I hurt my lower back on September 2011. I had an MRI that showed a pretty big disc herniation. My orthopedic surgeon sent me to a pain management doctor who gave me two ESIs that didn't help. At first my surgeon said that he didn't recommend surgery because of my age (I'm 27) but I just had a follow up with the doctor again and was told that my only option now is surgery.
I would think that there are other things that we could try before going down the surgery road. Am I wrong? This was a work related injury and I can't help but feel paranoid and thinking that some how this is the insurance company wanting to rush things along so they can get rid of me. Really hope that just silly paranoia.
If I decide to do the surgery, what can I expect? Obviously the positive side is that the surgery fixes all my issues and I live happy and pain free for the rest of my life, assuming I don't do something stupid and re-hurt myself. But what are some of the bad side effects/possible complications that come along with having a procedure like this done - both short term and long term?
Also, I was told that the diskectomy would be on the right side but now looking and the handouts that the doctor gave me, as well as looking things up online; I see that they perform a laminotomy.. is that a different procedure, is it the same? [B]Can a diskectomy be done with out a laminotomy?[/B] My doctor didn't mention that during my appointment.[/QUOTE]
Bolding is mine....
First to answer the part that I have bolded, to the very best of my knowledge, No, they cannot. I have been told that consistently by the surgeons I have been working with. They will only take out what they need to access the disc material but they will need to remove a portion.
I have had two microdiscectomies at L4-5 so trust me I feel your pain. Literally! I ruptured my disc in Sept '10 and am still in search of relief.
My circumstances were very different. My advice if you do the surgery... and I don't regret doing the first surgery (I had relief in the recovery room!) take it easy!!!! Don't bend, lift, twist, for 4 to 6 weeks until your back has had plenty of time to heal. Even though you think you feel great, don't do it!! You have your whole life ahead of you! I wish you the best. I know it is a tough decision. I was scared to death trying to figure out what to do and I didn't HAVE a choice on the first go round, there wasn't an option but surgery. I hope everything works out for you!!!