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Decompression surgery at 23?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with a large protusion in my lumbar vertebrae, a ruptured disc. I have been experiencing back pain for quite awhile now in my lower back, to the point where it has been debilitating for about a year and a half now. I tried different treatments before I was diagnosed, going to chiropractors, physical therapists, and even an orthopedic who I got prolotherapy from. The prolotherapy seemed to relieve pain in my lower back for a bit. However this was before I knew that I had a ruptured disc. I have had the pain get much worse since January, and can now hardly move my left leg. It has been making life very difficult, and I don't even know what it's like to not be in constant pain. I can't even sleep.
My doctor has given me steroids and pain pills, and I have been going to a physical therapist now that I am aware of my lumbar radiculopathy(I can't spell that). I feel relief after I go to the physical therapist for the rest of the day after the appointment, but it doesn't stay that way.
I am 23 years old, and have the best health insurance I could get right now through my family. However when I am 24 that goes away, and I have no insurance at all.
My doctor suggested I try the epidural coritisone shot, however that doesn't always work, and I guess wares off. My doctor already authorized a decompression surgery, and now I am just waiting to get the appointment. I was going to try the epidural shot, however I really don't want to risk it not working and have my health insurance run out and then be screwed. My doctor is a very good doctor who graduated from Standford and has lots of experience. The surgery sounds minor, sounds like it has potential to actually work. I am excited to not be in pain anymore and actually know what real life feels like not being in pain. However I am looking to hear what the thoughts are of maybe some experienced folks out there? What do you think...lumbar decompression surgery? Or no?? Lookin' for some insight, thanks a lot.
..oh an sorry if my terminology for stuff is way off..I'm still learning! Thanks!


  • Pain and damage ALWAYS comes first, and you're right to want to get this done before insurance runs out. I would be cautious though, and ask your doc about future insurance. They LOVE to deny further needs or even signing you up because of "pre-existing conditions". Sometimes they accept you, but you can't have a claim on your back for a period of time. See if your doc or the person in his office has any input on how to word your future insurance application. I had a fusion x2 but each time I've had to have major decompression. It's made a big difference on my radiculopathy. Best of luck, and hopefully someone will come along to give you more input on a discectomy/decompression. --Andrea
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