Slipped disc

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Neuro
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Slipped disc

Postby Neuro » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:46 am

Slipped disc or herniated disc is when goo comes out of the disc between the vertebrae i the spine and pushes on a nerve. Usually this happens in the lower back and affects the sciatic nerve that goes down the leg. This typically happens to 40-50 year olds when the disks is weakened because it undergoes a change (hardening) and ruptures. It can happen after strain and even from combination of muscle ache and likely predisposition while sleeping as in my case.

In the old days this jelly might be left for the body to absorb (long and painful time) even if it would sometimes harden and never be completely gone, but even short periods might lead to permanent nerve damage so nowadays it should be surgically removed, so if you get a crazy pain in the lower back that also shoots to buttock or leg it must be checked ASAP as it might be slipped disc squeezing the sciatic nerve and that can lead to permanent damage to leg movement.

Why the medic lesson?

Because it just happened to me and might end my skating and maybe even classic skiing as I now have what is called a 'drop foot' (no power to lift it properly) which might never recover since it took maybe too long time for me to go to a doctor (too painful to walk, didn't think to call ambulance) and get the surgery, plus having to go back for a second operation as there were complications with the first, meaning the nerve has been pinched for quite long (6 weeks total).

Both surgeon and physio say there's a 60/40 chance I will be able to ski in 6 months with the right training so still hopeful, but fair warning to all: A lower back issue can be much more than a PITA and should not be taken lightly.

Don Callander
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby Don Callander » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:09 am

Sorry to hear about your back issues. Maybe my story can be a bit more encouraging. I went through pretty much the same scenario that your describe; a traumatic rupture of the disc at L5-S1 with subsequent "foot drop" developing prior to surgery in Nov. 1983. I found a very aggressive Physio (at least for 30+ years ago)

I moved rapidly from needing to be mechanically hoisted into a therapy pool to running by week 3 Post-op. At one month out I was running up to 5 miles but did not ski that year. Classic skiing and my lower back never did agree but seemed a bit worse after the surgery but even to this day I seem to do reasonably well with skating.

In a nut shell; I have resumed virtually all activity that I was doing before the surgery, I have completed a handful of running marathons until my knees revolted, week long backpacking trips carrying up to 25Kg packs, and now still skate skiing with an occasional race here and there. Overall staying healthy becomes more challenging as I age but the only long term effect of the back issues seems to be a reduced nerve reaction to a percussion hammer test of the left knee.

Wishing you the best in your recovery.

Don

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Neuro
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby Neuro » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:06 am

Thanks Don, very encouraging indeed.

So the foot and toe strength is the same as the other one now?

Don Callander
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby Don Callander » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:41 am

Yes the foot function was fully restored within 6 months or so. I have been told that if possible nerve regeneration/repair takes place at the rate of about 1" (2.5cm)/month.

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Neuro
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby Neuro » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:02 pm

That's very good news. I will take inspiration from that and push the envelope on the training. Maybe go to the pool this week, although I wouldn't need to be hoisted in like you did.

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Neuro
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby Neuro » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:15 pm

Happy to report that power and functionality is coming leaps and bounds, and now I can even walk on my heels which before seemed impossible. Finally had my first day at the gym too which feels like normality restored.

Still have to wait another month before I'm allowed to try rollerskiing, but really don't see why it shouldn't work, although I might have to give up on the 'toe pushoff' technique that I was working on.

Still too much gravel on my normal route so would have to wait anyway, but when it's finally removed and May comes, I'm happy to meet the inevitable itch with anticipation and not dread as I was half expecting.. Image

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dcpattie
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Re: Slipped disc

Postby dcpattie » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:27 pm

Neuro wrote:Happy to report that power and functionality is coming leaps and bounds, and now I can even walk on my heels which before seemed impossible. Finally had my first day at the gym too which feels like normality restored.

Still have to wait another month before I'm allowed to try rollerskiing, but really don't see why it shouldn't work, although I might have to give up on the 'toe pushoff' technique that I was working on.

Still too much gravel on my normal route so would have to wait anyway, but when it's finally removed and May comes, I'm happy to meet the inevitable itch with anticipation and not dread as I was half expecting.. Image


Awesome!
Dave in Nordic Virginia


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