I am a 20 yrs old male. I have three herniated discs, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. Out of the three, L5-S1 causes most of the problem. L3-L4 and L4-L5 aren't that severe and doc says it will heal on its own. I am unable to walk and find it hard to sit for a long time. I can walk upto 250m max before I have to sit down and catch my breath. I walk hunched - about 20-30 deg maybe - and cannot stand straight, nor can I extend my legs fully while sitting. I swim everyday and do my exercises regularly.
It has been over 2 years since it all started. I neglected it during the initial stages as I thought it was a minor pain as I played football. It continued and got worse. I decided to get an MRI and show the doc.
All that I've already done:
I got my first MRI around 1.5 years ago. My doc (orthopedic) suggested I take some rest and leave from college for 2 weeks. I took medication and had ultrasound and IFT for the full duration. I helped some. I got back to college and noticed it all started again after some time. The doc told me to repeat and use a lumbar belt. Restricted my travel on bikes and told me to stay at home and rest. Did the same, no difference, it got worse as I started college again.
Went to a neurologist this time around 7 months ago. He recommended an epidural injection. I got one 6 months ago. This was great. I felt better. But slowly and gradually, it came back again. Got another MRI and some X Ray (back and hip). I got another injection 3 weeks ago. I feel no difference this time. My doc now recommends a surgery.
What's happening now:
I went to a few more specialists for a second opinion. Everyone recommends a surgery before it's too late and I lose bladder control. I did not want one, but now I have no choice. I have made up my mind for a surgery and will get one by the end of this month.
A few docs say they will remove the full disc! 100% of it. And a few say only a small part - the part responsible for all the trouble - will be removed. Now, I want an opinion on what is better. Is there anyone who has got any of these and can comment. I personally don't want the whole disc removed, for obvious reasons. Please help me choose, I do not want to spend the rest of my life in pain, nor do I want to regret a bad decision.
Your surgery has to be your individual choice based on the advice from your medical professionals.
No one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional so not permitted to give medical advice. Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research