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Should I still have surgery tomorrow

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anybody resolved thier sciatic pain before surgery?

I have a herniated disc L5-S1. I had severe sciatica in my right leg and could not walk or sit. I had an epidural in August which helped but my right foot would have pins and needles and I could only stand/walk around for about an hour. I am also doing PT. I was refered to a neurosurgen for a discectomy on Oct 7. Now I am almost pain free and my surgery is tomorrow. I still have a slight pain in my leg if I bendover but nothing like it was.


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Your Neurosurgeon
    Your Primary Doctor
    Your Physical Therapist
    Your "Higher Power" (God)
    Your Significant others
    Your own feeling and education and experience of the pros and cons.

    Take all opinions and place on spin. An educated answer should shake out.

    All kidding aside .... discusss with your surgeon as soon as possible.

    Keep us posted!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • You problems are like my problems and I ran from surgery and I don't regret it so far (over 1 year later)
  • I'm not going to say you should cancel your surgery and you aren't likely to find anybody here who will say that to you. It does seem, however, that much if not most of the reason for the surgery has resolved on it's own. Unless you have neurological signs of pressure on a nerve (numbness, tingling, weakness) I'd have to say that if I were in your shoes I'd avoid surgery. I herniated a disc 35 years ago and was miserable for some time but the pain finally resolved without treatment of any kind. I'm now recovering from fusion surgery done a week ago and from what the surgeon says about what he found in there, it's obvious that disc stayed herniated--it just quit hurting. If I had it to do over again, I'd do exactly the same thing as I did before. Having back surgery to resolve pain should be a LAST resort. It changes your life forever. I'm ready to face those changes only because I was headed to a bad place, spine-wise, one which was never going to get better and could only get worse. That made my decision much easier.

    The only strong advice I'd give you is to get on the phone immediately with your surgeon and talk about this. Best wishes to you. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I had a similar experience. I herniated in April 09 and had severe sciatica. I was scheduled for fusion in august after lots of appointments etc. Then, about two weeks before the op, I got loads better. I cancelled the surgery on the surgeon's advice.
    Then I got new symptoms, in the other leg, a few weeks later and ended up in surgery in October!
    I would talk to your surgeon and see what he says.
  • The only thing I can tell you is to take the following steps:

    1. Research
    2. Repeat Step 1
    3. Research some more
    4. Repeat Step 3
    5. See Step 1

    I can tell you this, I wish I would've done a little more studying on my own. I wouldn't have gotten the particular surgery that I ended up getting. I would've opted for a more "tried and true" method.

    I regret it to this day. When I start googling, I start seeing more and more people with the same story, same symptoms.

    If you don't feel comfortable about something (more then just nerves from surgery), then postpone, ask questions, and follow the steps above.

    Good luck to you.
  • I think if you are questioning it, you have valid reservations since it seemed that you experienced a reduction of pain w/out surgery. I suffered with chronic,and then acute sciatica nerve pain for two years.It affected my quality of life and my families.6 weeks ago i had spinal fusion and 2 discs removed and my sciatica nerve pain IS GONE. To me it is miraculous, although i still have pain from surgery which is normal.My sciatica nerve pain was causing nerve damage,etc. You have to be comfortable with your decision, spinal recovery is a committment. Hope you have a productive discussion w/ your surgeon and whatever you decide is in your best interest. Good Luck!
  • I had the same issues and wished I would have researched more and got another opion. I was setting in the docs office watching videos of the precedure and really had doubts, but went on with the suregery. If i could only turn back time, my pain now is worse than before the surgery. MY leg is now on fire, pins and needles, numbness, the pain now is fifferent han before surgery. All i can do now is be on my feet about 45 minutes to an hour then have to sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Its been a year next week and im still going to several doctors trying to figure out what the issue is.

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