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Surgeon for L4/5 discectomy in Raleigh Durham area

owmybkoowmybk Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

First post here. First of all: great forum with great information. Thank you.

Cliff notes:
* Back pain for 6 months
* Finally pressed for MRI--badly herniated L4/L5 disc
* Excruciating pain starting three days ago that required visit to ER.
* Need surgeon recommendation in Raleigh/Durham area.

First post here. I've been suffering from mild to very painful back pain for the past 6 months or so after injuring my back doing back squats at the gym (and possibly before that, not sure). I went the GP route and got some big advils and muscle relaxers back in June 2011... no real help there so tried chiro for awhile, which helped quite a bit at first but then kind of wore off. Toward the end of the year I decided to just bypass the GP and go straight to an ortho doctor.

The first thing the ortho told me was "You're in the wrong place.. I'm a surgeon and based on your symptoms there's no way I'd do surgery on you. You need PT." I pressed for an MRI anyway because I just felt like something was wrong, and luckily he did one... I got the results back last week and have a severely herniated L4/5 disc that's pressing on the nerve. The doctor immediately changed his opinion to "We can try ESI shots, but they're not going to help here and I think you need surgery."

I'd been doing okay up until that point but coincidentally (and maybe also because I stopped doing chiro), the day after that visit I woke up with by far the most intense pain of my life in my entire right side... so much that if I stood I started to black out from pain. That combined with a huge fever and basically being unable to stand or move earned me a trip to the ER.

Anyway, I've gotten a few second opinions from friends and friends of friends in the orthopedic field and all say the same thing: "This need surgery as soon as possible."

At this point I'm looking for the best possible surgeon in my area for a discectomy. I realize that posting names on here probably is not allowed, so I'm hoping that I may get a few PMs from members in this area who have experience with the surgeons around here.

Thank you in advance for listening, and great forum.



  • Nobody in the Raleigh area? :(
  • Hi, sorry to hear about your situation. I would strongly recommend you get another opinion before rushing into lower back surgery. It might be worth trying some esi injections.

    Anyhow, I am not in your area. Also, we cannot give you doctor recommendations but if there is someone from your area, they may be able to send you a private message.

    My recommendation would be to ask you GP for a suggestion. This way you can have his support/influence if you ever need it (both with the surgeon and at the hospital). The other way to get a recommendation is to ask around locally. People love to give advice.

    But, in the end, do your research on the risks of surgery and meet with a doctor or 2 and see who you are comfortable with. A good question to ask the surgeon is
    - what if the surgery doesn't work?
    - why not try other conservative methods?
    - how will the surgeon know if the surgery works or not? I had a surgeon that nearly refused to believe I was in as much pain after as before, but finally agreed to re-MRI me and found it was another herniation.
    - is the disc bulging or did the annulus rupture? There are differencesin herniations.

    I hope some of this helps.
  • Triangle Neurosurgery

    Dennis Eugene Bullard, M.D.
    Neurological Surgeon

    Tel: 919-235-0222
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