Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy: Questions as I prepare for surgery
I am 53 years old and I am being scheduled for ENDOSCOPIC DISCECTOMY Surgery for treatment for torn and bulging discs at L3/L4/L5 and I am hoping to get some feedback from you about the surgery?
How was the pain from the surgery?
What was the recovery process like?
What was the success rate for reducing your pain?
Were you able to reduce your pain medication after your recovery?
Thanks in advance for your help answering my questions.
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Hi @dfdelacio, I added your post to the Spine Health group as well: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/spine-health/
You're asking great questions. I'm tagging fellow member @pablo81, who had a endoscopic discectomy and can share his experiences.
Naturally, there are degrees of recovery, for example to return to work at a desk job will differ from returning to active work like construction. And recovery will differ based on your current physical fitness. Will you be returning to a physically demanding lifestyle?
I had four back surgeries. Two by neurologist and two by orthopedic surgeon. I started with neuro because assumed they were better able to prevent paralysis etc. this surgery included implantation of a metal cage with screws, expand the openings within the spine, laminectomy etc My surgeon does spinal surgery all the time. My neuro had many other job responsibilities as well so didn’t have as many surgeries So personally would choose ortho for surgery
After one of my surgeries I still felt the disc pain and told the neuro I don’t think he got it all and the pain was different than pain after surgery. Of course docs believe they know my body better than me so dismissed it and six weeks later the mri showed fragments floating around. We need to be persist. We are experts of our own bodies
My most recent back surgery I was in my 50’s and recovery was slower and seemed more painful. Was on pain meds for almost a month. Walk walk walk. I was scared that I could mess something up and was very protective of my body. The nurses have orders to get lumbar surgical patients up and walking the First night. Everything is freaking painful and difficult the first night and absolutely request pain meds as soon as you awake from surgery which helps for breakthrough pain. Many hospitals are short staffed and may not get you pain meds in time. Recommendation: if pain meds are given every for hours start requesting them 3.5 hours after the last one. If in a lot of pain request more. Some people feel more than others. The opioid crisis has resulted in many doctors not providing enough medication to provide pain relief. Do not feel embarrassed or weak because you need additional relief. Hopefully it will lessen the pain enough to sleep
Sorry for the blabbering but want you to have the least pain possible. Severe pain slows healing physically and emotionally it also may cause increased blood pressure increased blood sugar which is all far worse than pain meds
Did your last surgery relieve the new pain you experienced after the last surgery? I'm considering a revision to a surgery I had in June because I felt like the surgeon was in the right spot, but he didn't do enough. On the other hand, every surgery comes with risks. So, I'm just trying to decide if more pain relief from a revision is a realistic expectation. This would be my 5th spine surgery, and they say prospects for success diminish with more surgery. What was your experience with you latest surgery?
BTW, I totally agree with you about pain meds. If doctors with prescribe IV pain meds that patients can self-administer (within limits), that's optimal. Just push the button, no need to call the nurse.
I had endoscopic surgery at L5/S1 in 2018 at Arizona Spine Institute in Phoenix. I had severe sciatica for about 6 months due to disc fragment in the foramen. The pain remained for about 3 months and then diminished by about 50%. I then had a steroid injection and that diminished the remaining pain to almost zero after a few days. A before and after MRI revealed the original disc fragment had almost been removed however there remains a small fragment that as of now is not causing further pain problems. Done under sedation and took about 45 minutes. I see it as a good alternative if applicable.. Not many surgeons around that do them. I live in Connecticut.
I live in Tucson Arizona so I will have to drive up to Phoenix to have the surgery at The Pain Center of Arizona.
Were you able to go home after the surgery or did you have to stay in Phoenix for any amount of time?
What was your recovery like?