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Thread: Microdiscectomy

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    Default Microdiscectomy

    I'm not new to forums, so I know the usual response to someone with one post asking a question....SEARCH. Well, I've spent a few hours yesterday and today searching, with limited results. I start EMT-B class in about a month here in South FL. I have a herniated disc at L5-S1, with a pinched sciatic. It's been 9 years since the injury. I had my first epidural recently, and am considering a microdiscectomy to alleviate the pain in my leg. I'm not bedridden by any means, but there is some pain in the leg. I see in the NFPA guidelines that a discectomy is considered category A, as well as fusions, laminectomies, etc. Doctors tell me that after surgery (microdiscectomy) they would expect me to be on par with people my age (23).....more or less. I also read just as many posts on here with positive stories related to mine as well as people who say "stay away!". I realize a Fire/Medic is a physically demanding job, so it's not that I don't realiuze what I'm getting into.

    My questions are these....

    Do injuries defined as category A disqualify you from employment, or is my understanding that this varies by department correct?

    Also, anyone out there who has had a microdiscectomy and is working who can offer any insight?

    Like I said, I realize this is a first post. I know all about the search feature, maybe I'm just using the wrong keywords. So if you don't have an answer, the thread will dissapear quicker with no responses. Thanks for any help in advance


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    Quote Originally Posted by falcomi View Post
    I'm not new to forums, so I know the usual response to someone with one post asking a question....SEARCH. Well, I've spent a few hours yesterday and today searching, with limited results. I start EMT-B class in about a month here in South FL. I have a herniated disc at L5-S1, with a pinched sciatic. It's been 9 years since the injury. I had my first epidural recently, and am considering a microdiscectomy to alleviate the pain in my leg. I'm not bedridden by any means, but there is some pain in the leg. I see in the NFPA guidelines that a discectomy is considered category A, as well as fusions, laminectomies, etc. Doctors tell me that after surgery (microdiscectomy) they would expect me to be on par with people my age (23).....more or less. I also read just as many posts on here with positive stories related to mine as well as people who say "stay away!". I realize a Fire/Medic is a physically demanding job, so it's not that I don't realiuze what I'm getting into.

    My questions are these....

    Do injuries defined as category A disqualify you from employment, or is my understanding that this varies by department correct?

    Also, anyone out there who has had a microdiscectomy and is working who can offer any insight?

    Like I said, I realize this is a first post. I know all about the search feature, maybe I'm just using the wrong keywords. So if you don't have an answer, the thread will dissapear quicker with no responses. Thanks for any help in advance
    I had a microdisectomy in May and am back on the job now. L5-S1 also, severe enough to keep me from work. It it bothers you, get the surgery... I feel like a new man, better attitude and less of an *******. The recovery sucks, but I had lost all feeling in my left foot and most of my leg was in constant pain. When I woke from surgery the pain was gone and feeling came back to my foot within 3 weeks. PM me if you want to know more.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Well, I sent a PM, but they don't seem to be sending.

    Do you know anything about the 1582 guideline? The way I read it looks bad for me being able to get a job at a dept that follows those guidelines. A microdiscectomy is in the category A conditions, right there with fusions. Was there any trouble in you going back to work after the surgery? Was the injury job related, or unrelated?

    Thanks for any help...Feel free to PM me too, not sure if it's user error that's causing my PM's to not send.

  4. #4
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    I had a min.invasive disko. in Oct.09 and have not felt better since high school. I graduated in 1993. I went back to the firehouse 8 weeks latter and within 30 days I was putting up a roof ladder to gain access to the chimney. I re-herniated L5 S1 and L4-L5. The doc said l4l5 was not bad enough to do anything about. I has one round of shots and that made my pain worse. I had another disko in April and it was an open surgery. I reherniated l5s1 before I ever made it back to work. Now I am faced with have a fussion. By the way I have two more shots with no pain relief.

    Now to your questions. I have read NFPA 1582 and the way I interpute the 2007 edition is that a disko falls into category b. Fusions fall into a category a. I have not seen the 2010 edition it will probably be different. Each department will pick and choose what NFPA standards the will abide by and can afford to abide by. You will have to discuss that with each department you apply to.

    Only you can determine if surgery is right for you. I would do it all over again to relieve the pain. I would recommend all the conservative therapy you can before surgery. Then you can say you have done all you could. With you having problems with your back at your age you will be at a higher risk of having bigger problems latter on. That is exactly what the surgeon said to me after my first surgery. I am no way trying to send a black cloud over you but it is reality.

    Good luck Keep us posted.

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    Default xlif procedure

    I have 2 herniated disks (l3-4 & l4-5) with disk bulge l2-3 & l5-s1, have gone through all the pre surgical procedures (pt,injections, chiro, pain mgmt) all with no relief, my doc/surgeon recommends "xlif" new procedure if any of my brothers/sisters have any info on this procedure It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Is it possible to get hired with a prior herniated disc. The pain only lasted about 3 weeks, I had no surgery and feel 100% better. Since then I have also been through a private firefighter academy and worked as an EMT for a year. Am I wasting my time trying to get hired? Thanks for the input.

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    Hello, I had a diskectomy, laminectomy, and fecectomy April 2009. My injury occurred Feb 2009. I herniated disc at L5-S1. The pain started down my right leg the very next day. Pre-surgery i could hardly walk from the pain. Post-op the pain was gone, I still have numbness in the bottom of my right foot and mild swelling and pain in my right leg. Way better than what i was pre surgery. I was released back to work 9 mths post op. However my dr. did not know about 1582. The 2007 versions of 1582 makes a diskectomy a category b. But pain, loss of feeling, or motor in your extremities from a compressed nerve is still considered a category A. I guess it all depends on the department you apply to and how strictly they adhere to 1582. I just recently re-herniated my disc. X-rays showed spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. I would say exhaust all other measures first, if surgery is the only thing left, you will never doubt yourself. Hope this helps.

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