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

Should I or not (have op)

I've had lower back pain for years, but its on and off. If "on" I'm crippled, cant walk, stiff, massive pain, you all know how it is.

In 2006 it was shown I had a herniated disc, got on with it. This year I've had about 4 real times where my back has "gone", in the last 2 this year, I had real bad sciatica in my right leg.

I had another MRI, and its shown a significant protrusion in L4/L5, the surgeon suggested a microdiscectomy.

Now at the moment my back and leg is fine. No pain really, just stiffness (which I need to get back to stretching again). So even though at the moment I dont have any leg pain or back pain, should I still go for the op as suggested?

The procedure is via work private health scheme, I have a supportive family, I think I will be out looking at web, about 4-8 weeks. I would have physic via work (they have a dept)

At the moment my head is, dont have the op, but as soon as my back goes, and I cant get off the floor, struggle to do anything, I would have the op in a heartbeat. Thats my dilemma.

Also the surgeon said that it would fix my leg pain, and not so much the back pain, I would have to strengthen the back muscles. This is a little worrying for me. As I say its been my back thats been the problem for years, much less so the leg pain, so will the op also fix the back pain, surely if the disc is sticking out then it muct be affecting my back as well?



  • It has been years that you have been this pain. I don't understand if you have insurance or not. I started with back pain in 2006 and had episodes where I had 4 steroid epidurals throughout the 6 years as pain came on and off. This past year my pain went down my left leg with numbness and tingling and horrible pain in back, buttocks down to the feet. I just had surgery on Nov 5 this year and I AM VERY GLAD I HAD THE SURGERY. The pain disappeared from my leg and back. I had a little surgical back pain and my legs and feet were half numb but not in pain. I am 3 1/2 wks recovery and I am doing fine. I am retired and have good insurance. I suggest you go to the best neurosurgeon in your city (he needs to be fellowship trained with many years of experience). My surgeon had over 30 years experience. I could not stand the pain and that is the reason I retired last year. I was tired of limited activities, not much exercise

    Laminectomy L3-L4, L4-L5, no fusion
  • thanks, sorry I do have insurance yes. What op have you had? Is it Microdiscometry?

    My episodes come and go, as I say at the moment, my back is fine, I dont have any pain, I can run, carry bags, drive, do everything I want to.

    This is what is my dilemma. When the pain is there, I'm crippled. But the surgeon states from the MRI that there is a large protrusion on L4/L5 and so recommends surgery. He stated it would fix the leg pain, possibly the back pain, although this will have to be worked on. But surely if I have the protrusion that is seen on the MRI this has to be the cause of my back pain coming and going?
  • Typically surgery is only indicated when there is loss of reflex, muscle atrophy/loss of strength, or "prolonged" loss of sensation, or loss of bowel/bladder control. To do surgery for pain only is usually not indicated. There are many people with the label "failed back surgery." Studies show that up to 35% of people are walking around with herniated disks that are totally asymptomatic. Point being that what they see on MRI may send them on a wild goose chase. My point being that unless you have loss of reflex, weakness, loss of sensation etc. which truly indicates that the nerve is being irritated, you are taking a chance with surgery for "pain."
    Of course you are going to get flare ups, the mechanics of that L4/5 joint have changed because of the loss of disc height. This puts more pressure on the joints and makes the segment unstable because now the ligaments have more slack in them allowing for excessive motion which = Gotcha! Pain that will bring you to your knees.
  • The micro D surgery is not very invasive, If it works then yes its worth a try if you already tried all alternarive treatments,
    I know many who done very well with the micro d surgery,

    As long as they can save the rest of the disc and it dont blow out you could be ok, Good luck, You always want the min invasive surgery 1 st,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
    edited 11/28/2012 - 1:00 PM
    Ps ye what other person said, make sure that is the level causing the pain, Making sure its not something else causing it can make all the diference,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    There are only two people in this world that can make that decision. Your Doctor and You
    But to make anything work, you still need to have a supportive family and from what I read here and in your other post, you have that.

    You can read all the posts that people make here (including mine) and take them for what they are worth. We are providing input based on our own experiences. Spinal surgerie, especially lumbar have come a long way in the past 30 years, 20 and even 10 or 5 years. New techniques and materials are making the lumbar surgery a very successful on taking.

    Now, I had my first in 1978. Then they used a reciprocating saw, a pair of vise grips and duck tape to complete the job.

    All kidding aside, the first thing I would do in your situation is get a second opinion. What you are looking for is for at least two doctors to totally agree on your condition and to agree on the action plan (surgery).. If they dont agree, then go after a third opinion.

    Meanwhile, take a look at some of these Spine-Health Articles and Videos: Back Surgery

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • All surgeries are invasive .....don't be fooled
  • Well not as invasive as removing the whole disc and doing fusion or arrificial disc, I had ADR and later fusion thats what i call invasive, The micro d is the least invasive surgery i know about, Is there anything less invasive ?

    Removing a small part of the disc is not as bad as any other surgery of the spine so please let me know what is the least invasive ? Of.course surgery is still surgery and all surgery has risk, So is driving a yugo is more invasive then driving a truck if you crash, Right?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • well looks like its happening, next Mon is the date...gulp..

    Now its set, I'm a little nervous, i want this to work! As I've said above my pain comes and goes. I can be absolutely fine, then my back goes, and then I'm in massive pain, cant walk etc, on pain killers constantly for weeks etc. It gets better, then ok for a while, and then goes again.

    Not just me, but also my wife and kids are affected by this, when my back goes. It cant go on like this. When my backs fine, I am strong, can run, walk miles, lift etc, but when its gone, the pain, and restrictiveness is terrible., sometimes struggle to get off the floor.

    When the consultant seen the MRI he stated it is a large prolapse/protrusion, and suggested Microdiscemtry, which ultimately I suppose I'm happy with as something has to be done
  • good luck with the surgery ...
  • Had my pre-op today. Decent check of everything like!

    The nurse explained quite a few things, questions that I had, e.g. my biggest concern is that, as I've mentioned before, about my back is fine one min (month), then if it "goes" then I'm in agony. She said that this can be as the prolapse is sticking out so much and not going in, anything can aggravate it, then fluid rushes to the area, and causes inflammation, making it worse.

    Also siad that the consultant wouldn't do spinal surgery for no reason, must think its a significant prolapse to operate. Only hassle I've got now is work...
  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 12/06/2012 - 4:42 PM
    All the best with the microdiscectomy surgery.

    Do you know there is a December Surgery Buddies thread where all the December surgery people post how they are going?

    You may wish to post there on your progress and get tips from others having the same op.
  • MrMrMrMMrMrMr Posts: 25
    edited 12/06/2012 - 11:28 PM
    DaveFusion said:
    All the best with the microdiscectomy surgery.

    Do you know there is a December Surgery Buddies thread where all the December surgery people post how they are going?

    You may wish to post there on your progress and get tips from others having the same op.
    I didnt no, didnt realise there was a "club" to join :) (not one I really wanted to join either in truth :) )

    Do you have a link to the tread please?
    ok I'll have a look for it thanks
  • I am waiting on a microdiscectomy currently for a large prolapsed disc at l5/s1 level. Please let me know how it goes. All the best to you with your op and hope it gives you the results your after. The one thing i have noticed about alot of people that have had this surgery is that afterwards it sometimes feels worse than before immediatley after the surgery but this goes after a while. So take your time and look after yourself. The most important part of the process is apparently the healing process. Take care and i look forward to your post with some good news.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.