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Spine surgery 4 days away having 2nd thoughts here's why .... Need advice

Can't sleep need advice.
Two years ago January I had to go in for spine surgery ruptured disc L4 L5 microdiscectomy
I recovered well , stiff back a little achey now and then but then I felt so good I went back to training to run marathons
I was fine until I overtrained on an alter g treadmill ( wanted to get faster ) anyhow about 8 months ago I started to get sciatica just so slight then went through an unexpected break up and had to pack and move years of things within 2 weeks requiring lifting pushing and three flights of stairs my back was killing me by the end of it all and I spent the next 7 months ( along with a broken heart ) dying of pain, tingling in left foot severe pain in left butt /glute I had two cortisone injections in spine with no relief and then one in piriformis muscle which got worse before it actually worked. I am now pain free but now have stiff back from packing to move again ( yes taking it easier ) anyhow I am scheduled for my 2nd spine surgery ...herniation is 10mm I am wondering now that the pain is gone if I tried physical therapy again ( ART) active release therapy ... Is it possible this will heal on its own maybe shrink /reabsorb enough so that maybe once cortisone injection wears off the pain won't come back ... And I still will be that much farther away from a spine fusion. ( doc says if after this surgery I rupture again it will require a fusion ) I'm so stressed about this with just 4 days away from the knife.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,763


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    is something only your doctor can answer for you.

    You may get opinions here, but they are based solely on member's personal experiences and not formal medical facts.

    Surgery is always a very personal activity. It is normal to have second thoughts right up until the surgery. But from my own experiences, it is so important to go into the surgery with an upbeat positive attitude. It doesnt sound like you are there, so I would have additional discussions with your family and doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Something to be aware of is muscle weakness or unresponsiveness (is that even a word?). You might not have any pain, but the nerve impingement might be limiting electric signals from reaching muscles. The muscle on the end of the signal path might atrophy without you noticing. This happened to me. My right calf shrank and I didn't notice until my surgeon pointed it out to me. In my case, there was no permanent damage; I got lucky.

    Really tho, I responded to your thread to encourage you to observe why you had a relapse. Try as best you can to not repeat whatever it is that caused it. Ever since I learned what caused me to relapse (lifting heavy things), I stopped doing that and have been ok since.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • A 1 centimeter herniation is huge. Yes it could reabsorb. Or maybe it won't. No one has a crystal ball. But these are really important questions to ask your doctor before going in for the op. If you are feeling good right now, maybe ask your surgeon if you can postpone it for a while while you continue PT if it is working for you.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • idleideeiidleidee Posts: 13
    edited 07/27/2014 - 3:53 PM
    I agree with Paul. He talked about his calf atrophy. But those deeper stabilizing muscles you don't see on the outside ..
    And then one carries on and gets worse and worse without understanding why.

    I have had this and ca't use my pelvis and hips properly anymore. And i didn't even notice that much. Just wasn't able to bend from the hips very wel..
    My Hamstring on the right partially teared.. And now MRI shows also left partially teared. That I didn't even feel happening. I finally got a fusion now and hope... it will be alright. I am sure not to do any marathons or heavy lifting stuff IF i ever get better. And believe me I was active even in ultrathingies.. I will find other less impact alternatives if i get well again. Boy if I could just walk again some distance into nature.. :-) I suffered very hard 5 years and tried all to become better. In the end I couldn't walk anymore even I did all the right stuff all those years. I train like an olympic for core and functional exercises. It is beyond your own control eventueally.. So don't stretch your limits, or you might end up doing nothing anymore but suffering. ( Had no herniations, but very bad DDD due to an earliar spondylodiscitis. Bacteria in the spine.)

    What i the reason you wanted surgery? Healing takes to long? Or doc said so to prevent permanent nervedamage? Or other reason?
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