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Written by a NHS patient
11th July 2022

I had been suffering for over 5 years with a slipped disc that caused a lot of weakness & numbness in my right leg and foot drop. I had 2 periods off work when things got really bad and was temporarily paralysed by the disc pressing on my spinal nerve and hospitalised for this reason. I was facing being fired due to my condition and what with living with this debilitating and painful condition i now faced loosing a 20 year career and my home. I had seen a consultant in 2018 about surgery and they suggested against surgery and to manage it conservatively. I did this and after 4 months of rehabilitation and learning to walk again i returned to work and was barely managing. Because of the amount of weakness in my leg, my balance was affected and this made doing my hobbies and daily tasks a struggle and dangerous. Therefore for 4 years i had to give up everything i loved and wouldn't call it living, but surviving. In April 2022 i had a lower lumbar microdiscectomy, to cut the bulge off the problematic disc. Everything was explained to me and i was given material to read on the internet so knew what i was facing and the risks. My main worry was recovery and looking after myself as i live on my own. I was told i would need assistance for the first few days. I think i have a high tolerance for pain so this wont go for everyone and their recovery, but immediately following the surgery and waking up, my first question was "can i get up and walk please?" i was told no, not for a few hours. I was so eager to get up and moving and everyone seemed a little bemused by the fact i didn't want any painkillers. Apart from bruising around the wound site, the majority of my pain had completely gone. I had an increase of sciatic pain in my glute and thigh that wasn't there before but this was expected following surgery and lasted around 2 weeks, so i wasn't concerned. About an hour or so after surgery and back up the ward i was walking about and very active. I immediately felt a difference in my ability to walk and the feeling in my leg and foot. Due to the bruising at the wound site i suggest you take a donut pillow with you for the car ride home and whenever you drive. I started driving after 2 weeks, just short journeys and gradually building everything up. I was incredibly surprised at just how able i was to do everything following the surgery and look after myself. It was more difficult to keep reminding myself not to do too much and certain things because i felt as if nothing had happened. And what with my renewed abilities, i felt like i wanted to use them. However i knew this would be a bad idea so i forced myself to take it east and gradually built up all activities and was able to sit for longer periods. I still have a bit of numbness & tingling in my big toe and foot drop but it has improved significantly. I have no sciatica or weakness in my leg and i can actually feel my glute, thigh and calf's muscles engaging now. I've even had cramp in my calf which i haven't had for over 4 years as the muscle was basically switched off. So although the cramp hurts like hell (and the foot drop doesn't make it easy to overcome) I'm quite happy i get it because it tells me the muscle is firing and active. On our follow up call we discussed my improvement and i said i wished i had the surgery sooner before foot drop ever became a factor. Dr Rath was encouraging that he is fighting for surgery to be performed earlier but at the appropriate time, to prevent a persons quality of life deteriorating. I told him that because of this bulging disc i was facing loosing my career, my home, i was putting on weight, i was getting depressed, the rest of my body was overcompensating for the imbalance and struggles causing problems in other areas of my body. I had to give up everything that i loved and was being alienated when all these things could have been prevented if i had undergone surgery years ago. Dr Rath seems to advocate surgical intervention at the appropriate time and the more he and other surgeons can be informed about how this condition affects a persons life and how the surgery has made a difference, the more the process can change for the better.

23rd July 2022
Response from Mr Narendra Kumar Rath

Thank you for sharing your experience with KEYHOLE Spinal Surgery. I am glad that you had a positive experience and it has helped you. Yes it is essential to intervene at the right time. Wish you all the best for future and thank you for your recommendation. Kind Regards NKR

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