I'm new to back problems. I'm 30 years old, 5'10" and 210ish pounds (so would say I'm 30 pounds past my desired weight for my height and build). I have a spare tire which takes up a good portion of my additional weight if that makes a difference. I work out a few times a week pretty regularly for the past 2 years and am in ok health overall.
I recently had an MRI that showed a herniated L5/S1 with a chip of bone situated near the sciatic nerve on my right side. I have had 2 opinions (plus voiced opinions from 2 doctors that are my best friends parents - 1 a physical therapist, 1 a foot doctor). Opinion 1 suggested surgery right off, the second said get an epidural then wait two weeks then surgery would probably be the best course. I have had shooting pain as far down as my foot, cannot fully extend my right leg and cannot bend forward much farther than standing straight upright. I have a hard time sleeping through the night without the pain waking me up and my right leg is like an old swinging gate in the morning, but it loosens up some throughout the day. I have no numbness, but my leg is a bit weak. The pain is getting to the point that I am bypassing the epidural and scheduling surgery for February.
I have done PT, prednisone pack, nsaids, stretching, but nothing has done much but mask a bit of the pain. Whenever I have felt like it might be getting better, the pain usually comes back as strong or stronger. It has been about 7 months since the first symptoms started and it has slowly gained in strength since. I can barely tie my shoes in the morning and it is becoming almost impossible to walk normally without compensating with an awkward limping stride.
Does anyone think that I should not be having surgery based on this information? I hear a lot about numbness and I am not that bad yet, but fear any further waiting would only complicate things more as nothing I have done has helped. I'm not scared of the surgery, but want to hear from people who have had this problem how they think I sound compared to where they were when the had the microdiscectomy. I've heard 2 weeks recovery, then several months before I will be back to full strength. My goal is to start yoga as soon after surgery as possible to strengthen my core to help myself for the future of my back and my overall wellness. Any insights or feedback are greatly appreciated as surgery is not something to be taken lightly. I'm just trying to get a sense of what I can expect and if I'm on the right course of action.