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Surgery or not?

jamespaulboothjjamespaulbooth Posts: 2
edited 06/04/2015 - 3:00 AM in Pain Management
Hi Im hoping for some advice please. I am 34 years old, I have a strong suspicion I have a herniated disk. I have numbness and swelling in my left arm and leg, which is now spread into my face around my eye. I am due to have an MRI in August so we will find out for sure. I am wondering what steps I can take to alleviate the symptoms, and some advice around if I should have a surgery. At the moment the symptoms aren't too bad, will they get worse if I don't do anything? Is there a way I can avoid surgery?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/04/15 09:02 est


  • I should add that the numbness has been in my arm for around 2 years, but has recently started to move into my face on some days. I have managed to get by so far, and I am not in pain, but I'm worried it's getting worse now and I might suffer some serious nerve damage if I dont get surgery.
  • If you are experiencing new symptoms, you really need to see your doctor and let him examine you.
    We can't give you the information about how to treat the symptoms ,you really need to discuss that with your doctors. They could be caused by anything and you and your doctor's need to determine what that cause is.
    As far as needing surgery goes, again, we can't really answer that. Not all herniations require surgery, it depends on the location, size, direction, symptoms, and if the herniation is in fact causing the symptoms you describe.

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