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Discectomy with improvement? Decision by this Monday for surgery.

I'm 34 and have MRI confirmed herniated disk L5S1. This happened on 10 February 2014. Couldn't walk, severe leg and hip pain....all the common issues on this forum. Also had numbness on the side of my lower leg and ankle. Pins and needles in my foot. I had a block done on February 14 and started PT with my chiro 3 days a week. (Decompression, electro, cupping, etc..) Early on sometimes twice a day. I had continuous improvement in pain slowly each week. Also improvements with motion and walking. I was feeling pretty good about recovery without surgery. After about 6-8 weeks my improvements bottomed out and stayed the same for about 4 weeks.

At this point my sciatic pain is still medium but as everyone knows even a little is horrible when it's present.

I booked an appt with one of the best Neuro,s in the state. This was about 3 weeks ago. He advised a second MRI to see if the bulge had regressed any. He also checked for reflexes in ankle ( not there). The bulge had regressed just a little (hence my improvement ) but diagnoses from MRI was still herniation with nerve compression. He recommended surgery. I thought for a week and booked surgery in 2 weeks. 5/14/14

LITERALLY, the day after I booked the surgery my sciatic pain became intermittent and improved a little more. Mainly only had issues/pain in the morning, sitting for long times, or lots of walking. It subsides after some rest. Even then I rate the pain 5out of 10. Also, my numbness is completely gone and my strength in the leg is about 85%.

I am driving myself crazy trying to decide whether or not to go through with the surgery. I have already taken off work and my wife has too. I saw the MRI and the bulge is still way out there. While I have had improvements consistently over the last 3 months I haven't read 1 instance in which the disk corrected itself completely. I only read stories about the roller coasters of it coming and going. I am very active outdoors and can't do the things I love.

Unlike many of the posts on here, I have talked in person to 6 people that have had the surgery and it was a complete success and highly recommend it. However, they were a lot worse than I am now since my improvements.

I know this is a decision I'll have to make on my own but I am looking for any input from anyone? I have to tell them by this Monday 5/12 since my surgery is on 5/14.

Anyone with similar situation? Went through with surgery? Didn't go through with it? Resolved on its own?

Thanks for any feedback.


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