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Surgery to remove herniated disc.

NischalMNNischalM Posts: 1
edited 01/08/2016 - 8:58 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am a 20 yrs old male. I have three herniated discs, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. Out of the three, L5-S1 causes most of the problem. L3-L4 and L4-L5 aren't that severe and doc says it will heal on its own. I am unable to walk and find it hard to sit for a long time. I can walk upto 250m max before I have to sit down and catch my breath. I walk hunched - about 20-30 deg maybe - and cannot stand straight, nor can I extend my legs fully while sitting. I swim everyday and do my exercises regularly.

It has been over 2 years since it all started. I neglected it during the initial stages as I thought it was a minor pain as I played football. It continued and got worse. I decided to get an MRI and show the doc.

All that I've already done:
I got my first MRI around 1.5 years ago. My doc (orthopedic) suggested I take some rest and leave from college for 2 weeks. I took medication and had ultrasound and IFT for the full duration. I helped some. I got back to college and noticed it all started again after some time. The doc told me to repeat and use a lumbar belt. Restricted my travel on bikes and told me to stay at home and rest. Did the same, no difference, it got worse as I started college again.
Went to a neurologist this time around 7 months ago. He recommended an epidural injection. I got one 6 months ago. This was great. I felt better. But slowly and gradually, it came back again. Got another MRI and some X Ray (back and hip). I got another injection 3 weeks ago. I feel no difference this time. My doc now recommends a surgery.

What's happening now:
I went to a few more specialists for a second opinion. Everyone recommends a surgery before it's too late and I lose bladder control. I did not want one, but now I have no choice. I have made up my mind for a surgery and will get one by the end of this month.

My question
A few docs say they will remove the full disc! 100% of it. And a few say only a small part - the part responsible for all the trouble - will be removed. Now, I want an opinion on what is better. Is there anyone who has got any of these and can comment. I personally don't want the whole disc removed, for obvious reasons. Please help me choose, I do not want to spend the rest of my life in pain, nor do I want to regret a bad decision.

Thank You.

Your surgery has to be your individual choice based on the advice from your medical professionals.
No one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional so not permitted to give medical advice. Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research



  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 901
    Typically in a microdiscectomy the surgeon will only cut away the portion of the disc that is herniated. If the surgeon is performing a fusion surgery it is common to remove all or nearly all of the disc. What kind of surgery has your surgeon told you he is going to perform?
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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