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Hi everybody!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
I've been reading this forum on and off and figured I may as well register and introduce myself. I'm 39 M and have been living with back pain for about 12 years. Usually a few weeks of PT every fall would clear it up but the past few years it has been rough. I've had a couple of neuros tell me I'm a good candidate for surgery but have tried to avoid for years.

I have an assortment of disc herniations, osteophytes, stenosis etc through c4/5-c6/7 and the nerve is pinched at least at c5/6. I have numbness in the thumb and 2 fingers of my left hand, aching in my arm and a denervated serratus anterior.

I'm currently on naproxen, percoset, and occasionally soma to sleep, and getting the epidural injections about every 2 weeks. At first the injections had cleared everything up and I was in pt, but something happened and I ended up back in pain. Now I've got the orthopedic surgeon at the pain management center recommending endoscopic microdiscectomy. I had the MRI and x-ray last week and I'm seeing him again tomorrow. I had a look at the MRI and my guess is he'll want to do c4/5 and c5/6 but I'm not a doctor. It is neat that now instead of films the imaging center hands me a CD-Rom. Anybody want to see my MRI?

Anyway my doctors all say the same thing, that the shots either work, or have surgery, and since they're now all saying have the microdiscectomy, and if that doesn't work, I can always have fusion later, I'm leaning towards having it done. Would love to hear from people who have had similar, and whether it helped or not.



  • Welcome to SH :H I had a microdiscectomy/laminectomy in 2007 for herniated discs in L4-5 & L5-S1. I was told that I would wake up relatively pain free and be walking the same day of the surgery, and maybe even go home. No, it wasn't like that. I woke up in pain and my leg was still hurting. I was walked by the physical therapist the second day and yet could not go to the bathroom without help. On day 3 I was told I could stay at the rehab wing, but I decided to go home instead. I had PT at home and outpatient, and was allowed to drive short distances after 2 weeks post op. I continued to have a lot of pain and I went in for an MRI, and 2 post op spinal injections. After 12 weeks gone by, I wasn't doing well and was referred to pain mgt. Later on I found out that I had reherniated L4-5, and L5-S1 was compressing the nerve. There was retrolisthesis at L4-5, severe DDD in both discs, and a benign tumor on L2. Well, that's my experience with this type of surgery, and I hope you have a successful outcome with yours. Take care
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. check out the top of the forum under"Treatments" and "Conditions." it can give you a good overview of some of your problems. =D> i hope you have gotten more than one opinion as far as surgery goes. :? it is so important to get as much verification as you can. good luck on your upcoming pain treatments! :D Jenny :)
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  • this surgery. I totally agree with your thinking. Always better to take the less invasive route first. If that does not work than go for the more invasive surgery. Makes sense to me. I do agree with the other poster that you should be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. My recovery did not go as easy as I was told either. I was totally unprepared which made things much more difficult. Good luck and please keep us posted.

  • ..from some nice people here who have given me advice and calmed my nerves :)

    You sound like you're making some educated decisions about your treatment. Good for You! NEVER stop asking questions! I have learned so much from this site and the great people here. I had a bilateral laminectomy/discectomy (L4/5)in Dec. of 08. I was SOOO excited when I woke up pain free. But, as soon as the meds wore off I realized it didn't go as planned. Other issues insued, but we now know it's more than one disc. Why things got worse AFTER, no one can really tell me why. That's the Secret Life of Nerves. There are a lot of SUCCESSFUL l/d's on this site, so I know they work, just not for me. I can say however, that recovery from the incision site was really not that bad. Just a little stiffness that wore off in a few days.

    I do want to say that I wish I had had the discogram BEFORE the first surgery. Had we known there was DEFINITELY more than one disc ruptured we may have just opted for the ALIF instead. But that's just me and my NS's POV (even though I'm totally Chicken about the whole next surgery thing)
  • You've come to the right place for answers. I didn't actually have any options since I had a cord impingement at C5/C6 and was dropping things and walking sideways and feeling like I was falling out of chairs. I had fusion within 3 weeks of having a semi hit me. As for the the fusion surgery the post op pain wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I've been left with some after effects though with nerve issues in my neck or shoulder. We're working on figuring that out now. I'm glad that you've been offered a less invasive procedure. I just suggest that you think about the long term instead of just the here and now pain that you are in. Could it get worse? Sure. Could it better? Maybe. Lots of questions to ask your doctor before you agree to have surgery and if you need our help we're here for you. Again welcome. :H
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