I am 30 years old and have a very active life.I play(used to anyways) tennis 3-4 times a week. I am in decent shape and have never had any other issues health wise. The last time I had to go to a doctor was 7-8 years back.
I have had a shooting pain on my left leg/butt since 2009 April. Initially, I thought this was muscle strain and took some Advil and didn't see a doctor. By end of July the pain became unbearable and I went to see a Dr. She told me that it was piriformis strain and gave me a steroid injection into my piriformis muscle. That reduced the pain a little bit for a week or so and the pain was back in full force with in 2 weeks.
By end of September I decided to see another doctor and he gave a dose-pack of methylprednisolone and flexeril and there was no change. By this time I am having trouble sleeping b'cos of the pain.
Finally a week ago an MRI was ordered and I was referred to a neurosurgeon.
This is what My MRI reads : At L5-S1 there is approximately 1.0 x 1.0 x 2.0 cm focus of focally protruded and possibly extruded disc into the ventral aspect of the canal. De-generative change in Lumbar spine is greatest at L5-S1. The protruding material result in moderate to severe stenosis of the canal and effect upon the exiting S1 nerve roots at the level of lateral recesses, left greater than the right.
After seeing the films, the neurosurgeon suggested that I have "Lumbar partial discectomy" as the MRI looked pretty bad. He said if left untreated or if we waste time trying epidural injections and other non-invasive treatment, there is a good chance that I will start having pain in my right leg as well and the chances or irreversible nerve damage due to the bulging disc pinching the nerve is very high. So I have surgery scheduled for 24th of this month with pre-surgery consultation on Monday.All this happened yesterday afternoon.
I am a little scared with the fast development and the surgery part. The pain is excruciating at this point and I can barely sit or stand or sleep even after taking truckloads of advil, flexeril, vicodin and valium.
So here's the questions I have :
1) From the MRI report, how bad does it look compared to some of your experiences. The actual MRi pics that the Dr showed me of the affected disc and a healthy disc had drastic differences.
2) Will this surgery help me with the pain?
3) How good are my chances of having a normal life and what are the chances or re-herniation?
4) Is there any alternatives that I can try at this point without causing major damage to myself
Sorry about dumping all of this on you guys, but I am in a little bit of a panic right now.