I'm new to the forum but a real vet when it comes to back pain and surgery. My injury was while I was at work more than 20 years ago. I had a discectomy and laminectomy in the L5 S1 about 6 months after the accident. Workman's comp insurance carriers wanted to try everything before they agreed to surgery. Steroid injections, myelograms Oxycontyn for pain. Small incision done from the back. No real success. still couldn't feel my feet.
After 7 years the insurance company finally approved a fusion in the L5 S1. This was done from the front with 2 titanium cages and cadaver bone. When I woke up in recovery I started screaming that my feet were on fire. The nurse said it was a long time since my feet could feel the sheets on the bed. A VERY LONG recovery time. April to September. I have an incision from the bottom of my belly button to uh there. That took the longest to heal. One bit of advice buy a zero gravity recliner and spend time in it every day. The Zero-G takes all the weight off your spine. I know my pain was less than being in bed or sitting up. I think it made a big difference in the healing process too.
For 10+ years - no issues then numbness in my leg and pins & needles in my foot 3 months ago. I went back to my orthopedic surgeon who did the fusion. The MRI shows DDD and stenosis in the L4 - L5 space. He wants to use a Coflex implant. I'm here looking for anyone who has had coflex.
There is a big difference between an orthopedic doc and neurologist. Consider a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist who limits his practice to back and neck. I have a great one in Dallas.