Well--for those haven't read my previous post, I'm a 19 yr old college student who used to be incredibly active (Division I Wrestler...All State Wrestler, All County Football in high school) however back in February of this last year that all changed--I tore the ACL in my left leg and had to have knee surgery. When my knee was finally recovering, at around August of this year, I got another slap on the face. For some reason, whenever I went to stretch my right leg, I'd feel a sharp pain down my leg. I had no clue what it was. In retrospect it was a bulging disc around L5-S1 that stuck out whenever I I'd bend forward to stretch the hamstring. I thought maybe all the muscles in my right leg were tight because I had been focusing on rehabilitating my left leg from the knee surgery and hadn't been taking care of my right leg. A week of stretching later, whenever I would sit down for longer than a few minutes and then stand up--I'd have trouble straightening my back again.
A week or so later, some time in early September, I was jump roping in order to warm up and stretch the leg some more when all of a sudden I started feeling this massive amount of pain focused around my upper right glute. Saw my Doc, Doc gave me lots of pain med (3 bottles consisting of 10mgFlexeril, 10mgOxycodone, and 800mg ibuprofen) and told me to see him in a week. That week the pain had hit my right calf--it felt like I had been in the gym working out my calves for hour, and went down the right side of my Achilles and pinky toe. I had an MRI done--turns out I had 3 herniated discs and DDD running down my entire lumbar spine. The most noticeable problem was the massive herniation at L5 that was clearly impinging on the L5-S1 nerve root. So he gave me a referral to see an Orthopeadic Surgeon who specialized in the spine--guy wanted me to have surgery immediately. But my parents didn't want me to--they wanted me to try a conservative route.
2.5 months of physical therapy later, in December, I was at about 60% recovered. Couldn't swim or job without having these twinges of pain, coughing and sneezing hurt, and I couldn't sit for longer than 20 minutes without becoming really uncomfortable with a mix of numbness/burning/and tingling down the leg. I had a transversal epidural injection (epidural in L5, L5, and S1 to bathe the area) early December and it helped me a little. Brought me up to 70% recovered I would say, but I hit a plateau the rest of the month with physical therapy and my PT said there was nothing more he could do. I got a referral to see a neurosurgeon finally and he said it's time that I get the surgery. I scheduled the surgery for two weeks from that day--on the 27th the only opening the surgeon had until late February.
Now, I'm in a predicament. This last week, I somehow managed to break out of my plateau. I went for a jog yesterday and I felt great no twinges or anything. Then I went swimming and I still felt great. I can even sit for like 30-40 minutes without any pain down my leg, and even after 40 minutes it's still bearable--I can deal with it. From what I was at originally in September (about 4.5 months ago) I am 80% recovered. I can for the most part jog and swim. Only thing is I have surgery scheduled this coming Tuesday the 27th and I don't know what to do. I've worked so hard with the conservative treatments and I've definitely had improvement--but will I ever be 100%? I just want to get back to my normal life, and I don't want to risk surgical complications so late in the game. I've been digging down really deep trying to figure out what I should do. But I just don't know.
I've already gone through my pre-admission testing, and as is my Doctor has no clue I'm second guessing the surgery. I just don't know. Should I go through with it? Or should I back out, go back to physical therapy and break through the plateaus little by little?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm 19years old with the back of a 40 year old according to my neurosurgeon--however because I'm 19 I'll recover faster than any 40yr old after surgery and my doctor is confident that I'll be good as new just a couple weeks after the surgery.