Re: Decision Time
I am going to jump in here because I am in the same situation. teteri66 have offered valuable things to think about.
I too have a herniated disc at L5/S1 that is severly impinging the nerve root. I have bulges at L4/L5, and other degenerative issues that are common with aging. I'm 59.
I have had steriord injections that helped me for as much as a 5 year stretch. A few wrong moves threw me back into excruitiating pain in Dec. 2011. 3 injections later and 6 weeks of PT, and I was good to go....for awhile. I had a small flare-up which I got through in the summer, and then during the fall, when my job responsibilities are at their peek(consulting and road warrior status)....I tripped on my patio, and a a couple other minor movements, and I was back where I was in Dec.
I have posted on the board a few times as I knew my doctor would likley think that a microdiscectomy was finally in order. He discussed it with me in Dec. The new Sept. 2012 MRI showed the herniation to be larger and I started having a new symptom, numbness and tingling, all the way down the left leg and into the outside of the foot and two smallest toes.
I was not able to do most of the exercises that I generally kept as part of my own routine at home. My doctor ordered another injection however, to see if it would help.
I had the injection just yesterday and I feel better today than I have in six weeks. I am able to do my exercises today. The numbness and tingling are less. I have feared that I might be at that last resort...surgery, but as long as I continue to get better, I will avoid it.
So I take one day at a time right now. I am however, hopeful. I think talking to a surgeon or getting a second opinion is appropriate, even when you are not sure if you are at that point. However, if I can pull through again, and get back to work (hoping to negotiate a part time position) and have a little life.....then I will continue to go this route.
This is only my story. I do know it might change tomorrow. But, if injections are helpful and you are diligent about exercising....do not let down on them....and you can maintain, then my opinion at least for myself, is that this is the best option.
I may not quite understand the difference between laminectomy and microdiscectomy, although I have read much about both. But ....I'm holding on for the injections and PT to bring me out of this again.
I too appreciate all positive stories here. I would encourage you to try both Edify....but of course, your pain level and the quality of your life will determine your final decision. You have nothing to lose by trying the injections now and PT...in my opinion.
I'll post in a week as an update to my progress. I am so hopeful.....:-)