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What to do when you have conflicting opinions from specialists!!!!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had a lifting incident,I got L4-L5 Bulge ,with a L5 nerve infringement , and a mild L5-S1 hernation, one spine dr, wanted to do a spinal fusion, without trying any conservative treatment, and the two others wanted to do epiduals and saw no evidence of surgery---it,s one year and my pain is in my lower back near my waist with nothing much below my knee except minor pins and needles, it hurts to sit and I do Pt every day, I asked for surgery and my Dr told me No--that it will not help
The pain is there 24/7 , and has effected my life-
what advice can anyone give me, I am on pain killers
I am a 60 years old , but very active adult
I did not go with the First Dr who wanted surgery-I was hoping that time would help me , but one year of this is rough to take
Thank you for you help


  • What a pickle! My husband is 61 and very active and I worry about him ever hurting himself and it slowing him down. Do you have a general doc who maybe you could sit down with and discuss this with and see what he can make of it? Maybe he can put some better perspective on it.

    It's a tough call. If you have surgery, you risk so much more and have the possibility of more surgery and pain. If you don't have surgery, then you have to put up with the daily pain, anguish and pills.

    I always default to my intuition. What does my "gut" say.

  • C took the words right out of my mouth. When I read your subject line I thought well that's an easy one. You go with your gut. You have to decide what you want your quality of life to be like even at your age. My mother who is 64 is facing the same type of decision about her back. I've offered her my advice from what I know and want her to be educated and then go with her gut feeling and nothing else. After all it's her life.
  • anything other than PT? PT made my pain worse. The epidurals only lasted a few months. I had yearly rhizotomys (nerve burns) that helped considerably. I finally had a discogram that showed annular tares at multiple levels that did not show on MRI. I am personally all for trying all conservative measures before opting for surgery. There are no guarantees that surgery will help. If you are not confident with the docs that you have seen, see some more until you find one that you are confident with. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • i would go and see another doctor! from my experience epidurals and other conservative treatments are a waste of time if you have nerve damage you need an operation done by a very good surgeon
  • Have you had an EMG yet? Your regular Dr can order that. If there's nerves comprimised then it would be time for surgery. Did you do the Epidurals? A year now and they just talked to you about it? I've been out for a year and done 3 Epis and facet joint injections, trigger therapy and PT and accupuncture. I think they're supposed to do conservative first. Good luck with your decison and if there's any doubt do without. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'd say go back to the dr. who wanted to the surgery. These guys are all so arrogant, he'll be vindicated when you ask him to do the surgery. Just say you were afraid of surgery and wanted to try the conservative route but it didn't work and now you'd like to try the surgery. Say pretty please, you were right, can you help me?

    Good luck,
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