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surgery needed ?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
This is my first post. This is a great forum!

I need advice on whether I should go in for surgery or not.

I had severe leg pain for 3 months (aug/sept/oct 2008), but the leg pain just went away november (last month). When the pain was there, it was extremely hard to walk on my right leg, even sit. Now I can walk normally, sit etc, but I'm unable to do heel walk on my right leg. The physiatrist I'm seeing says that it is an indication of weakness. I also have a little tingling and numbness at the big toe and first toe. Also, walking for more than 30 minutes seems to hurt the front of my lower leg (shin). The MRI shows a massive L4-L5 disk herniation.

Do I need surgery for these symptoms ? Will the weakness get worse if I don't have it operated on ? Or am I by any chance on the recovery path, in which the sciatic pain was the first to go away, and the weakness and tingling can also improve over the following months ? Would greatly appreciate any advice.


  • Usually your Dr. should order an EMG and also refer you to a Neurologist for you weakness and referral to an Orthpedic Dr. Are you on any meds? I'm taking Lyrica for the leg tingling and sciatica. Do you have a Pain Management Dr? I can't really say if you should have surgery but unless there is nerve damage from compressed nerves my Dr. told me no surgery. There are injections and meds to help while you're waiting for surgery. I'm going conservative with no surgery for as long as possible. Try to get a second opinion if you're going for surgery. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • you need to research all your options and learn what you can. I just went through this and had surgery nov 20 so far so good but no picnic. It is scary and personal and at the end of the hour you will have to decide for you. It sounds like your a candidate no doubt but a lot needs to be considered. If you want more specifics about anything i know please ask ill keep an eye out for you. best of luck.
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  • thanks charry and fused CS-I for your advice!

    charry: the physiatrist did bring up EMG once, but then said it didn't seem necessary as the symptom of weakness seemed obvious. He has asked me to see a neurosurgeon, probably will take 2-3 weeks at least. I had pregabalin for a month. Also had neurontin for 2 months, and nabumetone, which I believe is an NSAID.

    Fused CS-I: I will try and learn more about my condition. Until now I wouldn't have even known what dermatomes were if I got bit by one, and now I'm almost needing to draw them in 3-dimensions!
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