Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

All these horror stories

ToxygenTToxygen Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Depression and Coping
So, I am about to accomplish my fourth month of sciatica pain. I have tried various treatments - NSAID's, steroids, chiropractic etc. etc. The pain has not gone. Actually I am not in pain all the time - it is triggered by certain movements - but almost all movements trigger it. I work as a lawyer and I have to sit the entire day - it is a living nightmare. Of course I stand up every 30-40 minutes but the standing is the most painful movement. Actually after a day at work my only wish is to come back home and to lie in my bed. I don't see much sense in such kind of life.

Two or three weeks ago I was considering a microdiscectomy, but after browsing through the forums with all these failed surgery stories I am so terrified that I chose to lead this miserable life of pain instead of undergoing surgery. I have herniated disk at L5-S1, pressing nerve root, causing this awful life ruining leg pain. Nothing helps and Im scared to death by the surgery option after reading all the forums. It seems that all the people take the following way - ESI -> Microdiscectomy -> Fusion. I had also dreams that one day i will be pain free but i don't know how this can happen. Honestly, I can not understand how you people are living with pain every day. You are real heroes. Where do you find the sense of the life in pain? I can't.

So, soon I have to make a decision - to live in pain, hoping for a miracle (sciatica to go away on its own), or to undertake surgery or simply to die - no sense living the life in pain and what happens if I can not overcome my fear of surgery.

Ironically, I know people who had microdiscectomy and now they are feeling awesome, living normal pain free life. But all these horror stories... It is a gambling thing.

~X( ~X( ~X(


  • Yes you will hear many sad stories on this forum but you must remember this there are so many really good outcomes also. Many of those members are not posting regularly as they are feeling much better leading happy and pain free lives.
    So unfortunately you don't really get to hear all the good outcomes and the wonderful stories of complete recovery. Believe me there many people who used to post but after having a total recovery and pain free life they do not have the need to return to the forum unless the chronic pain or other issues return. So you are not seeing a clear picture here. Please do not base your situation on those of us who have had complications or ongoing perhaps lifelong chronic pain issues.
    That being said have you had any PT? Yes, living with pain is not easy but you do have options. I think you have read alot of negative posts which we are such a caring and wonderful group that we do share our painful issues with one another. I really do with the members who had great outcomes would come back from time to time and post how their surgeries turned them into productive and pain free people. There is a ton of information on this site so it is also wonderful to educate yourself on your condition and make a good choice. Not everyone has complications.
    Working with your dr. at this point is critical. You certainly do not want to wait too long only to end up with permanent damage.
    You asked where do we find the sense in life living in chronic pain. Well it can be difficult but with the caring support I have found on this site quite honestly my disabilities have opened my world up fron a life of misery to one of not taking anything for granted. Enjoying the little things in life that I never even considered prior to my injuries. There were times I felt completely useless but I realized I was giving into feeling sorry for myself. I still have my pity parties as a matter of fact I just posted yesterday as I was feeling down in the dumps. Many of our wonderful members posted and picked me right back up. I have told myself I will live with a positive attitude each day. Yes there are hurdles but we have to take one day at a time. Sometimes its taking one hour at a time but with the support of my loving husband and wonderful folks here I refuse to give up.
    I am sure there are many members who have gone through a microdiscectomy (sp?) and will have some good input for you. The odds are in your favor that you will have a positive outcome as long as you do not wait to long.
    I wish you the best of luck and know we are all here for you. Part of what keeps us going is wanting to help others who are going through what we have already been through. If I can help one person a day, by listening or giving them support then it makes me realize I am doing something really good. Although I may live with chronic pain I do have a purpose.
    I will keep you in my prayers.
  • Keep in mind that most people who have great results from surgery, tend to move on from these forums once they no longer feel the need for support. That leaves a population of members who have not had quite as good of an experience. So it would tend to make it appear as if a person who has a micro-d is doomed to have a fusion or a continued life of pain.

    Have you spoken to the surgeon about his experience with patients who undergo a micro-d?

    There are also other conservative treatments that can be undertaken to try and resolve your pain.

    I hope you find your answers.

  • Also try a tens machine , you may find that will help when you are walking or standing

    Angie :H
  • You are wonderful and so supportive! Actually the surgeons here are not very talcative and "user friendly". Of course, everyone thinks that his case is the most important one and the skies will fall if the doctor does not commit a significajt amount of time to the case :-) What i don't like here is that there is no strict "competence separation" between the neurologists and the surgeons. Both doctor types are convinced that they can treat my sciatica and up to now the neurologists didn't have much success :-) But when i ask them about surgery, they say "Oh the hell, do not try surgery at any cost." And surgeons say "We can fix it, but you know it should be last stop."And i am in between with my leg pain, feeling very angry (and anxious) already. And what makes me mad is the fact that I am the one that has to decide what to do. Hey, i am a lawyer, not a doctor!!!! Just to mention that i am a cancer survivor too (like Lance Armstrong). When i got it, everything was pretty clear - first surgery, then chemo. Nothing was required from me, just to survive :-) . And know a whole bunch of doctors can do nothing to stop or at least alleviate leg pain. That's why i feel somehow betrayed by the medical science and hopeless.

    Thank you once more. I pray for all of us!
  • It is quite common for neurosurgeons and neurologists to be at odds with each other as to how to solve a patient's pain issues. Neurologists pride themselves in finding a non-surgical (generally through use of medications) way to treat someone's pain and neurosurgeons of course feel they can fix most any problem with surgery. I've had to find a "balance" myself as to how far I was willing to let the neurologist go in treating my pain before asking the neurosurgeon for help. There are very few cut and dry situations where the two specialists will agree on a course of action together or independently.

    I have never felt betrayed by medical science, however I have felt betrayed by my body.

    Best wishes,

  • Hiya, How are you today? >:D< You do sound really stressed! I know its difficult, but try and relax.
    most would agree with me that stress does add to sciatic pain.Have you had a second opinion? If you have not then its worth getting one! Keep posting! :D

    Angie >:D< :H
  • Hello,
    You are an individual and evidence here is only reflective of one persons experience, as said for all that angst we have success, although my own fusion failed I would not use that to deter anyone from having the opportunity for improvement when the chance came along, it is always a balance of perception.

    The idea is to make up your own mind based on your evaluation and medical assessment once that has been addressed we all took that leap of faith into the unknown. We try hard as a community to assist others irrespective of where on the journey they are, it is important to keep in context the overall risk and enter any process with improved knowledge and understanding.

    Every opinion is a selective one and rather than giving clarity to our goal additional or accumulative second opinions, sometimes confuse us rather than confirm any initial diagnosis or strategy. Ten opinions are no guarantee of success, as said many times, patients here are not doctors and we are only representative of the small element of where surgery has not been successful, we too feel that at times we may not be able to go on, with strength, hope, support and encouragement even in the worse circumstance we mange better than we initially imagined.

    Equate the risk as it relates to your condition and do not let those understandable negative comments, of where surgery has been detrimental, alter your medical needs after comprehensive evaluation and medical opinion or recommendation.

    Although even when any strategy has been ineffectual we all understand it is difficult being impartial and not protect others from a plight similar to our own, it is said from the heart and the sentiment is genuine.

    Pain always proves more difficult than we thought it was going to be, this can be a challenging and eventful journey, that apprehension for the future is something we all understand, together we help each other, holding hands for each step of the way.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  • Hiya , >:D< Welcome to spine health. This site is full of information, so have a browse around. There are many members here who have had either a microdisctectomy or a disctectomy, its worth going into the chat room and talk to users here, there are also success stories. I had a disctectomy (yes the recovery is long), for a while after the operation i still had some back pain but the siactic pain had gone.I went back to work . working long hours , then i had a day off, so i did some gardening and lifted a slab, i felt and heard a crack in my back, then excruciating pain, i could not move, cutting a long story short , i had to give my notice in at work, on the doctors request, and i still dont work now, its been 4 years, since that happened. When deciding about this kind of surgery, you have to first trust the surgeon, then ask yourself if you have tried all other treatment, then ask yourself if you can live with the pain.Then remember everyone is different, and the healing process depends on the person. If you decide to have this done remember you will always have a weak spot, and do not do anything that will cause further problems to your back. I hope this helps you :D

    Angie >:D< :H
  • There are good and bad outcome stories in every field, of anything. You will find that almost without exception the reports you find online are those that have an issue with whatever has been done to them.

    My collarbone shattered dead center into 4 pieces and my shoulder rolled in 2"s within the 3 weeks it took for my OS to get the fancy main operating room as they needed to sit me up and take my clamshell off to get the pin in my Clavicle and get it back where it belongs. I don't talk about that much here. I never thought about it, but the surgery to pin it and the one to take it out where fairly uneventful and I have no real issues on that front.

    The pain, my back etc, comes and goes, is in control then not so much, that I complain about. Hey, I never had surgery on any of that!

    There are people here or were here, once the initial problem is under treatment most move on. It is a dedicated few that hang out here and try to help those who just stumbled in out of the dark.

    Try to read between the lines here as the success stories are here and there throughout the forums.

    I think that some do not post as they feel bad for those the same procedure did not help.

    If you look under conversation forums that is where most of the good reports show up.

    Fear is normal, fear is our self preservation default. We need to get facts and sometimes a little psychiatric help to get to the real root of what WE want to do or allow to be done to us.

    I hope some of this long Wrambling post helps.
  • nyu000nnyu000 ColoradoPosts: 1
    I'm 20 years old and also found myself with a herniated disc L5/S1. This happened to me after I got really into Crossfit. It first started out with pain between the transition of sitting and standing, then progressed to such awful pain that I was unable to ride in a car, or walk. This happened all within 3weeks. I read a lot about PT and steroid injections but being so young I did not want to waste time trying things that might work. After my MRI showed how bad the disc was herniated I saw a neuro surgeon the next day and then had my microdiscectomy two days later. I awoke from the surgery completely pain free, some numbness in my foot but could feel my leg again. After about 2 hours I was up and walking, very slowly but it was walking. The next couple days I didn't do much besides lay on the couch and get up to walk for 10min 3xs a day. Each day got better, I did have some nerve pain on the 5th day but it was due to the steroids wearing off when they did the surgery. I would also like to add that I was only taking pain meds the day after my surgery and since then have not taken anything more than ibuprofen. I got my staples removed 7 days post op and everything is looking great. My doctor reminded me that it is very important to not bend, twist, or lift anything more than 5lbs. Also I will not be doing PT because it is proven to not help, the best thing you can do it walk. I read so many unsuccessful stories but I hope to shine light on some positive. The surgery is the best decision I made.  
Sign In or Register to comment.