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Hi, unsure what to do!

hope4painfreehhope4painfree Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, I am so mixed on what to do. To have surgery or not. It scares me to death! My Ortho wants to fuse L4/5, remove the cyst and a laminectomy at L2. I could live with the back pain (the chiropractor helps!) but I have such severe nerve pain in my right leg that at it's worst will radiate to my shin, big toe and arch of my foot. Thus I don't have much tolerance to walk and stand for long periods. Epidurals did not help. I have also tried a few meds which did nothing but make me feel spacey. My quality of life is not what it should be but still I cannot make the decision for surgery. I am hoping to soon get a second and poss third opinion but I do think they will all say mostly the same.
How do I decide?


  • The decision to have surgery should not be taken lightly. There's no undoing a fusion and there are always risks associated with any spinal surgery. Normally I evaluate my quality of life or lack there of, the possibility of permanent nerve damage and also listen to my intuitive voice before deciding on any surgery. It is definitely good to get another opinion when you have the means to do so and also to make certain you have a surgeon that you trust. I find that writing everything out on paper where I can see it, helps. I list the pros and cons and then my fears. Under fears, I list my fears in regards to the surgery and my fears if I choose not to do surgery.

  • Also, consult with a good sports med doctor who treats backpain without surgery and uses Prolotherapy and not just a surgeon who is biased into the use of nonreversable surgeries.

    There are many alternatives available that mainstream medicine does not "like" such as Acupuncture
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  • Have you done all of the conservative treatments? You did not mention physical therapy, which is a big one. Just remember there are different methods of PT, so do a little research and decide which might be best for you :)
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