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Your thoughts please....but hurry...have to make decision.



  • Had the same thing as you but pain was a 9. Giant L5-S1 herniation. If you have not had any ESI's you should try one or two and see if they help enough to convince you not to get the microdiscectomy. If not, do the microdiscectomy. It's not that bad. Make a fusion your last resort. I would even suggest looking into artificial disc replacement before fusion. Physical therapy WILL NOT help you. It will only make the pain worse faster.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,302
    There are so many different aspects of Physical Therapy. Treatments vary by the problem they are trying to address and by the therapists.
    There are so many people today that are able to walk and live a more productive life because of the help they received in Physical Therapy.

    I am a firm believer in Physical Therapy, I understand how to achieve the most from it and I am also very aware of its limits.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I'm in Greensboro, so unfortunately, I don't know anything about those places. But, if you are unhappy with them or just want a 2nd opinion on your options (and don't mind the 1.5 hour drive) I think I have one of the best neurosurgeons around. He has a phenomenal reputation, and has been incredibly supportive. And he didn't push surgery on me either, he actually cares about his patients. Send me a PM if you want his name. I hope you get some good news from your specialists!
  • My ESI took about three days to kick in. The 2nd and 3rd didn't do anything for me.

    BTW, did your chiro diagnose the Piriformis Syndrome. The chiro that I saw treated me for PS and used active release therapy. They totally ignored my MRI that I gave them and took more Xrays. According to my pain doctor, the Xrays do not show disc problems which the MRI clearly showed that I had a 7mm herniation. I don't even know I had piriformis Syndrom.

  • I agree with you. My first physical therapy treatment gave me enormous relief. I couldn't even touch my toes and later I gain the range of motions that I had before the pain.

    The second round of physical therapy was not useful because the herniated disc was too big.

    I am going to start PT again which I am looking forward to.
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  • there was a time when PT was very good over in the UK .you would go to your doctor and he/she would refer you to the local hospital and you would be seen by a qualified physio they would do everything from massage to aqua therapy to SWD{short wave diathermy} TENS and heat etc..but all we get now is a list of exercises for your particular problem .they are impossible to do and hurt like mad when you try to do them .so i payed for 6 sessions with a private physio .i showed him my list that the hospital gave me ..he laughed and threw them in the bin!! he says that he gets loads of people coming from the hospitals physio department with a list ..physio is a hands on profession .its the same old story you get what you pay for.having said that physio did nothing for me .swimming pool hydro pool is about the best..and that's what i would recommend for anyone with back pain
  • Your symptoms sound just like mine -- I was perfectly pain free whenever I was lying down or sitting. But I could not stand at all. I put a high stool in my kitchen so that I could prepare meals. I would cut an onion for 30 seconds and then plop down on the stool...pain would go away. Then I'd stand up and cut a little more...etc. I was driving to the end of the driveway to collect the mail because I couldn't walk that far. I had no pain in my back...I could walk on my heels and on my toes just as well as I always could, etc.

    It made it difficult whenever I went to the doctor or in for an ESI as they'd always ask "What's your pain level NOW?" I'd say none and they'd look at me like "Well, why are you here???"

    Obviously I don't know what is wrong with you, but what you describe is the classic case of radiculopathy almost always caused by the compression of a nerve in your lower lumbar spine -- in your case, from the herniated disc pressing on the nerve root at the L5-S1.

    I am happy to see you are getting several opinions from spinal specialists. Surgeons are very conservative these days and will only do surgery after trying conservative treatments first. You will have a better idea of your options after your appointments tomorrow and Friday.
  • I get so scared when I hear from you and others about the NHS in England. Its coming here soon!
  • I had the same problems as you and I just couldn't handle it anymore so I took the chance of having surgery. I had already tried rest, medication, PT, using a tens unit, and several epidural injections. I knew I had to do something to fix my back and surgery looked like a viable option. Well, I did have surgery to take pressure off the nerve but things didn't go as planned. A month later I suffered a post op reherniation which was found on an MRI. To sum it all up, I went on to have a fusion but today I still have ongoing chronic pain and nerve damage. Please remember that there were complicating factors with me, but a lot of people do get better and go on with their lives. It is a difficult decision to make, and it's best to do some research and perhaps get a second opinion. What really made me have surgery was the fact that the pain was constant, even after taking pain pills. There was no time where I could say the pain went away. My surgeon and I thought is was the best thing to do
  • Sounds like your having a rough go of it. I would like to know what ortho had to say today. I too am having some of the problems you discuss. hope all goes well.
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