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back surgery, herniated disk
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back surgery, herniated disk

Hi, I've been suffering off and on now for the past 6 years with 2 herniated disks, one that pinches the sciatic nerve. The surgeon has told me after all this time that he is very surprised I'm functioning at such a high level that i am. I work two jobs, full time and part-time, and I go to the gym pretty regularly. I've done the PT, Chiro thing for years and nothing really seems to work to solve the problem. I get flare ups every 6 months or so that last a few weeks, but are really bad when I get them. I'm in pain every day, but lately it is a lot less than it has been in the past. I take two pain killers a day now, the night times are the worst, and without the meds I woudn't sleep at all. I'm debating if I should have the surgery  (a Discectomy- where the part of the disc that bulges out from the spine will be cut away )which the Doctor says is "very routine". I'm looking to the future and wondering if I don't get it, will I get worse later in life, will I have problems when I have children, will I get so bad that I'll not be able to walk eventually??? I'm not sure what to decide.The Doctor was very passive about the whole thing, he really minimized it which was somewhat reassuring to me because it seems like it would not be a huge surgery. However, it does require opening me up and operating on my back! Pretty scary when you think about it. Has anyone ever had this surgery, and how are they feeling now? I'd just like to hear from anyone who has had this surgery, or anyone who has been- or is where I'm at right now.
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Avatar_n_tn
In June of 2007 I colapsed at home with a herniated disc so bad that it required emergency discectomy and lamectomy surgery in L5/S1 area.  My back area is great now and I was in so much pain before hand that it was impossible to walk. I physically crawled from my bedroom to the car to go to the dr's.  The long and short of this is that everyone is different. Everyone's circumstances are different. I know a lot of people a whole lot worse off than me now that refuse to have the surgery and some who've had and are like me...they'd do it again.  If you feel you still have questions go get a second even a third opinion. Don't worry about hurting the Dr's feelings, it's your body. You have to do what's best for you.  Your the customer. Maybe now isn't the time for surgery maybe never is... but the younger you are the quicker and better you heal. Hope this information helps.  
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Avatar_m_tn
My recommendation would be to get another opinion.
If your last MRI scan was a few years ago he/she will probably request a new one and bring the films for he/she to evaluate.

Surgery may or may not be recommended because there is a variance in "pinched" versus severly impinging. You seem to indicate this as a sometimes flare up and not in pain as much as before.

Most importantly you should make sure the chances that surgery will "cure" the problem are pretty high.
Good  Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you tried physical therapy?  I'm currently going to a place that has those DRX 9000 machines plus doing the physical therapy exercises. I also received epidurals with x-ray and those helped me alot. But everyones different. I'm just throwing out different options. You have to make the decisions.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had back surgery on nov 1 for a herniated disc. i am not the type to go to the doctor must less have surgery but i was in so much pain that i couldnt drive a mile down the road without being in tears. it basically controlled my life! after my surgery it was very rough for the first 3 weeks. the doctor said my disc was deep and had been there along time, so when they took the disc out and released that nerve from it the doctor said my nerves were swollen and inflammed, it was very hard on me for those 3 weeks but i fnally feel sooooo much better. at first i had my doubts did i do the wrong thing but now i know i did. i feel that the leg pain doesnt control my life anymore. maybe this will help......good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had surgery twice, the first surgery just made things worse, the second discectomy / lamenectomy helped the pain out a lot, but not all the way.  I suffered for seven more years and now am preparing myself for a third surgery - fusion of the L4-L5-S1.  Do NOT let my experience scare you though.  Just because I had problems doesn't mean you will.  I failed to do one huge thing......... I didn't get a second or third opinion.  I truly believe I wouldn't be headed for a third surgery had I had another opinion.  If you only need a discectomy, why is your surgeon opening you up when he/she can do a much less evasive procedure to accomplish the same thing?  Is that all you need or do you need a lamenectomy to relieve pressure off the sciatic nerves?  Here is another thing, my current surgeon advised me to read a book "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno.  This may help you before and after your surgery, if you indeed have one.  The other thing I have noticed in reading these forums is High Noon has sound advise, listen to him/her.  Just remember you are in control of what happens, ask your Dr.(s) questions.  It is your body and you need to feel comfortable with your Dr.  Good luck and keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all of you who have responded. I'll be taking your advise. I did not know that there is a procedure called a lamenectomy?! I need to talk to another Doctor.

I think I'll try that book Teck, and get a second opinion. Good luck on your third surgery.

Care 1968, yes, I've seen a physical Therapist who just gave me exercises to do at the gym, and every visit with him afterwards was idle chat long enough to fill up 30 minutes to justify charging me $45.00. Now I'm not seeing anyone. I'm thinking about going back to my Chiropractor, but not sure that was doing anything for me either....I'm just going through the days and doing my exercises hoping that I won't wake up tomorrow with another flare-up. Take care all...Lisa3030
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Avatar_m_tn
hi how do you feel now? I just had a microdisketomy (bilateral both L4/5 and L5.S1 and my severe leg sciatica pain went away for three days after the surgery (probably the heavy dose of iv meds- i stayed in the hospital for 4 days).  I noticed twinges in my leg at first and then pain.  The pain seems to be getting worse each day- my Dr. said similar to what yours did- inflammed and has me on 2400 mg of ibuprofen a day (my poor stomach).  I just have a hard time believing it is going to go away.  I've had this pain for 2 years and NOTHING prior to surgery helped.  I would love to hear how you are feeling now.
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