I have a laminectomy scheduled for June 20, 2011, and still need to get a second opinion. I've seen a physiatrist, who had me undergo an MRI, which showed extensive spinal stenosis. I've had back problems for many years, as well as symptoms in the legs and feet. Right now my most annoying problem is the sensation of numbness in my feet. I also have twitching and cramping in my right leg, as well as occasional burning sensations in the thigh. I don't really have back pain at the moment. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon, who confirmed that I have severe stenosis. He said I could get epidural shots first, but I opted for surgery and he said he'd perform a laminectomy with a fusion. He said he'd free up what's causing a nerve compression and that the numbness should go away. He sounded quite confident that he could solve the issue, but added that obviously I could have problems again years from now.
My question -- is surgery the best option? I tried physical therapy, which didn't help. I see no point in the shots. I could just go on with the numbness and other issues, but the stenosis obviously won't go away; it'll get worse and my symptoms will also probably get worse. I'm 51 years old and if I need surgery I'd rather have it sooner than later. I just don't want to end up with post-surgical pains, complications and other issues I don't have now. Well, that's obvious. Also, what are the pros and cons of having a neurosurgeon vs. an orthopedic surgeon perform the operation?
Thank you very much!