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What should I do?

roofumrroofum Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everybody. I am a 58 year old male with chronic lower back issues. It started in 2009, with an MRI showing L4-5 disc degeneration and severe stenosis in L5-s1. I have held off surgery with vigourous lower body exercise and weight loss. Early in the summer my luck ran out when the back pain, mostly under the buttocks returned after with vengenance after a day working a roofing crane and golfing 27 holes (my own fault). Didnt realize how stupid it was to the following day. Since then i have seen three separate back doctors. First doctor recommended fusion of L4-5. the second doctor recommended fusion of L4-5, L5-s1. Doctor number three recommended suggested a lumbar laminectomy of L2, L3, L3-4, and a lumbar interbody fusion, posterior or transforanimal to L4-5 to L5-s1. I would appreciate anyone chiming in who has had to make this same or similar decision regarding surgery. This is my first time posting, I am not sure this is the right forum or post area. Please advise. Thank you, Kevin


  • It's the right place.

    It is recommended to exhaust all the "conservative" treatments first. Looks like you've got the physical therapy ("pt") already. Other options are things like injections into the vertebrates, traction, and aquatic therapy.

    Usually a discogram is performed next. This is a test where the doctors try to pinpoint your source of pain.

    If the case is not too bad, a microdiscectomy might be performed.

    The next more invasive jump from there is something like a laminectomy.

    Finally, the most invasive step is a fusion. They can either fuse the joint permanently or try an artificial disc replacement ("ADR").

    Each procedure has different degrees of positives and negatives.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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