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What is a girl to do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been suffering with back pain and sciatica for 2 1/2 yrs now. I had a microdiscectomy in July 07. I reherniated and had a revision in June 08. I was feeling great after the revision until about 11 weeks after then the pain returned. Today he showed me my mri and said that the disc had not reherniated but the last step to take was a TLIF on L5S1. I still have alot of weakness and pain in my left leg and now it has gone to my right leg along with my right hip. I also have an annoying pain just below my right knee cap. It appears I only have two choices now...either live with the pain I am in or have the TLIF. I'm not sure what to do because I dont want to make the pain worse and have read some pretty scary stories on here. Any suggestions??


  • Did your doctor suggest cortisone shots? Medications? Physical therapy? Have you considered getting a second opinion? Surgery should be a last resort, at least in my opinion.

    I can only speak to my experience - I have been treating my re-herniated L5-S1 conservatively for 12 months with all of the above. I would not be doing surgery if I had not given these a try. But it is never a case of "live in pain or surgery", there are alot of options out there and if your doctor is not suggesting any, you may want to find another who does. Surgery is no guarantee...

    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • Have you tried all of the conservative treatments available to you? I realize that physical therapy and other things take time, but they do work for some people. Strengthening your core muscles take some stress and strain off of the spine itself. I had a discectomy in 2000. I had some good bad and great days thereafter but lasted 8 years before I had to get the TLIF done. Have you tried injections?

    Of course I am not a doctor and you will need to speak with him or her to find out what the best plan of action for you is. I would suggest that you do as much research as you can on viable options. For example if they are pushing a TLIF then you may need to have a discogram first to find out if that L5S1 is really causing the pain or not.

    Unfortunately, most of the people who have had success with any type of treatment do not continue to post here. There are poeple how have had successes and failures in all areas. Each body, mind, and soul are different. Find out what works for you.

    One Love,

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  • Elizabeth, it is best of course to talk to your doctor about what all of your options are. Conservative treatment is always best tried first before considering surgery. There are always alternatives, unless you have an emergency type of situation.

    Over the past 2 years, I've tried PT, injections and acupuncture, as well as different medications. Since none of these treatments worked for me, I just had a discogram, to try and find out if (and which one(s)) a disc is actually causing my pain. I will be talking to a surgeon on Monday. But it took me this long before I (or my doctor) was ready to even think about surgery.

    And Stephanie makes a good point, a lot of people who have had successful surgeries are far more likely to stop posting here.

    Please talk to your doctor about different options.
    And I really hope that you get some relief soon.
  • some conservative treatments previously such as PT, acupuncture, the gym. He has not mentioned injections since the first discectomy and my PT basically told me there is nothing she can do with me to help with the weakness in my leg and foot. I live in Canada and I have never heard anyone get a discogram and I am not even sure what it is. We cant just run out and get a second opinion here. It takes months to get an appointment (if not a year) with a specialist and you cannot go to any Dr you choose, you have to be referred by your family Dr. To make matters worse my family Dr is out on Maternity leave so I dont have anyone to refer me. I am so frustrated and confused because he can't guarantee me this surgery will help my pain.
  • I am sorry about your difficulties Elizabeth. Don't you have a substitute doctor who could refer you to somebody? I know it is not very simple, (my brother lives in Canada) but try to see if you could get some help. While you are waiting, do a lot of research about the various surgical and alternative options. At least this way you can ask intelligent questions by the time you see a surgeon. Surgery could be a good option, but only as alast resort. Try other treatments first.

    Good luck, and let us know what happens.

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  • Until when and if you are totally comfortable with surgery. The thing is that once surgery is done it can not be reversed. If it happens to cause more pain then you may be stuck with it. I am a firm believer in a second opinion before any surgery but I don't know what I would do in your situation. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • Hi,
    I know you are in pain and you have a lot of problems. When a surgery is done we can't reverse it. I think you need some exercise.

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