I'm a 31 yr. old male from South Csrolina. My Pain started about 3 months ago and has progressively gotten worse. Sharp pain, dull pain and every other pain on the books. I first saw a neurologist and had the MRI which revealed two degenerated discs,L4-L5. One of the disc, not sure which one, is severely herniated. I stayed with the neurologist through one epidural injection and then went to an ortho. surgeon for a second opinion. Since I know the surgeon personally I decided to switch to him. I had three more injections and the end result was absolutely no relief. His suggestion at that point was to get surgery. After reading some of the posts on the forums here I'm now confused, a little nervous, and still in pain, of course. I've tried some PT but it just hurts too bad to do too much and nothing has relieved the pain what-so-ever. After speaking with the doc about my options, he said I have 3 options, 1)the removal of just the herniated part of the disc. 2) the fusion. 3) Live with it. Obviously, option 3 is off the table. He then told me that he suggested the fusion because in the cases he's dealt with (and it's alot)that are young and active he's seen that by just removing the herniated part leaves the chance of it herniating again and then being back at square one.
My concerns are mainly with the recovery time that goes along with the more invasive surgery (the fusion). My job as a marketer for a hospice does not include any lifing or physical labor at all. I do, however, have to drive from account to account all day, and getting in and out of the car is when my pain is at it's worse until I can walk it off for about 30min. I told the surgeon that my main objectives are to be able to hold my son,play ball with him and walk my dogs. He said that should not be a problem at all once I'm recovered. I know I'm rambling but there's just soooo many thoughts and nerves running wild in my head that I don't know what to do. Any and all suggestions/advice will be greatly appreciated. Looking mainly for actual recovery time and when I can start to drive and get back to work post-surgery. Doc says to expect to be out of work for at least a month until I can effectively drive. Anyone been able to start working sooner?? All advice welcome. Thanks if you read this long blabbering post. Looking forward o some replies.
I should probaly specify that this in my lumbar spine...L4-L5. Pain down my entire left leg, more intense in left thigh thru my shin and foot. Also intense pain in groin area at times.