Hey everyone. I have read a few posts on here and am impressed with the compassion, information, and understanding within this community. I am hoping to get some feedback for how to proceed with my back problems.
I am 35 years old and 6'5" with a herniated/compressed disc at L5 / S1. I have been dealing with this problem for about 6 years, but lately it has gotten progressively worse. Historically my back would go out about once or twice a year and I would be back on my feet in a few days. Lately I have had my back go out on my about 3 times in the past two months. Now when my back is "out" i am completely debilitated and unable to move without high levels of pain. I have sought treatment through PT, Chiro, and I have gotten to opinion from orthopedic surgeons. The most recent surgeon has recommended me for a discectomy at L5 /S1. He reached this conclusion after looking at my MRI and requiring me to receive a diagnostic injection. After I received the injection I felt immediately better. In fact I felt like running and playing basketball, which is saying a lot as 4 days prior I could not move... (a few hours later the injection wore off and the pain was back) . Based off this he has concluded that a discectomy would be his recommendation, as opposed to a fusion, which he was also considering. He also thinks that given the current state of my L5 / S1 disc a fusion down the road will probably be inevitable. I do not have leg pain or numbness. the majority of my pain is specific to the lower back. I do have pain with sneezing at times. Leg raises while laying down are extremely painful.
I am feeling a lot better since my recent episode and its of no coincidence that I am now beginning to doubt my need for surgery. I am also looking at alternative treatments such as Prolotherapy. I am scheduled to have the discectomy on the 15th of Sept, but I would like some information about more conservative treatments before I fully commit to this. I have a 6 mth old son (our first) and the thought of not being able to be active with him, or even pick him up, is too much.
So basically I am looking for some information and advice on how to proceed. I know i will eventually need some sort of procedure, but if i cold postpone it that would be great. However when my back is out I am useless and I cant keep doing this. Has anyone tried Prolotherapy? what about acupuncture etc...
As an additional factor I have state insurance right now, and now would be an ideal time financially to proceed with the discectomy... ( I plan on quitting my job in about a month or two...)
thanks in advance!