I am going into hospital next week for a microdiscectomy. After nearly 18 months of pain, becoming severe over the last 5 months leading to me becoming housebound for the last 3 months, I am having surgery. I have had physio, acupuncture, epidural steroid injection and a nerve root injection as well as all of the usual pain and anti-convulsants/anti-depression medications for nerve pain and nothing has worked. I also took up Pilates and swimming until I became unable to leave the house. At the beginning I did not even consider surgery as I really thought my body would heal itself. I have had 2 MRI scans, one year apart, which show a herniated disc compressing the left S1 nerve root. I have very little back pain but severe buttock, leg and foot pain. In the end I decided to go private as the NHS waiting list is around 5 to 6 months. My pain management consultant was going to refer me to a neurosurgeon anyway as she had tried everything she could. At the moment I can only stand and walk for 2 minutes maximum before I have to lie down due to the pain. I am unable to sit so spend most of my day lying on my right side.
The consultant neurosurgeon I saw has given me a 70 to 80% chance of success. Due to the 2 injections I had providing no relief at all he is concerned that I may have permanent nerve damage. However, I am willing to take the chance. I would do anything to feel better. At the moment I have no life. I have been absent from work for 3 months and have only left the house for GP and hospital appointments.
I would like to ask anyone who has had this surgery what can I expect after the operation? How will I feel and how long will it be before the surgical pain goes? I know I will have back pain from the surgery but at least this will be helped by painkillers unlike nerve pain.
I should mention that I am 41 years old.