Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Surgery Next?

captnglenccaptnglen Posts: 5
New to the forum. wanted to get opinions, ideas. understand everyones case is different. heres my situation

mild low back pain in 01/11 progressively got worse over time. did chiro, nsaid's. MRI in june showed l4-l5 herniation and l5-s1 herniation. something happened in august and the sciatica started. Excrutiating pain down right leg, buttocks, behind calf, numbness in foot. Sitting and lying down was ok, but standing and walking sucked.

Did heavy PT for six weeks with no results. only thing that was helpfull was learning about traction which gave me relief to get through the day. PT gave up on me and said epidurals were next.

did a round of three epidurals in october two weeks apart from each other. second and third did the trick and was pain free, however right foot was constantly numb 24-7. sitting, standing, laying down etc.

january came and the numbness started going away and the sciatica came back. now, i have full blown sciatica back where i cant walk normal . cant stand for any more than a few minutes without having to kneel or sit down. got second MRI which showed the l5-s1 herniation got a lot bigger. have been suggested microdiscectomy by the dr. .
does this sound like the next step? percocets dont even take the edge of anymore

doing research and hearing from the dr. says 6 weeks for basic recovery. iam in law enforcement so can only go back when 100 percent. would like to do one surgery and not have to do more as i have read in this forum. cant imagine going through multiple microdiscectomys.
thoughts suggestions, opinions welcome.



  • The choice to have back surgery is a very difficult one, and is one that each of us have considered very carefully. I would not make this decision without at least a couple different surgeons giving you the advice to have surgery, and even then only after all other conservative methods have been tried.

    If you decide that surgery is for you, make sure you follow the doctors instructions to the letter. No bending, twisting or lifting until allowed by your surgeon.

    All good wishes your way, whatever your decision. Welcome to spine health, there is a wealth of info on this site, plus some really intelligent people on the boards that can give you great advise.
  • if it does come to surgery. what are most peoples thoughts on
    spine surgeon or

    neuro-surgeon? minimall invasive surgery?

  • The choice of surgeon can be just as hard as deciding whether to have the surgery in the first place. My surgeries were all done by a neurosurgeon, but many prefer a fellowship trained ortho surgeon. Perhaps your GP could help you with suggestions on choice of surgeon and proceedure to be done, that's where I started.
  • Hi there,
    Definitely get a 2nd opinion and maybe a 3rd.
    It's important to consider your goals. I am in a desk job so I could go back part time prior to the 6 weeks being up and work remote.

    Did the doctor give a suggestion if you do not do the MD? Perhaps ESI Injection? Just curious.

    Surgery is personal.
    Minimally invasive is only the procedure not the actual surgery. Back surgery is a big deal. I don't want to scare you but it is important to do your homework (which it's clear you are doing).

    Minimally invasive is the way they use small incision and don't cut through the muscles. The pro is faster recovery, less pain. The downside is that the surgeon's view can be limited so they may miss a piece of disc that is pressing on the nerve.

    Overall, the surgery is fairly 'easy'. The key is recovery. Back surgery is not one of those 'start feeling better' so 'work through it'. You have to gradually get yourself back after the surgery.

    If you opt for the surgery, many can give you advice on how they approached recovery.

    As for type of surgeon - it depends.
    My first one was orthopedic spine surgeon.
    My 2nd one was with a neurosurgeon.

    Overall both great surgeons but would pick the NS again in a heartbeat - he was very skilled but also talked me through recovery BEFORE the surgery. I knew how he would tell if the surgery succeeded or not. He listened to me.

    Good luck
  • Thanks for the info.
    I feel that surgery must be next as I have exhausted all other non-surgical remedies and now those that once worked, no longer do.

    four months ago, i could do traction in the morning and be good until the afternoon. now, twenty minutes of traction gives me two minutes of pain releif.

    cant walk without limping or bending over. walk like the hunchback.
    cant stand for more than a minute without having to kneel down.
    thank god sitting is still pain free
    sleeping was usually pain free but now takes some time for the nerve to settle down and let me sleep.
    did three epidural injections two weeks apart back in october but they wore off about three weeks ago.
    when the epidurals did work, i still had a numb foot.

    i am a father of two and work full time. so its hard to do much of anything anymore. getting three opinions takes time which i dont have much of.

    how long did it take from the moment you "decided" to have the surgery, got the opinions you felt were sufficient and then actually went under the knife.

    my ortho dr. does not do spine surgerys so he has reffered me to a spine surgeon he recommends. its work comp so i have to wait till he gets authorized before i can even set up office visit/eval.

    scheduled a fourth epidural for this friday but confidence is low, since nothing is giving me any relief any more.

    direct ice is now not even giving me relief. all the prednisone pills and dep medrol packs, never worked.
    very frustrated. walking like iam an old man. my age is 38.
    mom had surgery at the same age 30 years ago. i guess its my time.

    talking about the minimally invasive surgery..... how often does the "missing a peice of disc" happen? does it happen in 3 out of 10 surgeries. of the people you have talked to that have had the procedure complain of no pain relief or do they require second surgeries. i would much rather take the open surgery and get it all done. no question about if there was anything left behind.

    sorry for the novel....

    thanks again
Sign In or Register to comment.