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Leary of Surgery

OUCloudOOUCloud Posts: 4
edited 11/04/2012 - 10:43 AM in Lower Back Pain
To make a long story short I was born with Issues in the lumbar area. Since age of 12 I have dealt with Numbness of legs, falling to the floor , jarring spine ect. off and on . I am 50 now.

2003 Two Neuro-Surgeons said NO to surgery - Due to the high risks of becoming paraylzed with surgery (150% chance) and without it 75% it will occur on its own.

Sept 2012 - I ruptured the L5-S1. Saw the doctor and since steriod shots were a wast of money , we didn't go that route . (worked once ant that was the end of the story ).

Had a new MRI oct 2012, my primary sent me to a neuro-surgeon.

this guy seems gung ho on surgery - total removal of L5-S1 and replace it with a rod and screws. Even though I explained to him that I was born with issues and had the lost of feeling waist down most of my life .

At first , i'm think great let's do this. though i am waiting til after the holidays.

NOW, however I'm having doubts and be honest leary of this idea.

I don't want to wake up and discover i'll spend rest of my life in a wheel chair.
because some one didn't take the time to listen to me.

Suggestions ? Advice ?

My primary thinks it will be okay , after all a lot of changes have come in 12 years in the medical field.

He can say that, its not him.

walk softly upon the earth, feel her heartbeat from within
Listen to the silence for it speaks
Listen to the wind for it talks
Listen to your heart and you will understand.
by Oucloud


  • well...you are right, no need to rush with the holidays approaching.
    But perhaps this is a good time to get other opinions. A few years ago, I took the holiday season to get 6 "2nd opinions" on surgery. I know that sounds absurd but I needed to find a new surgeon that I trusted and it took that many to find the one I trusted for the 'life of my back issues'. This included an e-opinion from the Cleveland clinic (not sure if I'm allowed to post this) which was nice b/c they could not treat me due to where I lived.

    Anyhow - why not seek at least one more opinion. Don't tell the 2nd opinion what you have been told. Tell him you want him to evaluate you and give his professional recommendation. Tell her you are seeking another opinion to be sure you make the right decision not only on the current situation but on the surgeon you are looking to establish a medical relationship with.

    But yes, it seems that not only has your situation changed with the disc BUT indeed technology is very different than when you were 12 (which is some 40+ years ago from your story). This doesn't mean that surgery is not risky but remember - you are full grown adult when in your younger years you were not, technology has advanced, you are 50 which is still young and makes it better for recovery. On the flip side, yes, back surgery is a BIG deal and comes with risks.

    I would talk to the doctor about these risks and what they will do to avoid these from occurring. There is special nerve monitoring that can be done to help avoid some of this. Even if you decide not to do surgery, it is good to do the research because you may be in a position down the line where you really do want to consider it over doing nothing. Why not bring yourself up to date on what's available.

    Good luck. I think you are starting in the right place - cautiously optimistic with some skepticism.
  • Yes OUCloud, do lots preparation and research.

    Find a good surgeon that you can trust to help you through issues, if things do go bad, is real important.
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