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Recovering--But already scheduled surgery



  • :sigh: I just wrote out four paragraphs noting everything and then I accidently hid the X button.

    Well, this wont be as wordy as I had just wrote but------- I called my neurosurgeon on Monday, the day before the surgery and told him that I improved a ton the last couple of weeks and asked him if he still thought I should go ahead and get the surgery. He replied that I am not the first person who's seen great improvement in a little time, and that he's had many people come to him saying that they've improved a great deal right before surgery, but most of them come back within a month or less and reschedule their surgeries because their pain became even worse than before. He went on to say that my improvement is more than likely just the inflammation of the nerve dying down a little bit and that it would probably come back, and usually when it comes back it's worse than it was before. In the end he advised that I get the surgery, although because I have improved so much it wasn't really something that had to be done urgently. I decided I wanted to ahead and have the surgery as scheduled. However, against my will, my dad decided to call the neurosurgeon and cancel the surgery telling him that he would not let me get the surgery until I had a new MRI done to confirm that my improvement had come only because of reduced inflammation and not because of the disc receding.

    He could not schedule the MRI the night before the surgery because my Insurance company would never authorize it at such short notice. So he scheduled the MRI on Thursday--two day ago. The results were..........drumroll.........the herniated disc is still there impinging on the L5-S1 nerve root :sigh:. I have an appointment with the surgeon on February 4th to discuss everything, and I rescheduled the surgery for February 10th.

    I think this smiley sums up my situation best: :frustrated:
  • I should have mentioned that my February 10th surgery date is just tentative. I'm still not sure if I want the surgery, and the reason I scheduled an appointment to see him on February 4th is that I want to discuss everything with him. I don't want to make any possible life altering decisions over words I heard on the phone.
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  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,362
    Oh, I've deleted my messages more times than I can count. Usually it's after I've typed a long one and then I'm too lazy to type it again! I hope that it all goes well for you at your doctor appt. Wednesday. I agree that it's best to wait until you actually get to talk the new MRI report over with your surgeon. I wish you the best whatever you decide.
    Take care,
  • Hi, I just wanted to update you, I went and saw my neuro on the 29th. I was having the same mixed feelings about surgery, I pretty much talked myself out of it till I saw him. He did some reflex test on my foot and leg, and the right was much weaker then the left. He told me it's the nerve being pressed. I decided to go ahead and have the surgery, mine is scheduled for the 9th of Feb. I have to trust the surgeon. I have to believe he wouldn't do the surgery if it wasn't needed. I asked about the MRI, since my last one was in Nov. He said it wasn't needed, either way he could see whats happening when he went in. Good Luck with your surgery. I'll check back to see updates.
  • Steve,

    Have you gotten a second opinion? I have had ortho tell me I needed a microdiscectomy on L5S1. However the Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation doctor I see said surgery would not solve my sciatic pain. He has me on a strict exercise plan and it has made a big difference. I have 4 herniated discs in my lumbar and cervical back and 3 in the thoracic area and have not had any knifes touching my back!

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  • Well, I just got out of my appointment with the surgeon. According to him, I'm one of the rarer case in that I hit a plateau for several months and then suddenly broke out of it. He said that my recovery is due to the disc shifting a little bit, but it obviously hasn't receded (MRI is still the same as the day symptoms started).

    He went on to say that a disc herniation the size of mine never really does recede and I may likely face problems in the future because the herniation is still there and is limiting the space the L5-S1 nerve has to move. And because of this, he has no problems offering me the surgery up front, nor would mostsurgeons. However he doesn't feel that surgery is absolutely necessary, and there is no "Right" thing to do now.

    So, I decided to cancel the surgery and make my parents happy. I'm still not sure if I made the right decision, so, if my symptoms do return in full force or anything close, I will not hesitate to call the surgeon up and reschedule the surgery (That is if he'll still have me--I've canceled on him twice already lol).

    Btw, if anyone wants the name of the surgeon I've been seeing and lives in the New York/Metro area, just send me an email me at awaderboy@gmail.com and I'll gladly give you his name. He's a neurosurgeon, and has been ranked as one of the top 50 surgeons in America many times. He also did his residency in spinal disorders and has performed around 530 discectomies. To top it all off, he's got great bedside manner and takes his time with patients. I (and I'm not exaggerating) spend about 45 minutes with him with every appointment. It's odd for a doctor--usually I feel rushed in appointments but this guy waits for me to end the appointment--I feel like he'd sit with me for hours as long as I had questions to ask him.
  • Would it be possible for you to tell us which exercises your doctor has you doing? I would be curious to know what is making a different for you. Just in general-- you don't need to describe it all in great detail! ;)
  • Yes, NeilD--I'd also like to know how you've avoided the surgery. And, I wonder how Lizard is doing--her surgery is today.
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