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surgery for pinched nerve
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surgery for pinched nerve

Has anyone had surgery for a pinched nerve @ L4-5?  What was involved in the procedure?  How long was recovery time? Any complications? Was it successful?

Also, any questions I should ask the surgeon that I may not have thought of already?

Thanks!  : )
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172715_tn?1285498090
I did in 85. It took 1 yr. to find.  Had nerve damage because of it. Surgery went very well and most doctors I see even now say that the surgeon was really good.  I have trouble with sciatica every so often. My main problem now is that the neighboring disc is weak and I have herniations from a lifting accident in the thorasic part of the spine.  All in all the surgery they do today (laser) has had the best results.  Healing time 2 to 5 weeks.  Little physical therapy afterwards.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI,

Thanks for your response. A few more questions if you don't mind.

Are you saying that you had nerve damage because your pinched nerve went on for such a long time?

Were the "neighboring" discs weak before your surgery? I am asking because the discs on either side of my L4-5 already have annular tears and moderate herniation.

What will happen if I decide not to have the surgery? The 7 months of PT made me worse, so I quit going and now am feeling more relief. Will it heal on itself with some rest & exercise when I am able?

Cheers!
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Avatar_n_tn
Great question!   I am in the same situation.  I have a pinched nerve and nerve tests (7/9)confirmed nerve damage @ S/1 on both sides of the back.  I am absolutely devasted because I thought maybe the nerve tests could have been done earlier on, therefore preventing the loss of feeling in my genital area.  I have had numbness in my soles, buttocks (both sides, feels like I have been sitting on a block of ice), and as mentioned loss of feeling in the genital area since late March 07.  I have an appt 7/23 for the next step.  My brother just told me about laser surgery which I need to research and find out more about it.    I was diagnosed with a herniated disk @ L/4 & 5 and Epidural Steriod Injections (ESI) has done wonderful but nothing for the numbness.  What's your next steps?  Thanx.
babbles.


I apologize, don't know if your m or f.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI,
I am female by the way : )     When I was injured I also lost feeling "down there" and it lasted for 7 months. My feeling has returned completely, Thank God!  So, perhaps yours will return as well?  All I know is it takes a long time for nerves to heal, so be patient.

I also heard about the laser surgery and it is supposed to be great for candidates whose disc has herniated but not to the point where it has oozed out of its containment. Hope that makes sense.

Did you have incredible weakness down your leg and in your back where it was almost impossible to stand up? If so, did the epidural fix that weakness?  Do you think epidurals work if your pain in centered just in the disc area with no pain going down the leg? How did you hurt yourself.

Sorry for all the questions, just curious.  To answer yours, if the epidurals do not work on me, my doctor said I have no other choice but to have the surgery. I have been reluctant to get the epidurals because of the sensitive area. But, my doctor has reassured me they are done by anesthesiologist who specialize in just pain management, so I will be safe. What was your experience with the injections?

Cheers! and Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanx for the reply.   I am in the Military and originally injured myself playing "push ball" which is pretty fun! :)  I didn't rest enough and went back to running and physical training right away and my disk buldge blew up!  Yes, I couldn't stand w/o getting serious radiating pain down both legs.  To cough, laugh, sneez, blow my nose, or go to the bathroom caused serious radiating pain.  I am still currently constipated (hopefully that's spelled right) and I get pain with deep breaths believe it or not.  The Steriod injections were not too painful and the procedure only lasts about 10-15 min.  I just like to know when the doc is about to stick me! :)  It feels like a "bee sting" and burns for about 5 seconds.   I've had 3 injections done since Apr 10, 2007 and have been doing back traction which has helped to strengthen my back along with water therapy.   The steriods do absolutely wonderful  and especially the first one.  By the 3rd injection, it seems like my body became immune to it and has done nothing for numbness in the feet, buttocks, and genital area.  That is because of the nerve damage that was detected.  I have an appt Monday and wonder what the next steps will be?  I would recommend the steriod injections for anyone in our condition.  How did you injure yourself?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Babble,

Wow, we sound so similar - the sneezing, laughing, going to the bathroom, etc that sets it off big time! OUCH!!  lol
Yeah, good luck on the constipation, (thanks for sharing!) maybe you should try Metamucil or something.  Seriously though, if you have to strain, that puts so much more pressure on the disc and I bet makes you scared to go!  I have been there as well.  : )

Thanks for the input on the injections. I am waiting to get in at the Pain Clinic.

I was injured when a woman ran a red light. She is very lucky I have not seen her since, I would LOVE to say hello to her!

For the first time today, I started to feel pain on the left side of the disc as well and in my left butt cheek. It has only been R-sided for 8 months. I don't know if this means I am getting worse or if my right side just wanted to share? lol

I really hope there is something that can be done for your damaged nerve.

Keep in touch, I would like to know how your doctor visits goes.

CHeers!
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Avatar_n_tn
hello,
Went to see the doc on Monday.  As I stated earlier, there is nerve damage in the back but his response was, come back in late Sep to see me for follow up.  Surgery would be major to free up nerve pressure in the back.  That is out of the question!  Long term affect would be inactivity for a long period of time and long recovery time.  I am going to seek a second opinion to be on the safe side.  If I didn't mention, I get back traction done on my back 3 times a week that has done wonderful combined with the back injections (3).  I also started doing water therapy about 2 months ago on my own that has greatly helped!   The doctors said this is good exercise for the legs, but that was after I had already discovered this on my own.  :)  I do light exercises because I have lost 14 lbs. over the last 4 months, mostly muscle.  So how are you doing?
Talk to you soon!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey,

Thanx for the update. Why does the doctor want you to come back in Sept?  That surgery sounds scary, glad you are seeking a second opinion.

I am glad the traction feels good for you. You said you have had three injections, will you need any more? How far apart did you get the injections? How long does relief last from them?

Yeah, water therapy is cool (literally LOL) glad you are taking charge of your body and health...a lot of people just give up and stay hopeless. What sort of exercises do you do out of the water?

I am going nuts not being able to work out. I have been in shape my whole life so being inactive is making me batty. I do what I can to keep muscle strength. I have gained what you have lost LOL  It's so unfair being a woman sometime! ha ha...

I go to the Pain Clinic on Aug 13 for the injection. In the meantime, I continue to take my painpills like candy - but at least I can be somewhat functional with them.

Keep in touch,   : )      Do you have Yahoo Instant Messenger?  If you wanna IM, my screen name is  hap_p_pants
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Avatar_n_tn
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I just wanted to let  you know of some of the risks. My fiance had the Microdiscectomy of his L4-L5. The surgery went well but 2 days later he could not walk due to unbelieveable pain. We tried to go back to the hospital he had the surgery in but it was like a 7 hour wait in the emergency room. Went to 2 different emergency rooms and after talking to his doctors, the emergency room doctors released him with a muscle strain. This was based on nothing. No blood work was done, no MRI or anything. 1 x-ray was taken, but we all know, x-rays make you look like a liar.

After 2 weeks of being confined to our couch, not able to move because of the pain and just no strength in his legs, he finally found the strength to crawl out to our car so I could try to drive him back to the hospital where he had the surgery, again. This time it wasn't as long of a wait so we waited.

Mind you, the whole 2 weeks after surgery, we were in contact w/ his doctor who performed the surgery. He treated my fiance like he could not care less that he couldn't walk. We think he just thought he was lieing because he wanted pain meds. But don't they all think that when you're 25 and you have back pain.

Anyways, he was admitted into the hospital 2 weeks after his surgery with a staph infection. He almost died from it. His chances are looking better. When he first was admitted, it looked like he would either die or never walk again. He is walking very little right now but is making progress after about1.5 on antibiotics. Another 8 weeks of antibiotics and they think her will pull through.

Moral of the story:
If you have the surgery, listen to your body. Don't let the doctor tell you it could not be an infection 2 days after surgery because infection doesn't show up until 10-14 days after surgery.

Note: Before surgery, he had a tough time walking due to the pain in his left leg. After the surgery, he had instant relief from the pain. We believe that if the staph infection would not have set in, he would have been cured from his major pain in his lower back and legs.

I am not knocking the surgery, just the doctor he had.
Just think this through and don't rush into this surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
This is my first time ever typing into a fourm, so please excuse any typos. Anyway i am 40 yoa and have had spinal fussion at L-4 - S-1.  it was the best thing i have ever done, i have all feeling back in my leg and it does not go to sleep anymore. i am 9 months out of surgery and feeling almost normal again. (surgery: Titanium threaded cages w/ plates and Morphinagenic protien.) PS i was walking 50 yards around the hospital wing before they would let me leave.  painful but relieving i had my leg back.

  My right leg would go to sleep when i would stand, walk, sit, or lay and it was impossible for any one to understand what i was going through.  I was fortuniate to have a doctor that was not surgery happy and prior to surgery i went through a year of PT, Epidurial SHOTS and excersizeing. Yes the excersizing helped the pain however i unconsiously started overcompensated with my left leg causing me pain in the left knee.
Anyway If your are intrested in my doctor, he is online "Mark Kabins", Look him up and ask him what he can do for you.  FYI he is in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your comments, I am very happy the surgery worked for you. May I ask how many epidural injections you tried? Did you get any relief at all from them initially? How long was your recovery period after the surgery and how much of your regular activities can you fully participate in now?

Thanks for answering my questions!  : )

Cheers!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had two injections within a month. i think it was only partial with a standard three however after two shots i thought i was healed and went back to work with no restrictions and felt great.  well after a month i was at home and sitting in my computer chair and bent over to plug in a usb port in the front of the computer and WAMMOO. my back went out with a vengence.  the shots were just a bandade.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Dang, that is what I am afraid of....thinking that I am "ok" and then out of nowhere getting zapped like you did.  

Just so you know, I totally understand what you went through with the numbness while sitting, standing or whatever. I have a huge problem with weakness as well. My body doesn't want to do what I need it to do and it is frustrating.  I was fortunate enough to find a reputable surgeon here in California and he will see me if the injections don't fly. I have been very reluctant to get surgery, of course, but have been educating myself on different techniques and I feel I will actually heal quicker by having the surgery than to play around with the injections and ultimately end up having surgery in the long run, you know?

Thank you so much for your comments and I hope you continue to heal and be your ole self again. May I ask how you injured yourself in the first place?

Cheers!
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Avatar_n_tn
Had to go but im back now.  Well the bandaid might last you for a long time, but then again its different for everyone. each person has a different healing time.  being reluctant is not a bad thing.  getting a second opinion is a great thing.  its been 11 months since surgery, alot of walking and working out and a change of diet helped me along with a positive atitude does not hurt with support from family and friends.  the first month and a half after surgery is a b***h. but from there it will take alot of work from you to want to get better. I know that sounds a little insensitive because we all want to get better and feel better. but you are going to have to fight depression and blues and crying poor me, and what did i do to myself?.  TRUST ME I HAVE BEEN THERE. Keep the faith that you are on the road to recovery.

shoot me an email for specifics (***@****)
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Avatar_n_tn
I mis counted months, i am a full 9 months out of surgery and am in my tenth month of rehabing myself, with a personal trainer.  my doctor told me the surgery will take two years to completly heal, however i am at a perminant and stationary point. what that means is i have achieved a maximum medical improvement.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Look up the proceedure online, it is only about 4 years old on humans.  
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1716296_tn?1308827784
I NEED SOME ADVICE,PLEASE, I HAVE A PINCHED NERVE IN MY NECK,4 AND 5 AND A  BULDGING DISK... ,THEY WANT TO REMOVE MY DISK. HE TOLD ME IT WAS PICHING THE NERVE, THATS WHY IM IN SO  MUCH PAIN 24/7, AND THERE WAS A TEAR IN MY BACK SHOULDER, HE SAID GET ITO POOL, AFTER S WHILE, THIS WOULD HEAL MY SHOULDER.  THE WORST RIGHT NOW IS THIS FIRE ,LIKE ELRTRICIY GOING DOWN TO MY     , MY ARM IS SHOOTING LIKE A 1,000 VOLTS, GO ALL THE WAY TO MY FINGERS,AND NUMBNESS IN FINGERS ALSO....,IVE NEVER HAD SERGERY (surgery) EVER, BUT MY TOLERANCE TO PAIN MEDS, IS VERY HIGH, LIKE OFF THE CHARTS, ANYONE , YHANT HAD A SIMULAR CASE , PLEASE E MAIL ME ASAP YHANK YOU JASON   E MAIL    ***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm having a similar problem. Rheumatologist said I have osteoarthritis in my back. My l4 and l5 are screwed and I have arthritis on more than one set of facet joints. My neurologist said that the nerve testing showed I'm Laing feeling completely in my foot. Going to neurosurgeon. All docs so far said surgery. Pain clinic helped at the beginning but now the pain relief wears off after a week. Think they're going to do the decompression for the sciatic nerve. What's the recuperation time? How long in hospital? Scared
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