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Should I go for a micro-disectomy ?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey guys. I am an 18year old who joined the army 1 year back. (wasnt a choice . we have to serve 2 years) A few weeks into training i developed a slip disc. Went for an MRI and the conclusion is as follows

1.L4/5 focal and right paracentral protrusion, causing significant spinal stenosis. No L4 nerve root impingement seen.
2. Right descending L5 root is touching the protruding disc

Now i remember back in late december then i could walk for about 5 mins because when i moved the pain was so acute in my lower back. After 2 months i went for my MRI in february and the results are above. Ever since then my lower back pain started to decrease and now i am glad to say that i have no back pain now. Just once in a way it comes in , thats most probably coz of my stiff lower back muscles. The downside though is that symptoms in my legs started to show up . Started from the right leg. Pain shooting down my thighs, to my calf and all the way to the mid of my foot. Nerve pulls when i walked and numbness in the upper right feet. Then once , over a period of a week all the symptoms just went over to my left foot. I thought it would go away but and just continued my going to work(army clerical work). At then end of the week my left foot swelled and was cold. Had nerve pull when i walked. After 2 weeks of rest it went off. All the above symptoms were between april to like august this year.

After that it has been coming on and off on both legs but less frequently . No more nerve pulls unless i walk too much. But the symptoms still do exist. I have been on convservative therapy since april . According to my physiotherapist it has helped improve my situation but not stablized my condition. I went for another mri in october, results are the same as before. Now most doctors are recommending me for a micro disectomy.

Before i go on about my opinion, let me tell you abit about my lifestyle. I used to be damn fat. had a big tummy when i was 14? Joint karate and it started to loose weight. When i was 17 i was in the prime of my fitness. My waist size dropped from 38 to 32. But, i stopped all physical activities mid last year because i had my Alvls, bad mistake i know.

Now, given my current health status, i am adviced to stop and rest if the pain comes when I even walk. The only physical activity i do is waking. Its tough given my lifestlye last time. I have gained weight , feeling very weak physically.

The doctors told me to go for a micro-disectomy. They said i wud be back to normal with no side effects. Of course theres the percentage of succes and all. 99.99% the operation would be a succes, 85% i recover completely after that , 13% theres no decompression , 2% infection/scaring. Now its only after i read here that i found out people go for even 2 disectomy's coz the remaining disc comes out? ------> true?

Can i return to my previous lifestyle if i go thru this op? what are the chances of me needing a fusion surgery after that? Should i go for the op? Its going to be nearly a year since i got this injury.


  • to SH and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Now I am not a medical person so this is only my personal opinion.

    Now as far as the MicroD goes, there is no reason you cant have a full recovery and get back to the active lifestyle you had previoulsy.
    You whave noticed that a lot of posts here are about people who have had or are having problems but that is simply because those that have done well do not need the support of the board any longer and therfore dont post.
    So really what you read is only a small portion of those that have had surgery.
    It sounds as if you have done the right things , do you keep up the exercises that the PT gave you- they are really important to do, not just for now but for the rest of your life. (regardless of surgery)
    The fact that the nerves are affected is the biggest thing here, you dont want that to continue and if the PT or other treatments cant help you then you really want to get that fixed.
    After that it is up to you to stay as active and fit as possible. That wil help avoid any future problems.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I had 2 herniations at L4-L5, but the second one was after my fusion was already scheduled. Only reason I needed a fusion was because I had DDD, not just a herniated disc. Unless your disc is totally shot or there is a major issue with the stability of your spine, you shouldn't need a fusion. A microD should be sufficient. If your symptoms are unbearable, go for it. If not, then wait until they are.
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