The wonders of modern medicine

I’ve been living with a herniated disc for about four years and sciatica for the last 1.5 years. Anyone who’s ever lived with lower back pain or sciatica knows how debilitating it can be. It’s like a little dark cloud hovering over your head and raining on your parade. It makes sitting more difficult, walking more painful and strenuous activities impossible without medications (which are horrible for your liver and kidneys).

My problem was that my L5 disc was protruding out of my spinal column and compressing my S1 nerve. The result was constant dull pain and pressure in my lower back, shooting pains down my right leg and numbness and pain in my right foot. The lack of nerve activity also suppressed normal soreness and pain, which isn’t good either.

I finally was able to get all of this rectified yesterday during a surgical procedure known as Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Spine Surgery. In other words, the surgeon went in with a tiny scope, inserted a needle into my disc and used an instrument to vaporize part of the disc meat behind the herniation. Imagine tunneling under a hill, digging out a cavern under the hill and the hill collapsing into the cavern. In addition to this he put a bit of steroids in there for inflammation and filed out a bit around the bone where the S1 nerve comes out so it’d have a little more room to breath.

The results are staggering. I woke up and it was like someone switched the pain off. It’s magical to say the least. Within about two hours of waking up I was walking around my hospital room and another hour after that I was home on my couch watching TV. I even walked to get my prescriptions filled at the local pharmacy.

The recovery calls for a week of taking it easy and then another week of physical therapy after which I’ll continue strengthening my core (abdominals, lower back, thighs) at the gym. Within a month I’m hoping to be back on a bike.

I’ve got a new lease on life and I can’t possibly describe what that feels like. Thanks to everyone for their support throughout this entire thing!

One thought on “The wonders of modern medicine

  1. That’s great Joe! I’m really happy to hear it went so well. Come back to Colorado this summer and we can go ride in the mountains!

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