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How long did you wait to have surgery

 This is for people who opted to have surgery.  I want to know what was the thing that prompted you to have surgery?  Did you try therapy for an extended period of time and it not work and then had surgery?  Did you have some kind of traumatic injury that landed you in the operating room?  Etc.? 

In my case I had moderate to mild pain that could be easily controlled with ibuprofen for a little over a yr.  then one day last week I was walking through my living room doing nothing special and just melted to the floor. my right glut & thigh just seized up w/ intense sharp pain that traveled down the back to NT calf and I couldn’t stand up straight. Luckily my mom was there when it happened and she immediately put me in the car and took me to her personal doctor. He was able to x-ray and see that I had a major problem with my L5 S1.  He got me in for an MRI by 7:30 the following morning and then had me in the neurosurgeons office by 3 o’clock that afternoon the day after all of this started. The pain has grown and the NS had me admitted to the hospital to see if we could get things under control. We are on day 3 of  admission and I don’t know if I can take much more of this. The NS wants to do emergency surgery now as he say it could not only relieve the pain but also prevent any longer term nerve damage that would either A) take months to resolve or B)  possibly never resolve or be limited in the resolution. My husband wants me to do med’s and  physical therapy.  He had a bulging desk fire up his back couple of years ago and that’s what he did to make it go away and it’s fine now. He is also just really terrified and surgery in general and keeps talking about this guy he used to work with that have unsuccessful back surgery.  I’m so confused and in so much pain I don’t know what to think. I really would like to here some  unbiased opinions  So please comment away.  Also please excuse any garbled words in this messaging I have been using my voice to text for this because I don’t have the ability to type very well right now



  • melissabr

    welcome to spine-health

    all new members should take the system tutorial

    personally i have always thought surgery should be the last resort, and my doctor has always agreed with that, if your surgeon says it is time and you have complete trust in him/her then you know what to do, if you have any doubt at all then you should get a second opinion, you didn't mention what your mri said, there are some things that pt just will not cure, a bulging disc that your husband had and what you have are most likely much different things, surgery especially spine surgery is very scary, but at times is the only thing that will help.
    good luck and keep us posted.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033

    I agree with Chip, you must have total confidence in your surgeon, and if you have any doubt at all, get a second or third opinion. PT is a good thing but if it is possible that it could make your situation even worse than it's not recommended. Never base your condition on any other persons experience, we are all very different. Be your own advocate, do your research, and it will give you the confidence to make the decision that suits you best. And above all, never look back.

    Please keep us posted, wish you the best.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528


    Chip and Ranger have given you some good opinions.   Spinal surgery, any surgery is a very personal matter.   You want every one involved to agree on this course.  Your surgeon, yourself, your family etc.

    Take a look at Getting Ready for Surgery

    And I always like to stress that you also need to be confident in the hospital where the surgery is going to be done.   The surgeon does his job in a couple of hours and basically passes you on the Nursing Staff, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Technicians and Case Workers.   You may see your  surgeon only once or twice after surgery, but you will be in the hands of the people I just mentioned.   I suggest that before surgery, you go meet with the head Nurse from the floor you will be put on after surgery and talk with the Case worker.     

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • So I managed my pain for 2 years ish. I actually thought I was getting better then randomly my pain statting increasing I thought it was a flair up I had a massage I felt better. Then a few weeks later had another massage on a Monday by Friday I was in major pain... again thinking it was a flair up went off to pilates where my instructor did some major streching and said I should probably call the doctor. I shrugged it off since it was a Friday and spent the day on ice. I went to work Saturday in major pain but made it through the day. Sunday I couldn't get my socks on but had my husband do it for me and tried to go to work. I ended up going home almost immediately because I was in too much pain. I went home and took a nap in my recliner chair I woke up and my pants were soaked I went to clean up and realized I couldn't feel my private parts. I sent 20 minutes calling around to my friends because I knew what that ment and my husband and I drove to the er. 

    I lucked out because my dad had just had a neck surgery so he was familiar and confident in the surgeons at that hospital. I ended up having emergency back surgery due to ces (cauda equina syndrome). 

    I was devastated because I never wanted surgery but I literally had no choice and currently I'm waiting to see if my bladder wakes back up. So there is no right answer but I will say that up until this catastrophic event for me no one medically even thought I should consider it. 

    I pray whatever your decision you get a speedy recovery. In my case all my hamstring pain was gone immediately I can walk with less pain now then I have in years but my butt and private areas still have no feelings  (not even a weeks out surgeon said at least 3 before i should worry and even then nerves take time). 

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