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Decision time

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Thanks to all for your informative posts....been reading around here for some time.

I now have to make that ultimate decision.

11 years of living with bulging L4-5. Broke down earlier this year and found it's now herniated 7mm x 11mm into the nerve root. Had 3rd ESI today (12th total), been through 100's of PT & Chiro appt's with no help. I travel a lot with the job as I deal with national catastrophe's thus need to get something done.

anyone else walking around with a herniation that size? Should I just give it up and take the knife? Epidural dude (PM doc) and neuro's PA (haven't seen neuro yet) say it'll be operated on sooner or later....best to go sooner?



  • I've never heard of someone knowing the size of their herniated disc. That's pretty cool. I think that if you're going to need it one way or another that you should go sooner. I'm not sure if there's nerves that can be damaged but that may be a concern. Also, right now your not getting better for a year or two years or five or however you put it off for. If you got the surgery today, just imagine how much PT and improvement you could have in that same ammount of time. Just my $.02

    Hope that helps

  • of surgery? Fusion or discectomy? Sounds like you will probably need to have the surgery if it is pressing on the nerve root. I would not think that you would want to risk permanent nerve damage. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Sounds huge is what is sounds like!

    Good luck on the decision - it's gotta be your own and it's a hard one to make. Glad you are getting informed about it all first.

  • that's a pretty big herniation i'm surprised they didn't try and get you into surgery sooner. ;) have you had any weakness or numbness because of it?It sounds like you've tried all the conservative treatments that a surgeon would recommend to you. Bite the bullet and have it done. Good luck!
  • Hey Storm Trooper,

    I agree, I have never heard of anybody knowing the size of their herniated disc before. I had a bulging disc of that size, finally went to surgery and I wonder why did I wait so long.

    It was horrible before, went through injections, chiro, PT nothing worked long term. I am 1 month post micro disc of 3 levels. Beside dealing with the nerve issues I am in no pain.

    Technology now a days is big. They get you in and out in no time. Back on your feet and to work sooner rather than later.

    Find a good surgeon but get different opinions on what surgery is needed. Research them, and form your opinion. Only you can decide how much pain your in and is it worth it to YOU! No one else can decide.

    Good luck, this site is very helpful.

  • Was shocked to get all the responses leaning the way i'm leaning....just more re-affirmation. Here's the direct MRI quote:

    "There is a large central/slight left paracentral disc extrusion. This extends posteriorly approx 7mm and caudally approx 11mm. There is mass effect upon descending nerve roots within the anterior canal bilaterally" la da da da da.

    as far as getting me in sooner...tell me about it...had to see the nuero's PA as this dude is top notch and you only get to see him if you bypass the PA. Orig sched for 8/15 in which I got delayed till 9/5. PM dude says that's good as it gives ESI's more time to work.

    Nuero PA mentioned a laminectomy (sp?)...i've got to get x-ray's and an EMG and EKG done.

    It's just frustrating as hell....I'm 40 years old and never had a surgery until 01/07 and this will now be my 3rd. Wife is getting tired of the pain, i'm getting tired of the pain, etc.....thanks for all the affirmations, it makes a decision easier when others feel the same.
  • Normal L5 pain....left leg, foot, ankle. loss of sensation, leg has gotten weaker. The ESI's have really helped but believe they are only a band-aid to the problem. Been keeping the pain meds to a minimum as well as you hear of all the horror stories....seriously, i just want to pull my weeds in my yard again.
  • Stormtrooper. Good luck with whatever you decide and please keep us posted.
  • Wow, sounds like you've been through some issues as well....hope all is working out for you

  • Hope all goes well with your surgery and your recovery.

    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
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