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Glad I had surgery...

saltzworksssaltzworks Posts: 1,031
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My Physical Therapist showed me this article on back fusion and it's outcome for herniated discs...

Surgery Beats Nonsurgical Treatment For Herniated Discs: Direct Comparison Shows Most Outcomes Better With Discectomy

Prior to my surgery all I ever read (or found) were articles on non-surgical treatments vs. surgical - articles that found that after 2 to 10 years (the articles varied) it wouldn't really matter if you had surgery or not - that we mostly all ended up in the same position.

I did read (prior to my surgery) that most surgical people had a quicker recovery from disc pain than non-surgical. But hey, I was willing to have the extra pain if I didn't have to deal with the uncertainty of surgery.

Now the reports say that surgery is the best - the article states: "The improvement in outcomes with surgery was seen as early as six weeks and was still present after four years. Patients treated without surgery also showed improvement, but not as much as in the surgery group. There were few serious complications of surgery."

I could argue a bit about the complications part - but they were dead on in my case in regards to the post-op pain and better physical ability post-op.



  • Interesting article, Amy. I believe that for certain conditions, like spinal stenosis and spondy, surgery is the only viable option, as non of the non-surgical treatment attack the problem itself, only some of the symptoms. When the nerves are squeezed to the point of suffering permanent nerve damage, surgery is definitely the answer. I am with you, I am aslo glad I had my surgery.

    All the best,

  • I'm glad that your surgery was a success.

    I would say however,that LWW would have many reasons for coming to their conclusions.LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.

    Many feedbacks for coming to the conclusions that they have.I think it would be better to take 100 people-not affiliated with any Co. or Corp.,who have had these operations and asked them,say,a year after their surgeries.If the questionaire were able to be anonymous,that would give a more fair and unbalanced opinion.

    I can't really apologize for being so untrusting,given everything that I've seen and been through-it's not as if I enjoy being this way.Sad,I know.But I still believe surgery should be only as a last resort-even though my pain is getting worse.

  • I totally agree - I would NOT recommend back surgery unless you have done some heavy duty soul searching, done all the tests and really researched everything.

    I've always said I was ready to trade life in a wheelchair compared to what I was dealing with. And even though I'm pleased that my shooting pain and other issues are gone, I am glad I had surgery but still - I AM left with surgical complications. It's no picnic and I would argue with the study about there not being many surgical complications.

    One of the points I was kind of making was also that ALL the articles that I read just a year ago were SO DIFFERENT than what is being said now. Makes you wonder what will be said in another year. You can't really trust anyone or anything. Can they just make any study say anything they want?

    ALSO - take BMP - it was touted as the next best thing - until people started having problems, me included.

    Things that make you go 'Hummm'
  • that if one can have those 2-10 years without pain...why not? I also tried all conservative treatments. Surgery seems to have been a success, although I'm hesitant to say so (every other time I've thought success was near, I've been bitten in the a--!). Good luck to all! This back pain stuff sucks.
  • Thanks for the link to the article. It is the latest study on this topic that I have seen. The problem is that it is so subjective. They interview people, asking both groups the same questions, of course. But you know how it is when you ask ten people what their pain level is. We all know that what is a "5" to one person, is something different for another person. There does not seem to be any objective way to get this information.

    The fact that equal numbers of patients have not returned to work says more to me than what people report about their pain levels four years out.

    Don't you think BMP is still being touted as the best thing?
  • Bingo! You hit the nail on the head - on the pain levels being different for each patient!

    I also wondered about people not returning to work. From personal experience I know that employers are a little leary of having people come back that are not 100% - it becomes a liability issue.

    Also, why go back to a job that can potentially put you back in the hospital with more surgery or hurt you permanently? Particularly if you would qualify for social security or disability?

    I can easily see people not going back to work for more reasons than just pain.

    I know I felt like I could do my job - not 100%, but still, it's my brain that is best at my job, not my body. But when I was confronted with the possibility of not being accepted back if I wasn't going to be 100% - I almost gave up on going back. I was looking at alternatives. I was very unhappy, but I would have accepted it if I'd had to.
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