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Lower lumbarectomy: Hold on, or do it?

BattyBBatty Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
3 weeks ago, I suffered a herniated disc in my lower spinal region. I suffered deep muscle spasms throughout the left side of my buttocks and down the back of my leg. I had short bolts of pain through my entire leg which made lying down, sleeping or sitting very unpleasant.

My physio suggested I go to a neurosurgeon. I had an MRI scan which showed a herniated disc in L2. We scheduled a lower lumbarectomy three weeks later with a daily dose of Neurontin and Tramecet.

A week later, I'm sitting and sleeping comfortably with the only causes of concern being a slight numbness and weakness below my knee. I do have tiny bouts of pain but it is not as much as what I felt in my first week of herniation. I feel I am getting better as days progress. I'm even back at work where I've been sitting for 8 hours everyday.

Now my dilemma: Should I hold on for a few months to see if I recover fully or do I bite the bullet and go for my planned lower lumbarectomy?


  • Any surgery is invasive. So in my opinion, if you can hold off, I would just wait. You can always get it done later. Hope you continue to heal and not have to have surgery!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Consult with your doctor. Any numbness below the knee can be a sign of a serious condition.
  • It's not a dead numb, but a slight numbness on the shin bone. The calf feels normal though...
  • How bad is the herniation?
    What is a lumbarectomy?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hmm, tough call but if you are having 2nd thoughts, call your surgeon to talk. And if you are still not sure, reschedule it for 6 weeks out. Give yourself some time to get a 2nd opinion.

    My brother in law had some serious issues and after injections really didn't think he had a choice but surgery. He was all set to contact my surgeon for a 2nd opinion after he ended up in the ER but low and behold, he got better after that and has been fine for over a year.

    What does your Physio think? He knows you and I wonder if you are just now re-compensating with your knee.

    The one thing that is worry-some is numbness.
  • i cant speak for every one, but in my opinion, avoid surgery at all costs! theres alot of laser stuff now and injections that could help. once your cut, you cant go back. my simple l5-s1 laminectomy (which was wonderful for 6 months) turned into 3 more surgeries and neverending pain, which has ruined mylife. now there is so many options, i wish i had known someone at the time that had gone through it.

    ps- come on paul, he obviously meant lumbar laminectomy!
  • Deano 74 said:

    ps- come on paul, he obviously meant lumbar laminectomy!
    I didn't know! It was an honest question.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • sounded like a sarcastic poke. my bad. have you been through that before? not a fun decision to make, but since there is even an option not to, i wouldnt. I didnt have a choice, i had ruptured l5s1 so bad i had free floating fragments and avoided goin to the dr for 3 months untill i lost all the muscle in my right leg. my op report actually said "my sciatic nerve was kinked, pinched off and swolen 3 times its normal size."
    I dont know anybody that has had just 1 back surgery.
  • Well it would depend on if your nerve is still being compressed or not. I'd for sure talk to the surgeon and tell him you are getting better. My surgeon only operates if I am not getting any better after 6 weeks. And my first operation was because I had severe nerve compression and lost the use of my calf muscle. So any muscle strength loss even if there is no pain is serious. A little numbness is normal after a herniation. I had numbness before and after my first microdiscecomy for a couple years but only slight in my toes that would come and go.

    My husband also had a large herniation at L4/L5 and it migrated. He refused any treatment that's just the way he is and he had numbness in his shin and that went away completely after a few months. The body can resorb a herniation so in my opinion I think you should wait and not have the surgery. Maybe they can do another MRI. It might show that the herniation is already being resorbed. But definately talk to your doctor about this. Do not take any advise on a forum over your doctors.

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