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Should I go through with microdiscectomy?

Hello all. I am trying to decide if I should go through with my scheduled microdiscectomy on July 27. Background: I am a 27 yr old male. I injured my back lifting weights in January. At first I had incredible pain and some spasms. Over a few weeks the pain in my back went away but i began having sciatica. Now I am perfectly fine when I sit but have trouble standing or walking very far. I get some combination of pain and tingling from my left buttock to my foot. If I try to push myself too far, the situation gets inflamed and I have a good deal of pain for several days until things cool down and its back to my normal discomfort. I should say that unless I have aggravated it with too much walking the pain goes away when I sit. Some nights I have some trouble falling asleep because I have some pain when I lay down, but I can usually fall asleep before too long. I had x rays and an MRI done which lead to the neurosurgeon recommending the microdiscectomy. I can post my MRI results later but they basically said I had a herniated disk with annular tear around L5. My main concern is that I am in general not in too much pain. Yes my lifestyle is restricted and sometimes I can get quite frustrated at myself when trying to cut grass or change light fixtures in my new house, but it is manageable. I am worried that the surgery could leave me with more pain than I am in now. I have heard that after this surgery people often have pain when sitting. What if the surgery does not successfully relieve my pain and then I am left with pain when I stand OR sit? Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance!


  • Personally if the MRI sows the tear its down to how big the fissure is and how much disk has pushed out. IF your in the early stages and in limited pain 1-5/10 then I would get to the gym/physio and work on the core and back muscles. People recovery and a microdiscectomy is the LAST RESORT. As you said the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I wish you all the best
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 07/19/2012 - 1:08 PM
    On the other hand, a person (me for example) can get nice results from a surgery. Basic daily activities caused me too much pain. I couldn't have a basic minimal quality of life. I got the surgery and am so glad I did it.
    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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