Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board

Hi all! How do you know when it's time to go ahead and opt for surgery? I have a pinched nerve & 3 bulging discs L4 & L5 that have been giving me trouble for a little over 3 years. I tried physical therapy, had no positive response from that. I then did 1 series of ESIs each of the 3 years. The 1st 2 years were very successful - keeping my pain level very low for almost an entire year each. The 3rd series (this year) was not successful at all. Now I'm at the point where I'm taking 3-4 vicodin a day and a muscle relaxer at night. I have tried to stop taking so much of the vicodin but when I don't take it I really start to feel the pain. As far as the pain level, it varies between 4-7. So my question is, is that pain level high enough to consider something as extreme as surgery? My neurosurgeon thinks I should go ahead with the surgery, but then again that's his livelihood. My daily life is really being affected negatively from the pain and drugs so I think that it probably is, but maybe I'm being a big baby and need to live with the pain until it gets worse? I don't know......any suggestions?? Thank you!!