I have a herniated L5-S1 disc and have tried conservative treatments for the past 2 years almost, and they have been successful to some extent but it has not 100% eradicated the pain. I can get by day-to-day with very little pain and very rarely take medication, but the pain is definitely still there and I would like it resolved completely so I can play competitive sports again.
My private doctor has suggested the only way to fix this is by getting a microdiscectomy, but even at that, the chance of a 100% recovery is not guaranteed.
I have looked at less conventional methods such as ozonucleolysis, chemonucleolysis etc etc. but the idea of dissolving some of the nucleus pulposus scares me as this seems like giving myself the effect degenerative disc disease and would still leave a tear in my annulus fibrosus. Therefore, I feel that the more conventional method of a microdiscectomy may be the best option for me.
Seeing many sports persons getting the procedure - Tiger Woods, Andy Murray, Gareth Bale, John Terry etc etc make me feel like this may be the best option to play competitive sports again.
I have done a lot of research on this and feel that there is still some grey areas (in layman's terms anyway) about a few things, so I would like to ask a few questions;
1. Once they have removed the herniated nucleus pulposus, do the surgeons use a laser or something similar to seal the annulus fibrosus to prevent it from leaking again?
2. The hole they drill in the lamina - will this heal again with no hole in the bone?
3. If the herniation has happened because of poor posture, if I correct the posture, will this have an effect on the newly-shaped disc?
Please answer this, even if it's just your own personal opinion, as I am desperately looking for more opinions on this surgery.