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Scared about surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
How bad does it have to be to have surgery be the last option?

I have pain that comes and goes. All my life. I have tried everything. Everything.

I was told I need an L5-S1 fusion and decompression.

I am scared. The steroid shot I received sent me into a tail spin as I developed steroid psychosis.

I am starting to think I should just live with what I got instead of going under the knife. Will my life be that much better?

I am also concerned that I am not ready mentally.



  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    It's only normal to be scared of surgery. Any surgery. You are the only one who knows whether or not you can live with it. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do. I'm sure a lot of people here who have had the surgery will be glad to discuss it with you. Take care.

  • I have had two failed surgeries at the same level and was recently told by my neuro that I now need a fusion. I am totally beaten up mentally from the previous surgeries and don't feel that I can take another one at this time.
    I recently saw an ortho for a second opinion and he told me that while he recommended a L5-S1 fusion, if it was him, he would not have the surgery at this time. His reasoning was that I was relatively young (37) and since I currently did not have permanent nerve damage, although I have weakness in my left leg,that I could just as well have ther surgery at a later date. So what I'm saying is if you are not 100% confortable with having the surgery or mentally prepared for the hard recovery of a fusion and its not an emergency, wait until you are ready. Find a good pain management doc and take it one day at a time. Good Luck and remember that even though it feels like you are all alone and no one understands your situation, you always have the group here for support.
  • if at all possible .as a person that has had 2 operations ans is now disabled ans still in pain and may require another operation ..think long and hard about surgery.you say your pain comes and goes ..my pain comes and stays even after 2 operations i am still in pain ans carnt sleep for more than 3 hours .my life has changed beyond recognition since the surgery .if you can get by with out going under the knife then do so .ask yourself some questions .do i have sever leg pain? has my life /work be affected?could i get by on suitable medication ? if you do require surgery make sure that you pick the best that you can find .because your life and back will never be the same again .even if you have a positive outcome .your back will always be weak and more often than not you will require more surgery later on in your life.sorry to be so blunt but i feel that you should know what is going to happen to you ..you may find the odd person that has had a prefect out come regarding spinal surgery ..but these a re few and far between.
  • my mind is in a spin now iam waiting for surgery on L4/L5 because the prolapse is bad, i can still walk but with numbness and weakness in left leg, hubby had the same op and he is left with nerve damage and severe pain ,i was hoping his was not common looks like it is common to end up worse.
  • I'm so sorry about your pain. I can hear the frustation, fear and pain in your message. How have you lived with your condition up until now? How is your quality of life? You didn't say if you were taking any pain medication or had any other conservative treatments. Maybe there are things left to try before surgery. Have you tried Physical Therapy?
    I did 6 months of PT and I mean I did it once a week with the PT and 5 days a week at home everyday for 6 months. It really helped but I had to work harder than I ever worked at anything in my life. Maybe that isn't right for you but
    what I mean to say is I would layout every option, exhaust every treatment, before I had surgery.

    I pray you feel better soon Echoes
    Write again

  • I am only 31 Years old and in Severe Pain at times. For me Surgery is not an Option. You hafto make the Right Decision for yourself. Find out everything about the Procedure and what to Expect Afterwards. You have every reason to be scared because like everthing else there's a Risk Involved. It's also not a Guarantee that you'll be Free of Pain afterwards. So for me Personally I would continue to try every alternative before Surgery. I would try Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Vitamins, Herbs, Meds Physical Therapy, Diet & Exercise, Tens Unit and so forth. Go with your Instinct and Do what you feel is Best for you. If you do decide to go with Surgery be Aware of All the Risk involved and Don't Expect a Miracle to Occur. They sometimes don't work. I hope you make the Right Decision and it all works out for you. Relate all your Questions and Fears with your DR.
  • One of my best friends had suffered and is in her late 30's too and had a fusion on L5/S1 and hasn't had bit of problems. She even went to LasVegas her last week of from work and was only off for 6 weeks. She was tired and a little achey but had a great time. Not every can do that, but it's an example that not everyone has problems. She'd herniated only that disc and her other discs looked healthy on the MRI.

    As everyone is saying....it's your decision and only yours. What can you live with and for how long? Having a lot of confidence in your surgeon, talking to his other patients and the nurses at the hospital where he does surgery made me feel like it was a go for me. I couldn't take the pain any longer. Of course, for me, now my neck is acting up after getting my lumbar fixed. ARGH!

    Good luck with your decision.
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