Back, Spine & Neck Surgery Forum
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Avatar universal

Surgery or no surgery??? L5S1 Herniation

I was in a car accident 2 almost 3 years ago where I was rear ended by a semi. I have a L5S1 herniation that after years of chiropractic therapy, I am told surgery is a good idea. But the people who are saying this will make money if I get surgery and I'm not sure if they have my best interest in mind. My back hurt for a long time but has improved to where it only hurts sometimes, for instance if  aggrivate it or sleep wrong. I am scared to get surgery and don't want it to make it worse if it only hurts sometimes. What is your professional opinion?
13 Responses
576452 tn?1219693090
Surgery is best if your pain is relatively constant or dramatically interferes with your ability to work, exercise, or otherwise enjoy life.  If it is only present intermittently then I would hold off unless it gets rather severe.
Avatar universal
I strongly suggest you do exactly what you are doing  - ask! And ask people who have had back surgery. I have had back surgery and regret it. I was dumb and didn't ask enough people. I've spoken to many since and have not found anyone who did better because of back surgery. I am in a little less pain in the problem area but a lot more pain due to the surgery with other complications.
Avatar universal
What the good Doctor said is exactly the route I went when it came time for me to decide on surgery. I DID have pain so bad that I was not able to enjoy my life (in every way) the way that I had been.  Unfortunately, even with three try's at spine surgery, I ended up in worse shape than I had been originally.

If you've been able to keep working and basically still enjoy the simple things in your life, I'd keep away from doing anything to your spine that may not turn out to be something you could live with.

BTW, how does Chiropractics help your herniated discs to actually heal themselves? Just curious because after surgery, you will be told NOT to go to any Chiro's as they will do more harm than good after a spine surgery (obviously).

If you would like me to elaborate on my story, even after reading my profile, please let me know. I'll be watching this for future posts.

A Note to the Professor:  Doesn't this sound a little too good to be true? Stemgevity? If it is a legit item, the "manufacturer" will be a very wealthy entity!

Avatar universal
I'm going for something very similar soon. And like others, have started to read up about it in various places. It's called " L5S1 Posterior Decompression Instrumeated Fusion +/- Transformal Lumbar Interbody Fusion."
Basically, the L5 is cracked and the fluid from the bulging disc is pressing up and pinching the S1 nerve. It's very painful and will not heal itself. Either it's Oxycodone for the rest of my life or have surgey.

Follow up to come.
Avatar universal
Listen to what the Dr. said and hold off on the surgery until you are in constant pain and can't live a normal life without it. Surgery is painful and requires a fairly long recovery period. Many folks come out worse than when they went in, and require follow up surgery to remove the hardware they install to hold things together while the vertabrea fuse. The rods and screws used can create painful areas themselves and many folks only get relief after having removed these a year or two later. By the way, I'm a truck driver. I'm sorry about your accident. I've had spinal surgery so I'm posting about this. My wife has also had lower back surgery, and is scheduled for more in January to remove hardware and also do another fusion. I know what the suffering can be like. I'm glad to hear that it's feeling better than it was. That's a good sign!
Avatar universal
Hi, can anybody help me ?

I can't decide if to go for surgery or not.
I have slippage in my spine between L5/S1, "stage 3-4 !!!" have pain in my hips going through my legs. This isn't the only reason why I am thinking about the surgery. Other reson why is that I am afraid if I will not have this surgery done now, slippage will progress and I will do more damage to my nerves or bladder. Another reason is pregnancy, as doctor doesn't recommend the pregnancy before this surgery is done.
Please help, I would be thankful for any advise
Avatar universal
Im having metrix decompression outpatient surgery in a month. What I understand is that the doc shaves off the part of the bulging disc that is touching my siatic nerve and causing severe and constant pain down my entire leg. I was wondering if anyone has had this type of surgery and what were your experiences with recovery..

Thanks.. so far this site is very helpful
171791 tn?1358214381
They shaved mine and I am in worse shape cause now it is herniated.  And again surgery is coming.  He (nuerosurgeon ordered another MRI and saying surgery asap.  Which for me is Feb next yr cause of my first surgery I have drew the disability I have this yr through work and have to wait till next yr.  I hurt most of the time.  I do work and I work hard and at night I take meds as soon as I get home from work.  I wake up 4-5 times a night hurting to the point to where I cry.  I had lower lumbar discectomy on L5.  But my deal is the one that they shaved is now herniated.  So why didnt they just go ahead and fix that knowing it would eventually herniate.  He says no chiropractor!!!  I use tens unit.  The electros you put on and shocks the nerves.  Thats the easiest way I know how to say that.  It helps.  I am so frustrated.  Sorry you have problems too.
Avatar universal
HI ALL.. NEW  TO THIS FORUM :) HAD SURGERY 4 1/2 YRS AGO  on L4 and L5 >  shaved disc> chronic lumbar ridcopathy ,,  now?? new EMG 2 months ago showed worse than before .. last one done 2 yrs ago,  L4 L5 and  nowS1  showing,, dr thinks it a pinched nerve, in pain 24/7,, myleogran on 11-18-08  never had this done before,, neuro seems to think putting a wire in spine a possibility,, but wont know till spine test is done!!  anyone been thru this and is surgery  the next step again?what methods of treatment is best.. i work at walmart in baker so lifting is a must as i am a baker  bread dough weight is around 30-50 lbs,, is it possible to qualify for disibility ?>>>.. would like your inputs on this
171791 tn?1358214381
Disability is so out there.  They start asking questions about who feeds you, or cooks your meals, Do you do your laundry.  Do you clean your own home.  The Dr. writes something saying you qualify and you send that in.  Just remember disability will take in consideration your past jobs as to could you go back and do that.It is worth a true and I will be thinking of you
Avatar universal
well?? had the mylogram done.. came thru good.. got end results:
1-mild L4/5 disc bulge with asymmtric left anterior epidural space soft tissue density correlating to likely postop fibrosis on previous lumbar MRI, with no evidence of residual or recurrent disc protrusion or impingement.
2- Small right inferior foraminal disc protrusionL3/4 without impingment.
3-Minimal right formaminal disc protrusion without any signnificant stenosis L2/3.
4-Findings suggestive of mild arachnoiditis L5 and S1  thecal sac.
5- No evidence of instability.DJD bilateral sacroilaic joints.
  not sure what this means .. wont see dr till dec 15...  does this qualify for disibility?,, thanks for all your input...  copswife.
675438 tn?1234588557
I was on Social Security Disability. I will give you advise. File the papers now. It takes 2 years. Most likely you will be denied when you send in your papers. They send out a letter that says your file has been reviewed and they don't feel you qualify however, you can dispute it. Then you send in the second set of paper work. You most likely will be denied again.  Now you can get an attorney or fight it on your own. I got an Attorney and glad I did. He files the third time. I am sure you will get accepted with the documentation you have. When I went to court with my attorney i met a lady that works at the social security office. She said they as employers are forced to deny 90% of all claims that come in for the first time. You could have your leg missing and you will be denies. She said usually they don't even look them over meaning the paper work. The second time you submit the claim, the social security workers are ordered to deny 80% of those.  I asked my attorney about this and he said the women is correct. The government is hoping that the public will get the first letter and figure they can't get disability since they were declined.  He said by the time you get your second denial most people will not fight it. Because the next step is to go on a waiting list since the courts are 2 years behind. Yes, you go 2 years without income. Once you go to a court hearing you will get approved as long as you have adequate documentation from your doctors with your diagnosis and symptoms.  I was awarded SS disability for the prior 2 years I had been off work, so they paid me a lump sum and then I was entitled to a monthly check after that.  I was blessed and met a fanatastic neurologist that was able to help me. I was able to go back to work. I had surgery on L4-L5.  I was doing fantastic.. unfortunatly, i was recently in a car accident and now have to have surgery on my neck.. that is another story.  Anyways, if I can help you, please e-mail me.  I have my e-mail address on my profile.  Monica in Ohio
Avatar universal
How old were you when you applied for social security disability?  Also how old were you when you got approved.  I'm going through the process now.  It's been three years and I'm still waiting.  I've had my hip replaced and three level anterior and posterior spinal fusion, with rods and screws holdind my back in place.  Not to mention ove 15 different procedures to relieve the pain.  Six injections in my back a discogram, cat scan, numerous MRI's and nine injections in my knee.  Almost for got, because of all the steroids I now have a bone disease call avascular nercrosis.  
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