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Discectomy / Steroid injection?

malagasy1980mmalagasy1980 Posts: 2
edited 10/13/2015 - 8:10 PM in Surgery Buddies
Will try to keep it short and sweet.

- I'm now 35/Male, pretty healthy.
- Got injury in August 2010 on L5/S1 with a sciatica on the left side
- Went through all the usual suffering, frights of sneezing, etc since then
- Went through Massage, Physio, Chiro, Accupuncture, name it, I've done it
- Been on and off with some times with virtually no pain but low back discomfort, etc
- May 2014, bad relapse with bad sciatica I've been carrying since then
- Finally ended up going for MRI in December 2014 - Obviously, no surprise (I already did a CT Scan when it happened in 2010) and it's a disc bulge with protusion on the left side.
- Met with Neuro-surgeon in Feb 2015 and scheduled for surgery around Dec-Jan this year
- Saw a GP who freaked me out about doing a discectomy on the basis of "Discectomy will essentially brings a re-herniated disc down the line"
- Got referred for Steroid injection in the meantime and scheduled to go through it in a few weeks.

1/ What's your experience with discectomy? Would you recommend it or not? and why or why not?

2/ What's your experience with Steroid Injection? Does that work? Is it worth it?

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  • This is only my experience, your mileage may vary as they say.

    If you have only a protruding/bulging disc, it could be that the steroid injection can completely shrink it and then with physiotherapy and being careful you might avoid surgery all together.

    I'm not particularly sure that your GP is correct in that having a discectomy leads to reherniation...I know a lot of people who have had discectomy and never needed a second surgery.... This message board however, is full of people who have needed multiple surgeries, so again...each spine is individual.

    If you met the surgeon in February and they scheduled surgery almost 9 months later, you can see that your condition is clearly not an emergency in their eyes...it is a quality of your life issue.

    My personal experience, was with a very large herniation that unfortunately wrapped around my nerve root. I tried the steroid injection and even with the disc all wrapped up in my nerve, it did make the pain much better, and helped me regain a lot of motor function, so I could walk. I had 2, and then had the discectomy. (I have a pars defect fracture which I will have repaired in November, so unfortunately do need more surgery but not because the discectomy went wrong).

    My personal experience with the discectomy was that it was a very easy surgery. I was actually up walking on the Treadmill the day after surgery (slowly but walking)...but again, others have had very different situations.

    I would always recommend trying the steroid injection... if it doesn't work, well, you know that and can move forward, if it does work, you'll have a lot of relief!
  • A steroid injection could vary from very helpful to no help at all everyone responds diferntly. My feeling is getting the injection is always worth a try and usually is a step in what can or cannot be a long process to finding answers & relief for your pain.
    Unfortunately my issues are beyond a Discectomy. However my son who is 31 did have a Very Succesfull Discectomy in Aug. 2014. I recomended my surgeon to my son and the Dr. said the disc and area was challenging to work on due to nerves the bulging disc was pressing on. My son had approx. 3 months recovery including 6 weeks Physical therapy. He says he has never felt better since his surgery. Again everyone is different. It is only my opinion and experience steroid injections could be all you need, and Discetomy is a Minimal Evasive Surgery that could keep you from needing much more medical care down the road.. Best of luck to you
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