Here's my story. Since it seems that many folks on these boards have been dealing with this for longer than me, I'm interested to hear your opinions.
Here is my timeline
- I began having symptoms of a herniated disk in Oct 2015. Started mild and progressively got worse. I try self treating with exercises and stretches from the internet, walking, swimming, avoiding sitting, and rest.
- In December 2015 a significant lumbar herniation was confirmed by MRI. Condition begins to become very bad (waking me from sleep regularly, completely unable to sit without pain). Commence treatment with medication and physical therapy.
- In Jan 2015 I visited Spine Specialist #1. He recommended a microdiscectomy surgery. By this point the pain was extremely bad (1x pain related fainting episode, 3x missed work because could not walk) and neurologic symptoms included significant pins and needles and some numbness and reduced/missing reflexes on effected side. Cannot live with the pain and am pretty sure I'll go for it with the surgery.
- Days after seeing Spine Specialist #1 I am no longer able to walk (due to pain, not weakness) and am no longer able to work. Can only get around with the help of a walker and a great deal of pain. Am mainly bed ridden. Only leaving home for Dr & physical therapy appointments.
- A week later still in Jan 2015 I visited Spine Specialist #2 for a second opinion. He recommends a steroid epidural injection and says that I should not consider surgery without trying this first.
So...now I'm deciding what to do. It seems that many of you have been there before - actually, the only unique thing about my story seems to be that I got referred to the specialist and then to surgery so quickly. What do you think? What would you do?
On the one hand it seems like a no-brainer to try the injection because there is less risk. On the other hand I feel like I'm just kicking the can further down the road because I'm honestly a little weary to hope that the condition will resolve on it's own/with PT. I don't see a lot of stories on here about people having long term success with injections.
There are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site. Therefore everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. Comments should never be taken as pure medical facts. You need to discuss this with your doctor. They are the only ones that can provide you with detailed information about you, the patient.
Liz, Spine-health Moderator
9mm herniation at L5-S1. Sciatica pain began in Oct 2015.
31 year old female.