Re: Decision Time
Hmmm. I guess I have two things to say. First, I would agree that you definitely do not want to have surgery until all conservative methods have been tried and have failed AND the pain is significantly altering your life and lifestyle. You can read stories on this board and others of people who have ended up worse off or in more pain than prior to surgery. Usually when contemplating surgery, this doesn't occur to us, I think because we find it hard to believe that anything could be more painful or worse than what we are already experiencing.
I'm not talking about a catastrophic event either...but small, unintended things can occur that the surgeon has no control over...waking up with foot drop for example....or nerve damage that leaves a patient in more pain than before, etc.
So, one needs to think long and hard if surgery is needed...and only you can make that determination.
Now, here's the flip side of the coin: for those that wait, and the surgery goes as expected and the pain is significantly reduced or completely taken care of, the patient wonders why on earth he/she waited as long as he/she did. Why did they put up with the pain all those additional months or years?
And, also there is the very real concern that the longer one leaves a nerve compressed, the greater the chance for permanent nerve damage...so there is a lot to consider.
I think you don't want to just do a laminectomy as it will end up just being a temporary fix if the discs are degenerating.