I am a New Yorker, currently 34 and unfortunately a member of this wonderful group of back pain sufferers. I love the site and find the info and support here invaluable.
My back pain started 3.5 years ago after I gave birth to twins. I had sciatic pain due to a L5-S1 herniation which gradually got worse and worse. I tried bed rest, physical therapy and chiropractic but none helped. After 5 months I was forced into surgery due to Cauda Equina Syndrome. The surgery went well and I was once again pain free.
A year and a half later I had a sudden onset of excruciating pain which did not taper off at all for many weeks. An MRI showed a severely herniated disc with disc fragmentation, again at the L5-S1 level. They gave me an ESI but it only worked for a couple of hours until the anesthetic part wore off. Since I was not getting any pain relief from the sciatic nerve and since the first surgery was successful I had another. The surgery went well and I was once again pain free.
(In hindsight, I probably shouldn't consider the surgeries successful if a repeat was necessary at the same level, but at that time successful meant achieving a pain-free life for any duration!)
Now a year and a half post-surgery #2, the pain has returned. Again, with a sudden onset, but the pain is manageable with bed rest, Naproxen and Oxycodone. So, I will be waiting it out and going to physical therapy, perhaps acupuncture and we'll see what happens. However, at this point if I am forced into the surgical route, I will probably need a spinal fusion.
I am currently using a highly recommended NYC spine surgeon and I am happy with his care. However I would like to go for a second and third opinion at this time (while not in crisis mode) so that I am prepared in case I need to have the fusion surgery suddenly.
So, if there are any New Yorkers out there, can you send me a PM and let me know if you would recommend or stay away from any particular spine surgeon and how you picked your surgeon for spinal surgery? (The forum rules say that you can't post doc info on the forum.)
Thanks to anyone who can help me out.