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should I have surgery?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
I injured my back at work about a month ago. I am on workmans comp. I have been going to an orthopaedic dr. After he told me the results of my mri I got scared. He said that I have a slipped disc at L4-5 with a large extruding fragment that is pressing on a nerve, and I also have bulging discs at L2-3, L3-4, and L5-S1. He said that physical therapy would only aggrevate my condition. He wants to try selective nerve root blocks. If that doesnt work, my only other alternative is surgery. He said since im on workmans comp,I have to be well as soon as possible. I have heard so many people say that back surgery made them worse. I was just wondering if I should get a second opion.


  • I don't know the "ins and outs" of workmans comp. but it is always a good idea to get a second opinion, even a third opinion if you need a tie-breaker. Be sure you see a fellowship-trained spinal specialist. This can either be a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon whose practice is devoted to the spine and back.
  • Before you decide to have the surgery, make sure to get a second or third opinion. Having said that I went with my 2nd surgeon. The first one was a over year ago, who said no to surgery. The second said I already had nerve damage. And I had exhausted other conservative treatments like physical therapy (like you the second round of PT made the pain worse), injections, various concoctions of pain killers, accupuncture, etc.

    Because I tried everything my body would allow me, the decision to have the surgery was not that hard at the end. I was in great deal of pain that forced me to take many days from work and had no social life.
  • Hi midnight,
    I would say an emphatic YES on a second opinion. If you can, go to a doctor outside of your insurance company making sure that the doctor is one in your insurance company's circle of approved doctors. If you can, ask around to make sure the NS or OS you chose is a good one. I was of the impression that with Worker's Comp you have to get a 2nd opinion anyway if they recommend surgey. Regardless, surgery of the spine is nothing to walk in to lightly. There are many things that can go wrong, so being sure is imperative. Not doing surgery when you need it is also a very bad idea and has the possibility of nerve damage and other things. So, if you can, see another qualified surgeon, do your research thoroughly about your condition, and then make the best decision you know how. This site has tons of fabulous information about a myriad of spinal issues and is a great place to start! I hope the best for you. Let us know what you decide to do so we can support you, okay?
    Take care,
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