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Surgeon dogmatically urges surgery after good progress w/physical therapy

After 3 months since my disc injury I've had two epidurals and over 3 weeks of physical therapy. My recovery has been substantial in the last month, yet after consulting a spine surgeon yesterday, he dogmatically urged me to get surgery asap even after I've made so much progress with physical therapy.

Has anyone experienced this? Are there any suggestions on what kind of doctor to get a more objective opinion from? This surgeon evaded all most all of my questions. Though my MRI shows a huge extruded bulge into my nerve root, it is also 2 months old. He wouldn't tell me whether there is a possibility that the bulge could be receding and heeling on its own. He was just a broken record saying "get the surgery fix the problem" even after I would ask general questions.

I'd appreciate feedback or advice from anyone!


  • If you are not comfortable with the doctor, get a 2nd or even 3rd opinion from different physiatrist and surgeon. You need to be totally comfortable with the doctor and YOUR decision to go ahead with any surgery. On the other hand, the surgeon might concluded the PT is only a temporary fix and you will need surgery in the future, but that is YOUR decision.

  • even if the surgeon is right, and you need surgery(which i doubt, since your pt is helping) i would still not get surgery by him, because he evaded all of your questions..i would not trust him
  • Find another Doctor
    96-Right disc frag L4-L5 disco-On/off back pain,no leg pain/2007-Right herniation L5-S1 unbearable leg pain/08 L5-S1 discectomy /leg pain relieved/14-chronic LBP,rhizo relieves facet pain on right side/15-L4-S1 collapsed,facets shot,PLIF scheduled 4/13/15
  • Definitely a second opinion. You want a doctor that listens to you and values your thoughts and opinions.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,863
    Getting a second opinion is so very important.. You want two doctors to have the same diagnosis and action plan. If you have two different opinions the seeking a third would be prudent.

    When a disc is pressing on a nerve root, doctors tend to suggest surgery sooner then later
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Coltsfan78CColtsfan78 Posts: 182
    edited 05/09/2015 - 7:06 AM
    I agree...you need a different doctor. It's entirely possible that he's right, but the fact that he is not listening to your concerns or answering your questions is a red flag.

    As dilauro said, when a nerve root is being impinged, it is often necessary to do surgery because otherwise you risk serious nerve damage. Still, you want it done by a surgeon who will listen to you and answer your questions.
    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
  • formerweightlifterfformerweightlifter Posts: 196
    edited 05/09/2015 - 2:19 PM
    ive had a herniated disc with nerve impringement for years, and now i think i have adhesive arach due to it....so they can cause problems down the road..although i abused my body over the years.
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