Hi, I'm new here but have read some posts so I'll try to provide the pertinant info without boring you.
I'm 35yrs old and I have DDD and a ruptured L5/S1 disc that I'm scheduled to have surgery on in mid-march (I did get a second opinion first). I also have a herniation in my L4 but apparently this isn't what's causing me problems. I've tried PT but it only made things worse. I've had two injections, my last one was in July 08. The first injection only lasted a month before the pain returned, the 2nd is obviously still working. The injections have taken care of the pain and I live pretty much pain free. The problem is that my sciatic nerve is pinched and I have a loss of strength in my left leg. The doctor said that the only chance of regaining that strength is surgery, however there's no guarantee the strength will return at all since it has been compressed for about a year. I'm leary about having surgery but I want to be able to return to the active lifestyle I had before, jogging, tennis, biking etc.
Reading a lot of the posts here, it seems most people decide to have surgery to deal with the pain. Am I making the right choice if I don't have pain? Should I just continue to get injections as needed? Is there another option I should consider first?
Also, I have to travel for my job which means spending time in a plane or car and I wonder how long it will take before I can do this after the surgery. I really can't afford to be laid up for weeks(especially with this economy). I was told by the nurse that it varies by individual but I'm hoping I can be back at work and travelling as needed within a week or so...is that unrealistic?
Any input you can provide would be appreciated.