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I'm scared! Having 2nd thoughts...

LovinggardenerLLovinggardener Posts: 494
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having microdisectomy tomorrow, but now I am not 100% sure if I am making the right decision. When my surgeon advised me to have this surgery, he based it on my 7mm bulging disc at L5 S1.

My most recent MRI, which was taken on Monday, shows that the bulging disc moved over to the right. I was told of this today. Has this happened to anyone? Yes, I have been in god awful pain and have lost reflex on my achille's tendon, but I made this decision based on the MRI taken a year ago.

I don't know if I am making sense. I just don't want to have surgery and put myself in the position that makes me more likely to have more surgery.

Is it true that if you have surgery, you will likely to have more?

I am scared.


  • It's normal to be scared before surgery. Ask yourself this, can I live with this pain, is this pain improving, staying the same if not getting worse, and can I live like this.

    Thats your answer to having this surgery tomorrow.

    I am one month post op lumbar FUSION L2-L5 and doing great. Of course not everyone will be pain free after but a lot are and a lot have no issues.

    I can tellya youll be 100% pain free and feeling great after it but its a chance you take.

    I feel it was def worthwhile havingg my surgery done.

    My surgeon told me he feels the fusion he did on me will last for the rest of my life and I should never need back surgery again.
  • I believe being scared or nervous is pretty much a natural feeling.

    As Jak above stated, ask yourself if your condition is getting better, getting worse or staying the same? Can you live with your current condition?

    If you feel that you can live with your current condition (without major implications such as a numb leg, bladder control) or feel you need more time to think about it, then by all means postpone. You need to be 100% confident about your decision... a positive mindset helps a lot.

  • My husband wants me to have the surgery because he has witnessed me crying and being depressed about my pain. I am not in great pain right now because I had my fourth steroid injection about two weeks ago. When I made the decision to have the surgery, I couldn't bear the idea of going through another episode of pain.

    I just need to calm my nerves and think positive.

  • Good luck. I hope you are pain free either way!
  • I am still home, mostly still in bed from Feb 9th surgery. My first surgery went well, and as soon as I woke up, I felt substantial relief. A few years later, I had my second surgery. The symptoms before my first surgery were all in my back. The symptoms before the second surgery were in my back and legs, and were excruciating. The first two surgeries were L5-S1 lamenectomies. The scar tissue from the first surgery had wrapped around my nerves like vines. Therefore every time I moved, they tightened, and it was unbelievable. For the third surgery, there was leakage from the disc, and the doctor told me that there was still some liquid left in the disc, and I would have probable had to have another surgery if he had only done a lamenectomy again. The pain before the third surgery was not as bad as before the third, but I knew it could get worse very quickly. Before the second surgery, I went from walking fine, to only being able to walk short distances, with a cane, in a week. When I scheduled the second surgery, I did not have it done right away. I saw the doctor on a Tuesday, and had him schedule it for the following Thursday, instead of that Thursday. That was a HUGE mistake. I was in so much pain; I wished someone would just shoot me. But, like the first time, I woke up from surgery, and the pain was gone. I can tell you the pain after the third was more than what it was before the surgery. It has taken about 3 weeks to get full, but careful movement to return. From my standpoint, you will have to determine if you can live with your current pain, and deal with the fact that you may wake up one day, and it is worse, and as the day progresses it does not get any better. How my pain started for the third one, was a Charlie Horse in my lower left leg that would not go away. When it started, I thought maybe it would take a day or two to go away, but it never did. Now all my leg pain is gone, but there is still some lower back pain and stiffness. Especially when I wake up in the morning. You also need to talk to your partner about this. My wife has been great through all of this, but you also need to consider whether are not they can live with you in the condition you are in. You maybe able to live with the pain, but what kind of life will it be for you and your family?
  • First, thank you all. PAdams,the thought of my husband leaving me has crossed my mind. My husband thinks it's ridiculous that I had those thoughts, but doing all the cooking, grocery shopping and dealing with my bad moods have to be difficult. He won't admit that it has been hard. He is an angel. My pain has affected not just but my husband and coworkers.

    Before the surgery, I am going to talk to the surgeon.
  • As Zach says you need to get it right in your mind! I have an SCS trial starting a week from today. I was so afraid it was not the right choice 2 weeks ago!

    Well, the schedule placed it in an ideal place in my work and home life and it was the first available. The last two weeks have been miserable! Day after day of the same transient moving pain stabs and burning, tingling, squirming muscles all the fun stuff of nerve damage! Well, as bad as all that sounds, it has been a godsend! :O

    I know now in my heart this trial is the right choice.
    I have no others.
    Medication or the spinal cord stimulator!
  • I returned home from my surgery last night. No pain in my leg except some residual tingling feeling along the outer right calf. I am trying to be so careful, feeling walking on eggshell. Already tripped a little over a book and my husband's workbag. Today he is going to pick up everything off the floor. I wonder if the sudden jerky movement will cause me to reherniate my disc.
  • Be very careful teacher, don't want to reinjure yourself :)
  • I had a microdiscectomy and I felt cured and acted like I was all last summer....my advice is to realize that you can "rupture" the scar tissue and be back where you started....in my case it happened when my two year old got hurt and was crying and I picked him out too far away from my body....It felt like my back literally "broke". Unlike you though, I was not scared to get the microdiscectomy...I told my Dr. I was so mad at my back I wanted her to just cut it up !

    I ended up having a spinal fusion on L3 L4 L5/s/1 in early Dec. I was glad about that....it was only a matter of time after all and like you, I was sad and crying a lot because I had become an invalid and was on a lot of drugs.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    now its up to you to continue.
    Post surgery it is so important to adhere to all the limitations and restrictions and orders that are given you.
    That includes any Physical Therapy that is required. But it also means that you need to be aware of your situation.
    It is so easy, after you start to feel better and in no pain to go back to the things you used to. For some that might work, but its just like gambling. You will win some times, but the odds are that you will lose.
    So, in order to beat those odds, do the right things and avoid putting yourself into a situation where you could lose
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Chances are you did not reherniate your disc by tripping, but you probably jarred things a bit. Remember to walk and rest, walk and rest. You may feel kind of "awkward" for a while. Just pay attention when you are walking.

    At the beginning don't try to sit up for more than about ten or fifteen minutes at a time. It puts pressure on the discs. You are better off lying down so that the discs are unloaded. Then when you are up, stretch out those nerves by walking. Walking often for a short time is more beneficial than taking one long walk each day.

    Avoid activities that involve bending or twisting. And also avoid reaching up over your head. You may feel great and will want to do all those things that you've had to avoid due to pain -- but put them on hold until you are further along in your healing. You want to give yourself the very best chance for a complete recovery.

    Hope you are feeling a little bit better by now.
  • I am very touched by the support and kindness found on this board. Only the people who have had chronic pain can empathize. The HR person at my job was a witch. Not even a "good luck" or "Take care" about my surgery. She just wanted the facts.

    Today was a good day. I still do have faint tingly feeling along the right leg and foot. My left buttock is a little sore today. Perhaps it has been compensating for my right side too much. I am trying to stay positive; however, every little twinge makes me worried.

    My husband took me for a walk around the block and had my first shower. Overall, I feel pretty good. As I said before on another thread, I prayed to God to take away the pain and I think He has. I don't ask God for a lot, but the pain made me into a groveling, begging fool. I don't wish anyone this kind of pain.

    One thing that happened in the recovery room: I told the nurse that morphine does not do anything for my pain, but she kept giving it to me because my surgeon was not available. After three doses and me all drugged out but still in pain, the nurse asked me if I wanted Lortab. I said YES!!! I know that Lortab is not strong as morphine, but it works better for me.
  • My nurse at the surgical center just called to check on me. That means a lot to someone who is scared of any aches and pain after the surgery. From the time I got into the preOp room and recovery room, the nurses, physical therapist, anesthesiologist, and other medical staff members gave me excellent care. They never got frustrated with me. Furthermore, my surgeon's nurse practioner told me to her called with any questions. If anyone needs a referral to a doctor in North Texas, you can PM me. The surgeon was referred to me by one of the parents in my class, who happens to be my PM doctor. It's a little strange, but it worked out that way before I knew she was in the same practice as my original PM doc.

    Nurse said that I am doing as well as I can. Talk to my mom and found out that she had the same surgery, but her recovery was more painful. I guess the age difference and individual's tolerance to pain can make a big difference in one's recovery.

  • I am happy to hear that your surgery was a success. Please take it easy so you don't reinjure yourself. I will have my second microD this Monday. It will be because I did reherniate after my first one. Keep posting about your progress. I am sure that I am not the only one who enjoys reading about someone who recovers without problems. God Bless You.
  • I have been slowly increasing the length of my daily walk (only been doing it once a day). The pain from the incision is less, but I did have a small setback yesterday. Perhaps it's from squatting to sit properly, sat up for too long (am allowed 30 -45 min.), or the nerve trying to settle. My left leg that did not bother me before the surgery acted up last night. It took me awhile to fall asleep. The pain felt like soreness in the buttocks and tingly/burning sensation behind the knee. Any insights?

    Woke up this morning with no pain. Thank goodness. I tried to not to panic last night; however, it only worked a little since I didn't fall asleep until 2:00 am.

    By the way, I have another thread about paying someone that I will not update any more, because I feel well enough to be alone. In addition, my friends have been awesome by bringing food and emotional support.

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