Back surgery or notMy question is

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i have bulging discs, herniated discs, degenerative discs, scoliosis, spinal  stenosis. I am not in real pain unless I walk for a while and then I get horrible spasms in my back.  I had jury duty a few weeks ago and had to sit and walk all day.  It was excruciating!  By the time I got hold of my Doctor the trial was over and I didn't need pain pills anymore.  I have had 4 injections in my back since November and the ortho told me if this last one didn't work I would probably need surgery.  Previously the surgeon told me one disc was "smooshed".  He sent me for injections.  My question is whether to have surgery or not.  I'm not in pain except for when I walk or try to do some cleaning.  I can't go to the mall to shop and last year I couldn't take our grandkids to the fair that we do every year.  My one grandson is going to the Rose Bowl for band in January and we plan to go but that would be a lot of walking.  If I was in pain all the time there would be no question.  Any thoughts?

Thank you

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Depends what surgery they are thinking about doing? This makes the decision relatively easy or a very difficult one.
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    • Posted

      I left a message with the Doctor's office telling them I didn't think the injection worked.  I am waiting for their call.  I assume they will send me to the surgeon next.  When I had the last injection I told him that he was hitting the spot where I experience the pain so maybe that might be where to start.  He also said I had multiple problems with all that is going on so don't know what's next.  On top of that I have rheumatoid arthritis and that might be p,saying a role?

      thanks for your reply.  Will keep you updated.

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    • Posted

      Is it your lumbar spine that's the issue? For herniated discs it tends to be decompression surgeries. Find out as much as you can about the surgery before agreeing to anything. I've just had a double ALIF surgery. But I researched everything about it before agreeing.
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    • Posted

      Just pulled up MRI from October.  

      Dextroscoliosis and extensive degenerative change with multilevel disc herniations in lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine, multilevel central stenosis up to moderate degree with lateral recess narrowing and foraminal narrowing up to severe on right at L5-S1. Also mentions bulging at same site.

      can you make anything out of this?

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    • Posted

      What I can say is that you have multiple issues at different levels. It talks about your first level L5/S1 being herniated but then jumps to the top of your Lumbar bottom of your thoracic! What it doesn't tell you is where is your actual pain coming from. Unfortunately an MRI can show you many things but can't pinpoint the cause unless it's only one thing. You have a number of issues.

      Your surgeon needs to know what's the cause (MRI) but actually what specific spot your actual pain is. Some people can have many issues in their spine but have no symptoms at all. Another can have lots and be crippled. You need to discuss this with your surgeon so they aren't fixing something that isn't giving you pain and leaving something that is.

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    • Posted

      Yes they told me it's basically a crap shoot!  I'm wondering if it might be the disc that is smashed?  When I went in for my last injection, they said it was a facet injection.  He had asked me where the pain was when I had it so I kept track.  On the first injection I could feel him hitting the exact spot.  I could feel the same twinge.  
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