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What was your experience with a ruptured disc?

I have a ruptured disc in my lumber spine. I've been in severe pain for the last 2 months, have loss of muscle function and numbness in my legs. I am going to have surgery, a discectomy, on 4/22 - I'm wondering what other people with the same condition, and/or who've had the surgery, think of the whole experience. Thanks.

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Asked by noliegirl at 1:19 PM on Apr. 8, 2009 in Health

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Answers (5)
  • I have facet disease, degenerative disc desease, bone spurs growing into the spine, sciatica, severe nerve damage, 2 herniated discs, a rupture disc, and a slipped vertebrae all between L4 & S1.

    They wanted to do a discetomy & fusion on me years ago --- I told them where to shove it!

    My mom had that done some time ago, and I understand medicine improves every day, but she never walked again after that. I also know a couple of people who have had the surgery in more recent years, and still have the same complaints of pain as before + mobility issues that weren't present before surgery.

    My advice: DON'T do the surgery unless you've tried EVERY other option known to man, tried a few you make up yourself, and gotten like 6 "2nd" opinions.

    I would HIGHLY recommend a good chiroprator - I LOVE mine. With all my issues, I can still chase after 4 kids every day w/o prescription pain killers or anything.

    Answer by Laura1229 at 1:29 PM on Apr. 8, 2009

  • I ruptured my L5S1 disk a couple years ago and had a laminotomy. It helped me 100% I have had little to no pain and my surgery was 2 Februarys ago. I walked out of the Hospital 12 hours after my surgery was preformed. Recovery took 12 weeks, full mobility came back after a year and now I'm doing everything I used to do (except building homes, that's what broke it) I had numbness in my right foot and I do have permanent nerve damage there now, but I didn't need to be able to feel my toes anyway.LOL It's a very uninvasive surgery. I wish you all the best for a good surgery and a speedy recovery.

    Answer by happyathomemum at 1:29 PM on Apr. 8, 2009

  • I don't have much info for you, as I have not personally had surgery. I have had a herniated disc, and mine reabsorbed on its own. I work in a field where I see a lot of back surgeries, and it seems to be fairly subjective about the experiences. Some people don't do well at all and continue to have problems and some are just fine a few weeks later. A lot probably has to do with your physical condition going into it, and I personally believe your mental condition plays a factor as well. Good luck to you, I hope all goes well.

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 1:30 PM on Apr. 8, 2009

  • My pain began back in 1993 with the labor of my 3rd child and worsened through the years, but I dealt with the pain the best I could until I sought medical attention in 2000. I was given tons of therapy with massage, ultrasound, and exercise, pain pills, and I did pool exercise that was designed for patients with pain.
    I eventually had to use a cane because my left leg became numb and I the sciatica in it was extremely painful. My back pain became worse, too.
    One morning in 2004 I woke up and I was paralyzed from the waist down - I couldn't move my legs at all! I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and was given an emergency diskectomy at the L5-S1 disc.
    Last year my back started to increase in pain again and I am back to having sciatic pain travel down my left leg again.
    At first, I felt fine. I continued with therapy and exercise and I didn't need the cane anymore.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 8:30 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • (con't)
    My doctor ordered x-rays and it showed osteoarthritis at the surgery site so she referred me to an orthopeadic, who ordered a MRI. He has confirmed the OA and told me that I have degenerative disc disease, tons of spurs digging into my spinal cord, and post-surgical adhesions (extra scar tissue that grows).
    He told me that the only thing he can do is to go in and fuse that part of my spine together, but he wants me to try pain management first.
    So I am now going to a pain management clinic for chronic pain for Cortisone injections. That physician calls it Facet disease. He told me if the injections do not work then he will try an epidural. If all that fails then he will kill the nerve.

    This is all my own personal experience, which you can see has not been good. My advice is to look into ALL options and if you go through with the surgery, do exactly what you are told to do during recovery.
    Best wishes!

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 8:37 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

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