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  • denny3027
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Hi Dr. Corenman. I am a 32yr old female. I’ve been a travel nurse for the last 2 years working med/surg and driving long distances. I am overweight as well. Last year I had really bad mid lower back pain and did PT and it resolved. This October I had the same pain but in my left lower back. Could barely stand straight in the mornings. Did PT for 2 weeks and it resolved. However,the week I went back to work (did not have heavy patients) I felt thigh discomfort. That same week I had bad muscle spasms. PT thought strained quad. I woke up the next morning with severe pain and had to have an ambulance take me to the hospital. This was Nov 6. MRI shows left extraforaminal annular extrusion at L3L4 adjacent the exiting left L3 nerve root. I had to use a walker and crutches to walk the first week I was in so much pain. Main pain is left lateral thigh radiating to mid thigh and sometimes groin pain and thigh/knee swelling. Injection didn’t work. The neurosurgeon I saw in Oregon told me to consider surgery if it was still weak in 3 weeks. I made my way back home to Maryland and followed up with a well recommended neurosurgeon here who at first said I was too young for surgery but when I told him about my weakness he then suggested surgery. Im scheduled Monday for microdiscectomy but have been so confused. I followed up with the neurosurgeon again this week because my walking is getting better, the pain is less however I still have weakness in what I think is more my hip flexors (can’t put socks on, can’t sit for long periods on hard surfaces without my pain coming back, knees buckle couple times a week, i feel like i don’t have control going up and down steps,inside of left lower thigh numb). When sitting I cant lift my left leg/thigh off the chair. Im walking better without a limp however I still notice my left thigh is severely weaker than my right thigh. This has been an extreme life changing event. I can’t work right now.I’m not married and don’t have much supportive family and am staying with friends. It’s been 6 weeks and I don’t think PT is helping me get any muscle strength back. My leg is still weak. I’m worried about long term permanent damage to my leg if I don’t do surgery soon (and I understand we won’t know if surgery can alleviate my weakness) but the neurosurgeon I’m seeing told me once you go in the spine it can lead to many many more surgeries in the future and I was so young and have so many years of being active. He scheduled me for surgery monday because I do have the weakness but he told me if it were him he’d keep non conservative treatment. Do you think if I do everything in my power to heal after surgery, lose weight, maintain PT/exercise program that a microdiscectomy would be detrimental for a young person to have?

    I know this is long and I apologize. I’ve just been feeling so conflicted. I want to move on with my life and my gut tells me to attempt the surgery to decompress the nerve and hopefully I’ll have a good outcome and be able to complete PT with better overall outcomes and return to work. It’s just hard when there’s so many opinions out there and being 32 yrs old and a lot of the patients are older than me that I compare myself to. I truly am grateful for the time you took in creating your webpage. The information and explanations you provide are so valuable. Thank you!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8459

    I am very surprised to hear that you are “too young” for a microdisectomy, especially since you had motor weakness and extremis type pain. You should have been taken to the OR that week and underwent a far-lateral discectomy. Motor weakness is an absolute indication that surgery is required in my opinion.

    Dr. Corenman

    denny3027
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Thank you for your opinion Dr. Corenman. I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond to this forum as I know you are a busy doctor. It really makes me feel more comfortable with my decision. Happy holidays.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8459

    Please let us know how you do.

    Dr. Corenman

    denny3027
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Hi Dr. Corenman. I’ll be 2 weeks post op Monday. I did well but definitely in that time will tell phase lol. I still have numbness and a part in my thigh that feels like a knot but I’ll be praying for the best :)

    I do have a question. I should be cleared to drive again next week and was wondering if there was a safe limit to stay in with the amount of daily walking you should do? One of my struggles has been my loss of independence and inability to work at this time. Also my neurosurgeon sends his patients to PT 6 weeks post OP so I thought I’d set up a routine just to get out the house and go to the gym every day. Dont plan to do anything crazy, just walking on the treadmill. But wasn’t sure how many miles/how much time I should spend walking on it.

    Thank you and Happy New Year :)

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8459

    This is my protocol for rehabilitation after microdiscectomy.

    https://neckandback.com/pre-and-post-op/microdiscectomy-and-lumbar-decompression-recovery/

    Dr. Corenman

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