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frustrated.. just went to another spinal consultation..

mkim680mmkim680 Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been confused on what to do with my condition. I just recently went a neurosurgeon who was one of the pioneers in endoscopic spinal fusion. He told me that I have a 50/50 chance that i will get better because i have nerve pain. He saw the MRI and saw my previous surgery a lumbar disectomy was done well and there is nothing pressing against my nerve. This was a concern to him because he stated that either i have scar tissue pressing on the sciatic nerve or permanent nerve damage. The other surgeons I went to all wanted to do a ALIF and told me i would be 100% better. The others think its the actually disc causing the nerve pain. I am confused on what to do. I am not sure if I should go ahead with surgery and which type. The doctor also stated that in his years of doing an endoscopic fusion surgery that he has not seen one case of a person needing another surgery because of the adjacent level being effected at the l5-s1. However, this has only been with the results of 10 years and he does not know what the outcome has been longer than this. Also, what are my options if my nerve is permanently damaged? (its strange because my emg shows my nerves should be fine)



  • Quick question, the NS who says he sees NO nerve compression mention DISCOGENIC" PAIN?
    I am 16 days post ALIF, its no walk in the park!,
    I had docs read the exact films and several said clear indication for surgery due to significant foramonal stenios with all docs confirming 100% loss in disc height, yet others indicated no compression! All confirming moderate to severe DDD .

    Different opinions are hard to deal with.

    Good luck & doc shop til u find the one!
    Took me 6 months to find mine! Virginia

  • Can discogenic pain cause sciatic pain as well? I have never heard this. This could make sense since my mylegram, emg, mri show no nerve compression anywhere. I was baffled what else could be casuing the sciatic pain. The doctors all told me that i have a collapsed disc height with spinal narrowing. I have never heard this. I have some other consultations i will be going on and this would be great to ask them. Thanks.
  • 100% improvement? Who has those odds? I think the 50% sounds more realistic, if less impressive, although I am not an expert and maybe it's really not more realistic.

    I would be leery of any doctor that gave me 100% odds of anything in back surgery. I've seen too many people here who have gone through it and still have pain, and very few who ended up 100% pain free.

    As for which option to go with. Which surgeon did you trust the most?
  • 100% is too good to be true - run from that guy. Dr. 50/50% is being more honest. Was the sciatic pain preceding your discectomy? If there is no nerve damage on EMG and no compression on myelogram, I would be concerned that you do have permanent nerve damage (again why EMG normal though?) or a chronic nerve pain pathway that's already well established and not likely to go away with any surgery except a SCS. If scar tissue was causing nerve compression that would show up on myelogram as well.Did you have a discogram and if so where your nerve symptoms reproduced at the time of the discogram?
  • The sciatic pain was preceding the surgery. I had the microlumbar disectomy because the disc protruded even further which main caused urinary retention. What is a SCS surgery? I had a discogram about 4 years ago which didn't show anything. I plan to have another one because I am not sure if trusted the discographer who performed the procedure. I know the MRI showed an annular fissure and I want to see if the current discogram i have corroborates the MRI findings. My EMG test and reports show no permanent nerve damage. The doctors have given me different reasons for the nerve pain. Some have stated its the disc itself or that I have permanent nerve damage. I have no way to tell. I know my disc is pretty damaged and even I have no fusion i am not doing any worse. I have a nerve root block and facet joint injection tommorrow to do some ruling for pain sources.

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