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Do I need back surgery??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
I have chronic pain from an injury I sustained from a fall on the job. This injury happened 4 months ago and my Insurance company (Sedgwick claims) says I'm fine.
The Doctor that my Insurance company sent me to said I was ready to go back to work. : ( HE'S NUTS!!!!
I can't even take the trash out without suffering the rest of the day.
I now have a lawyer that is getting the job done right.

My fear is Un-needed surgery.
Here are my MRI photo's any help would be appreciated.






  • Hi,

    The information of what your MRI report says would be helpful.


  • MRI report says:

    L4-5 disk herniation posterior at 5 mm and anterior right at 4 mm
    10% S1 stenosis
    moderate arthritis to inferior portion of L 4 with portional disection of vertibral body.
  • It's good you have a lawyer now. Your Primary should be getting you the referrals. I've had some facet joint injections that helped the arthritis around the joints affected by the herniated disc. The injections stopped my back from locking up. I can't believe some insurance company Drs. Who needs that hassle of fighting with your illness? It's a struggle just to try to do housework. Good luck with your claim. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • surgery is a big fear for me. I HATE!!!!!!!!! the idea of going under the knife! I also do not want to be on pain killers all my life..
    I'm in the market for a good surgeon right now.

    Thanks for the advise.

  • I really feel that your worry about unneeded back surgery is unfounded. Spinal surgeons are so busy that most have to wait six weeks for an initial appointment. This may have been a problem in the past, but most spinal specialists today always recommend conservative treatment for the first six weeks before ever thinking about the possibility of surgery.

    If a surgeon immediately recommends surgery, I would politely say "I'll think about it" and I would then look for another doctor!

    If you have spondylolisthesis, chances are there are no other options but surgery. The easier treatments are for others, not for those of us in the spondy club.

    I had never had any surgeries either prior to my fusion. I was so worried ahead of time, and had read so much and done so much research that the whole experience was rather anticlimactic! It was not nearly as bad as I was anticipating. Of course, I was really kept drugged up while at the hospital, so probably NOTHING would have bothered me!!

    Since you were injure at work, I do not know how the medical thing works for you...but, if possible, you need to find a very well-trained spinal specialist, either an orthopedic spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon.

    Take good care ~

    xx Gwennie
  • that you are going to require surgery .do you have any leg pain ? you definitely have a bulge at l4 and i know from my own experience just how painful that is .my advice is ..find yourself a good neurosurgeon and take there advice .if you dont have any leg pain {and i would be surprised if you dont } then i would think about NOT having surgery as your back will never be as good as when you had no damage to it .if you know what i mean! good luck
    mean while try a good TENS and get some strong pain killers from your doctor
  • I Guess I'm just going to give it another month or 2 and see if I stay at this plateau. Others have said surgery will most likey be my destiny?? I don't know?

    My next trek is to find a good surgeon!!

    Thanks folks.....
  • I have rt leg pain and occasional lf leg pain. I can't lift more than 20 lbs. at a time. As of 4 months ago, I was a Field Paramedic with no problems. I think my career is in severe jeopardy!!!!!

    I've been a Paramedic for 25 years and I think its time for a change? I may be a Paramedic instructor after this? : )

    Thanks for the advise.......
  • While surgery may be in your future, how far in the future it is will mainly be up to you. Unless you have compression of the cauda equina nerves or the spinal cord, or the pain is really just too much to handle and you've truly tried EVERY conservative treatment, surgery is your choice. I live with a herniated disc and severe sciatica down both legs. I've been told I need surgery, heck, I've been told I HAVE to have surgery, but I don't have the things I've listed above and I'm refusing sugery at this time for my own reasons. My pain is really bad, but I'm not ready to risk getting worse for the small chance I've been given to get better. I cope as best as I can and although I know I will have to have surgery one day, I stay mostly positive, deal with each day as it comes, and try not to worry about the future too much. Sure, there are days where the pain is so bad that I'm ready for surgery, but then the next day I'm back to my normal bad pain and thankful I'm still not in the surgery club. I read a great post the other day where someone said (it was a man) that basically you know you're in bad pain if you're ready to risk impotence to have pain relief. I didn't know this but it is a possible side effect for men during back surgery. I'm not sure how common it is, but if your pain is bad enough that you would risk decreased sexual performance, it might be time for surgery. IMHO, surgeons are like car salesmen, only car salesmen sell cars and surgeons sell surgery. You get a couple of honest ones in each bunch, but please remember, you can't believe everything you hear. And just because they are surgeons, it doesn't make them all-knowing beings. Good luck in making your decision, your quest for answers, and pain relief! Please keep us posted...

    Much love and understanding,
  • If you can live with the pain than dont do surgery. But unfortunately sometimes surgery is the best thing to do. You have a disc putting pressure on your nerves and relieving the pressure would likely relieve the pain. The disc most likely isnt going to move back by itself. When I first seriously hurt my back I was 15 years old, I was very scared of surgery but went through it anyways because the pain was so horrible, and the operation was a total success. Unfortunately I didnt take care of my back after I felt normal again. I played sports, lifted weights, and did basically everything you can think of to hurt your back again. Even then I went 10 years before my 2nd serious injury requiring surgery.

  • You haven't said if you have seen a physical therapist or a chiropractor? You may be able to put surgery off for years or for good. They know how to help you and can give you exercises to do that can really help.
    I managed to go 7 yrs. before I needed my first surgery. Made it 5 yrs. before my 2nd(completely my fault).
    If you can find a good neuro he will take care of you and the possibilty of full recovery(with exceptions) is more likely than not. I could barely walk before surgery and I do quite well now. I actually do alot of farm work, just have to be careful and pay attention. You need to get your mind sett to always pay attention to how you do things
    Good luck and I hope that things work out for you....

  • I have been to a physical therapist and chiropractor. Both helped me and now I feel that I have plateaued and only time will show me that I have done all I can do without surgery.
    Impotence would be a fear for all men I would think??

    If I go through with surgery, it will be on my terms and I will be holding the knife along with the doc : )

    There are alot of procedures that have less risk than they did 5 years ago.

    I'm just hoping for a break on this pain.

  • I have been to a physical therapist and chiropractor. Both helped me and now I feel that I have plateaued and only time will show me that I have done all I can do without surgery.
    Impotence would be a fear for all men I would think??

    If I go through with surgery, it will be on my terms and I will be holding the knife along with the doc : )

    There are alot of procedures that have less risk than they did 5 years ago.

    I'm just hoping for a break on this pain.

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