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Questions to ask a neurosurgeon

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


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    I know you will find your time here rewarding.
    I think one of the first things you should do is look at our FAQ. Its on the menu tab. No only can you read about our forum rules, but you will have quick pointers to many medical topics. One being 38 questions to ask your doctor before surgery.
    Going through the FAQ can give you a sound foundation on where to go for information, how to make the best posts and tips on navigating the forums.

    Once again , Welcome
    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
  • Hi I'm a 47 yr old male I recently had sacroiliac joint surgery 2 mths ago they could only do 2 implants in my right side the DR said the area was to small for 3 implants ,ive been doing my excerices and going to therapy ,I been have sharp pains running down my right leg ,I was doing fine until my therapy put me on a glider that is when I started having pain ,been using a crutch to get around taking pain meds seems to be no relief any advice thanks I have a Dr app the 22nd of june
  • cheepatijanaccheepatijana Posts: 1
    edited 01/06/2016 - 9:59 PM
    i got accident 4 months ago,3 discs(C2,C3,C4) on backside neck were fractured,operation was done on the next day,but they given support from 3 discs to skull and advised to wait for 1 year. Now i cant turning my neck to left and right fully.May i know can i turn fully after the plate removal otherwise please give a suggestion

    thanking you sir,

    Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional so not permitted to give medical advice. Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research

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