I am very concerned about this recommendation. First of all, if an artificial disc is really an option, it surprises me that it wasn't mentioned sooner (along with fusion.) Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, this doesn't address the issue of scar tissue encasing the nerve root. In addition, the disc replacement surgery is likely to produce additional scarring, with adhesion to neighboring tissue a very likely outcome.
I'm not a doctor or other medical professional, but I think it would be very helpful for you to get a second opinion, preferably from a neurologist or neurosurgeon. It might be beneficial to consult with a pain management specialist as well, since I think that's where you are likely to end up if the disc replacement surgery doesn't address the nerve root issue. Ask each doctor you see for an opinion how much of your pain is due to the disc issue and how much is due to the scar tissue encasing the nerve root. If the scar tissue is reponsible for most of your pain, the disc replacement procedure might not offer substantial relief (especially if the procedure was likely to result in significantly more scar tissue formation.) If I was facing the same decision, I wouldn't proceed with any surgical procedure until I was certain that the surgeon wasn't likely to create more problems than prior to the sugery. Surgeons tend to see surgery as the solution to a given problem, and an orthopedic surgery might not use the same approach as a neurosurgeon, so I think a second or third opinion are warranted, and not necessarily from another orthopedic surgeon.
Please let us know what happens. I know that seeking relief from constant pain can be incredibly frustrating, but you have some support here.
Originally Posted by mce
Thank you for your quick reply...The surgeon wants to do it as soon as possible as I'm just not getting any better, the pain is increasing a lot. I had another nerve conduction test that showed my nerve in my left leg was getting worse. The surgeon has told me basically it's my only option. I don't get any relief unless I'm flat on my back and drugs. I'm under the impression I have no other option. Thanks again !!