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Are these three surgery procedures necessary for Herniated Disc?

Hi there,

I will be as short and accurate as can be. In late November I pulled something in my back and only 3 days later the pain got so bad I had to go to the hospital. I was told by the doctor it was a Herniated Disc at L5/S1. I was told to see a specialist if my and I did. The specialist gave me 3 weeks before the next visit to see if I had improved. After 3 weeks the pain had gone completely and the only existing problem was the dead feeling in part of my left foot and up the side of my left calf. This makes me hesitant to walk on it as it is a bit weak. He told me that my left foot was very weak and could become "droopy". He referred me to a Neurosurgeon. Both of them operate together and the Neuro said I had to go for the following procedures :

1. Laminectomy + Decompression of L5/S1
2. Fusion with Pedicular Fixation + Cage

What I would like to know is...

It's been 3 months since the incident and I have absolutely no pain. The only thing I have is a part of my left foot that is completely dead and the side of my left calf that is dead. When I sit, both of the above tingles but never aches or pains. So in essence the only issues I still have is:

1. Weak left leg but can do all the movement.
2. Dead parts on my left foot and on side of my left calf.

Can these things not be fixed by a Chiro? If not is an epidural not another option? Can the nerve be damaged beyond repair if I give it another month or two with these alternative non invasive measures?

Thank you for any feedback.



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,518
    edited 01/25/2014 - 5:02 AM
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • This is just my opinion.... "some guy on the internet."

    Those procedures sound real drastic.
    If it were me, I'd get a few more consultations with spine specialized surgeons. I'd be very worried about the permanent nerve damage. Also, I think chiros do more damage than good. They twist you up and induce forces into your spine that torque and shear the discs.

    An epidural is an option but it depends on how well it is placed. Even if it's perfectly placed, it's aim is to reduce pain by way of reducing local swelling. Notice that swelling is a a by product of a root problem; that problem is not directly addressed by the ESI.

    You have your MRIs in your possession?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • I agree with Paul. That seems more drastic than is "typical" for a herniated disc. I'd see about getting a second impression.
    Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
    Major Herniation - L4/L5
    Bulging Disc - L5/S1
    "no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
    MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013
  • Most doctors offer a microdiscetomy first. It is the least invasive of disc surgeries. That's been my experience. I agree with others get a second opinion. Any reputable surgeon is not going to have a problem with you getting another opinion.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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