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2 surgeons 2 different opinions

john 40jjohn 40 Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
the first doc say from seeing mri (very large tear at l5 s1 and slight re-herniated and l4-l5 large bulge on nerve root) and my symptoms about the only option I have is doing a 2 level fusion. No need to try any thing else it would just be putting off the fusion witch will have to be done in the end .the discs are not going to heal on there own and the one with the tear will dry up and brake apart =fusion =next disc has bulge will prob pop after s1 fusion = 2nd fusion
second doc after see mri(he say no dough re-herniated and a lot of scar tissue from micro-d ) had emg test done (what a joke that was it say all normal all most)wants to try epidural injection to see if it will help before talking about fusion ?dose he want to do injection just to make sure the pain is coming from ? am I just spinning my sore wheels ?just to end up with fusion . I hate the though of having a shot even if only for a short time of pain relief I hate needles .(cut on me just don’t stick me ). The shot thing is really freaking me out he say they put needle in way down at the bottom of the tale bone and put smaller tube in up to l4-l5 area .i am also freaking about if I have a bad reaction to the medication (no way to get it out ) after 6 weeks ago with having reaction to lidurm patch and ending up with all my skin peeling off(Steven Johnston synd.) don’t want to do that again


  • John40,
    Getting another opinion may sometimes be helpful it does give us another impartial view on what our options are; the dilemma is that rather than clarifying what was initially said, it only brings some confusion. If you had ten opinions you may get ten results and knowing which way to turn or what to do for the best is never easy.

    I would sometimes ask what had been recommended by each individual to see if things got any clearer, doing the less invasive and irreversible things first is always preferable, I do understand that time is a factor but so is living with the remnants of any surgery however well it goes.

    Although as you assert, you may just be spinning your wheels although some here have gone onto question jumping in with both feet at the first chance, we all want an improvement and perhaps would trade some loss of function for less pain, this is usually only an expectation rather than reality. All operations sound good at the talking stage; it is in the doing where some of those perceived expectations are tested.

    We sometime have to take things one day at a time and not see into the future too far ahead, that is far simpler to say than do, we all wanted to be back to our norms and have to be realistic in what the outcome may be, even with a positive attitude.

    I had 3 epidurals and do not feel that was wasted time, it could have worked, the assessment of what will happen does follow some form of blueprint for us all, we are trying with tall the evidence possible to make a perceived improvement and that for some is always a coin toss, where some leap of faith into the unknown is a facet of improvement.


  • If the thought of having an epidural is bothering you...having a block is generally no big deal. You can have sedation for the procedure, and it only takes a few minutes to complete the block.

    I had two blocks before I had my fusion. My thoughts were this...I did everything that I could to prevent having a fusion. I did not want to have any regrets about not trying simple,less invasive modalities to improve my situation.

  • Hey John, I know how you feel. I had re-herniated after microdiscectomy at L5/S1 and have a bulging disc at L4. I was given 2 different opinions and oddly, after seeing 7 docctors and getting 1 remote opinion found there were just 2 schools of thought out there.

    50% of the opinions recommended fusion
    50% said revision microdiscectomy.

    What I found is that, I had to make the decision that worked for me personally based on the data I got. For me, I felt trying to less invasive option was better. The surgeon I picked for the 2nd surgery made the most sense to me. He said what I was feeling and that once I picked a fusion, I couldn't go backward and much like SleeprGirl, I did want' to have any regrets about not trying the less invasive procedure.

    I'm about 7 months post-op of the revision and while it's a slow go, I'm doing better.

    I think you just have to do what you feel most comfortable about.
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