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Discectomy surgery in 2 weeks

Please help..my husband has been in pain for 2 years and after numerous alternative practices he has decided to have discectomy surgery suggested by both OS and NS. We're leaning towards NS as he states he can operate with 1/2" opening as OS wants a 4" scar.

We are told its a bilateral microdiscectomy L3-5 and S1. I have read that smaller incision is easier recovery than larger.

He has this back pain for 1 1/2 yrs but as of last Nov it affected his hips and lower left leg. I would like some testimonials on NS vs OS preferences. His insurance is stating they will not pay so we will be self pay. As of now the OS is almost twice the fee of NS. We want the best so we'll pay what we need. I have two friends and one has used this NS for surgery with great results and the other used this OS with good results so far. We are really torn but I'm leaning towards NS because his ratings are higher than OS.

I would appreciate anyone's testimonial or similar situation. Thanks so much.


  • PaulPPaul Posts: 713
    edited 05/17/2013 - 5:37 AM
    I had both present during my surgeries.

    I had the really small incisions. Stitches were not even needed to close them afterwards. Just two bandaids! True story!
    Can't even see a scar. This is the one I chose (twice) and would choose again if I had to. Collateral damage is much less with this version.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • dxmierddxmier Posts: 26
    edited 05/17/2013 - 10:10 AM
    I had my surgery just last Thursday. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc at l5-s1in December. I tried physical therapy anti inflammatory steroid injections and nothing was helping.I was starting to have weakness in my right leg numbing and tingling in my right foot. I could not sleep and I just could not take it anymore I am 30 years old and I was unable to do a lot of things. when I woke up from surgery i felt relief from the pain I had in my right leg. As of right now a week later I only have incision pain left. The incision was about 3 inches I still have the sutures and my follow-up isn't until the end of next week all in all I
    would say that I'm glad that I made the decision to have the surgery. I'm still taking my pain medication every 4-6 hours. Sorry forgot to add I had my surgery done by an OS.
    Im 30. Had micro diskecetomy on 05/09/13. I had a herniated disc at L5-S1 that after 6 months of different treatments I was only getting worse.
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  • I've had 2 cervical fusions resulting in a three level fusion at c3/4, 4/5, 5/6. All done by a great OS NS team. But I just had my first lumbar surgery fusion at L 5/6, S1. Same great docs. I am 4 weeks post and was feeling good. Still taking pain med 4-6 hours though. Then, last Sunday, my back started with very painful muscle spasms out of the blue! No matter what I did, any movement caused them to hit and hold on tight! I have never had such a thing. Has anyone had this after lumbar fusion?
  • I've read many posts where people say that they are taking muscle relaxants. If your doctorr didn't prescibe any, ask for some. I had a previous ortho surgeon who put me on Valium instead of a muscle relaxant (shoulder related). It works almost the same way as a muscle relaxant plus relieves some of your mental tension. It actually helped more than a true muscle relaxant.

    I can also imagine that at 4+ weeks post op that you're starting to move around more. Those muscles haven't done much work lately, so they're freaking out. Alternate heat and ice, and cut back on activity. Don't stop, just cut back for a week or so to see if the symptoms decline.

    Wishing you the best. I'm scheduled for L4/L5 fusion (ALIF) on Thursday. Praying for good results.
  • I have had 5 discectomies all done by a NS. The reason being was my wife's uncle is an ER Doc and in his advise he said both would probably do a fine job but might as well choose the nuero if you have a choice because of the proximity to the spinal cord and the extra training of the NS. So that's what I did and all the surgeries worked with great outcomes.
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  • Am I reading it right that you are talking about 4 levels of discetomies? (L3-5 and S1) If so, I am not sure how that would be done with a 1/2" incision.

    I was told that in the lumbar area, either Dr. should have no problem. When you get in to the cervical area, the neuro would be my choice.
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