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2 back surgeries for pinched nerves

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi there...I am new here and my first time posting, so hopefully I am posting in the right place!
I have had 2 surgeries (2004 and 2007) for pinched nerves in my back. I had excruciating leg pain both times and the MRI showed such a mess that both times my surgery was scheduled for the very next day after seeing the surgeon. He said that if this happens again, I would have to have a fusion.
Just this weekend I started getting that familiar twinge of pain starting in my thigh and I have started to panic. I absolutely do not want to have to have a fusion or any more surgeries. Does anyone have any suggestions? Will walking/stretching help anything or if the leg pain has already started, is it too late?
I am now 26 and really don't want to have another surgery while I am so young. Thanks for any input that any one can offer!


  • if fusion is clinically an option for you it may well put an end to your troubles.
    It is just a big surgery and takes a while (upto 24 months) to really get over.
    You are young and it is reasonable to think you should get through it easier than a 50 or 60 year old.

    Finally, remember many of the ppl on the boards have ongoing problems, we are the smallest percentage of ppl having surgery. Most do well, get on with their lives and have no time for the forums!

    Good Luck.
  • Emily, don't be scared. It is best to just get it checked out. There are many other treatments for radiculopathy besides surgery. It doesn't automatically mean fusion. If you are not happy with your surgeons suggestions get another opinion. It sounds as if your surgeries were emergent, but that may not be the case this time. Many are helped by injections, physical therapy, and other less invasive treatments. Good-luck to you and let us know what happens. >:D< Cali-Sue
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  • Hello Emily,

    Emily, did you ever try to have an ESI (epidural injection containing a corticosteroid)? If so, did it help? If you have not had an ESI, may I suggest that you seek the advice of a second doctor and ask him/her if it would be a good idea to have an ESI.

    I had a pinched nerve at L3/L4 back in early '07. The pain was in my lower back and radiated down my leg. In addition the lower part of my leg had a tingling sensation. I had an ESI end of Apri '07. To my surprise it WORKED. One week after the injection the pain in my leg was gone. A month later that tingling sensation was gone. To this day no more leg pain or tingling. The corticosteroid really took care of the inflammation and in turn the pain.

    I wish you the best.

  • Hi Em,
    just curious, what levels did you have problems with?
    L4-L5? L5-S1?

    What kind of language is in your reports?
    What I mean by that, is what words are used to describe your case?
    reduced disc height, dessication, bilateral, foraminal stenosis, facet arthropathy, etc etc etc

    Did you have microdiscectomies? Laminectomies?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hello,
    Thanks for the replies. I had never heard of ESI before this forum. I am glad I came here so that I know there are other options.
    The only option I was given was pain pills (vicodin) and physical therapy which didn't work (but by the time they had me try pt, I was in such pain I could hardly walk)
    I had laminectomies both times at the lower levels.
    Both times, I felt immediate relief right after surgery. So much so that I didn't need any pain meds, not even tylenol after either surgery. Then after the first one all of a sudden the leg tingle came back and I was in the same boat. And now again.
    Like I said, I had never heard of ESI before so if it comes to that I will talk about it with my doctor/surgeon.
    Thanks for taking the time to help me out and give me some advice--it really helps! Its also good to know there are others out there that know what this kind of pain is like!
    Happy Holidays to everyone!
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