After my MRI in June, (findings posted below) my PCP told me that I would need surgery. I brought my MRI results to a neurologist, and he says that I don't need surgery. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon for next month to get his opinion, and I'm considering consulting with an orthopedic surgeon as well. Until then, I'd like to know If anyone has any opinions. My PCP told me I need surgery, and is very adamant I have it done, but he never told me what kind of surgery.
I have discussed this with friends and family, and the consensus seems to be: NO!! DON'T DO IT!!! and WAIT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!! If I have spoken to 20 people I know, who have had back surgery, only one said I should do it. I know every situation is different, and they all didn't have the same procedures done, must mostly they have all told me that surgery worsened the situation. I am also worried about the "wait as long as possible" idea, because of stories I've heard about permanent nerve damage, from putting off surgery.
*mind spin here*
Right now, I have REALLY GOOD insurance through my husbands union, backed up with state medical benefits. I don't know how long I will have such an opportunity with this insurance. Jobs change, unions negotiate, and there is even talk of changing insurance at his company... If I'm going to have it done... I feel I need to do it now, while the insurance is still good.
So my question to you:
In your opinion, surgery, or no surgery.
Also, any idea what kind of surgery would be done???
I understand that this is only a personal opinion, and that ultimately it is up to me and my doctors to decide what must be done.
The vertebrae are normally aligned. The heights of the vertebral bodies are maintained. Disc desiccation and intervertebral disc space narrowing is present at L4-L5
The conus medullaris is in normal position and demonstrates normal morphology. The cauda equina has a normal appearance.
L3-L4: There is mild bilateral facet hypertrophic degenerative change. Subchondral cysts are seen adjacent to the left facet joint.
L4-L5: There is a diffuse disc bulge with an annular tear. This contacts the exiting right L5 nerve root and causes lateral displacement of the left L5 nerve root. There is mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.
L5-S1: There is a central disc herniation which contacts both exiting S1 nerve roots. There is minimal central canal stenosis.