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Do I need surgery?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello. I was in a car accident hit by a drunk driver on Labor day weekend. It has resulted in two herniated discs, L4 and L5 and an annular tear. It has been three weeks tomorrow and I have been in pain ever since. I am coping with it, lack of bending over has helped the pain a lot, however this is very life limiting. I would like to know if this is something that if I don't have surgery am I always vulnerable to further damage and rupturing the discs or can I live normally again?


  • I have been going to a chiropractor only. I don't have a doctor because I have no health insurance.
  • generally speaking its a good idea to give it time because many disk problems heal themselves. if pain persists oner 2 months it would be good to see a spine specialist. you may not need expensive tests. many times a dr can tell just from your reflexes whether there is damage. see if you can save a few bucks to see the doc...
    dont sit for long periods of time. do some walking and obviously no lifting. if you have any trouble with urinary or bowels go to emergency room....good luck...pete
  • have you been to see your doctor? because that would be my first choice then go from there .if he/she feels that you require any further investigations then you will be sent to a neurosurgeon then and MRI scan done and depending on what the scan reviles will be your next move .for the time being take some pain killers and use ice and heat on your back .you COULD try a TENS .do you have any leg pain or dose the pain disturb your sleep? and like pete said any bowel or urinary problems means that you MUST see your doctor .as for payment i take it that the vehicle that hit you was insured? if not you will have a long haul through the courts .good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions from any of us on here
  • Thank you for your input. I have been going to a chiropractor and he did order an MRI. That is what showed that I have two herniated discs. L4 and L5. Yes, the other person's insurance will cover me, but to get into a doctor without paying up front has been difficult to find. I am seeing a specialist this coming Friday. I just didn't know who to listen to. You hear that you shouldn't have back surgery, but I didn't know if this could heal without it. I do feel improvement since the accident. It has just been very slow. I am used to a very active life so this is frustrating. I will see what the specialist recomends.
  • this is just my opinion ..
    if your pain is manageable with a small amount of pain killers and dose not interfere with your life too much ..ie you can drive /shop/work/have sex/and a normish life then don't have surgery ..if ..on ..the other hand you are driven mad with intractable {permanent} pain that ruins your life /carnt work /sleep etc then surgery may be the way ..BUT its a slippy slope and once you start with back surgery you will more than likely have to have more surgery as the years roll on AND you will always have a bad back surgery or not ..take care ..
  • I think that Straker said it pretty well. Good luck and please do keep us posted.
  • I have returned to work after two months of being off because of L4 and L5 herniated discs. I am experiencing alot of pain since returning. I don't know if I am actually causing more damage or not. I work at a daycare and do a lot of bending over and standing all day. By the time I get home I am useless to my family. I don't know if this should be temporary until I strengthen my back again or am I causing further damage by working? I can't afford to go back to the doctor to ask what I should do. Please help and please don't ask about insurance because that is a long story. Thank you.
  • When I hurt my back many years ago, I tried a few different pros before a pt really nailed it by giving me 1 simple exercise. Mainly laying on my stomach for 10 minutes and then doing as many press ups as I could.

    I would try to get in with a pt. Sometimes it's the simple things that work.

    I would also mention reading the latest consumer reports article on back surgery. Interesting statistics.

    BTW I had surgery back in June and am paying the price.

    Take care,
  • Is there a teaching hospital any where near where you live? They will charge according to your income and you can get excellent care there. I understand your predicament but it really does sound like you may need to see a spine specialist. Do you have pain going down your leg? I am wondering if there are any nerves involved.
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