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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    114

    Default Lumbar Discectomy

    It's looking increasingly likely that I'll need a discectomy to resolve persistent weakness and pain from a ruptured lumbar disc. I have no other complicating back issues, it seems, which is good.

    Has anyone had this surgery and returned to riding? Can you tell me anything about the time line, or other advice? Many thanks in advance. I was at a horse show when the injury occurred, but it kind of came on over a couple days so I'm not sure if riding caused it or not. But I really really want to get back to riding soon!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Location
    Cary , NC
    Posts
    78

    Default

    I had a diskectomy in Jan, there are many threads on surgical/non surgical back and disk interventions. Get it done so that you can start healing, the longer the nerve is compressesed, the longer your recovery will be, I had complete paralysis with foot drop in my left leg. It was an acute injury, but the nerve tore. I started walking on my horse about 8 weeks after surg. It has been 5 1/2 months and I still have a numb, but fuctioning left leg and the foot drop is still presesnt. I did recently find out that the disk reherniated..whether that was from riding or not, I dont know. Good luck, rest and take care of yourself.
    It\'s a beautiful day, dont let it get away.....



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,109

    Default

    Been there, removed that! Best thing I ever did. Surgery for me was so easy, outpatient surgical center, in at 6am, out by noon. No complications, tiny scar. I did have pain from osteoarthritis later, and the PT was not fun, but massage was my best friend. I returned to riding and have had no issues from it. Running is a different story-- that I don't do much of. Sitting for long periods (driving) makes my back sore as well. Work on getting and keeping your core strong, it really helps. Good luck, you'll be very pleased with the results.

    But...as my surgeon told me, it doesn't always work for everyone, so be prepared for that tiny possibility. I exhausted all other options (PT, etc.) before opting for surgery.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    3,122

    Default

    The chance that it won't work is a bit larger than tiny.. I see a fair number of clients who it has not worked for and in those cases sometimes they were better off before the surgery. I would highly suggest exhausting all non surgical options before choosing surgery, and then only with a neurosurgeon.

    *note that I have a pain management massage therapy practice so would see a higher volume of people still in pain from the surgery than I would people that it worked for, just sugggesting that when it goes wrong it goes really wrong.

    Have you tried using an inversion table?
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    114

    Default

    I have not tried an inversion table. I don't know if I believe that would help - on the MRI the herniation is big, not something that looks like it would go back in if I relieved some pressure. I'm not actually in pain. No pain meds except advil after I finished a steroid pack, nothing even close to requiring narcotics. Certainly minimal back pain, and really only if something happens like I sneeze and trip at the same time. But I haven't be DOING anything since it happened a month ago, so I don't know. The problem is just the persistent numbness/weakness in my leg and foot.

    I really like my surgeon, and he won't do the surgery until we've exhausted the other options. I still have to try steroid injections, but to be honest, they freak me out more than the surgery. Of course I have no valid reasoning for that. But because of the weakness, I don't want to put off the surgery so long that I risk a permanent problem in my leg/foot.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,109

    Default

    I did PT to "reduce" the bulge of my herniated disk, core strengthening exercises, massage, caudal epidural injections (needle up your tail bone under fluroscope---wheee!), injections directly into the disk to reduce the inflammation, etc. Nothing helped reduce the sciatic pain and the numbness and tingling in my left leg. I had some limited success with prednisone, but you can't live on that.

    I had a wonderful neurosurgeon who worked with my orthopedic surgeon at an amazing ortho/sports medicine group in the PDX area. If they're good enough for the Trailblazers, they're good enough for me!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
    Posts
    2,060

    Smile Another option to think about

    Since you are in my neck of the woods, you might want to check out stem cell for the disc. I have written about it, so there are threads through the "search" button at the top of the column. The guru that has done a super job for me is Dr.Mayo Friedlis. His website, treatingpain.com , has an excellent introduction to regenerative procedures. He has helped many world class riders and is a horseman himself.

    Please p.m. me if you would like to talk about it. There is another guru, who is excellent, that I can tell you about, too. He is doing something slightly different. We found him through Mayo's help.

    I was severely injured and I am now back doing "normal" riding, preparing for foxhunting and eventually some low level eventing. The response times are getting better all the time and I don't hurt.



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