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How long's the wait for microdiscectomy?

I have a large herniation at L5/S1 and I've been in EXCRUCIATING pain with sciatica and all for 3 months now. When I went to the Ortho for the first time two weeks ago and he saw my MRI, he came in and said "Bad news, there's a fairly big herniation but you have two options, surgery or take the epidural and wait to see what happens, might help, might not."
At that time I rejected both and he gave me some Percocet, which if I didn't have it I'd be on the floor 24/7 rolling around and moaning in pain, no sleep, no food, no anything but constant debilitating pain. He gave me a referral for physical therapy but there's no way at this point that's going to help. In the meantime he told me to think about the options and now I decided on surgery. I can't take it anymore.
I haven't discussed this with the doc yet because it's Friday night and I have to wait until Monday. I know there's someone on here who's had a microdiscectomy/normal discectomy who'd be kind enough to respond.. So for now, those who have had one, how long did you have to wait to get the surgery? I really can't deal with this nomore.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    It all depends on your surgeon's availability.

    Any surgery I have had or any surgery I have known about, its not about how long did it take , but what was the timeframe for your surgeon. That is the key
    If the doctor feels that there is no immediate rush to do the surgery, then I would go along with that.

    Having the epidural injection could definitely buy you some time. For some people, the ESI was enough to give them relief for many months and for some, it started the road to recovery without surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've heard from people that have gotten the epidural and they said it didn't do much for long enough to be worth it. Plus I definitely don't won't to be in even more pain then I'm already in from getting needles and a tube in my spine. I'd rather just get the big thing done once and for all and move on with my life already you know? I'm not trying to be some test animal getting shots and tests just to see if it will work. I want it over and done with. I've had it. Both mentally and physically.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    The epidural injections do work for so many people.

    Its one of the better tools that surgeons have before surgery is the only option. You are sadly mistaken if you think that ESIs are just stab in the dark, hit or miss treatments.

    But it sounds like you have ruled out any type of treatment except for surgery. Most people try to find anyway to avoid surgery.
    I would suggest that you read up on the type of surgery you want to have. Remember, surgery is not the only answer. Sounds like the first thing you need to do is try to manage your pain. There are so many different modules available to everyone to deal with this.

    You have only been dealing with this for 3 months. In the scope of everything, that is a very short period of time.

    But this is your life and your call. You have to be the one to decide what to do or what not to do.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I don't even know if I'm a candidate for a microdiscectomy.. I might have to have open back surgery for all I know. I have Mitral Valve Prolapse (slightly leaky heart valve) as well. Whether or not that would matter for surgery I don't know.. I have alot to discuss with the doc. Depending on how that goes maybe I'll reconsider on the epidural. I'm willing to do anything to be pain free again. I'm only 20 years old by the way
  • Also, what do I tell my ortho if my pain meds are too low of a dose? He prescribed me Percocet 5/325 and one, even 2 aren't doing enough. I have to take 3 pills 3 times a day vs one pill 3 times a day... I'm going to end up running out early and I just got them. What should I say to him? I can't afford to run out early and deal with the pain I have
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    You can not run short of your narcotic medications If you that without first discussing this with your doctor, you stand a good chance of being put on a blackball list. You dont want to go there.

    People who run short of narcotics, looking for a new prescription too early, etc are many times labeled In with most cases, that is correct.

    You are given a 30 days supply of Pill "X" It is your responsibility to make sure it lasts 30 days. If you decide to double up a couple of days, you will run short.

    Now, when you are in more pain and your narcotics is not helping you need to discuss this with your doctor. Just simple, The pain medications you have prescribed for me are not helping At that point your doctor may come up with alternatives, or they may not feel your current situation warrants any stronger narcotics. Either way You have to do that

    Too many people get so wrapped up in the narcotics, believing that enough of that will take away all their pain. Pain medications were never designed for that, they only help a patient manage their pain. But there are so many other actions anyone can take to help control their pain.
    Several years ago, I wrote The Blend There, I identify the different modules there are available to help with pain. That approach has helped so many people. Its not a list that you need to complete, but instead a concept.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Sciaticaman1995SSciaticaman1995 Posts: 24
    edited 01/24/2016 - 7:40 PM
    I still have 80 pills left. I know I have to discuss this issue with the doc before taking them all... I was just asking how to go about telling him so I don't sound like a drug seeker/addict
    dilauro said:

    The pain medications you have prescribed for me are not helping.
    That is the way you approach this and then let the doctor discuss options.
  • szylszyl Posts: 31
    edited 01/24/2016 - 7:41 PM
    Had 2 epidurals....and only temporary relief (1 month). Of course, after my second, I was feeling great and went back to my normal activities including running.
    Then I regressed to square-one and back to excruciating pain.
    For some cases, the epidurals work, for SERIOUS cases, they do not work as a permanent solution.
    IMHO...when you fail to recover after the second or third epidural, YOU MUST GET SURGERY.
    There is no other option.

    Forum Rule:
    5.06 You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.

    Your post contains wording that may be considered as giving medical advice. It is very important that everyone understand that
    there are no medical professionals on this site, so therefore any comments are solely opinions based on personal experiences.

    They should never been taken as medical fact.

    - Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator
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