Regarding sciatica...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by ptlwp, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. ptlwp

    ptlwp New Member

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    In my twenties, I had to have a L5-S1 discectomy and laminectomy.

    This started as mild back pain, progressing sciatica that felt like lightening going down my leg. I was rendered unable to walk, and no painkiller would give me relief.

    That being said, I had a disc that had herniated, (squished) and the contents of the disc spilled out onto my nerve root and was causing irritation on top of the disc being done in.

    I tell you all this because it is important to take sciatica seriously. It can happen to anyone, suddenly, and with or without knowing what caused it. It can mean little or it can mean the start of some really big problem.

    The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

    Six weeks after the surgery I was able to take on the Smithsonian in D.C....and I was able to be employed shortly after.

    Take care of your backs!!!!
     
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  2. huhenio

    huhenio New Member

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    I had L5 microdisckectomy in 2001. Pain was unbearable, even I passed out once due the pain.

    Relief was immediate after the surgery. Six weeks later I was back on the threadmill. A year later I was running half marathons every weekend. Two years later I 've done a fair lot of my commuting/driving distances on a bicycle.

    Yup ... sciatica prevents you from doing all that.
     
  3. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Well, I'm glad you're fully recovered!!
    The reason I'm replying is that this is a very worthwhile thread...unless anyone has actually had severe Back problems it's hard to comprehend just how bad it really is...

    In the early Days I was a semi-pro Football (Soccer) Player and in '91 I suffered a similar fate to yourself...
    After the worse was over my Back would go out for a week or so every year...I couldn't play Soccer anymore...

    The good news is since I've been Riding Bikes for the last couple of years my Back problems have completely gone!! And I'm convinced that Cycling has done it...so every cent, every minute I spend on my fave pastime is well worth it....

    My Wife is suffering from a herniated Disc with Sciatica at the moment so we're seeing all the Docs and doing everything possible to get it put right...

    As you so rightly said, take care of your Backs!!!

    Take care!!

     
  4. ptlwp

    ptlwp New Member

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    Yes, do take care!!! no one can imagine the pain this involves...they say that childbirth is worst; but take it from someone who has had the dubious pleasure of both,(but the baby was much much happier) the pain up and down yer spine right to your brain was worse than childbirth, to me.
     
  5. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, what was involved in your Surgery/Recovery etc? Is it a long painfull process?
    Thanks in advance....

     
  6. ptlwp

    ptlwp New Member

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    Pain started around March, by May I was bedbound. Nothing conservative helped. I started to have calf atrophy. 4 July went to surgery, they removed the disc and took a bone graft from underneath the gluteal tissue and muscle and took a graft from my iliac crest to make a sold fusion at the site of the disc removal due to instability. After about 2 days I got out of bed, and it felt like a rock had been removed from my back; success!!!

    Today, everything is sooner and there are lots of other alternatives although I wouldnt have really had much of any since what it was, hasn't had much change over the years, a PTLF (posterior transverse laminectomy fusion); I had to wear a Knight Taylor brace for 6 weeks while the fusion settled in. (more than corset, less than a brace); custom made....then out of the hospital by week two. (its about 5 days now, I hear).....my sutures were self absorbing kind, so didn't need to have them removed, got going again and except for pain around the graft site a little bit, where the muscles had been cut from underneath, everything for me was fine and still is lots of years later....I was told swimming is the best exercise but I don't like swimming very much.

    I had a very, very good surgeon, Chief of the Service at the Hospital I had it done at in Philadelpia. It was a 3 hour operation and I needed 3 units of blood. At least this was the late 1970's, before AIDS showed up in 1984. I don't know about blood donation, not the time nor enough blood to be gotten anyway, I do think. Like my ob/gyn said "heaven forbid you need a blood transfusion, you couldn't possibly donate enough blood" because a hemmorrhage would entail such a large amount of blood to be dumped in.

    Very IMPORTANT, make sure that you go with a doctor with a really good reputation for putting folks together and has lots of experience not too old and not too young. Don't worry about bedside manner; for this you want SKILL above all. These types aren't too wordy and can seem abrupt, but they are busy and don't beat around the bush about things, they lay it to ya straight!!!!

    Take care of yourself and best of luck.
     
  7. Oran

    Oran New Member

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    I too had a Microdiscectomy and had to have a repeat due to more of the disc herniation L5 S1. I am 10 weeks post 2nd op. I had my first short ride on the flat today and I have to say I am so scared of going through that pain again. As you said childbirth is a pleasure compared to sciatic pain. I would love to compete in long distance triathlons again but am not sure if it is safe. I have started core stability and learning to turn my cores on at all times.
    I find this web page very helpful for my mental needs
     
  8. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the words of wisdom. I have been lucky never to have had any spinal problems (knock on wood), but did have a back muscle spasm and that was bad enough for me. My parents both have suffered back injuries though, so I have seen how bad the pain can be.
     
  9. Freehub

    Freehub New Member

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    I have sciatica caused by two herniatid disks L4 L5, I think are the ones.
    I just wanted to reply for people who haven't had surgery, yet, and have to constantly fight pain and stiffness, with a lack of mobility.

    My pain is in the lower back and right hip. Also, my left thigh has been numb for several years, now. I don't like to sit for very long periods of time because I have pain in the left buttocks which hasn't been diagnosed properly, I believe.
    I think it's being caused by periformis syndrome which is an imflamed muscle in the butt which the sciatic nerve travels through.

    Anyway, for relief I use an inversion table 5 minutes a day, have my own EMS/TENS unit, and practise yoga. I try to stay away from pills but my doctor prescribed lexapro for the numbness in my thigh. That's whack. But it helps. Currently, I'm going without the lexapro because I don't like what it does to me mentally. I just got the TENs unit last week and I think it's helping the sciatica a great deal. Normally when I climbed, my lower back and right hip would start locking up and consequently I would have to slow down to get relief. but the last couple of rides have been the most pain free in a long time and I'm giving credit to the TENS unit. You can buy them on line. If anyone is interested, I suggest sparing no expense because the cheap ones aren't as powerful. I payed $168 for mine and it seem to do the job. If I had the money though, I would get the same one that my chiro has. That's where I learned about them.

    http://www.medicalproductsonline.org/electrotherapy2.html?gclid=CK7Y6L3E344CFQYjWAod9EdDRQ
     
  10. Oran

    Oran New Member

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    What is Smithsonian. Like you I have had 2 microdiscectomies and sciatic pain is the Worst. I have not been able to ride run or compete in triathlons for 9 months. I am 10 weeks post 2nd Microdiscectomy and have started riding again (only a short slow flat distance) for 30min. I am not running yet and am pretty scared to start. I have started core stability and I am also swimming again.
    Does anyone know when you can start triathlons again after these procedures and do you get your mental strength back after something like that. Also what distances in riding and triathlons can one achieve after a Microdiscectomy. Your experience will be greatly valued and appreciated.
     
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