Help!! I am 33 years old and have been dealing with chronic back pain for a little more than 3 years now. I have been doing conservative treatment for 1 1/2 years. I recently went 3 "conservative" neurosurgeons- 2 said I need to have disc replacement and 1 said spinal fusion.
I have been diagnosed with an annular fissure in the L5-S1. I am working with pain management doctor, orthopedist, physical therapist, and psychologist. All who have warned me to go conservative. Until recently my pain doctor and orthopedist have mentioned I might need to have surgery.
Here is the thing....I get confused because my gut feeling is to have surgery. I have a surgeon who I heard about from 4 different people who recommended him to me. He is well known. He says there is a chance of improving 100%. I really do trust him because of his reputation- he has been on TV before. He says conservative treatment will not help my case. Am I crazy to believe that maybe my life could get better like he says?
I feel I have really waited and tried to not have surgery. Had cortizone injections- helped a little. Chiropractic for 6 months. Physical therapy and pain meds last 8 months. Pain meds including vicodin don't work. Previous set of physical therapy 2 years ago. Stretching last 3 months. Traction for 2 -3 months. Out of all of these- cortizone helped the most. Stretching used to help until last month when difficulty walking problem started.
I really want to jump into this surgery and yet people keep scaring me into thinking surgery ruins people's lives!! But honestly, I really don't see how much more my life could be ruined. First of all.....socially.....I cannot keep up with people my own age.
-have trouble walking-legs feel heavy and there is delay between brain and steps I take
-tingling down legs constantly
-painful to walk on the slightest incline-
-painful to walk upstairs
-sometimes have hard time going from sit to stand position
-sensitivity to hardness of chairs.
Not to mention I am unable to ride a bike, I cannot even walk slowly in a pool, hike, walk too far. When is it time to say when?!!
Please let me know what you think.