't complete but much more tolerable. I should've pursued help sooner, but I continued working, luckily I have a desk job and can sit often. The pain became so bad after 4 years, I could not stand any longer than 3-4 min without having to rush to find somewhere to sit for relief, which in public can be really embarrassing. I could barely clean, if at all, or cook. I dealt with it so long, it ended up making my right leg go numb and excruciating pain along the entire right side all the way down, so I sat most of my 4 years of misery. FINALLY I decided 2017 I'd get help....when I finally got in to see my surgeon (that's an entirely different story of things that occurred to me, personally) he told me I will never get better without this major surgery or I could continue to be a couch potato the rest of my life. So, obviously, I chose the surgery...by this time, my back was broken in two places and I had 3 lumbars along with their discs repaired so, I had complete laminectomies at L3, L4 and L5. along with L3/L4 L5 complete facetectomies, correction of spinal deformity, double fusions at L3, L4 and L5 with a bunch of equipmet including the PEEK interbody spacers, rods and screws. My surgeon told me the surgery was major, and that it'd last at least 5 hours and I'd hate him for at least 4 weeks after I'd be in the hospital at least 2-3 days. I will have to say awakening in the recovery room the surgical pain was intense but as soon as they gave my pain medicine it was relieved. I was in recovery about 3 hours, so finally after 8 hours I was sent to a room. They perform their major surgeries requiring overnight stays at nearby hospitals. My husband had a single cervical fusion done at Semmes Murphey in 2012 at their in house surgery center at their clinic but they only do surgeries there that do not require overnight stays. Anywhooo, after getting in my room, I was given dilauted (sp) thru and IV every 4 hours which would wear off after about 2 hours and I was in horrible pain until they FINALLY would make it back to my room which ended up being about every 6 hours....finally the night nurse says, well, he has on your chart that if you need additional pain medication he has prescribed you pain pills you can take in between the dilauted. We were so mad bc I'd been in dire pain and the hospital staff waited that long to tell me that?? ANYWAY, the next morning PT comes to see how well I can walk down the hall and I wanted to not be a wuss so I pushed myself, even tho it was painful, almost the entire hallway. I was able to get out of bed with help to go to bathroom which was miserable but somehow I made it. A few hours later my surgeon comes in to check on me and after evaluating me, he was shocked how well I was able to get out of bed and walk down the hallway so far,already, so that being said, he sent me home 3 hours later as he said I'd be better off at my own home and can take my meds as needed without having to wait 6 hours for the nurses to finally bring my relief, and that there was a huge staph issue that hospital had been having...we lived 90 min away, so the ride home was much less than stellar, but after a couple days of misery I was much better. The horrible pain I'd had for so long was totally gone (surgical pain, no) but I could already tell he'd fixed me. So, I did not hate him for 4 weeks like he said. I was terrified it wouldn't work because he did tell me beforehand that because I waited so long, I may have permanent nerve damage, but 3 months out from it, I'm doing quite well, with NO pain as far as what I originally had. I do have some pain from the incisions/spasms, but with all I had done that's supposed to be up to 9-12 months before I can resume ALL normal activities. So far, optimistic. I feel horribly useless though, as I’ve done every task/chore in this house for 22 years, and now it’s left for my husband to do, to which, at times, I feel he despises me for it. My doctor told me NOT to do any housework or any bending, lifting and twisting for at least 6 months, possibly more, tgo...wish us luck! I hope y'all have recovered or received help since your last posts. I'd love to hear updates, if you're up to it.