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To have surgery or not to have surgery...that is the question

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have another disc acting up causing severe pain on the other side of my back/ribs. I've tried oral steroids, meds, one ESI, a TENS unit, heating pad, etc, and nothing has worked. The oxycodone is the only thing that helps. I have my follow-up appt with the NS next Tuesday, and he had said at my last appt that if I was still in substantial pain despite these treatments, then I'd likely need another surgery. I have thought about talking to my PM doc about starting a regimen of meds to better control my pain. That being said, I feel like taking medication is only masking the problem. We know which disc is the culprit, and we know that it has been getting worse over time. Granted, I could end up having the surgery and still having pain afterwards. If that were the case, then I'd be willing to start a new regimen of medications. I just don't know what to do. My first spine surgery was only 2.5 month ago, and the memory of it is still so fresh in my mind, which makes it difficult to think about going through that all over again. Plus, there is the issue of not wanting to jeopardize my new job. However, this pain is greatly decreasing my quality of life. The past several weeks have been particularly difficult, and I feel like the pain is slowly getting worse and worse. I guess my question is...what would you do if it were you? Would you have the surgery to try to fix the disc which we know is causing the problem? Or would you try to manage it with meds for as long as possible? I should also mention that the disc is T7-8. Not sure if that makes a difference


  • I have found that intuitively I know if and when I have reached the point where surgery is the better option.

  • I agree with C.......having been around the proverbial block a few times, I have found that when I'm "sick and tired of being sick and tired", then it's time.

    Also, if you think that your quality of life is compromised by this pain, and if it's negatively affecting your life, then it's time.

    A couple thoughts for you to chew on! :-)

  • Sorry to hear that you are not better after 1st surgery. i wish you well whatever you decided.

    I'm too facing this challenging question. When is enough. I can't walk more than a few minutes without horrible pain, weakness and numbness. My concern is the nerve compression.
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