Discussions By Condition: Back conditions

Who has had disc surgery for sciatica?

Posted In: Back conditions 10 Replies
  • Posted By: winton
  • April 9, 2009
  • 11:58 PM

I've got a herniated L5 disc and the sciatica has become unbearable. The thought of having to sit still for two weeks and then "take it easy" for several more makes me crazy, but I can't keep doing my work and things I enjoy with this much pain.

So I know I want to do the surgery (cortisone shots haven't helped, chiropractic made it worse, I've been advised against acupuncture) and I'd like to hear from people who had the surgery -- drs. go in, remove the fluid from the disc that's putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. What was your recovery like? Did the surgery help? Did you wait a while before doing the surgery, and what effect did that have?

Thanks.

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10 Replies:

  • I've got a herniated L5 disc and the sciatica has become unbearable. The thought of having to sit still for two weeks and then "take it easy" for several more makes me crazy, but I can't keep doing my work and things I enjoy with this much pain. So I know I want to do the surgery (cortisone shots haven't helped, chiropractic made it worse, I've been advised against acupuncture) and I'd like to hear from people who had the surgery -- drs. go in, remove the fluid from the disc that's putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. What was your recovery like? Did the surgery help? Did you wait a while before doing the surgery, and what effect did that have? Thanks. Who on earth advised you against acupuncture?!? It would be very helpful IMO. DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I work for an orthopedic spine surgeon and discuss surgeries and other options with patients all day long. There is no medical reason why you shouldn't try accupuncture. It may help your symptoms, it will not make the herniated disc go away but it could make you feel better until you decide to have the surgery. Did your surgeon advise you against accupuncture? If so what was the reason? The recovery from a discectomy is about 3-4 weeks, you would only be sitting still for a few days after that you can get up and walk around and do small things as long as you don't bend or twist your back at the level of your surgery, you will actually heal faster if you are up moving some after a few days. You will most likely be tired for the first week or so from the narcotics that you will be taking to control the pain immediately after the surgery.
    SpineGirl 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I work for an orthopedic spine surgeon and discuss surgeries and other options with patients all day long. There is no medical reason why you shouldn't try accupuncture. It may help your symptoms, it will not make the herniated disc go away but it could make you feel better until you decide to have the surgery. Did your surgeon advise you against accupuncture? If so what was the reason? The recovery from a discectomy is about 3-4 weeks, you would only be sitting still for a few days after that you can get up and walk around and do small things as long as you don't bend or twist your back at the level of your surgery, you will actually heal faster if you are up moving some after a few days. You will most likely be tired for the first week or so from the narcotics that you will be taking to control the pain immediately after the surgery. SpineGirl, Have you ever heard of taking large doses of digestive enzymes post surgery to help with inflammation and healing? My chiro once recommended this to me and I felt it really helped with my recovery (it was only lapro surgery). You need to only do this for a few days, but it helps reduce inflammation considerably. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • SpineGirl, Have you ever heard of taking large doses of digestive enzymes post surgery to help with inflammation and healing? My chiro once recommended this to me and I felt it really helped with my recovery (it was only lapro surgery). You need to only do this for a few days, but it helps reduce inflammation considerably. Best wishesDOM I have not heard of this, what kind of digestive enzymes did you take?
    SpineGirl 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have not heard of this, what kind of digestive enzymes did you take? I took Pan-8 by Progena...but any good digestive enzyme product should work well, as long as it has at least 60000 units of protease, amylase, lipase, and others. There is a product by NSI that is sold thru vitacost.com that is good. There is a great product called Tramagesic Complex by ITI, that is like a natural NSAID using enzymes and Chinese/Ayurvedic herbs. It's only sold thru healthcare practitioners, but is great stuff. I have had my patients report very good results by taking enzymes post surgery...I'd never heard of this before either. Here is a link on pancreatic enzymes: http://www.myhealthmybody.com/trellis/ADM1745_Pancreatic_Enzymes Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • If you have not had the surgery already; do it.I had a discectomy at the Hospital for Special Surgery and crippling back/sciatic pain was gone the next day. I highly recommend a discectomy for anyone w/ severe sciatic pain. Make sure your surgeon is a reputable one but do not be scared of this procedure!! A discectomy is a very minor surgery compared to a fusion.If you are in the NY area any doctor affiliated with the Hospital for Special Surgery would be a safe choice. It was the most amazing hospital I have ever experienced from the Surgeon on down. It is one of the top choices for professional athletes!!Good luck!!-JL
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 1, 2009
    • 09:55 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I am a physical therapist. I sure hope you tried physical therapy. I have had great results treating people with significant disc bulges. Using ice on your lower back, and avoiding any sitting, bending, and lifting are very important. Surgery should be the absolute last resort. For more information and pictures of exercises, check out: http://www.joint-pain-solutions.com/bulging-disc.html
    JTrempe 101 Replies Flag this Response
  • Before you do surgery, try some type of hot yoga, such as bikram yoga. Give it two weeks and go everyday. Most bikram yoga places will let you try for two weeks or ten days for a low cost. try it before you do the surgery.I've got a herniated L5 disc and the sciatica has become unbearable. The thought of having to sit still for two weeks and then "take it easy" for several more makes me crazy, but I can't keep doing my work and things I enjoy with this much pain.So I know I want to do the surgery (cortisone shots haven't helped, chiropractic made it worse, I've been advised against acupuncture) and I'd like to hear from people who had the surgery -- drs. go in, remove the fluid from the disc that's putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. What was your recovery like? Did the surgery help? Did you wait a while before doing the surgery, and what effect did that have?Thanks.
    WinterSummer 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had a MRI that showed 2 herniated discs, arthritis, and spinal stonosis, Have tried p.t., accupuncture, and 2 spinal epidurals. Has not helped. Also have siatica pain into my right buttock. I have already seen a neruosergoun once, who agreed that conservative treatments were the best things to do before possible surgery. However, I see him on Oct. 24th since they have not worked. The pain began about 4 months ago. It is unclear weather it is the herniated discs or the stanosis that is causing the pain. I also have type 1 diabetes, which has been very difficult to control. Otherwise, as a 52 year old woman, I am in good health. The pain has made doing anything very difficult, and has had a huge impact on my daily life. I cannot stand long car rides, or a lot of walking, as the pain becomes even worse. Another possibilty my Dr. has mentioned is there is loose disc material pressing on nerves, that are too small to be seen by the MRI. I really do not want to do surgery, but I simply cannot carry on this way. Since I have not seen the neuorserguon yet, I do not know what kind of surgery he would recommend. Does any have any thoughts about this? I would really appriciate any commets :).Eveningstar
    eveningstar 2 Replies
    • October 15, 2013
    • 05:35 PM
    • 0
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  • I got sciatica when I was 16 and really struggled with it, when I went to Europe at 18 the flight almost killed me but when I was over there the sciatica was barely noticeable, after coming back it became bad again and when I was 20 I was involved in a car accident and it became unbearable again, I can't do normal activities and sex is almost impossible. I had tests and they're saying I have 3 bulging discs with my L5 being considerably large, also have arthritis,they said surgery is the best op
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • February 12, 2014
    • 02:32 AM
    • 0
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