My nerosurgeon told me after taking steriods for 12 days it looks like I'll be one of the few people who's herniated disc will heal without surgery, that just sounds hard to believe. Has anyone ealse ever heard of such a thing?
If your ns is meaning bulging disc then it is possible; however, I would seriously doubt that would happen in only 12 days. You have a remission of the pain which is what the steroid pack does for you. If I were you, I would be looking for a second opinion. I would be leary of a surgeon saying you are "cured" of a herniation in 12 days. If the disc is truly herniated, there is no cure.
I have a herniated disc that according to the mri report is severely impinging the S1 root, are you saying in all that you've learned there is no cure for this and surgery is most likely inevitable? I had surgery on this same disc almost 2 years ago. The thing is I'm in no where near the pain I was last time I ruptured the disc, I'm in pain, but not excruciating, so I'm wondering if I can aviod surgery. The only thing that worries me is the nerve that is being compressed. I see the surgeon in 10 days.
I was interested in the question posed by Kim. I am also in Indy and have had two fusion surgeries. I am again having problems and had a recent MRI that indicated a compromised S1 nerve. I, apparently like you, received the MRI report before visiting the Dr. Even though I am having back pain and numbness in my foot and the MRI indicated a nerve compromise the Dr. stated that there was nothing wrong with my back.
When I asked him about the MRI report he said that once you have a fusion the MRI will always report that the nerve is compromised.
He referred me to a pain dr. I declined because I clearly have some problems that I would prefer to resolved, not mask them with pain pills.
I have tried to get into other Drs for a second opinion, but that is very difficult. Other drs do not want to see you if have already had surgery. I am not sure what my next step is
Dr. Carl Sartorius was one of the Drs who would not see me for a second opinion. My doctor is Rick Sasso.
I had L5-S1 fusion in 5/02 and L4-L5 fusion in 2/03.
I'm really sorry he wouldn't see you as I really like him. I was happy to see though that we don't have the same doctor. I do wish you luck in finding someone who will see you, as being in pain with no one to help is terrible!
Thanks for your concern. My pain has gotten better, but I have been hurting for 9 weeks. I am very fortunate. I recovered very well from the 2 surgeries and have had a very active life until nine weeks ago.
Since I am getting a little better every day I am just hoping this goes away.
Kim, I'm not a doctor but from what I have learned, I can think of no way that a nerve that is being impinged by a herniated disc can just "go away". Perhaps over a long period of time that disc fragment will eventually dissolve, I don't know but I know that you would have to be very, very patient and pain tolerant. I cant think of anything I have read that would indicate that anything other than surgery will work. I'm sorry. Perhaps others can give you different news.
Tom, I have never heard that an MRI will always show an impinged nerve if you have had prior fusion. I had a fusion in l981 and had no impinged nerves until 2000, 3 years after my 2nd fusion. That nerve is being trapped and pinched from bone spurs.
I would strongly urge you to find a different doctor.
Alex (and everyone else on this thread). If the nerve is being compressed, impinged, whatever, PLEASE get a second opinion. This is the voice of experience here. I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who saw that my disk was 'bulging' (it was, in fact, herniated). It compressed my L4 nerve root, and I now have permanent nerve damage. Just thing - nerves are what send the electrical impulses to and from our brains. If they are pinched long enough, they will cease to function - permanently. Permanent nerve damage is not something you want to risk. Get that nerve freed up as soon as possible. When my second orthopedic surgeon did the microdiskectomy, he said the nerve was just pulsing and 'hot' (his term). He literally bathed the area in Toradol, then had me on big-time anti-inflammatories post surgery. As far as herniations going away, they can shrink, but it takes a long time. If a piece of disk breaks off, it will not 'dissolve' - it will calcify (due to losing its blood supply). And that's something you don't want to have in your spinal column. Calcifications can cause more damage than herniations. Even though my microdiskectomy went well, my disk didn't heal, but degenerated, resulting in my needing a fusion. I have stabilized since then, but have been left with the permanent nerve damage. Bottom line - get a second opinion. If you're still not comfortable, keep going. It's your body.
Alex (and everyone else on this thread). If the nerve is being compressed, impinged, whatever, PLEASE get a second opinion. This is the voice of experience here. I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who saw that my disk was 'bulging' (it was, in fact, herniated). It compressed my L4 nerve root, and I now have permanent nerve damage. Just thing - nerves are what send the electrical impulses to and from our brains. If they are pinched long enough, they will cease to function - permanently. Permanent nerve damage is not something you want to risk. Get that nerve freed up as soon as possible.
Rustygurl and Carol:
Thanks so much for your advice. With my last herniation my family practice doctor did all he could before sending me to a neurosurgeon to avoid surgery. The MRI I had a 2 weeks ago my FP doctor also ordered not my NS and when he saw the report he said the report was so bad he wouldn't even try anything to shrink it, I was to go straight to the surgeon Last time I would have cried if he told me he wouldn't do surgery because of the pain I was in, this time I know I'll cry because he's most likely going to do surgery. It's not the surgery I'm afraid of, it's the 4 weeks at home recovery time. I learned last time that me, myself and I are not very nice people
Thanks again for your words because I so badly want to cancel the appointment out of fear of what he is most likely going to say. I would have tried to deny there was a problem as long as I could or until I couldn't stand the pain anymore. You both said the truth very clearly.
Please don't cry if the doctor says he wants to operate. Look at it in a positive way. Most doctors would rather not do surgery - if he wants to do surgery, it's because he is pretty sure it will help you. Just think - less pain, less nerve damage, less chance of your leg collapsing and you falling down the stairs (it happened to me 4 times before I had my surgery). As for your 4-week convalescence - take the time to reflect on how you are as a person, what you like about yourself, and those things you'd rather change. I was an extremely active person (power walk 3 miles a day, sandlot volleyball, dancing, you name it). I had worked since I was 15; now I can't. It forced me to look at myself, what made me happy, and how I reacted to those around me. Fortunately, I have the most patient husband in the world, and he has helped me work through the depression, anxiety and basic change in lifestyle that I've gone through. Don't ever let what you think might happen prevent you from getting the help you obviously need (surgery-wise). Again, keep us posted - you'll be in our prayers.