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I remember when discs were CD discs or disk drives. Now discs are ruining my life.

    Mon, 2010-06-21 00:46 — Scotty

    After I got out of the emergency room, I got sent to a few doctors for follow up to my back injury. I got sent to a pain specialist & orthopedic surgeon. The pain guy just wanted to pump me up with cortisone and crap. I was over that, but he did take this crazy x-ray of my discs. 

    If you look at the bottom L5 vertebra and S1 at the top of the pelvis, you can see there is not much disc left. So I got bone on bone with a crushed disc on my nerves. That is what is causing the numb, tingling, and throbbing down my left leg and in to the foot. My foot is freezing cold all the time.  

    My left leg is really weird, I can not stand on my toes or do much with my foot.  My calf, my achilles, and my metatarsal... all three don't work at all!  Not a single nervous response or reflex out of any of them. It's just a lame leg from the knee down. 

    So next it is off to get the MRI and see what the surgeon says.

    Anyone get back surgery before in that area? What happened?

     

    Comments

    chichotux's picture

    herniated disc bjj

    Hi to everybody.
    I also practice BJJ its everything to me, but unfortunately I had a lumbar disectomy to fix my L4-L5 herniated disc. The doctor also implanted a prosthesis called DIAM to prevent a future herniated disc. This is my 2nd month after the surgery I feel great!
    My doctor told me to wait for a year to recover fully before going back to BJJ, do you have any advise or suggestions based on your experience?
    Thank you so much for your help.
    Christian Lasso

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    KibunInc's picture

    Yep I used to have bad back

    Yep I used to have bad back problems then I went and had adamentium but in my body. Now I have cool claws that come out of my hadns and I heal really fast.
     
    JK I hope all is well with you my friend.

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    matt27's picture

    Taking the Back

    I'm a purple belt that is 6 weeks out of a L5 S1 Microdiscectomy and so far it's been a good choice to get the surgery. 
     
    My problem started in Jan of 2010.  I felt pain down my leg that was intense in my thigh.  I went in to my ortho and he gave me vicatin and said to stay active and that 90% of these ruptured discs/pinched nerves work themselves out.  I was told to come back in 4 months if there was no progress or if it got worse. 
     
    I still lifted and trained BJJ for the following months until the end of April when I was rolling and had to stop b/c the pain got too intense.  That week the pain was so severe that I had a hard time sleeping and by mid week I took myself to the emergency room for a shot of hydromorphine.  That week I went to the emergency room 4 times until finally I was able to get an MRI which showed the L5 S1 problem.  A week later I went in for an epidoral.  This did nothing for me if not just make the problem worse.  The same week I saw a really good Nuerosurgeon who suggested surgery.  This had been only a few days after the epidoral so I backed of the surgery wanting to try another epideral.  Anyway a few days later the pain became so intense that even laying on my side, which had relieved the pain before, was not helping. 
     
    So I called in and went through w/ the surgery.  From my understanding as far as back surgeries and disc problems go this surgery is standard and minor.  The surgery only took an hour and when I woke up it was immediate relief of the nerve pain.  I felt incision pain which the doctor describe best as "you should feel like someone hit you in the back w/ a baseball bat".  This pain went away over a week and a half. 
     
    I was told to not lift anything for 6 weeks and I've been going to PT to build my core and stretch my hamstrings.  I'm planning on adding yoga to my list of activities.
     
    Check out this blog from El Conquistador.  He had the same issue a year ago and is back to rolling w/ no problems.  http://bjj4life.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/under-the-knife/.
     
    There's also a good thread on Sherdog where guys discuss their back problems.  http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f12/herniated-disk-do-they-ever-heal-1009220/
     
    Anyway, hope this helps. 
    ~Matt
     
     

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    Bob's picture

    Taking the back.

    Matt,
    When do you plan to start rolling again?  My nuero said one year post op and my PT said 4 to 6 months. I read your suggested links.  That was some good info.
    I know that I will listen to my body more when I hurt.
    Bob

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    Scotty's picture

    Feeling Better!

     Man i feel a lot better after reading all you guys info here. All had been hearing and readying was that the surgery often wasnt successful and that i would have limited movement after.  So to hear that many people are back to training is good news.
    Ill post my MRI results tomorrow i think.

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    Bob's picture

    Be positive.  Good luck.    

    Be positive.  Good luck.
     
     

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    Bob's picture

    Taking the back!

    Yoga practitioners say the spine is the center of all movement and life.
    I can speak to back injuries.  I turned 40 in December of 09 and by the date of Scotty's hospital band I can tell he is right behind me in age. I have been training Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for about 7 years with more bjj over the last 4 years.
    I have always had back problems.  After soccer in college, weight lifting in my 20s, and with a carrer as a carpenter/builder I abused my back. In my 30s I tried to be smart about it, but with judo and bjj traning I trashed it. Most of my training partners are in their mid 20s and my body does not recover like theirs does.
    I turned 40 shortly after I competed in the world NoGi Championships in November. I was pleased with my self physically when I turned 40 then one month after I started to have major back problems.
    I hurt myself rolling in late December. Up to that point I had never hurt my back on the mats. From January to April my back never seemed to get better. I could not sit or bend. I had leg and hip and pain and numbness and tingling down to my knee on my left side. I tried everything from chiropractor to massage. In the past rest,ice and massage have always worked.  I even tried prescription steriods for an anti inflamatory.  This went on for months.
    Finally I bit the bullet and got an MRI in April. I took the results to a chiropractor friend who trains bjj. He told me to go see a Nuerosurgeon. I had a ruptured disk at L4-L5. The piece broked out was large and lodged against the spinal nerve. When you have numbness, tingling or leg pain it is a result of pressure on the nerve. These are symptoms of a bigger issue. With a MRI you can usually see where the problem lies and that will help you get a plan for treatment.
    Yes I did have surgery.  People cring just talking about back surgery. I had a procedure called a MED. Micro Endioscopic Discectomy. I had no choice. It is an outpatient procedure where they go in and trim out the broken disk fragments, taking the pressure off of the nerve.  I checked in to the hospital at 2pm and was home eating Thai food at 8pm. We have an excellent clinic here for Nuerosurgery and I believe in this surgery.
    I am 8 weeks post op and I feel great. As a matter of fact I felt better when I woke up. It was instant relief. Yes I was sore and there are wierd sensations in my lower back at times but each week I get better.  I am swimming and doing some light PT. After 4 months post op they tell me I can start boxing again and come 5 to 6 months I can start rolling again. I can work, do yard work, and do push ups and pull ups.  To be honest I feel better than I felt 5 years ago. However, I am supposed to let my disk heal by not doing a whole lot so I am trying to be good.
    People have horror stories about back surgery but if you are healthy and fit it is a good alternative. Also, another key element is having a good physical therapist. BJJ is sport wher you have a lot of twisting, turning and abdominal engagment. However, it does not always work the core stabilizaiton muscles used to support the spine. Physical therapists know the body and how it moves. They can help with all of that. I recomend a physicaly therapist who is young and athletic.  One that sees your treatment as a pathyway back to a sport not a sedentary life style.
    What did I loose in all of this?  I really have not trained in 4 months. which drives me crazy.  On a typical week I train 5 days a week.  I lost out on a surf trip to Nicaruaga and a Chris Haueter BJJ seminar at our school which I organized.  With the surf trip I can always re-use my ticket. My friends went and had a great time. That was a tought one. Chris was super cool and very understanding. We plan to have him back in the fall. I guess you could say I lost time, but with the surgery I hope to have more time on the mats.
    Bottom line. MRI first ,then consult a  Nuerosurgeon and Physical Therapy.
    Good Luck.
    Bob
     
     

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    Bob's picture

    Taking the back.

    I should also add that L5/S1 is the most common area in the lower back for problems. Also, we all have degenerative disc disease to some degree. So, dont let that worry you too much. Go get an MRI and have your requesting doctor put a rush on it. If not sometimes the results can take a week. Ice a lot and try not to sit for long periods of time.
     

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