Herniated Disc Surgery

There are different levels of severity for a herniated disc. Experts always suggest that you undergo all Herniated Disc Treatment options first before considering herniated disc surgery. If you have gone through all the treatment processes and feel that your quality of life has been diminished to nothing and you live life with constant excruciating pain, then surgery will be the next step to take.

Herniated Disc Surgery Procedure

Herniated disc surgery is a procedure known as a disectomy.  A disectomy is a when surgeon creates an incision in the back, about 1.0 to 1.5 inches, and removes part of the disc that is pinching the nerve.  The surgeon may remove a little more of the damaged disk to prevent any recurrences. The disc surgery is performed with the patient lying on his stomach and takes about 1 to 2 hours while the patient is put under general anesthesia.

Herniated Disc Surgery Recovery Time

Recovery time can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks.  People who had pain in their legs and fee usually feel an improvement right away after the surgery.  There will be back pain after the surgery, but your doctor will prescribe pain medication during the healing process.  After the surgery, you will most likely be kept hospitalized for 1 to 2 days. When you are released walking and sitting are encouraged.  Exercise, bending, and twisting should NOT be performed for several weeks, or until your doctors says it’s okay.

Herniated Disc Surgery Complications

Possible issues that can come about after herniated disc surgery are infection, spinal fluid leak, bleeding, and herniation of the disc again.  Hospitalization and surgery may be required to fix these issues.  Most people will not experience these complications.  Generally, most people will feel little to no symptoms of what they had prior to the herniated disc surgery and will experience no complications during the recovery time.

115 thoughts on “Herniated Disc Surgery

  1. Ron Ashmore

    Paula, I’m sorry you have suffered so much pain at such a young age! My life consisted of working in construction. Between some bad falls and heavy loads, I’m surprised I haven’t experienced this much sooner, although I was laid up now and again with the proverbial “ice pick” in my back!
    Friendly WARNING: I have suffered chronic pain in my legs and feet due to MS complications. Constant use of Ibuprofen and Tylenol is VERY DANGEROUS! After longterm use (1-2 years) of them to control pain and inflammation, I was rudely interrupted one evening with a pain in my abdomen. Upon going to the restroom, I discovered a substantial amount of blood in my urine! I went to the emergency room and after an endoscopic procedure, two tears were found in the lining of my stomach. Immediate surgery was performed. One tear took three sutures. the other was cauterized. Beware of long term use of any INSAIDS! They may cause stomach and/or intestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage and so forth!
    I have the same issue with a substantially herniated disc at the L-4_L-5 vertebrae. As for my decision to do back surgery, all efforts to learn proper bending, twisting and lifting must be done! As for my decision to do back surgery, all efforts to learn proper bending, twisting and lifting must be done!
    Yoga is not an option, due to the fact that most of the yoga exercises touted to be good for you, in fact place undo pressure on the spine and discs! Read WEB MD.com on herniated disc exercises!
    There are a number of abdominal exercises and others exercises which can heal a herniated disc, depending on the severity of the damage, also, provided it is not ruptured, one may be able to avoid surgery! I am hoping I will be able to do so!!! I will do everything possible!
    Yoga is not an option, due to the fact that most of the yoga exercises touted to be good for you, in fact place undo pressure on the spine and discs! Read WEB MD.com on herniated disc exercises!
    There are a number of abdominal exercises and others exercises which can heal a herniated disc, depending on the severity of the damage, also, provided it is not ruptured, one may be able to avoid surgery! I am hoping I will be able to do so!!! I will do everything possible!As for my decision to do back surgery, all efforts to learn proper bending, twisting and lifting must be done!
    Yoga is not an option, due to the fact that most of the yoga exercises touted to be good for you, in fact place undo pressure on the spine and discs! Read WEB MD.com on herniated disc exercises!
    There are a number of abdominal exercises and others exercises which can heal a herniated disc, depending on the severity of the damage, also, provided it is not ruptured, one may be able to avoid surgery! I am hoping I will be able to do so!!! I will do everything possible!

  2. Sherry

    God bless you Samantha Jo. I will put you in my prayers. I just started with this at 54 and it is the most painful thing I have ever had. Much luck to you

  3. Paula

    Hi Everyone. Sorry about all your pain. I can understand it more than you know. I have had back issues since I was 20. I am 46 now. 26 years with some form of pain and problem. I have always had a very high tolerance to pain. Still do. Not that it doesn’t hurt but after living with it for so long, it become a part of you. I have had two wonderful children, all labor of course in the back. Lovely, but well worth it. When my youngest was 15 months old, my L/4-L/5 ruptured. Not only that, pieces broke off into my nerve endings affecting my left leg. Wonderful Doctor told me Surgery was the only way he could relieve my horrible pain. When I mean horrible. It felt as if I had someone inside of my leg with welding gun, welding the insides of my legs. The pain and burning was unbearable. Surgery after only 1 month after rupture. Pain was def. better, but left leg. Not so good. Never regained total control . 70% use of leg after surgery. Long story short. Not so back for about 1 year after surgery. Dealt with the occasional burning and pain. I could live with it. Then kept getting worse year after year. Now 2012-2013 be diagnosed with 1. Same herniated Disc, the one above it, that was bulging 10 years ago has slipped, Spinal Arthristis, Radiopathy, 60% or lower left leg usage and Trochanteric Bursitis, nerve damage . I am a mess. Pain stinks, worse part is the numbness in my leg. I wish there were a magic pill that could 100% cure all my symptoms and all of yours….. I do not take pain meds as I do not like them. I take 800 Ibuprofen 3 times a day and tylenol. I will take a vicoden from time to time, but If I take too much I get headaches. ha ha My life… Good Luck All……….

  4. Nikki

    At the age of 48 I injured my back pulling a root out of my garden. After seeing a chiro which I have never done, my gp and therapy, I couldn’t function with the pain. I went to the ER and an MRI showed 2 herniated. Thanks to God I was recommended to a neurosurgeon who immediately operated. I had no qualms at all as anything that would get me out of that pain sounded great to me. I went in, was put to sleep, and woke up pain free! I was so thrilled I kept wanting to get up and walk so I could actually do it without pain. I am now 61, and an MRI shows another disc has herniated which I tried therapy for which worked great for 3 mths. Now I’m having pain and numbness and and I’m seeing my doctor again hopefully for another surgery. Life is far too short to spend even one day in pain when there is another answer. God bless all of you.

  5. Taysmom

    Samantha Jo, my daughter is 19 and having the same problems for about 2 years now. She finally has a neurosurgeon appt next week. It’s been about a year for you so I am wondering how you are doing? Would you do the surgery again?

  6. Melinda

    I had the surgery after a year of terrible pain. I woke up from the surgery and it was wonderful. I wished I had the surgery much sooner. Don’t wait-its not worth the suffering. The surgery was out patient. I had no issues with the surgery. Good luck.

  7. Rebecca

    Is decompession therapy the same as traction? like using an inversion table? Thanks for your, Rebecca

  8. zelma

    Hi y’all!! Im 36yrs old n I have a L5-S1 herniated disc!! I have been out of work for 3 months now trying to dealing w the pain for the past couple of months, I’ve already had to injections n it hasnt helped still not able to sit, stand, or walk for a long period of time!! My drs appt is on Wednesday n I plan to just go for the surgery! I have taken painkillers I have seen a chiropractor, I am currently going to Physical therapy but nothing seems to help!! I’ve read some of y’alls stories n just brings tears to my eyes, all this time I thought I was alone!! Wish you all the best n I’ll let y’all know how everything turns out.

  9. Engr. Sohail Shah Pakistan

    I am having Both Bulging and herniated disc at L4,5-S1 and after MRI report 2 Surgeons has suggested me the only way is a Surgery.
    So i am ready for my Surgery Now, They told me their is only 3% of failure chances in this operation. only 3-4 Days i will be in Hospital and then i will be able to go Home on my foots.
    But i Don’t know about the after effects of that surgery on my body, either i will be 100% fit or it can again effect me after some years or so ?
    He Told me that failures that may be occur after Surgery are infection, spinal fluid leak, bleeding, and herniation of the disc again. Hospitalization and surgery may be required to fix these issues.
    Later after my Surgery i will inform you people about the aftermaths of my Surgery.

  10. amanda

    hello to all… i am 36 i was recently in a car accident and been having back and leg pain for a mounth now and just getting worse … i kept working thru the pain popping aleive like it was candy..finally went back to doc and she got me scheduled for an MRI I just got the results today…ruptured L5 S1. suggested surgery, sending me to a neurologist.. scared to death.. i read all these post about DONT DO IT! but im younger than 65… the elders are then ones saying dont do it…i just dont know yet but i hate to wait too long thanx a million elders amanda

  11. swagata

    My surgery left me bedridden for 2 years and still dependent on walker, mobility restrcted. I think it was a mistake.

  12. swagata

    In Jan 2010 I had a fall after which I used to wxperience occasional back pain which would go awway after a short rst . no pain killers. Then one morning in March I found I hhad excruciating lower back pain if I tried to sit up By that evening I could not stand and became incontinnent. I was hospitalised and advised immediate surgery after an MRI showed a herniated diskatD9-D10. Ihesitated at first but on the surgeon’s advice went for laminectomy on 17.04.2010. I was told I should walk again in 3 weeks but I was in Hospital for a month, after which I went to another hospital where they got as far as teaching me to sit up in bed. my legs had neither sensation nor strength and the muscles just wasted away. I came home advised to go for physiotherapy and massage.I had a very good therapist, still it took me a year and a half to learn to ssit, stand and walk again. Now I use a stick at home and a walker outside. I never had pain after surgery- i think the numbness was another symptom of my legs geting no signal from my brain.A year ago they developed twitching but that could be corrected with medicine.Another surgery was suggested but

    isaid nver again. I was 60 when I had the surgery. Noe I am 63 and get depressed when I realise my useful life is over because of the surgery, my mobility is also severely restrcted. Looking back, I think it was a huge mistake.

  13. Jennifer

    Hi all. I am 49, and have herniated disks at L4&5, torn disk at L2&3, and arthritis in S1&2. I underwent steroid injections (9 of them in 9months time, 3 on each side) and they were helping me. I was also on the fentanyl patch which was a true relief. However, due to a miscommunication with the pharmacy, I could not get my fentanyl, and was forced to go through a very nasty withdrawal. Then my insurance decided that they needed proof that the steroid injections were necessary. I was referred to another pain center that got approval for the injections, and I had one done at the beginning of July. Ever since I got it, my pain has increased, my right leg and foot burn and are numb, my right leg is showing weakness, and I am MISERABLE! I cannot work, and have been denied disability 3 times. Now I have a law firm fighting for me. Anyway, I saw my doctor this morning, and he increased my meds (gabapentum and tramadol) and is going to get a tens unit authorized for me. He is also going to do another MRI, and set me up for a surgical consult. The majority of posts that I have read are positive about surgery, but I plan on doing a lot of research on it. Through many mistakes, I have learned to be informed. By the way, my back became traumatized by 14 years as a CNA, and 6 more years of caring for my father, who had spinal stenosis and peripheral neuropathy. His doctor actually remarked that I was going the same way he did, to which I replied, no, I am not going to lie down and give up! But, as all of you know, it is very hard to continue to fight with the constant pain. I’ve tried to let my family know how bad it is, but no one can understand it unless they’ve gone through it. Finding all of you is a true Godsend for me, and I pray that all of you will find a way to become pain free, and enjoy life again! Thank you!

  14. Vicki

    Samatha, I have had chronic back pain since I was 15. I am now 47. Started out as sciatica down both legs. No prior injuries that I can think of. Then came the djd diagnosis and then bulging disks in my neck and lower back. I have done the physical therapy and about 4 sets of 6 cortisone injections to my lower back. Neither worked. Now I have problems with my feet going numb and have broken on ankle and severely sprained the other ankle. At work one day I was leaning over slightly working on an IV on one of my residents and felt a pop in my lower back. MRI confirmed that I ruptured my bulging disk. Have an appt this week to talk to surgeon about possible surgery. So yes it can happen to young people. Good luck with whatever you decide to do to help relieve your symptoms.

  15. Kathreen

    It sounds like most of you have had lower disc problems. However, my herniated disc was in my neck. I had the surgery for this, early this year. It is now June, and I am still having severe pain between my spinal cord, and my shoulder blade. When I complained to my surgeon, he wanted to blame the pain on arthritis, but I told him that I had arthritis in other parts of my body, and this definitely did not feel like arthritis! He said he was going to send me back to work again, anyway, and when I protested that I could barely sit for long, let alone stand, he said that I had been working when complaining about this same pain, before surgery, to which I countered, “No, I was not working at that time…you kept me out of work!” When he checked his records, he found out the same information, and apologized. He said they would do another MRI, that possibly I had another herniated disc. However, if I do, I don’t think I will be having anymore surgery! I feel a lot more worse than before I had the surgery, and my neck still gives me lots of pain. In between visits, I met with my regular orthopedic doctor, for an elbow injection, from tendinitis, and he told me that he would NEVER recommend herniated disc surgery, because in most cases he’s known, that patients were almost always much more worse off than before they had the surgery! I told him that I wished I had seen him before I had decided to do the surgery! So, I feel certain that I will try anything before I EVER decide to let someone perform that surgery EVER again! Please research thoroughly before having this surgery, no matter who you are, or how old you are. I am in my fifties, and I’m just sayin’!

  16. Marilyn

    Mary, I am nearly 65 and can fully relate to your pain. My story is similar – healthy, active wanting to avoid meds & surgery. My pain started in Jan 2012, with severe sciatic pain down to my toes, butt pain (possibly piriformis syndrome)and pain while laying and sitting. I have slept on my back without any movement since Jan. Getting up out of bed was excruciatingly painful! Walking seemed to be the only thing that helped me. I did 3 months chiropractic, decompression, acupuncture & ultrasound. I then went to a MD had a MRI showing spinal Stenosis, herniated disc L5Si, loss of disc height, arthritis and scoliosis. The realization that I am not 41 years old, 51 or even 61 anymore really hit me… I tried a week of oral steroids with no relief, then I had a Corticosteroid spinal injection a month ago and I have gotten progressively better, although far from 100% back to my old self. I am scheduled for a 2nd Corticosteroid spinal injection on June 26th hoping to heal my herniated disc and avoid surgery.
    I would love to hear from you about how you are doing now and what treatments you have taken. Good luck, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone!

  17. sara

    hi Samantha Jo , i feel your pain i actually had a disk surgery nearly 2 years ago by the time i turnes 21 🙂 i couldnt walk before my surgery it was just so painfull nothing worked the pain just wouldnt go away , i really know what you are going through but dont worry the pain will go away after surgery but you should really take care of yourself more 🙂 dont eveer lift heavy weights again , you will feel better sam , i fell offff the stairs and thats how the pain started . if you want to talk or anything like that this is my mail ,just know that you are not alone hope you feel better sam 🙂 chocolate.lemonade@yahoo.com

  18. Denise

    I’m 36 yrs.old and I totally understand what your going through I’ve done it all and the Doctor told me its a mild but meanwhile I’m in this excruciating pain I feel like if they think I’m making this up I’m on all the pain killers you can think of and they make me feel so sick and sleepy.

  19. Joe

    Well, i have suffered from this back and leg pain for only about a year also tried chiro, electro, phys theropy, and i was also afraid initially just by the other drs. and friends telling me oh dont do surg… i would not even hesitate to do this over again if this ever happens to me, im am only 2 weeks out, had a great surgeon from Rothman, Dr. Radcliff, no BS, just straight to the point and a professional, i feel no pain now at all, which is off the chart for me…only thing im sorry about is i didn’t go hear sooner, im an athlete, jogger, ice hockey coach and disc herniation can happen to us all i guess, up to 8 months ago i never had any back pain, now im free again, and it feels nice….so go for it, dont be afraid its not bad at all, nothing like i was told, lookup my guy at Rothman, he’s a professional, and i would swear by him..

  20. Richard

    Hello Andrea I too was nervous about surgery. It’s been three weeks since my surgery. I no longer have the discomfort in my calf area. I still have some slight numbness. How many mm is your herniated disc? Mine was 10 mm. I think at this point surgery is your best option. Here is my email address if you need more info richcerv@yahoo.com. I understand what your going through.

  21. Andrea

    I am not twenty anymore, but I am young at 32. I have been having back pain since I was in my 20s and it got worse after giving birth to my son this past fall. I understand your pain and I too have a nightstand full of medications. I have two ruptured herniated discs in my L5 and S1. They are both pushing on nerves. So I have pain in my left hip that goes all the way down to my toes, I get numbness in my right foot and recently I have been getting numb in the back area. I have been in and out of the several doctors, specialisst and surgeon offices and decided that cortisone injections were my best choice. My mother is a RN and thinks that I need to consider having surgery. I am scared to death. I have never had surgery and all I can think about is becoming paralyzed or having worse pain after the surgery. I know this sounds crazy. Needless to say, I know how all of you are feeling.

  22. christopher

    to Samantha Jo i have not read all of you guys post yet but im going two i don’t know if i will be any help but anyways i herniated my L4 L5 disc total blow out completely pinched my spinal cord, and even no im not proud of it, it was while i was in jail, anyways it was like hell on earth when it happened i had to sleep on a steel bed for two months before i got out and could get help. i was for surgery because i didn’t want nerve damage it was that bad i feel your pain, i still have allot of leg pain, but through it all its the depression i have had the hardest time with being so young and active hiking, skateboarding, snowboarding, lifting i would do anything to make this leg pain go away, i don’t know if im going to be abil to work anymore i use to be the hardest worker i know, i feel like i cant live happy anymore faking its even hard, i have the best girl friend ever and i have a hard time staying positive for her, my anger and depression from this pain is pushing every one i love out of my life i don’t even know anymore i would do anything to have my old life back i once so ignorantly treated ….. anyways god bless us all :’|

  23. Richard

    I just had a microdiscectomy on 4/16/12. I had a 10 mm herniated disc on L5 S1. I still have slight numbness in my right foot, but other wise pain free. I was able to walk and stand after surgery.

  24. Karen

    My son is in the Army we are looking for the best MD now for treatment. he has not had surgery yet. 2 discs lumbar. Looking 4 relief anything we find we include you.

  25. Karen

    My son has 2 herniated lumbar disc he is in the Service due 2 deploy. Can you give me the name of the MD as well?

  26. kirk

    hi, i had surgery about a month ago, the back pain and the pain in my leg is gone.but, now my foot is numb and i have pain in it…………..good luck to u

  27. Richard

    Samantha Jo, I feel your pain. Although I’m not 20 years old I know the pain you are experiencing. I too go to school and the pain makes it very difficult to focus. I am currently doing decompression therapy. I’ve do 5 sessions and I can honestly say I am feeling better. I can sleep at night and no longer need the pain medication.

  28. reid

    hi samantha my name i have experienced what you are experiencing now. i had a herniated l4 disc in my lower back for 9 months and it hurt so bad i could hardly deal with it….popped pills everyday it didnt help.i had surgery and as soon as i woke up i already felt better.dont be scared of surgery just go with it…theyll put u to sleep then it seems like instantly ur awake again and the surgerys done and youll probly be grinning from ear to ear as u say goodbye to the horrible pain u had…take it easy for a while after surgery itll hurt baddly you will swear they hurt u worse but its cuz they were messin around in there…..your back will feel sore and delicate and will be healing…lay down flat on firm surfaces dont sit too long either either walk around or lay down and make sure you do the exercises they give you even if its only a little at a time. stop if it feels like its hurting your back….take care.from reid….p.s.im 27 im young too……and when u walk around after surgery..stand tall and proud

  29. Mary

    I am a 65 yr old woman suffering with severe back pain since I was 22. The day after my wedding, in 1969 I fell down a flight of cement stairs on my back in Bermuda while going to the pool with my new hubby. Had not gone to the doctor but tried to live with it. We had two sons, which was difficult for me to carry and deliver, they were good size babies 7#13oz, & 8# 12 1/2oz. Both delivered vaginally, lots of pressure and bearing down!!! I continued to have severe pain in my lower back and it was so difficult to carry the boys and bend over when putting them down. Just doing house work was hard. Years later I was in a car accident and hit from behind, although the accident was minor I suffered addt’l pain in my back and now neck. That is when I found out I had an injury to my lower back but the doctor said no surgery for it. Went about my business and read how important it is to workout and increase abdomen muscle strength to also strengthen the back. I worked out every day and always did appropriate stretches. I went to chiropractor and also deep muscle massage which all seemed to help. In 2008 I fell off a ladder while putting Christmas decorations away. I fell from about the third or fourth rung down on my back onto the garage floor. Omg!!! I laid there and prayed I could move my legs. The pain was horrible. No one around, my hubby was at work. I finally managed to get up and I crawled to the shower to put hot water on me. (don’t know if that was the right thing to do, but it felt good). The next day, having a job for doctors, they gave me an order for x-ray and was told I cracked my coccyx. But I didn’t know until I got an MRI that I also have a 3 bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and of course the old injury from 1969. The Neurologist suggested that I can have injections or surgery now. I opted out for both. Being afraid of the options I decided to just take Aleve for pain PRN. I have continued to workout at home on the treadmill and total gym. The pain has kept me up all night because it is pressing on the nerves and I cannot really move to a comfortable position. The pain is lower back to thighs to legs and then to feet. My right hip is so painful also. I hate to complain so much but I cannot work in the yard, and have to keep sitting down when doing cooking and housework. I am trying in vain to get around the pain and even use a back support to keep me conscious of not making quick moves. I will be going for another MRI and then back to the Neurologist for more conversation about the surgery. I am so scared of this but although I am a senior at 65 we have longevity in our family and my health thus far is great i also think that this injury will affect my quality of life and also my hubby because nothing brings you down as being around someone who is always in pain and cannot do much. Although he has his issues too and is a great support. I have been reading all the posts and it seems to me that surgery is my only option. Thank you for all the posts that everyone has made and wish me luck. Here’s to good health everyone!

  30. bryan

    I had L4 L5 disc replacement fusion two yrs ago. The left side of my back pops now as it did even when in the hospital recovering. I told them of this. It should heal over time. My left leg had nerve damage and the strength did return. But now my left leg has gotten weaker than ever before and I fall off to the left losing my balance. I am in more pain then before surgery now. My left side of lower back kills me and runs down my leg. My thigh muscle and shin muscles quiver and ache 24/7. Tramadol doesn’t touch it. I have not been able to return to work. My surgeon put me on 25lb weight limit. Now my disability is about to be cut off because my surgeon never put me off work. I have a wife and 3 kids. I lost 50k income overnight. Now I am about to lose my disability. I do have an atty that was provided by Cigna to represent my social security claim but that could take months to get the hearing. I have heard of Cigna cutting people off. I will lose my home instantly as we have no reserves. I have had it. This sucks.

  31. XOXO4REA

    I am also 20 years old and I know exactly what you are going through. I have been dealing with this for a long time and I actually have surgery on Monday. I have been through all kind of shots and therapy and nothing helped. The only option I have is surgery is scary but I think it will be worth it becuase the pain right now is horrible and has put me in such a depression. I cant even get out of bed in the mornings I have to litterally fall out of bed and crawl because the pain is just unberable. So my advice to you is go ahead and have surgery and be done with it because the pain is just horrible.

  32. Jonathan

    PLeeeeeease! Tell me who your surgeon is. I have been suffering for a long time and have had mistakes made. My poor Judgement to let them do certain procedures that were detrimental to my spine. I Know what needs to be done and it sounds like you had the procedure that I need … and have had success!! congrats!!

  33. Samantha Jo

    Hi! I’m Samantha and I’m 20 years old. I’ve had an L5 herniated disc since I was 17. The pain is excruciating and I can hardly live life as a full time college student. I’ve had decompression therapy but the pain has returned and I have an appointment to see a neurosurgeon in the next couple weeks. I’m really scared to have surgery because people are in disbelief because they say I’m too young. I can’t talk to anyone about my condition because no one my age understands the pain I’ve been through. I live by my bottle of Advil and Percocet and I’m so sick and tired of being left out. I wanted to let you know that this affects people young and old and I need some one, anyone who will listen. Someone who believes me and feels my pain. Your advice and support would mean a lot. Thank you

  34. Miled

    I’m 36 yrs old, very active and I work out almost daily,I suffered from a pinched nerve on the right side that got to me mid September 2011 and developed extremely fast, in 5 days i could hardly walk straight for a minute without having to sit, yet even when I sit I used to bend over and pull my leg towards me just to relief a bit the pain, during that I did the MRI which showed clearly the herniated disc at L4 L5 level along with the pinched nerve. The doctor after looking at the MRI he immediately recommended the surgery advising that no pain killers would relief or make the pain go away yet medication would have side effects on other parts and the pinched nerve
    pain will remain. So, I decided to go under operation which took place on 26 sept 2011, it took almost 3 hours, and 5 hours after that I stood up and walked normally as if it didn’t happen! I followed literary the doctors orders, had 3 weeks sick leave from work, I started walking around 10 to 15 minutes daily after the 4th day then underwent 12 sessions of physiotherapy and now after almost 4 months I’m back to exercising gym, swimming, and jogging, certainly I,m going very easy till complete recovery and I always follow my body as it will tell you when you need to rest. I have no pain but continuous discomfort, the discomfort goes and come but for me the surgery was the optimum choice instead-of all the medications and so, I sometimes feel very little pain in my right leg, but I think after having such, we learn how exactly we should sit, sleep and lift up things in a healthy way, I do wish everyone the best of luck and health and make sure if lucky to choose a reputable doctor. (it’s very important to keep constant weight)

  35. James Coble

    I am 70 years old. I have a herniated disc at L4-L5. I have had numerous pain shots
    in my spine. Along with 2 ablations (burning the nerves) in the past 30 years, with little to no relief. I have been taking Tramadol (Ultram) for the past 20 years. It Masks the pain enough to allow me to mentally deal with the pain it doesn’t cover. I have talked to a Nuero Surgeon after having an MRI done that clearly showed the Herniation. He basically refused to do the surgery because he could not quarantee me any relief. Shortly after that (1-2 years) I went to see an Orthopedic Surgeon who flatly refused to touch my back. The pain is getting worse to where the pain pills and my mental control are losing the battle. Idon’t
    like the feeling I get from the pills (la la land). Any help I can Get would be appreciated. Thanks for listening.

  36. Nasser

    i have disk due to havey whightlifting in the GYM. Anyway, i have acute low back pain but i don’t have numbness and the other symptoms. However, i would like to have surgery, but i’m afraid of two things:
    1. to have disk again after the surgery
    2. to stop exercicing (budy building) for more than two months
    can anyone please tell me if he/she knows about the surgery?

  37. Terry

    Oct 26 i had the day off so was working in yard catching up on raking leaves mowing etc was sitting and eating dinner and was uncomfortable in my leg like it was asleep worked the rest of week and on Sunday i went to ER because my leg and back hurt so much they did a xray said no broken bones gave me a shot an took me off work for a week i went to my family doctor still with alot of pain bout 4 days later and he referred me to a Dr that ordered MRI and referred me to neurosurgeon. When MRI showed herneated L4-L5 disk i was taken off work till Jan 9. I have had 2 edpidurals of cortizone and tried to do phys therepy but was in so much pain it was discontinued after 2 visits. Pain and numbness has gotten worse the whole time. Going to see Neurosurgeon today for first visit.

  38. Alicia

    Mike – I did acupuncture for my L5 disc and it did help but you have to be consistent in going. My insurance did not cover so it was all out of pocket.

  39. Alicia

    I would like to know if you had a disc replacement surgery in your L5 disc and how are you doing now; yrs out?. Are you restricted in your activities?
    Hello, I’m a 28yr female that has a Herniated L5 disc since 2005. I have had many many injections and tried every possible alternative thing you could think of and was only able to keep the pain to a low and that is with pain meds. But until I tweaked it doing something active which is often, as I’m a very active person that is on the go. So back in July I had a fun adventurous weekend but ended up really hurting my back as I wasn’t able to bend over. I had never experienced that kind of pain before as I was always able to bend and stretch. I went back to pain management for more injections which helped for two months and just a week ago I woke up not being able to bend over. So I again went back to pain management and the doctor said they can no longer help me and that its time to think surgery….My back doctored and I talked about this before but wanted to postpone it as much as possible. I think it’s time, as I am in so much pain and I don’t want to take the pain meds anymore.

  40. mike

    @Scott. I appreciate your comments as I am a 48 year old male who has a herniated l-5, s-1 disk and I have had 2 epidurals and for a few weeks the pain was gone, but now it is back and it is mostly in my upper thigh, lower buttocks area.
    Would like to avoid surgery and was thinking about accupuncture, but I am doubtful that this will help me. I run, walk and am active.
    Appreciate any thoughts.
    Many thanks.

  41. Bernadette

    Hi Rachel
    I can hear in your words how much you are suffering, I am just coming through the most painful and desperate part of my life, having been housebound for around 2 months. My sciatic pain seems to have diminished (with osteopathy and chiropract literally every 3 to 4 days). I am now more comfortable but not pain free and find the whole recovery period emotionally draining. I seemed to be on the mend but had an MRI scan last week, told by neurosurgeon that surgery was advised. Now feel its a dilemma, take the risk of surgery, or carry on and hope i recover my quality of life. I have missed so much this year already, end of summer vacation with my kids and my daughter’s18th (spent in bed). Already cancelled ski trip for christmas. Am about to see my chiropractor and show him MRI scan,and see what he thinks……. just wanting some advice.

  42. Scott

    I am a 36 year old male who just had a l-4 l-5 decompression, laminectamy. Surgery took about two hours. The bulging disk was protruding a lot further than the MRI showed. It was like 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. Then there were 3 nerves affected. My surgery was at 12:30 Wednesday the 19th,I got home 7:30 p.m. that evening, I felt great till the next morning or I should say the middle of that night. Feeling really sick. I have never been in this much pain in my entire life, I know for a fact that having a child would be a piece of cake.

  43. Rachel

    Hi Billy,

    Sorry to hear you have had so much trouble too with your back. I shall definitely consider surgery after what you have told me. Just want my quality of life back.

    I hope you continue to be pain free!!

  44. billy

    I had part of my L5 disc removed on Sept. 29,2011. My doc said there would be a chance of it becoming herniated again since they could not get to a large chunk of the disc. For four days after surgery i felt much better with very little pain and just a bit of soreness from the surgery. On the fifth day I reached to my bedside table for my water and immediately felt the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I was home alone and had to call 911 for ambulance to come get me.(I live in a rural area of NC so it took a while for them to arrive). I was immediately transferred to hospital and given another MRI which showed the remainder of the disc had blown out like the doctor said. They removed the remainder of the disc and I am now home resting fairly comfortably. I am using minimal painkillers only 5 days removed from surgery. I lived with this pain for years and I can say right now that even with two surgical procedures within the last 12 days I feel so much better. I have a long physical therapy process ahead but I am sorry I waited so long to do the surgery. I look forward to skiing with my kids again this winter and I have the most positive outlook on my health I have had in years. My advice is get surgery asap. I had done epidurals and chiropractic for several years but those things never took my sharp, stabbing pain away. Good luck with your choice and I hope you get better!

  45. Barb Clairain

    Hi Robert, It sounds like we are experiencing similar issues with our back. Was wondering what you decided to do? I’m scheduled for a disectomy on the 25th and was wanting to know if you’ve found any relief?


  46. Rachel


    I am 32 years old and have been suffering with a slipped disc in the L5 position of the back since May 2009. I have seen 6 doctors, had physio with two different physiotherapists which did nothing, had an MRI scan, had 5 nerve block injections in July to try and push the liquid back into the disc and now I am still in constant pain and have to wait until november to see the junior consultant. (cant see the top consultant as it is a 4 year wait to see him!)

    When I first saw the junior consultant she advised that if the nerve block injections did not work then surgery was the only option.

    I just want to know if anyone can give me some much needed advice as I dont know whether to go for surgery or not. Do I live on drugs the rest of my life and have live in constant pain or do I go the surgical route which could work but then does have high risks.

    Apparently where the disc has herniated is extremely difficult to get to as it is behind the spinal cord so to get to it would mean cutting through muscle and bone.. I had been going to work every day and havent taken a day off sick except when my back went last year and I had to be put on valium to be able to move but by doing that I am emotionally and physically shattered.

  47. Phyllis

    Sept. 1st, 1999, I slipped a disc L5 S1, moving furniture. At that time I was 52 yrs old. I went to the doctor Sept 8th and was given pain pills for almost a year. The pain was getting worse and by July 14, 2000, I went in telling the doctor that I felt a growth on my spine. She patronizedly patted me on my shoulder and said, “Oh Phyllis, you can’t have a growth on your spine”. I then told her that it felt like I was sitting on an egg. I also told her that since seeing her, she had not taken an Xray or MRI. I then DEMANDED that one be taken that day. She ordered an Xray. After waiting, she tried explaining what the vertebrae was, but I interrupted and told her I knew that, but what is that mass at the bottom of my vertebrae. She said it looked like a herniated disc. Since then, I’ve taken MRI’s and more pain pills. The only one that helped me was Motrin 600 mg. I took that from 7/00 until 4/08, when I went in the emergency room with extreme stomach pain. The Motrins has caused me to have 2 ulcers on my stomach, a cyst on my liver and a spot on my pancreas. I was immediately taken off the Motrin, but no other pain medication was prescribed. By July 2008, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to an Orthopedic doctor to get an MRI and it showed that the disc had not only been herniated, but was degenerated and was now at the base of my back in a mound of fragmented bones. The MRI also showed that the L4 was affected. I went in for surgery and the mound of fragment bone was removed and a pin was put in place of the 5th disc. Nothing was done to L4 and for other reasons, I decided not to return to that surgeon. In 2010, I went in for an Epidural and during this time, I was only having pain in the left leg. All kinds of test had been taken due to this pain. But during this Epidural, the doctor relieved the pain from the left leg, but hit a nerve in my right leg and I felt it IMMEDIATELY. I complained as he continued to inject and the pain was getting worse in my right leg. He became infuriated with my complaints and descriptions thereof and yelled at me, asking me if I wanted him to stop. Of course my answer was YES! This is 2011 and I am in dire pain in both right and left legs. I also have to walk with a cane (in the house) and a walker (outside the house). I really need a scooter chair, but so far, cannot get a doctor to prescribe one. The last MRI taken shows that L4 and L3 are herniated, degenerated and surgery is needed again. I am 65 yrs old now and have medicare. I am trying to find a good surgeon to operate. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and if anyone knows of a good surgeon, whether Orothopedic or Neuro, please advise at once. I have an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow, but I don’t know anything about him.

    I am also raising my 5 yr. old great-granddaughter and it’s getting harder and harder for me to function. Thank you for your information in advance.

  48. Robert

    Hi, I have been suffering for 2 years with major back pain on the right and down the right leg. it started from playing tennis and running for a low ball, as i hit it i felt a sharp pain, so i rested for 4-5 days. The following Monday i got up and got dressed for work and had a catasprohic back spasm that floored me for 6 weeks. That was Sep2009, the following march after skiing i had another spasm after getting out of the car after driving for an hour or so. lost feeling in my foot and had foot drop, numb toes, sciatica and massive pain. went to the hospital or pain relief then got an MRI which showed L4/5 herniation. in jun2010 got a nerve root block, took it really easy for about 9 months and then i though i had it licked. in jul2011 i rode my MTB for an hour with a different handlebar setting. i ride all the time. the following morning i was taking out dishes from the dishwasher and had major pain. here we go again! no its sep2011, i have still got the pain just had another mri but not too bad looking, but i still have serious pain. i’m trying to think what to do. i’m scheduled for another root block, but it’ll only come back again i think, i would do anything to be out of this pain. any ideas?

  49. teresa

    I have worked in Nursing for 30yrs. Lifting pts and no offense but people just keep getting larger and larger…I injured my back at wrok 3 months ago. Found out it was a herniated disk L3 L4 with touching the spinal nerve.Sharp stabbing pain in my left leg and pain and discomfort in my back. Had three nerve blocks and it has not helped completely. Three doctors 2 say Discectomy and of the the IME Dr says Im fine…Well Im not…My life as before is never going to be the same…I am still off work and getting the run around. I try to walk and do what I can onmy own seems I am the only one who is even remotely concerned…Your right I work in healthcare its like who do you trust…I am 54 and in good health except this now…And I dont want to end up a cripple just because work doesnt want to pay the bill…Anyone out there with any advise let me know….t

  50. Bobbie

    I sound almost identical to Norway. My pain in my butt and down the rt. leg, started in Mid May. I went thru physical therapy and the injections, neither of which helped. the pain got so bad, that I couldn’t walk. I was living on pain pills.
    I found a wonderful Neurosurgeon, who saw me one week, and I was in the hosp. for surgery the next week, Sept. 1, 20ll. I had 2 bad disks, one of which was calcified, and had to be removed with a drill. Also a bone spur, pinching on the nerve. The surgery took 3 hrs., but when I woke up, I had no pain and felt wonderful. I went home 2 days later. I do have some pain now, from the surgery itself, but nothing like before. That will all heal in time. I have to be careful and not lift, twist or bend for 3 months. If you are in that much pain, never be afraid of the surgery. Just make sure you find the right Doctor.

  51. Norway says

    I am a 43 year old women with a herniated disc on L5/S1. I had my surgery September 1st. I lost my feelings in my left leg and had unbearable pain for the last 14 days, but the problem started in the middle of May and increased every day from July.

    I was unable to walk without crutches. And when I arrived at the hospital I was unable to walk by myself. After aproximately 45 minutes the surgery was finished, after another 90 minutes I was able and allowed to go home. I walked out and it felt like a miracle! I used ice to cool down the incision every hour the rest of the day and the next four days, also pain killers were used. Now, 10 days later, I am walking my dog, resting on the couch, I have little pain, do not use any pain killers, but preferanse not to sit to much. My leg is still numb and I get easely cramp when I walk, but compared to how it was, I am happy and optimistic. I hope that my leg gets back to normal.

    Wish you all good health. Be aware of the things you should and ask for help in time, some of us really need that surgery!!

  52. Rachel

    Find a good neurosurgeon! Not an orthopedic! I had a herniated disc removed 4 days ago & am feeling great! My story sounds just like yours except that pt never worked for me. I’m a hairdresser with a toddler so I had to get this fixed. Don’t be afraid of surgery just find the best neurosurgeon you can!

  53. Rachel

    Have the surgery with the NEUROSURGEON!! I have a 3 year old and needed to get my life back also. I am 4 days out of surg & can already tell that it worked. Don’t wait to long because the nerve damage will become more extensive and more permanent. Good luck!

  54. Rachel

    Hello. Only read Sam’s post so far. I had a laminectomy on Aug. 31 (2011) & am now recovering. I was experiencing some really brutal pain in my rear end & down the backs of both legs. This had been going on for over two years & getting worse with every passing day. I have extensive nerve damage in the back of my left leg due to the nerves being pinched for so long. I have spent the last 18mos trying everything under the moon to help with the pain. I finally met with Dr. Najeeb Thomas, the best neurosurgeon in the greater New Orleans area. He told me I had the largest herniation he has seen so far. When he performed the surgery he also found that the disk plate had ruptured & gone into the spinal canal. When I woke up from anesthesia I had ZERO pain in my butt & legs!! I still have a great deal of numbness but that may go away over time. I’m only 4 days out & can’t really do anything while I heal, but I already know this was the right decision. I spent a lot of time and $$$$$$ trying to fix this problem & wish I had gone straight to the neurosurgeon, but it seems I’ve finally found some relief. I would suggest skipping the orthopedics & going to a good neurosurgeon! Good luck!

  55. Sam

    Hi all. Firstly this info sharing is incredibly useful – thanks. My issues began with sciatica running down my right leg for a few weeks. Was prescribed various pain relief (naproxen, codeine (plus anti-sickness tab) and amitriptoline) ands nothing touched it. The sciatica got worse and as a result I now have pain in both legs and have today (after 9wks of this) seen an Orhopaedic surgeon. At first I thought I was just making a big fuss because there is a slight constant pain but I’ve kind of got used to it so felt strange complaining about it. The shooting pains, numbness, pins and needles in my feet that come and go, shooting pain running up and down from the top of my buttocks to my feet are not normal – anyone researching what you have – go and see a specialist, don’t put up with the pain. The surgeon has requested an MRI and I’m booked in for this Thurs and we’ll take it from there. I do hope that all you that have commented previously are doing well and on the road to pain free recovery. I don’t honestly know what the result of my MRI will be but we shall see…onward and upward!

  56. Len Harvey

    Hi All…

    I had a bad herniation again nearly two years ago..which has left my left leg and foot weak and numb…I have seen Surgeons both in the States and in England (where I had Discectomy 6 years ago L4-L5)…This time they are saying that because of the prior surgery there are more risks this time around..I had all the normal treatment Physio drugs exercises ect but nothing has improved my symptoms..I have a limp and bad nerve pain in my foot…Crushing sensations and crazy sensations in toes etc..I seem to be stuck facing the prospect of staying like this..They hope that over time the herniation will dehydrate and the symptoms will improve but its not happening…I was just wondering if anyone had experience of more than one surgery in the same area..and the results/risks.. Thanks Len

  57. mark

    I also had unimaginable pain in my rt. butt, groin, calf and my small toes went numb. Could not push off with my rt. toes so my calf started to atrophy. Tryed the Chiro breaker and even he said get the MRI. Best advice a Chiro has ever given me!! MRI showed a 1.7 cm. rupture in the L5\S1. Options?? Not many that work well or quickly. I went with the microdiscetomy, 1.5 inch cut, then snip off the rupture and presto, no more pain. Yes, still some numbness in the toes but this may or may not go away. As far as the calf, do toe lifts and stretching as soon as you walk from your ride home from the Dr.. Work your calf as much as your pain will let you and then do more. Rehab is sooooo important on this calf or you may limp forever. Use it, push off with your toes even if it is uncomfortable. I am 8 days out of surgery and feel great. No lifting more than 20 to 30 lbs. for at least 3 months. I am 47 years old and am looking forward to a great ski season here in Utah if I don’t screw up and think I am ok too soon. Most Drs. want to fix you and never see you again. All Chiro. want to help you but they want to fix you all your life!!! Beware. Discetomy changed my life for the better. Thank you all at McKay Dee hospital and especially Dr.Blake Welling!!!

  58. Ryan c

    Hi everyone, first off I would like say thankyou for giving advice and problems. I have an hearnated disc l5. I had 2 injections, none worked. Shooting pain down left leg only. Saw 2 surgans both said surgery. I didnt like there attitude, it seamed like I was just another paycheck. So I did a nine week physical therapy and got to 90 percent pain free. I was hanging gutters for work. Two weeks later the pain came back full tilt. I asked to do the thearpy again, but my theripist said I did everything I could possiably do other than surgery. so I fought through the pain and did the exersises myself. It worked for about 1 year. Just as yesterday im in serious pain. Pain pills dont work at all. I want surgery just not sure how to pick the right surgen. Can anyone help. Thank you

  59. Elizabeth

    I am 25 with a large disc herniation at L4-L5. I have pain in one leg and numbness from butt to toe on the other leg. I have a hard time walking and have been doind decompression with a chiropractor for about two months now. Nothing has seemed to improve, except I’m not limping as bad. I have been taking Tylenol, Ibuprofin, and Flexoril 3x/day and the pain is still there, plus my liver function is high. Cant go narcotic cause I hav an addictive personality. Saw a neurosurgeon for a second opinion and he recommends surgery. I am starting fall semester at college @ the end of the month and also have a 2 1/2 yr old girl. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences they could share. I have just heard a lot of bad stories of people coming out of surgery and not doind well. Maybe its just where I live. I live in the state of Maine. Thanks for everyones time! I appreciate it.

  60. lak

    i got the some problem as you do, so i kno what you are going through. im kind of scared of he surgery also. ill let you know if i read see or hear anything. good luck

  61. lak

    Anyone heard of Dr. Remesh Sahjpaul? Or had him operate on you or someone you know? He is a neurosurgeon in Vancouver British Coulumbia. Im only trying to research him and the surgery as much as possible. very nervous about it. thanx for your help

  62. lak

    iv got a large right L5-S1 disc herniation compressing the S1 nerve root. and a moderate size extrusion on the left side.shooting pain down both of my legs.all the way down to the ankles. also in the groin area.doctor says i need surgery. but im scared shitless of the surgery because of the risks involved….if anyone has had this problem and had the surgery…some feedback would be very much appreciated.

  63. lak

    hi rea, can you please tell me the name of the surgeon you seen for your sons surgery? and where is he from? i have the exact same problem as your son. how is he doing now? thank you for your help

  64. Shah

    @Rob: I had this problem in 1997. I lived with it for over 2 years. Then I went through a surgery in 2000 because the pain was unbearable. I lived normal doing all sports and other outdoor activities. Since May 2011, I have this problem again. This time with my right leg. Today, I am going for an MRI scan. I am a bit scary of the second surgery thats why I am doing some research now. But my first experience was very pleasant. Good luck and best wishes 🙂

  65. Rowland

    I have two herniated discs. I have been living with back pain for over a year now. I have been going to a pain clinic and have had just about any kind of injection you can think of, multiple series of physical therapy, and pain meds that don’t touch the pain. I see a surgeon on Wed. I am hoping that he offers surgery. I am so tired of being limited at what I can and can not do and the constant pain in my lower back along with it shooting down both my legs. My only concern is my weight. I weighed 350lbs when my bulging discs ruptured. since then I have lost 56lbs. While that is a lot of weight it hasn’t change the pain any. I am wondering if the surgeon will require me to loose more weight prior to doing surgery. I can’t live like this much longer. It’s bringing me way down, I already have bipolar, manic depression and anxiety disorder. The continuous pain only adds to my problems. Please pray for me that the surgeons will have some solution to my problems and that God will guide us in the right direction.

  66. Rea

    I fogot to say my son had the microdiscectomy. Doctor started the procedure at 12:00 noon and was finished at 12:45.

  67. Rea

    My son, 28 years old, herniated disc in L5. He had buttocks and leg pain all the way down to his toes in the left leg for 6 months. He did all the exercises, ice, and everything else he knew to do but it continually got worse. His leg started to atrophy and then last week on Tuesday he got to where he could not move and could not go to work and was in excruciating pain. On Thursday he finally went to an Orthopedic Surgeon (specializes only in the spine). The doctor is very conservative when it come to surgery but highly recommended it in his case as soon as it was possible. Yesterday (which was three days later), he had the surgery and he is back home today, feeling great and pain-free! The doctor said when he opened him up, it was confirmed that we had made the best decision with going ahead with the surgery. None of the epidural steroid shots or medication would have ever helped him. So glad we did not do the shots and pain medication that only masks the problem. The epidural shots ruins good tissue, etc…. and if you end up having the surgery it can cause more difficulty with scar tissue from the shots. We researched the best doctor we could find, we trusted him and we also did a lot of praying and trusted the Lord. We know the Lord is going to continue to heal him and give him a full recovery back to 100%!

  68. Sarah

    Hi, im only 17 years old and i have had 2 herniated disks, i experience sharp pain in my back and all the way down my butt and my legs. i have had these symptoms for a year or so and after physical therapy,and then i got 2 epidural shots. Finally my doctor suggested surgery and it took my awhile but i have decided to go ahead with the surgery. I’m going in for it next week. my doctor told me it is about a 2 hour operation and im going to be in the hospital for 1-2 days and that the recovery time is 2 week or so.

  69. The D.I.

    I had same issue, I had nerve pain shooting down my right leg and pain the buttock area. I started with physical therapy (core stabilization) but found it just aggravated it. I then moved to the epidural shots (no help there). I eventually had a microdiscectomy/laminectomy. Basically it envolved the surgeon shaving away some bone in the S1 to open up the area so as to free up the impingment. It took about 1.5 hours to perform and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. But within 6 weeks my leg and butt pain was completly gone. Once and a while I will get a charlie horse, but it’s nothing compared to having them 5-6 times a day before surgery. I’m now just dealing with the back pain. But like a “kinked” hose, the rush of nerve sensors are firing off (like pressurized water being released.) the Doc says my back pain will also increase due to the poking around the disc itself. Most people I have spoken to have said it takes about a year for the disk to calm down. But I was advised that I will have to make a “lifestyle change” in my activites and career path. That means no high impact activites. Otherwise I will require a Disc Fusion. Which I’m trying to avoid at all costs. I hope this info has helped.

  70. siobhan

    I have had low back pain for approx. 10 weeks. During this time I have also had pain in my buttock on same side which eventually developed into the worst nerve pain I have ever had down same leg. I had an MRI scan last week and am waiting for the results. I am sort of hoping that I will not need surgery but if it is the only answer to curing the pain I will gladly embrace it. Can you please advise re your own experience of spinal surgery.

  71. The D.I.

    I’m a military drill instructor and have an L5-S1 herniation. I had an impingment to my sciatic nerve root in the beginning. I went through all the shots and medications with no relief. I ended up having a micro-discectomy, this relieved my leg and butt pain completely. But I found that my back pain increased. My military ortho-surgeon (who is said to be the best in the military) says this is normal. I still find myself having to push myself more than planned. Both because of my intense job and assisting with the care of my disabled son. I was told I have this injury because of all the physical stresses I have put on my body (both military and law enforcement background). I’m very commited to my career and I’m doing everything I can to improve as fast as I can. But it seems to take forever to get back to normal. I began aquatic-therapy today and felt great in the pool. Of course the momment I got out I felt like crawling under a humvee and sleeping for hours because of the pain. If anyone out there has the same experience and has good advice, please provide it (like a time-line of when I will feel 100% ). Everyday I’m stuck in an office and away from training recruits bums me out.

  72. mixie

    to Georgia Jill – I had laser surgery at the spine center in Tampa. Let me advise you to save your money. It is a total waste of time. Any good neurosurgeon will tell you they are nothing but a marketing scheme. You may get very temporary relief, if any, from the laser. Lasers are not for spine surgery! Do not be fooled into this the way I was. Fortunately no damage was done and I am able to get my surgery from a professional with lasting results. Do some research before you go. I have spoken to people who worked there who will tell you what a sham it is.

  73. perry

    recently had similar symptoms as u. my doctor did 3 epideral shots one week apart. third shot finally gave me relief. back to work but left leg still weak. had therapy and still exercise at home and work. i was miserable and alone and lots of narcotics. worse part was waiting to get the epideral shots. don’t give up. keep bugging doctor or get second opinion. good luck.

  74. janis

    I had the same problems you described. I’m very active- or was- teach school, run, hike, etc.. So, I did 2 epidurals w/ no luck. Mine was from a car accident L5,S1 9mm herniated disc but there was a bone fragment into my sciatic nerve on my right side. I went to a neurosurgeon at Kaiser (just changed ins. a year ago). I did my homework to find out who was really good at backs. I live 45 min from where this one was located. I had the out patient. Felt so good! NO pain!! But developed a csf leak- very rare. Went back in for a second surgery – they found the tiny hole- stitched in and packed it. Stayed in the hospital 3 days flat on my back. I’m home now w/ a lot of pain at times, but my leg pain and butt pain is still gone. My advise would be to find the best dr. possible in your area. Ask around, look them up. Find someone who only specializes in backs. I was told a neurosurgeon- if he/ she is good, is better than an orthopedic surgeon. Best of luck!!

  75. Carmine

    Its me again.
    After 2 private specialists in 2 different private clinics I will try SPINE DECOMPRESSION WITH DRX9000 in London.
    If it does not work I will have to go for the fusion operation as for my specialists. I have had personally a scripture from the Holy Spirit that i will be running again soon : Malachia 4:2 . Blessings to you all to you and your life and your family too from Carmine

  76. Carmine

    I would encourage you to see all the videodiary on simlar operations on youtube. Some are great help as they videoclip it all before and after the operations and they PROVIDE honest feedbacks about fusion operations or other disks operations.
    all the best to everybody and i fell for you all as i got the same problem with 3 herniated disks and been offered a fusione operation next.

  77. Kelly

    The herniation is at the level of L5 and S1 with degenerative disc dehydration, which slightly touches the left sided L5 nerve root. If someone can give me the feedback i need it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and good luck with everyone

  78. Kelly

    I am only 22 and i have a herniated disc iconstantly feel pain all down myleft side including numbness and pain in my leg and foot right down to arm and to my fingers. I have degenerative disc disease as well. i dont know what to do but i cant take the pain anymore its making me miserable… It has gotten sobad that i even have a size difference between the two sides of my body. Can someone help? im really young and im scared to get surgery but i do not know what else to do…

  79. CHERYL

    I had my first surgery in 1999. After months of terrible pain, a simple surgery relieved the pain entirely…. I was walking with hours after the surgery.. Now I have the same problem again. I have gone thru the steps of injections, exercise, and I am ready for surgery. If your dr. suggest surgery, go for it……….you will not believe the difference..

  80. Rose

    I have been out of work for 2 months due to a huge herniated disc (L5/S1) along with the 2 discs above that are abnormal. the herniation goes 14 mm in my spinal canal. Which has given me pain down my right leg, hip, foot along with numbness. I have done muscle relaxers, injections, therapy. I need to go in for my 2nd injection. both of my doctors tell me that I should consider surgery after this injection if I’m still in pain. My mom thinks I should think hard about this surgery.
    It’s just that I’ve never had surgery. I’m a single parent with 3 young kids at home and scared about it all. My surgeon says even with the surgery that I will only be 50% better and I’ll never be 100% again.
    I have no clue what I should do.

  81. georgia gill

    I will be going to the laser spine center in Tampa Fl if you can find the episode on the doctors show where individuals have gotten there life back I have herniated disks I also have spine narrowing you can look up the procedures they perform and talk to an individual about your problem i am seeing a chiropractor i have had steroid injections and physical therapy and i am in constant pain i am considering the procedure finances to take the trip is preventing me from going today. I have an appt. with a neurosurgeon they remove tissue which i want to avoid the procedure i am talking about they do not remove tissue and recovery time is faster and less pain thank you very much georgia

  82. Mark

    My GF has a herniation of the L/5, she just took her 2nd cortisone shot and after each one the pain has increased significantly, to the point where it is nearly unbearable. She can no longer stand for more than a a couple of minutes. Has anyone else experienced the pain increase so intensely and lose more use of your leg yet still have all the strength? Just looking for some answers, some support.

  83. Scott

    Be very selective about your surgeon and procedure. I have firsthand knowledge of a laminectomy/discectomy going way wrong, only to be corrected later by a different surgeon with a fusion (L5/S1) and the patient is now a landscaper. Look for attentiveness and humility in your surgeon and your odds for success go up exponentially.

  84. Rob

    Hello there. I have two herniated discs as well in my lower spine and usually am in excruciating pain. I have gone to the doctor and recommended therapy. Didn’t really like it and do not want to be taking medication or steroids. I really want to go ahead with the surgery, but some of the comments about surgery gone bad scare me. I am 27 years old and really like being outdoors. My life has completely changed since this pain came into my life. I can barely stand straight at times and have
    Gotten some mild depression.

    Most articles I’ve read, say the success rate for the surgery is 95% and 10% of the people who get the surgery reherniate. My worry is that I will have problems if I start doing this like working out or jogging again. Any advice from people who got the surgery done and live an active lifestyle.
    Would be greatly appreciated.

  85. Bill Ioknghafol

    Go ahead to do the surgrey , there is nothing to it, i did mt and everything went smooth!

  86. vinod kumar

    i have Disk problem{L-5,S-1) lower back pain along with RHS leg pain, Doctor’s adviced me surgery, but i am afraid about surgery, every one says not go with surgery, why every one says surgery is not good, i am working with pain from last six month, my life has been changed,pls advised, is surgery can remove this problem permanent?

  87. Kim

    I have a daughter that is a D1 college lacrosse player which has herniated discs in L2 and L3….years of weight lifting from grade 8 to 12….trusted the professional and did what she was told. Now this 2 time all american with a scholarship can not even play. She has tried physical therapy, chiropractor, meds, accupuncture and is so bad that she can hardly make it across campus to her classes. Her dream was to play at this school and now she can not walk across campus….At age 19, surgery is the option she is facing….long term theyhave told her she may make it 6 mos. or 6 years….who do you trust? what do you do???? She has been in limbo for almost a year….so frustrated….any advice is greatly appreciated.

  88. meg

    Ok so I’m 20h with two kids a 2yr old an 3mth old and have 3 herniiated discs. I’m gettin surgary wednes day an am so nervous…is it the right decession}??}

  89. Katrina

    My 12 year old daughter has adolecent disc herniation along with a small piece of chipped bone pressing on her spinal cord, we have been doing everything suggested by doctors, and now have to wait a month to see how she goes and if any change in her pain etc, then to find out if surgery will be going ahead or not?? I’m really concerned about the surgery, but am also very concerned in relation to all of the medication she has been prescribed and been taking for four months now. Her bubbly personality and normally busy lifestyle is now noticibly diminishing . She is missing her dancing (aprox 8 hours a week )and all of her sport activities as she is unable to do anything…Any suggestions ???

  90. Simon

    I had herniated disc at L5-S1 and the surgery mid-Dec2010. Immediate relieve will be the pain prior to surgery. Strenght in bending down the toes is recovering well. I would rate it to be 7/10. My feet are still having numbness. I have not recover my calf muscles and my walking is still limb. It have been 3 1/2 months since surgery, I am not too sure when will I recover the calf muscles.

  91. milly

    Hi my name is milly. i just found ou thru mri results that i have 8 herniated disc. i was considering surgery but am afraid of going thru with it.

  92. GLORIA

    Thank you, I suffer from this issue and lately I’ve been thinking to opp for surgery but didnt know where to start.
    Thak you again this article is extreamly helpful

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