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L5/S1 Surgery Update

DC42DC42 Posts: 23
Hello everybody and thank you for responding to my blogs. The information was very helpfull in comparison to what I'm dealing with. Still I don't have a clue what to do here. My lawyer called today and said that LNI has approved another Micro after they recieved my second Dr's opinion, which they sent me to. I really want to do it because I felt so good after the last one until the scar tissue started choking the nerve again.
After doing lot's of research online I now have a decent understanding of the spine and how it works, because these high class Dr's wont give me 5 minutes of their time. Lot's of people have scar tissue problems after spinal surgery, and I have no clue why the Dr. wants me to have another one when he isn't even sure if the disc protrusion is causing my problems. I would think that he would try more conserative measures like, Pain Management that I have never tried because they won't refer me there. I have done all the PT and injections with no relief.
Ultimately it's my decision and they want to know what I want to do tomorrow. It's really bumming me out because I have learned that my backs shot and it will be an ongoing battle for the rest of my life, and I'm 26 years old. I have managed to deal with this with no meds for 6 months so I think I'm going to say no on the surgery and try to wait it out a little while longer. I believe that I need to atleast try pain management before I do the surgery that doesn't have much of a success rate in the first place.
Anybody out there ever had a disc protrusion back off the nerve and heal all on its own because that's what I'm shooting for now I guess. Also anybody know of a good pain killer that's not an addictive narcotic that a Dr. might actually perscribe to me. Thanks for listening. Dane


  • Wow, no meds? Are you even using any Tylenol? I think your disc protrusion can heal but with professional help it might be quicker. What do you think caused your physical therapy to fail (I know that's a difficult one to answer).

    My situation is definitely improving, it is L5S1, and it is pain in the right hip and leg and numbness in foot. I had 3 epidural blocks. Pain now for 8 weeks.

    I think waiting is reasonable but there needs to be a treatment plan of some sort. The plan is customized to what kind of pain, weakness, numbness, nerve damage, pattern of pain with sitting, standing and sleeping you have.

  • Maybe a Physiatrist(sports Medicine Dr.) can help you get better so your disc may heal or at least he can help strengthen you core etc. I had a L5-S1 herniated disc and annular tear and nerve impingement heal on it's own or rather it wasn't seen on my second MRI. But unfortunately still have back pain and sciatica from Degenerative discs so in my case it did heal by itself although DDD replaced it.

    If you still have pain though and the HD doesn't get better make sure you get a second opinion surgeon if you need surgery though.

    I also echo tune above wondering how you manage with no meds. Hopefully your Dr. can help you find a med that will help your pain. Take care and keep us updated how you're doing. Charry

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have had problems with L5S1 for over a year now. Narcotic pain meds do not help the nerve pain at all. If you want to wait, ask your doc for Lyrica, neurotin or amitripyline. These meds are not as addictive as pain meds but they are given just for nerve pain. I take a combination of neurotin and amitripyline. They have taken the edge off of my pain but have not helped to eliminate it. Some people have no pain at all with these meds.

    While you are deciding to wait, keep in mind that the longer a nerve is "pinched" the longer it takes to heal. My insurance would not pay for surgery without all other treatments exhausted,...injections, PT, Chiropractor..etc. I finally had my surgery in Oct 10. It helped my pain on one side but the other side got worse. Basically, I waited too long to have surgery and it has caused me more problems. Don't wait too long if you dont have too.
    Good Luck!
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