Discectomy Questions

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
Discectomy Questions

Wave Hi all,
I'm 21 and have been suffering from back pain and sciatica for the past 6 years, the past 2 being severely limiting and QUITE painful Worried . I have a herniated L5-S1 and stenosis of the nerves but I've had sciatica (but now it's in both legs) and disc dehydration long before my herniation. Gee, thanks about 11 years of gymnastics ~X( . I have been told up until this point to wait for surgery (I really don't want to have back surgery!) because of my age. It most often leads to more complicated surgeries and most doctors want to spare me from starting this roller coaster at my age. Now I've been told that a DISCECTOMY is the only way I will have a chance to be pain free. I'm torn as to what I should do since I'm well aware that people with sciatica for 6 years most often have permanent damage. I know that the surgery is not a fix, it's only a figurative band-aid. I hate my pain but I WOULD NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF IF I ENDED UP WITH MORE PAIN AND MORE SURGERIES.

What are your experiences with this surgery? I want to hear it all.

I know it is ok for relieving symptoms sometimes, but did you re-herniate or need more surgery. How about pain? I'm not afraid of the surgical pain, but the pain that may be left after I heal.

I'd appreciate all input seeing as my brain is on overload trying to weigh my options. One thing I know for sure is if I decide on surgery I will choose a neurosurgeon.

Thank you all for making it to the end of this, I know it's long, and for your replies. I value your opinions! Hug


backpainishell's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 08/24/2008 - 10:11pm

My personal opinion, if you are having problems get it sorted now, otherwise you will have more problems come along. The way i look at it your young and healthy, so go for it. The healing will be much quicker because of your age. Good Luck ! Keep us posted!

Angie x

JACKIER610's picture
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/25/2008 - 7:01pm
I had the surgery in July

I had the surgery in July and it was for me the best thing I could have done for myself. I had back and hip pain for about 13 years because of a herniated disc at the L4-L5. Then I woke up one morning unable to walk. I was out of work, could not drive and needed a walker to move about the house. I also had to use a chair in the shower. Recovery was not that bad as long as you have family or friends to help you out. And you must do exactly what your doctor tells you. When I saw my neurosurgeon for my checkup I told him he was my hero. Good Luck!!!

HaylieCatOwner's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/08/2008 - 6:31pm
Hi Lisa

We all understand how you feel about not wanting to have to have surgery. As far as the disectomy goes, for me that point where I had to accept I had a serious problem with my back and there was nothing else I could do about it. It sounds like you have been through a lot already, and it's up to you if you are now at that point where surgery is your only option. I don't think it's the disectomy that is the first step of further surgeries -- it's the problems you already have with your back. Only a doctor can tell you if the problems will be completely resolved with the disectomy.

I don't know the statistics, but my NS told me less than 10 percent reherniate. My physical therapist said it was closer to 14 percent. That means there are a heck of a lot of people out there who did great after their disectomies. I have met people who had a disectomy and that was the end of the surgeries they have had. It depends on the person and the lifestyle. Are you planning on doing more gymnastics?

I think the best thing you can do is talk to a seasoned NS who can analyze your situation and give you the prediction of the best outcome for you. Then weigh your pros and cons. I am eight weeks post-op from my microdisectomy. I don't have any more pain, but I do have numbness in my right foot (predicted to go away in 3 or 4 months). In my case, I had no other option but surgery because I could not move without intense pain and the disk had protruded 1 cm into the disk. If you have other options, pursue them first, but if you have to have the disectomy, remember there are plenty of people who have success with that surgery. I wish you all the best!