Good Morning -
This is my first post to this forum. A little about my history: I'm 32 y/o, and was first diagnosed with disc herniations at L4 &L5 at the age of 20. At that time I had 2 epidural injections, PT, and went on my merry way and pretty much lived a pain free life except for an occasional flare up.
About 6 months ago I started to have increasing pain in my lower back/left hip. An MRI showed that all discs in my lumbar spine are bulging, and the lowest 2 are herniated. The MRI also showed fairly extensive degeneration throughout my lumbar spine, and an annular tear. I have had 5 procedures via a pain management doctor - two epidurals, two diagnostic medial branch blocks, and most recently a radiofrequency ablation on my left side in the 4 lowest discs. My doctor felt like my pain was from a combination of the arthritis present, and the herniations, but felt like after this last procedure I should be in a much better state.
Well, my "better state" lasted about a week after the procedure. This week has been agony for me, and I made the decision to meet with a neurosurgeon and am fortunately going to see him on Monday morning.
I have always leaned more toward conservative treatment, and am nervous to consider surgery as an option. I am wondering if you have any suggestions as to what questions I should ask the doctor during my visit if surgery IS recommended? Or if there are any tips I should consider?
I am very fortunate to live very close to University of Pennsylvania so I do have confidence that the doctor I am seeing is excellent.
Thank you very much for any suggestions you might have.
PS - I have also tried physical therapy and accupuncture just as an FYI