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Favorite surgery procedure?

LasVegasLLasVegas Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I realize this is a such a vague question...

but if facet & epidural injections, pain meds, chiropractic, trigger point massage, etc are all treatments of temporary relief at best, what surgery procedures are known to be most helpful for bulging discs and narrowing?

My neck is whiplash which my pain mgmt dr believes will heal in time. And my lumbar has several bulging discs, mild narrowing, some arthritis and a cynovial cyst.

I've scheduled my 1st ortho appt next week and would like to research before my appt, a few procedures that some may have found beneficial.

Anybody with success to share, please reply...thanks in advance.


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    For me, given my disc situation, a fusion was the best option. I'm not 100% and may need more work but I'll never forget waking up from fusion and having a significant amount of nerve related pain gone.

    Get a few opinions from a few Orthopedic Spine Surgeons and/or Neurosurgeons.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Definitely a question that really cannot be answered. Each person has a condition unique to their spine. Each person has other possible physiological issues that have to be taken into account. Back ground, lifestyle, employment, insurance etc ... all play into the determination a doctor makes.

    I would say that a favorite surgery would be the one that provided someone the most relief.


  • My favorite is Prolotherapy. It's safe, effective and it has relieved my leg and back pain. I'm still being treated with Prolo but I am extremely happy with the results so far.
  • The best surgery in my opinion is the one that has the least permanent impact on you while correcting your problem. For a herniated disk they might be able to do a discectomy where they remove just the bulging portion of the disk or a forenotomy where they remove bone to give more room for the disk. They can always go back later to do a fusion if this doesnt work. But it all depends on your situation.

    Make sure you ask lots of questions, look at the films and make the surgeon point out exactly where they want to work and think very carefully. Several opinions are important. Each doctor has a slightly different way of looking at a problem. And remember that sometimes the fix is worse than the original problem so doing nothing can be the best answer.
  • Def ask questions and the discectomy I have had and got instant relief but only lasted for a couple years
    but I also played hard and for some it prob would work for longer period of time lol but yes weigh all your options ask surgeon about long term affect of any procedure keep in mind after fusion you will never be
    100% which I am guessing you will not be anyway it sounds like .My surgeon wants to get me to 75% is his goal and before my L4 L5 fusion surgery this sounds wonderful to me to get to 75% I welcome that I hope you get relief good luck :D
  • You don't always get much of a choice. Usually your surgery is chosen by your circumstances.

    My choice would have been 1) no surgery. 2) minimally invasive surgery. 1,000,000) being laid open in 2 places and having parts of my spine sawed out. But the only one that will work is my millionth choice, so I'll go with that.

    So wait and see what the orthopedic surgeon says. Surgery isn't usually the first option for lumbar DDD unless there is a specific issue that needs to be fixed, so you may not hear anything about surgery at all :)
  • I have to agree with others that say the decision and treatment is so personal based on your individual diagnosis, pain, life goals, etc.

    I am of the mind set that I always pick the path that is least invasive (e.g. avoid surgery if possible and if you have to opt for surgery, pick the least permanent one...mainly because there is no going back after a fusion). But each situation warrants different treatment. The spine & nerves that it protects is so complex and results do vary.

    What is important is to understand what options are out there and then ask more questions about those options.

    we will be here to help you understand what types of questions to ask and what experiences we may/may not have had with a particular procedure BUT each person's experience is so individual.

    My only recommendation is that you research/read on here. Spine surgery is MAJOR no matter how minimally invasive the procedure is, it's major surgery to touch the spine!
  • Just my 2 cents would be NONE!!

    Let me just add that this is just my personal opinion...one of those...if I knew then what I know now!!
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