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Do I need back surgery?
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Do I need back surgery?

I'd like to know if I need to have back surgery. I will be seeing a spine specialist this week, and would like to know what you think. Also what is your opinion of minimally invasive back surgery? I understand some back surgery can be done endoscopically.
I am a 53 year old female who is also overweight. I have had some back pain and problems walking long distances for a few years now, but I could bend over, "pop" my back, and go on for a few minutes before having to do it again. The pain would basically go away for a few minutes. Lately the area near my SI joint has been sore on both sides all the time and I have a group of "wondering" pains, parathesia and numbness in both legs. By wandering I mean nothing is consistant- sometimes it is one leg and sometimes the other or even both at times. It still helps some to bend over and "pop" my back. I also have constant soreness on the inner thigh and calf of my left leg.
I have had an MRI and here is the summary: 1. Findings Include a bilobed disc extrusion/herniation at L3-4 causing moderate central canal narrowing and moderate-to-severe right-sided neuroforaminal narrowing with compression of the exiting right L3 nerve root. There is also mild-to-moderate compression of the dural sac at this level.
2. Broad-based disc bulge and facet arthropathy at L4-5 are causing moderate-to-severe right neuroforaminal narrowing with likely mild compression of the exiting right L4 nerve root, along with moderate left neuroforaminal narrowing with question of mild mass effect on the exiting left L4 nerve root.
Thank You.
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Avatar_n_tn
Without examining you and reviewing your imaging I cannot state if you are a surgical candidate, and cannot recommend a procedure. Based on the MRI description, your symptoms are not all explained by the MRI findings. I would ask the surgeon which symptoms are explained by your spine abnormalities, and could there be other causes to exclude. You may wish to see a neurologist before going to surgery for a non-surgical opinion. I would encourage you to seek an opinion from a large spine center to make sure that all medical and surgical therapies are available to you. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Regarding your choice and back surgery.  I have recently had a fusion at L5/S1 - I had very similar symptoms as you have.
I would have the surgery again - I had soooo much relief, however I was also left with terrible pain.  This is because pain goes in layers when one has an injury or back pain - that is that the Dr's may get rid of the major pain, but that major pain was covering the other lessser pains.  does that make sense to you?
I have since been having a therapy called Myofascial Injections - these injections deal with the muscle spasms and trigger points that were there before the surgery (but you couldnt feel them) or they can eventuate due to the surgery.  
Just my experience for you - hope it helps, I know its a hard decision to make.
Also if you are over weight - get it off!!  Stop eating root vegies, breads, cakes, pasta, and drink lots of water (gallons!)
Plus of course, no chocolats and no soft drinks (full of sugar)
Best wishes
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