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Surgery Decision

I have been a lurker around these boards for a number of years but thought it may be time to post as I am torn about my next steps. I will try to be as brief as possible but am hoping for guidance.

I am a 36 year old mother of three small children. I believe I herniated L5-S1 in a car accident in December 2012 but because of pregnancy and being told "it would resolve itself", it wasn't diagnosed until September 2015. At that point, I had an MRI and very quickly after that, found myself pregnant again. Treatment on hold. Since then, I have done chiropractic care, three epidural injections and PT. I have been told by my doctors there isn't much else they can do for me, other than surgery (microdiscectomy) and it obviously isn't going to heal on its own since it has been 5+ years.

I would classify my pain level as a nagging, stabbing pain from my butt down my leg. Most of the time, if I haven't been too active, it is manageable. However, when I have a day when I have done quite a lot of standing or walking slowly (something that happens often with a one year old), the pain is pretty bad and puts a cramp in my activity level. I find myself worrying about activities like chaperoning my first grader to the zoo because of being concerned about the level of pain and whether I will be able to keep up with the kids. 

I read the posts on here about debilitating pain and I am certainly not there. If I want to do something, I can, but I do feel like it hinders my life.

I suppose my questions are two-fold:

1. Has anyone else had this level of pain and had surgery or experienced relief from alternative treatments?

2. Has anyone with small children had a microdiscectomy? I'm concerned about the not lifting for a number of weeks. My husband is very supportive but he can only be around so much. My 8 year old can help lift the 1 year old, but sometimes toddlers just want their moms.

Thank you!


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Comments

  • Hi Julie,

    Have you seen both an orthopedic spine surgeon and neurosurgeon and both recommend microdisectomy? 

    Not all chiropractors are created equal. I have experienced subpar chiropractors and only one I really like (although he doesn’t take my insurance).

    I prefer a chiropractor that doesn’t crack or pop you. Most members on this forum are not fans of chiropractors, in general. 

    You’ve come to the right place. Welcome and hopefully others will come along to share their experience and knowledge.

  • Hi! Thanks for the response. Yes, a surgeon recommended surgery (microdiscectomy) and I actually have it scheduled for the 20th of this month. I’m just doubting whether my pain is enough to actually go through with it. I’m really nervous about recovery and replapses. 

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  • hi richards161430

    welcome to spine-health

    good luck with your surgery on the 20th.  please join in with our april surgery buddies group and maybe read march surgery buddies for an insight into some surgeries.  you can find the groups under 'forum topics'

    it is worrying to think about post op lifting, but things can be adapted.  babies love to climb, so a cuddle on the sofa, instead of lifting could be an alternative.  try to organise as much help from other friends or family popping round for the times your husband cannot be around.  maybe even try to organise a rota of friends if that is possible.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health


    aj 


    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • tjlazerttjlazer TacomaPosts: 137
    edited 04/12/2018 - 12:41 PM

    find out if the bulge is more than 8mm, if it is not be aware that those have poor surgical outcomes and those are what is called "Failed back surgery syndrome"  Only large herniations have a good outcome as there is more material to remove and provide relief.  A minor to moderate bulge is too small to be succcessful.  This happened to me and it provided very minimal relief and I am still having lots of Sciatica because the bulge is still "touching" the S1 nerves.  There wasn't enough to remove it all.  Things to do in my case, conservative treatments to try to decompress the nerves:  Inverison therapy, good body mechanics, hydration, lose weight.  Good luck

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