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Will surgery help?

Mri of the lumbar spine. Diagnosis: Low back pain, disk herniation,  left lumbar radiculopathy.   At L4-L5 there is a large central disk herniation causing highgrade compession of the spinal canal and thecal sac.
At L3-L4 there is a smaller  left paracentral intraforaminal and far left lateral disk herniation.  This is combining with degenerative changes of the right disk and facet joints to cause mild narrowing of the spinal canal centrally. The pain I am going through is excruciating.Will surgery help ? Thank you  Maria Britton

This discussion is related to lumbar radiculopathy.
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I have had the same exact problem you have for two years.  IT IS EXCRUSIATING i know what your going through. Im no M.D but all i know is what i have been told by a pain specialist and neurosurgeon.  the narrowing of your spinal canal is from the herniation.  i had surgery and I felt amazing after.  it completely took away my leg pain but i still have back pain.  my neurosurgeon told me that the surgery will help people with alot of leg pain and less back pain.  But surgery doesnt garantee that you will get better, but it is an option.  you can also try injections.  I had three and they didnt help at all.  But my mother has hernations in her cervical region and she said it completely took away the pain.  I would wait about six months before considering surgery.  Good luck if you have any questions please feel free to email me.  I would love to talk with someone that has the same problem as me.  I know the excusiating pain that your dealing with every day.  its awful, and depressing.
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I'm no expert, but when I read "high grade compression of the spinal canal," not to mention the "mild narrowing of the spinal canal," then this scares me.  See, I have thoracic and lumbar injury, radiating into my legs, dreadful pain but I am medicated and can live with it.  But until I can afford a CAT scan or MRI, I am constantly worried I'll wind up paralyzed.  

Since your MRI report says the spinal canal is being compromised, and that's where the spinal cord is, it makes me wonder if you ought to be in a steel brace and laying in bed with traction or something!  I mean, if the doc said nothing about surgery, I'd sure as heck get a second opinion.  I know that moderate treatment for bulging disks is the way to go with those, but with your spinal canal being mentioned, I'd want a lot of reassurance before I'd let them go with the moderate treatment route of physical therapy, the passage of time, drugs, and all that.  

So, yes, I think surgery might actually be required in your case, unless they convince you otherwise.  Of course you have to weigh this with the risks, which includes actually being paralyzed by the operation, when maybe if you hadn't had the surgery, you wouldn't have been!  Awful choice, indeed.  So, let at least a second and perhaps a third opinion guide you in this matter, because I think the shape your spine is in is serious.  But I'm no expert.  I just know what it's like to have all this wreckage in a spine, with the specter of paralysis floating around out there, too.
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