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Saw Neurosurgeon, still confused!



  • Jeez. That's good to hear that they're not going to do something bigger than necessary. MicroDiscectomy sounds like the perfect surgery. I also had a herniation at L4-L5 with most of the disc pressing on my sciatic nerve, and had HORRIBLE sciatica in my right leg. Since February 07. Had my MicroD in May 08.
  • All of my pre-op symptoms are gone and have been gone since I woke up from surgery. I already had my fusion scheduled for back pain and inability to sit or stand or long periods of time, and really bad sciatica. Had a MicroD first that didn't work, then reherniated, and after that, they rescheduled due to the weakness and numbness. Not everyone gets weakness and numbness, but that doesn't necessarily mean surgery isn't the right option. I am SO glad I went through with it. I would do it again if necessary.
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  • My fusion surgery completely eliminated my sciatica. You have to make an educated judgement on how much you can deal with concerning pain. It's such a long haul to recovery, and there are NO guarantees that surgery will take away the pain.
  • EMTlady, you also have to remember that it all varies by person. Even two people with the same diagnoses and same treatments can have to totally different results. Less than 2 weeks post op from my fusion I was taking care of myself entirely and doing everything myself. Didn't need help. Returned to my normal routine. Never needed a grabber, never needed a raised toilet seat, never needed to rearrange anything in my house to make it more convenient. In the hospital, the next day I got right up and walked down the hall totally fine, no cane, no walker. I am one month post op and aside from cold mornings or if I slept the wrong way, I feel great. In comparison, there are people here who it took months to reach this point, and people who are many months post op and still aren't at this point. It ALL varies Each person has so many variables that it's hard to really compare one to the next. You should not decide on surgery based on what others think. It's about you and how much you can handle. If you think you can deal with the pain and continue living this way, then do so. If not, and you're tired of it, and want to try another route, then do that. Only YOU know what is too much for you, and only you can make the right decision.
  • Lo, you are so young to have been through so much! I am glad that the surgery helped you and that you feel it was worth it. I sure appreciate your help and hope to hear from others also who have been through this.
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  • Of course only you can make that decision. I am a firm believer in personal intuition.

    I take things like spinal instability, possible nerve damage, permanent nerve damage, loss of function and greater risk of failed repair into consideration over pain. If my pain is controllable then I consider those things. If my pain is not controllable, then the rest is a mute point because I wouldn't be able to function anyway.

    Common sense, good judgment and intuition.

  • Well said!
  • Please make sure you use up all of your options before you go ahead with the fusion. I had a level 2 fusion, same levels as you are thinking on Sept 25th. I also had lots of PT and other therapies before my dr even considered the fusion.
    I had sciatica about 9 years ago lifting a patient when I did home health care and just twisted the wrong way. I thought I was going to die! My doc then had me go to PT and learn stretching exercices to help with the nerve and keep it "loose" so it wouldn't happen as often. That worked pretty much every day up until I fell on July 25th '07.
    My doc now had me do PT, EPI's, meds etc before even considering a MicroD. I then had that on Nov 15th '07. Everything was fine until I had an asthma attack 2 weeks post-op and reherniated! OUCH!
    Went back to dr and he had me repeat it all over again, and then had me do 2 discograms before the fusion. I only did the fusion now because my back pain was unbearable! I work as a paraprofessional with the special ed dept for 1st and 2nd graders and worked with a one on one last year. I couldn't even stand when I got home from all the pain! My kids were suffering as much as I was and then I knew that I had to get the fusion done.
    As a post-op fusion patient, I would have to say that I am glad that I had this surgery! My kids are happy too, as they were the most important key for me making my decision. It's a long road to recovery, but every day is another step forward. (for most) As for me, I have had a step backwards but that is to be expected, hopefully won't happen, but it just might with any surgery.
    Like Lo said, everyone heals at different rates as everyones bodies are different.
    I have faith that you will make the right decision! You're children, if you have any, and the ones you teach, will appreciate any decision you make! I know my students miss me but can't wait for "Miss Kim" to return!
    Take Care!
    Kim >:D< >:D<
  • Keecho -

    I am so glad you shared your story also. Do you think you would have endured the fusion if you would not have had the sciatic pain and just had severe back pain? My sciatica is just starting, but the pain with prolonged standing, walking, etc... is into my hips and rear-end so bad sometimes, I can't even imagine how some of you cope with additional pain down into your feet and legs!! I agree, that the risks of this are huge and I have tried other therapies. Right now the only thing that helps is taking pain meds EVERY day. I am trying to decide if that is the best way to live rather than putting myself through this surgery and just wait and see if I get the sciatic pain worse down the road.
  • can decide on what's best for you! I will tell you that my tolerance for pain got sooo high none of the meds were working before the fusion. I ended up having seizure due to all the pain and was rushed to the hospital several times, even from school! The kids were horrified! The school nurse thought I was having a stroke once too!
    It was also at that point that I knew I needed this done, and am I happy about it, YES! I have my days, weeks that I regret doing it. but when I look at my kids faces, it was sooo worth it! I'm having a back stream right now, but I know it will get better. I just have to be patient!
    You will know what to do, I have faith in you!
    Just remember, you can't live off of pain meds for the rest of your life! It will cause other issues!

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