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Opinions on Microdiscectomy surgery...

Mandalina07MMandalina07 Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok, so I hope I don't get bombarded with negative opinions on this one, but here goes....

I am 23, I have three herniated discs in my lower back along with 1 annular tear and joint athropy(sp?). I am an office manager so I do a lot of sitting and moving. I also am the only one in the office (besides the directors) and we are a non profit so I am also the cleaning crew, maintenance person, the whole office staff, etc. I basically do it all. I don't want to be limited in what I can do because I have all these problems. I am doing PT, but it just seems to make things worse, every time im done i'm stiff and in pain so I just come home and get in bed. Right now, I am okay if I don't do anything for too long and by too long its basicaly anything for more than about 10-15 min. (sitting, walking, cleaning, etc.) I don't have unbearable pain but it is enough to annoy me. I am not hunched over barely able to walk like when this first started (2 medrol packs have been taken since 04/22). I am worried that things will continue to progress back to being in a almost crippled state though. I see the doctor Friday and I am going to try to get another 2 weeks off work because things haven't gotten better these last two weeks I have been off.

Ok now to the surgery question, I have been reading online but for every "get the surgery it will help" article I read a "dont get it done" article and i'm just so confused!!! I am generally healthy, I am 5'11 and a little overweight but I am strong and have a good immune system so I personally think if I get the surgery (microdiectomy) it will be beneficial and my body can somewhat heal and I can get back to normal again. I understand it's a process and I will have to change my habits forever BUT I would rather get the surgery now while im still young enough for my body to heal on it's own. Also, I just started having symptoms less than a month ago and haven't been in PT long so I know I should "try traditional methods first" but I just feel like the older I get the harder it will be to fix. I was invited out last weekend with friends and I had to turn them down because I couldn't drink let alone dance! It is incredibly frustrating to think I can't even go out and have fun when i'm 23 and live in Las Vegas!!! (yes, me being selfish)

Does anyone have any opinions or experiences regarding the surgery? I would love feedback. =)


  • Wow, you're way too young to be having back problems. :(
    I have to hand it to you tho, for only having had problems for less than a month you've already attained a lot of knowledge! You are ahead of the game.

    Now, about surgery.
    I tried all the non-surgical modalities and nothing helped.
    Traction did help for short periods, but it didn't last.
    There was nothing left do. 10 months later I had a microdiscectomy.

    I wish I would have had it sooner. As long there is no emergency like Cauda Equina Syndrome or unbearable pain, a person doesn't have to rush in to surgery.
    However, there are also consequences to waiting.
    The longer the nerve is compressed, the longer it takes to recover. If wait too long, sometimes there are permanent effects.

    I know about the not-going-out-with-friends-due-to-back-pain scenario. Sux. But you will be back in action.
    You're going to have to give your body permission and time to heal.

    I'm gonna send you a pm with some info for you.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • just a thought...

    Some insurance won't pay for surgery if you haven't exhausted all/most of the conservative treatments. Has your doctor recommended surgery? You can heal without surgery (most people do) Since you started having these symptoms less than a month ago, I wouldn't jump into surgery.

    Surgery can help you with pain, but it can make your back more fragile.

    Having said all of that, I did end of having surgeries (2nd one was a redo). I only elected to have surgery because I exhausted all other treatments.

    good luck!

  • Hi Manda,
    I had Micro-d over a year ago and still have pain. It is a lot better than it was, but never returned the way I was before the car accident. I waited 2-1/2 years before getting the surgery because sometimes back problems can resolve on their own, your body is self healing and buldging disks can re-absorb and heal if you work on stregthing the back and core muscles.

    I just ordered from Amazon a DVD called "Viniyoga Therapy for low back pain" My back felt better after using the first day. The National Institute of Health sponsered a clinical study and said it is 'effective' for low back pain. I talked to an old friend who used the Egoscue Method and got well. You can read about these on Google.

    Back surgery (for me anyway) was extremely painful and it has been a long recovery. My Doctor made it sound so simple and it wasn't.

    I hope this helps.
    Good luck

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