I have a re-herniated disc at L5-S1. Prior rupture was Oct2006. Had successful discectomy/laminotomy Dec 2006. Returned to full duty EMS work April 2007. Things had been going good until five weeks ago, when moving an obese patient, I hurt my back again.
Have had x-ray and MRI & five weeks of no work. MRI clearly revealed big herniation at L5-S1, same area as my 2006 injury. At onset had lots of pain in right buttock.
My doctor is suggesting fusion at 5-1. Thinks this would be the best way to go, especially with my physically demanding work. I'm nervous about fusion and the long recovery.
I did get a second opinion (at my doctor's suggestion). The 2nd opinion doctor says he would not do the fusion, since I'm no longer in great pain and do not have any neuro problems/symptoms. This doctor is thinking that I should wait twelve weeks, with phys therapy and then see how things are doing, maybe another MRI.
In a few days I will have to make a decision about what to do. I just don't know what to do. The workers comp insurance guy is putting pressure on me to decide what to do. I am willing to give up EMT/EMS work to avoid fusion surgery, if it came down to that. Any thoughts? Thanks...