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Herniation back surgery, do it or dont?

L5 Herniation, 2 rounds of shots (some relief), 5 weeks of PT, Still barely able to walk to the mailbox and back without grabbing the ice pack.
I will guess that we will be having a surgical consult soon.
I would love advice, testimonies, real experiences to understand what I may be getting myself in to.
Toni in Phoenix
L4-L5-S1 Anterior Fusion Apr 4 2015


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Just had an artificial disc implanted in C6-C7 Aug. 30th. I am 39 and for me I was scared of permanent nerve damage. The longer you let it go, the longer and harder it will be to recover. I am almost 4 weeks post op and getting around pretty good. i have a check up in 2 weeks, will start PT and then most likely back to work.
    Only you can decide for yourself but if you find a good Neurosurgeon, who does this EVERY day, you should be just fine.
    Good luck in your decision.
  • in two years or so they say, however, surgery is done in two circumstances when it comes to the spine- one being when there is a mechanical issue that can be fixed by surgery, and the second circumstance is when there is nerve compression or damage and it is done to relieve the compression/damage.
    The decision to have surgery or not, is one that you need to make with your surgeon, and your family. Recovery from spine surgery is not easy, and fusion is one of the worst, and can take up to two years to fully recover from.....so if I were you, I would suggest that you make a list of questions, and concerns and talk to your surgeon. I also strongly recommend that you consult with at least one other spine surgeon. It sometimes helps to hear that second or even third opinion and then make a decision .
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 09/27/2013 - 10:59 AM
    I had my first fusion L4-5 in Feb 2012, my second fusion was June 2012. I also have a bulged disc at L5-S1. I am in constant pain and the surgeon can't tell my why. I just had another MRI the last week. All it show was small amount of spinal stenosis and DDD. They said my fusions looked great. Then why do I feel so bad a year and a half from my last surgery. I have tried all kinds of conservative treatments to feel better, I am going to do my last resort in December, which is a spinal cord stimulator trial. I hope it works to alleviate some of my pain. BTW, I am only 33 and I am on social security disability. Back surgery is something to take seriously. I agree with sandi, get several opinions before doing anything major. Any reputable surgeon will appreciate the fact you went to seek other opinions.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 09/28/2013 - 5:23 PM
    Sorry to read of your troubles. How did you hurt it? How long has it been since it happened? What besides PT have you tried? I'm guessing you had the MRI already. What kind of expectations do you have about recovering?

    I sent you a pm with a link to helpful info. It will make you a more informed patient and will help you advocate better decisions for you. Have a look in your inbox.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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