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Confussed which way to turn

Hi, Im new here but a friend pointed me towards the pool of knowledge here.

I was told 3 months ago following a failed injection into the L5/S1 that I will be having a microdiscectomy in 2 weeks time. My issue is this:

The pain was severely chronic until 4 weeks ago. Over the last 4 weeks the pain has gone to the extent I DON'T need any medication (literally cold turkey over 3 days following 4yrs of oxycontine and tramadol) and I can jog 2-3 miles without pain!!! This is massive for me, I've never been so happy considering I've had this pain 4 years and been effectively disabled at home with my wife caring for me.

The only thing I've had is a cortisone injection 3 months ago. I did have 2 injections 3 years ago but they had no effect.

I am totally confussed now. I cannot sit still for more than 20-40mins and this gets very uncomfortable before turning to pain. This pain then remains 2-4hrs before subsiding. I've been so scared of re-injury I've kept jogging to once a day. I clearly still need something but should I still have surgery? I've waited over 4 years for this date and feel I really need it.

My Question is: If I have very little pain and have the surgery can they only make things even better, or am I risking the surgeon causing a relapse? If I could sit I feel I could at least work (which I haven't been able to do since I was involved in a motorcycle accident).



  • keep in mind going into surgery there is no guarantee's that it will make things better, which is why you sign a release to the risk of surgery. If your up jogging 2-3 miles a day, there is noway I would let some one cut on me. I would thank my lucky stars and cancel the surgery. If you have been so bed ridden for this many years, it might be the more active you get and stronger the remaining pain issues will go away. Of course I would watch the way you bend, lift and twist(blt), so you don't risk the re-injury. My suspect is if you had that injection in the past month the injection is actually working. That medication can take some time to do it's job. But if it were me and I was pain free, no medications there is noway I would go under the knife and take the risk of surgery. You need to contact your surgeon and let them know what is going on, and get their medical opinion.
  • You say you still have pain while sitting. Hard to say which way I would go. I know my first stop would be a consult with my surgeon. I know that surgery for me has always been the last resort, if I thought I was improving without, I'm pretty sure I'd wait and see what happens. It's got to be a pain to not be able to sit without pain though. I know it is for me.

    You can always reschedule surgery later if you find it necessary
  • I am a very active 47 year old female that woke up one day thinking I had overdone it at the gym because my right leg was sore. I kept working out - lifting 4x week and running/biking/jumping rope. My leg got worse. I went to doc and took prednisone for 9 days and no change. Chiropractor did adjustment, no effect. PT for two weeks...nothing. Couldn't even sleep at night without the pain. If I could have found some way to not have the pain I would never have done surgery. I ended up going for a L5/S1 microdisectemy and was doing great until day 8. Maybe I pushed it (they told me to walk to I was walking 20-40 min / day) and I ended up with a dural tear which causes spinal fluid leak and headaches that take you to the ground. Back in the hospital I go and then open up the same incision to do the patch on the dura. I am now 5 days out from that and scared to do ANYTHING. I don't want the headaches or to have to go back for surgery. AVOID surgery at all costs. Keep working PT, Chiropractor, acupuncture..whatever but don't let them open you up..it just causes more problems. A little burned I know, but that is how I feel.
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