Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Too early for surgery?

MhaningMMhaning Posts: 2
edited 01/18/2015 - 8:02 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I'm trying to find out if I'm jumping the gun on getting surgery and would really appreciTe any feedback. I've been dealing with a herniated L5/S1 and siatica for about 6 months. The pain can be really bad some times in my back. However, there's only been a few times that I've had trouble walking. This hasn't completely stopped my life, although as a very active person it has cramped it. I haven't shown any signs of improvement with chiropractic help, specially decompression. I'm constantly stretching and working it out, but the pain is always there. I've had 3 epideral steroid injections that didn't help at all. Currently I'm taking 2 - 3 hydrocodon everyday.

Should I be seriously considering surgery?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I think most members will agree it is always best to exhaust all conservatory treatment before considering surgery.


    Welcome Message

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Better seek more opinions from more spine experts. To my understanding, lumbar spine is a great weight bearing section. Have to think seriously.
  • Thanks for such a quick reply.

    Are there any conservatory treatments that I may not be aware of?
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Coltsfan78CColtsfan78 Posts: 182
    edited 01/19/2015 - 11:14 AM
    Well, what about trying physical therapy? I know my insurance wouldn't even consider surgery until I had completely x number of weeks of physical therapy first.

    I also recommend getting as many second opinions as you can. You might notice that I have had quite an ordeal over the last year and although I don't think there was much else I could have done, I don't recommend doing surgery until you have exhausted every option.

    One other thing that gives me a bit of pause with your situation is that (and I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I don't think so) that surgery rarely relieves back pain, but is fairly successful with radicular pain in the leg (which is where all of mine was). As an example, I could not stand or walk for more than about 2-3 min. without excrutiating pain down my hip/butt/leg when my L5/s1 was compressed. Eventually it got so bad that I could no longer sit upright either. I had to be flat on my back with my legs up in the air or flat on my stomach to get any relief. It was horrid and I am not a wimp when it comes to pain. I was 35 when this was happening and unable at the end to do much of anything for myself. But my back never hurt.

    Now what I hear you saying is that your back is hurting, but it's not particularly interfering with your life most of the time. If that's the case, now is the time to gather opinions and options and do your research so you don't have to make a fast decision if the pain becomes unbearable. There is a tipping point where you do eventually have to do something because otherwise you will cause permanent nerve damage, but I don't know where that point is for you. I just know that I got pushed way beyond it by poor primary care doctors and insurance regulations and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
Sign In or Register to comment.