I am a 40 year old male and have been dealing with low back pain for 10 years. The last two years have been the worst.
I have tried all the easy things like oral steroids, physical therapy, epidural shots, faset injection, radio frequency ablation. All with not much success.
I think I am on a high dose of pain medication and it keeps getting higher and is less affective. I think it time for me to have surgery.
I have seen 4 surgeons with 4 different opinions. I need help from people that have gone through this or are going through this to see what my best plan of attack should be?
My most recent mri shows that I have a moderately degenarative disc at L4-L5 with a slight bulge.
And at L-5-S1 I have a severely degenarative disc with a slight bulge. With evidence that the vertebrae and touching.
My pain is about 70%percent low back pain that is a constant achy throbbing pain
And 30% leg nerve pain that that is a constant burning tingle radiating pain.
First doctor said I need spinal fusion but first he would a discectomy at L4-L5.( He doesn't do multi level discectomy at the same time.) to see if I could manage with the amount of pain relief that would give me. He said most of my leg pain would be gone and some of my back pain.
Second doctor said I need a disc replacement surgery. He said I have to try and prevent the disc above the replacement from further degeneration and the artificial disc will help. But he doesn't preform that surgey. I didn't get a referral and I don't think he was confident about doing any surgery.
Third doctor said he would do two level fusion and I will be out of pain and hopefully never see him again.
Fourth doctor said he would do a two level discectomy and that should fix my leg pain and some back pain.
My question for people in the same place or that have gone threw it is... Do I do the discectomy and see if that helps and risk the chance of having to do two surgeries? Or do I go straight for the fusions or is that doing too much all at one time?
Is my insurance company pushing to have the smallest procedure first? Therefor that's the natural progression...
Has anybody been bone on bone and had a discectomy and had enough pain relief to not have any other operations.
Thank you so much for any replies. I am really having a tough time...