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Wait it out or go for surgery?

ColinwrayCColinwray Posts: 5
edited 10/04/2014 - 4:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone! Just a quick question.
I'm scheduled for surgery here in Bangkok on Oct 14th. The doctor wants to do a spinal fusion L5. Apparently he's a very well known Thai surgeon and is adamant that my herniated disc cannot be treated by a microdiskectomy, which I think I would have rather gone for.
Anyway, from what I've read, the part of the disk or, rather, what is extruding from the disc and pressing on the sciatic nerve, will dissolve in time and the pain from the pinched nerve should subside as this pocess continues. I've suffered for two years so far and can't participate in any racket sports, let alone sail my laser dingy.
My question is: Will just waiting, along with stretching exercises, really see me alright in due course? And, just how long am I likely to have to wait? Also, Is there anything one can do to speed up the 'dissolving process' in any way?
Another quick question while I'm here. Could the herniated disk cause this annoying itching on my legs below the knees?
Over to you guys! Age 56 yrs.


  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource

    There are risks with undergoing surgery and risks of not having surgery when it is recommended.
    Depending on the location of the herniation and the area that the herniation occurs in, determines whether or not surgery is recommended, along with your surgeon's exam, your images and your symptoms.
    Not all herniations will resolve on their own, and if there is nerve or thecal sac compression, avoiding surgery can result in permanent nerve injury.
    Not all approaches or surgical techniques are appropriate for all patients, the approach and type of surgery required again depends on the location of the herniation, the other structures involved and the condition of the levels above and below the area......
    If you are uncertain about the surgery, it would be wise to consult with another surgeon for a second opinion.
  • I've decided to avoid surgery. Even the disk replacement which seemed so promising is apparently beset with problems. The doctor gave me Arcoxia which I now find is not allowed to be sold in the USA. It does seem to cut down the pain though. It's the best Ive come across.

  • Hi, I also have an upcoming surgery, in my case a microdiscectomy that I am not sure if I want to have it. I know I have damaged my nerves but in the last 3-4 months I have been pain free. My surgery is on the 21st of this month but not sure if I want to have it. I posted a topic with my situation here and perhaps you could give me so advice on this. Thanks.
    My post:

  • Colinwray -

    There are so many variables that you need to weigh before deciding to have surgery. There are plenty of resources on this site to help you make a decision. I would like to offer if you start to demonstrate weakness in one or both of your legs, make sure you relate that to your neurosurgeon. My decision to have surgery in 2 weeks is because I have weakness in my left leg. It's causing a condition called "foot drop," where I can't lift my foot. In other words, I can't "tap my left toes" to the beat of a good song. My ankle is also rolling over in some cases. Walking on anything but a solid level surface is difficult.

    Also, I've always been told if I ever experience loss of bowel or bladder control, I should head to the ER for treatment.

    Good luck in your search for pain relief. There are many conservative treatments, I'm sure you'll explore the right ones for you.

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