I have a history of lower back problems and had a microdiscectomy to deal with severe pain in left left leg and left buttock, loss of leg and foot strength, leg and foot numbness about five years back. Without warning the pain returned a few weeks ago, starting with stiffnes and working up to excruciating pain regardless of position or strongish painkillers. My GP prescribed: diclofenac 50 mg x3; Arcoxia 90mg x2;Motilium x 3, half an hour before tramadol 100mg x 3; lagaflex (x2)x3.
This cocktail reduced the pain and enabled me to sleep, almost constantly while a friend brought me food and I only had to struggle to the bathroom once a day.
By the time I got to see a specialist, the pain had reduced and I was walking better but I put this down to the drugs.
The MRI showed my lowest lumbar disc is half it's correct thickness (some of this may be down to last time of course) and the surgeon showed a large amount of disc material pressing on spinal root s1 and advised microdiscectomy. I was expecting this and have arranged to have the operation next week. It is going to cost me around 8000 uk pounds as my insurance won't cover this pre-existing condition. I can find the money but it is a big stretch.
In the meantime I have reduced the drugs and took only 3 x 50 mg of diclofenac yesterday. I have just got up and haven't taken any drugs yet and can walk without pain but the numbness is still there. I am now wondering if the problem is resolving itself and whether I would be better off not having the surgery? One question I have is what happens to all that disc debris? Is it going to continue causing me problems or will it be somehow harmlessly absorbed? It will not go back into the disc, that has already been explained to me. Am I going to be much more likely to have another episode if I don't have the surgery?
I am quite overweight (about 70 pounds over at 247lbs) but have lost seven pounds during the course of this episode so now down to 240. I intend to keep losing as I'm sure my weight has been a big factor in the relapse. Could losing 7 pounds out 70 have made any difference?
Sorry for the long post but I really need to avoid surgery if my recovery is likely to continue without a significant benefit from the surgery as 8000 pounds is a big deal to me. The really big question is 'should I cancel the surgery'?
Thanks in advance for your help.