Having Decompression Hemi Laminectomy and possible Diskectomy
I have been having radiating pain through my hip, buttocks, leg into my big toe off and on several years. Physical therapy and a round of oral prednisone would take care of the issue. This past December the pain returned with a vengeance. I tired the normal PT, oral prednisone, three different chiropractors, massage therapy, dry needling, etc with no relief whatsoever. Having been a Mayo gastro patient in the past, I contacted the Spine Center at Mayo Jax. I got in for an assessment with the Physical Medicine Dept. on March 20 – which happened to be the last day for non-essential appointments/procedures due to Covid 19. They were able to add me to the MRI schedule before I left that day. (Yet another example of Mayo going above and beyond. Folks stayed late so I could have that done before returning to my home 400 miles away.) They called me within a couple of days and gave me the findings. They recommended that I try epidural steroid injections before considering surgery. Due to Covid 19, I had to have these near my home but it was late April before I could get that scheduled. The first injection helped my pain for 5-6 days. My second injection which was two weeks after the first gave me relief for 7-8 weeks. I thought I was on my way. The pain then began to come back and gradually worsened. At that point the Physical Medicine Dept referred me to Dr. Selby Chen. Since it was going to be a month before Dr. Chen had an opening, he recommended a third injection to try to help the pain. The injection itself was very painful – totally unlike the first two. I didn’t not get any relief from the third injection and I fact the pain is getting worse. After my appointment with Dr. Chen (I am so thankful for telemedicine), he recommended decompression surgery and a possible diskectomy at L4-L5. Due to Covid 19 they are very backed up so my surgery isn’t until Oct. 8. Has anyone had this surgery and if so, what can I expect? Dr. Chen said I should be able to leave the hospital the day of the surgery or the next day. I’m one that likes to know exactly what to expect with medical procedures. I handle it a lot better that way. If this surgery doesn’t work, my only option will be a fusion which I want to avoid if at all possible. I am very active and have just retired after 35 years teaching, coaching and serving as a school counselor in a public high school. I want to get my lifestyle back. My pain is when I stand or walk. Thankfully I get about 90% relief when sitting. I would appreciate anyone that could share experiences, what to expect, etc.