Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a badly herniated disc in my back that shoots some fun nerve pain down my left leg into my foot. I have one of these surgeries lined up for the 20th of this month. Wondering what the recovery was like etc.

Currently im uncomfortable almost 24 hours a day, standing is the worst sitting is bad too. The only place i have actually had any "relief" and no pain is on my Multi. Just another reason why the Multi might be the best bike ever made.... Too bad its too freaking cold to ride it when i'm not at work.
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,427 Posts
Good luck. I have quite literally felt your pain as I herniated a disc back in 1989. At the time the doc told me surgery was a coin flip: could make it better, could make it worse, or could make no difference at all. I didn't like those odds, so I declined.

I still have problems periodically, so I would like to hear how the surgery goes for you. I assume advancements have been made in 25 years.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,181 Posts
please take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

I've been working in spine related, medical device sales for 10+ years. I speak to many orthospine and pain management physicians. i also come into contact with many spine injury/disk/nerve pain patients. here is the skinny:

-bulging disks often resolve... not completely, but enough to provide you with some relief. absolute and total rest is advised, together with anti-inflamatories, drinking lots of water, REST AGAIN, and some physical therapy in the sub-acute phase. You can also get steroid injections to relieve pressure on the nerve, use an inversion table if it helps, and do a lot of stretching.

Surgery is a great treatment "for now"... meaning that it often can resolve an issue for awhile.. The problem is that backs which had had surgery on them... are NEVER the same again. Even if the surgeon is extremely delicate and precise... scar tissue forms over a few years.. and in 3-4-5 years are you back to where you were, only worse. Scar tissue forms like lava... it is indescriminate and it covers everything in its path. It is quite likely that after a micro-disk procedure, you will end up going back to remove scar tissue which is causing you pain.. which then turns into more scar tissue, which turns into a laminectomy to relieve pressure.. which turns into a fusion to cure the instability.... and then when that fails and you're 60 you get an electrical stimulator because you're a 4-5 surgery patient and no doc wants to touch you anymore and your spine surgeon has already sold his 5th ferrari and lives on an island.

catch my drift?... leave surgery as the very very very last option. Depending on how long you've had this pain, and how willing you are to WAIT... you can usually help the body heal itself, enough to continue functioning.

I have a 14mm disk extrusion... not a bulge.. the whole thing popped... I had bad sciatic pain for almost a year... I did all the things that my doctors would suggest to their mothers to do (aka, not surgery)... my back is perfect again.

Try EVERYTHING, before surgery.. it's a slippery slope into hell for people.. it just takes their whole lifetime to realize it.

sorry for not being subtle... remember.. grain of salt.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
I have a badly herniated disc in my back that shoots some fun nerve pain down my left leg into my foot. I have one of these surgeries lined up for the 20th of this month. Wondering what the recovery was like etc.

Currently im uncomfortable almost 24 hours a day, standing is the worst sitting is bad too. The only place i have actually had any "relief" and no pain is on my Multi. Just another reason why the Multi might be the best bike ever made.... Too bad its too freaking cold to ride it when i'm not at work.
Laminectomy survivor here. Your microdiscectomy using orthoscopic surgery is probably the way to go. I have a sister in law who had this and it has worked out for her.

Mine was a bad experience, but I recovered after some 5 years. Still have a bit of a wooden foot, but playing the drums with double bass has recovered my foot dexterity.

Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
CAlexio
Thanks for the info. This isn't something I'm going into lightly for sure. I have been dealing with this off and on for a few years now and I'm at the point where conservative measures have failed where they worked before. I've done pt, use my inversion table twice daily, done the anti-inflamatories, etc. I'm to the point where I'm in agony just standing in front of the toilet to take a whiz despite being on 180mg of neurons in to curb the nerve pain. My recent MRI revealed that the herniation itself has gotten much worse vs last year and I have lost reflexes in my foot and knee. My current state of acute pain has been going on since sept and is still getting worse by the day. I'm really non functional at this point, I can't even walk a city block.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,181 Posts
CAlexio
Thanks for the info. This isn't something I'm going into lightly for sure. I have been dealing with this off and on for a few years now and I'm at the point where conservative measures have failed where they worked before. I've done pt, use my inversion table twice daily, done the anti-inflamatories, etc. I'm to the point where I'm in agony just standing in front of the toilet to take a whiz despite being on 180mg of neurons in to curb the nerve pain. My recent MRI revealed that the herniation itself has gotten much worse vs last year and I have lost reflexes in my foot and knee. My current state of acute pain has been going on since sept and is still getting worse by the day. I'm really non functional at this point, I can't even walk a city block.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
once you are describing Neural deficit (lost reflex in foot and knee) then surgery is definitely the option. I wish you the very best of luck with it... let us know how it goes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,879 Posts
thanks for the input Alexio, my wife is having back troubles.

Keep us posted on the outcome JB.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,181 Posts
back pain can have many different causes.

there is disk pain (axial back, radiates across), radicular pain (nerve compression, goes down the back) and many other kinds. The root causes are also quite diverse, some types are easier to treat, others require major surgery.

some constants remain... hydration, stretching, mechanical decompression (hanging upside down) and excercise... that last one is crucial.. stay as active and limber as possible. The endorphines released during exercise can literally delete pain... if nothing else... swim like you have a shark behind you daily... oh, and keep the LB down.

a lot of degenerative back issues come from our modern diet actually, two generations ago (my grandparents) literally didn't have degenerative disk issues, it's a very modern problem.

... I don't want to open a can of worms by saying this.. but if you cut gluten out of your diet, and sugars... you can actually reduce generalized inflammation in the body to the point that people with major pain live almost pain free... but that's a whole other story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
I have a badly herniated disc in my back that shoots some fun nerve pain down my left leg into my foot. I have one of these surgeries lined up for the 20th of this month. Wondering what the recovery was like etc.

Currently im uncomfortable almost 24 hours a day, standing is the worst sitting is bad too. The only place i have actually had any "relief" and no pain is on my Multi. Just another reason why the Multi might be the best bike ever made.... Too bad its too freaking cold to ride it when i'm not at work.
Hey Jim, I had my back fused @ L3&L4. I had the surgery done 2001 and I've never felt better! My pain was the front of right leg to the knee. The best thing that helped me was a never give up attitude! So stay positive and keep yourself flexible w/ strong core.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
My brother had T7-T8 fusion last year, and was in danger of losing control of his lower GI track - meaning he would start shitting himself any day. His surgery was close to a medical emergency and was scheduled in ten days from diagnosis. The injury had happened when he was in high school (graduated 1967), and it certainly didn't heal itself in all those years, but caused him increasing pain.

He's mostly pain free now. We'll see how it goes in the future, and he is anticipating complications, even though he is in much better shape now than in the past ten years.

However, I am informed that medical knowledge doubles every five years in this country, so I wouldn't necessarily take previous experience as the final word. Still, the breakthroughs happen in fits and starts, so it's not like it's a uniform process.

Ron
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,181 Posts
Ron is right ab medical progress, but there is a major caveat. our system isn't always set up to offer the latest procedure, as (for example) a minimally invasive approach, might be less remunerative than traditional surgery.

Ex: in Europe, stimulators are regularly and successfully used to treat angina pain.. Here in the US however, the cardiovascular surgeon lobby still promotes open surgery, which makes them a ton of $ per procedure, vs a few $100 for a stimulator.

In the spine world, surgeons are trained to cut.. The old "when you're a hammer everything looks like a nail" adage applies. In an area with more surgeons, it is more likely (I can show you some really interesting data sets), that a patient will be hurried towards surgery much faster than in a rural area, where the local spine Guy works WITH his referrals to do what is best for the patient. I believe the OP is a great candidate and will do well, now that we have more facts on his history. I just deal with so many corrupt decisions on a daily basis, especially on the surgical side, that my radar is on high alert for abuse.


Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

·
Smut peddler
Joined
·
872 Posts
I had a microdisectomy procedure done in '09, best thing I ever did. I struggled for almost a year with terrible pain down my leg, trying chiropractic, physical therapy, steroids, all that jazz. I literally would go to work, take off my boots when I got in the house, and crawl in bed. I literally couldn't be on my feet for more than a few hours without being in agonizing pain. I lost a year of my life as far as I'm concerned to the BS I went through.

Went to a spinal surgeon, showed him my MRI, and he told me I was the perfect candidate for the procedure. He was the first totally honest person I met in my whole dealings with this. He told me the procedure wasn't a cure all, might come back, but it was just as effective as any other means of dealing with the problem, and being that my problem was degenerative, was in his honest opinion the best way of dealing with it.

I was told after my surgery to get up and walk as soon as I could, I did so about 5 hours after my surgery/ nap when I got home. I walked around the block, high on all kinds of pain meds, and had a very scary situation where a shooting pain shot down my leg randomly, I was scared as hell. Got home, called the surgeon, and he told me that was the nerves getting feeling back, it would get better, and not to worry. It went on for a few more days, but he was right.

I was an idiot, and went back to work in three weeks (I work construction). I was told to only work half days, but as previously stated, I'm an idiot, and started working full days only a few days in, and I paid for it. I decided to take the next week off, laying down, and going on walks (finally said idiot made a good decision). My advise for recovery would be to take 3-4 weeks off, and go back to work for half days for 1-2 weeks, but most of all to stay active and get the blood flow and muscles moving. You're as important to your recovery as your surgeon is.

I would in no way avoid this surgury, it was one of the best things I ever did.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,482 Posts
please take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

I've been working in spine related, medical device sales for 10+ years. I speak to many orthospine and pain management physicians. i also come into contact with many spine injury/disk/nerve pain patients. here is the skinny:

-bulging disks often resolve... not completely, but enough to provide you with some relief. absolute and total rest is advised, together with anti-inflamatories, drinking lots of water, REST AGAIN, and some physical therapy in the sub-acute phase. You can also get steroid injections to relieve pressure on the nerve, use an inversion table if it helps, and do a lot of stretching.

Surgery is a great treatment "for now"... meaning that it often can resolve an issue for awhile.. The problem is that backs which had had surgery on them... are NEVER the same again. Even if the surgeon is extremely delicate and precise... scar tissue forms over a few years.. and in 3-4-5 years are you back to where you were, only worse. Scar tissue forms like lava... it is indescriminate and it covers everything in its path. It is quite likely that after a micro-disk procedure, you will end up going back to remove scar tissue which is causing you pain.. which then turns into more scar tissue, which turns into a laminectomy to relieve pressure.. which turns into a fusion to cure the instability.... and then when that fails and you're 60 you get an electrical stimulator because you're a 4-5 surgery patient and no doc wants to touch you anymore and your spine surgeon has already sold his 5th ferrari and lives on an island.

catch my drift?... this pain, and how willing you are to WAIT... you can usually help the body heal itself, enough to continue functioning.leave surgery as the very very very last option. Depending on how long you've had

I have a 14mm disk extrusion... not a bulge.. the whole thing popped... I had bad sciatic pain for almost a year... I did all the things that my doctors would suggest to their mothers to do (aka, not surgery)... my back is perfect again.

Try EVERYTHING, before surgery.. it's a slippery slope into hell for people.. it just takes their whole lifetime to realize it.

sorry for not being subtle... remember.. grain of salt.

Thanks for that. Makes me feel like I made the correct decision 30 (or so) years back - after I was diagnosed with 2 crushed vertebrae (T6 and T7). The orthopaedic 'specialist' wanted to fuse the vertebrae. He gave me a 50% chance of walking after the surgery. Given that everybody I had spoken who had had ANY sort of bone fusion said "DON'T do it!" - and I didn't like the 50% odds - I told him to stick it. You've just added to my feelings of justification - along with all those I've spoken to since, who have had bones/joints/etc. fused.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
back pain can have many different causes.



some constants remain... hydration, stretching, mechanical decompression (hanging upside down) and excercise... that last one is crucial.. stay as active and limber as possible. The endorphines released during exercise can literally delete pain... if nothing else... swim like you have a shark behind you daily... oh, and keep the LB down.

a lot of degenerative back issues come from our modern diet actually, two generations ago (my grandparents) literally didn't have degenerative disk issues, it's a very modern problem.

... I don't want to open a can of worms by saying this.. but if you cut gluten out of your diet, and sugars... you can actually reduce generalized inflammation in the body to the point that people with major pain live almost pain free... but that's a whole other story.
Totaly agree Alexio...I had my spine crushed 35 years ago..
Though, I chose a spinal fusion because I had been lying in a 'rotisserie' in hospital for 3 months (bad accident didn't have much choice) I was lucky, back then they gave me 10% chance of success. So after a year in a rehabilitation centre I realised how important it was to keep fit/strong and healthy again. All was good until 10 years ago when I ruptured a disc in my lower back (doing stupid stuff). I subsequently chose to just 'rest' for 3 months rather than invasive surgery. (lucky I had a lot of leave available from work)
Felt great after and headed back to work (landscape gardening).
I'm a train wreck on paper, doctor's still can't understand how I am walking with what had happened to my spine; recent MRI's have shown I should be suffering, but I live virtualy pain free today.
I have, all my life, done a lot of swimming, stretching and general exercise and work on my core strength to support my back so I can ride my SS in comfort for hours ;)
So jb882 follow your gut with all the info you have received, cause I remember that horrible pain and all I wanted was a quick fix.
Wish you all the best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Surgery update,
Had it on Friday 8AM. Spent the night at the hospital and now i'm home. I'm still i little tired so have been sleeping a lot, im betting the pain killers are causing s lit of that. My back is very sore where they opened me up and if i move the wrong way it really hurts a lot. My leg on the other hand feels great. I have feeling in my foot and calf again and when i walk around i have no leg pain. So it looks like everything is headed in the right direction. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Back

I'll look at my once in a blue moon lumbar strains as a gift from now on, lol
My partner at work has had a disk issue but keeping active and following the "back health" card his doc gave him helps a lot . I copied it and do the routine
Myself for preventative measures. Up here from what I could gather
Surgery was a last resort recommendation .

KD
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
jb882 -

We're all keeping our fingers crossed that your surgery outcome continues to improve with the best possible result.

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Good luck. I have quite literally felt your pain as I herniated a disc back in 1989. At the time the doc told me surgery was a coin flip: could make it better, could make it worse, or could make no difference at all. I didn't like those odds, so I declined.
I also had a herniated disc in my neck a couple of years ago, from....bending down awkwardly to check the air in my motorcycles tires. I had the option for surgery or just therapy from a Chiro. I chose the Chiro as I didn't want to risk surgery.

It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. The pain was in my neck, shoulder, and left arm. I could not lay down to sleep. I had to try and sleep sitting up for about 2.5 months, which I could not do very well. If I twitched or moved wrong the pain was excruciating. My left arm was weak, I could barely lift a water bottle past my chest. It took about 3-4 months before I got most of strength back in the left arm and about 8-9 months before it was back to normal. I'm fine now, but man was that a rough time.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top