prolapsed disc, help!

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Hi,

Have just found this site after searching through the net in desperation for advice re my back problem. It's comforting to know that others experience the same pain as me (though I wouldn't wish it on anyone).

My disc problem was discovered by MRI in Feb 07 & I was immediately put on waiting list for discectomy. I'm worried that surgeon just wants to operate as that is his speciality and he hasn't recommended any other treatments eg exercise/pilates/osteopathy etc. As I'm so terrified of my back (am often pulling back muscles which puts me out of action for weeks at a time), I've been reluctant to try any other treatments/exercise. I have had physio which sometimes helps and an epidural which didn't. I really don't want the discectomy (coincidentally my husband had one in Jan this year) but don't know if it is realistic to live with a prolapsed disc. Is it possible to get to the point where you still have a prolapsed disc but the pain is much better because of exercise etc or once you have the problem is the only answer to have the op?

Any advice greatly appreciated!

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    hi have the same problem and have been referred to a surgeon for a discectomy.

    as far as im aware surgery is really the only course of action with a view to solve the problem but not all ops are a success as no doubt you allready know but as for me i would have the op if there is a chance it will stop this pain, it wont just go away and never return could you honestly put up with the pain your in now for the rest of your life i couldent.

    as for the surgeon just doing it because thats what he does no way they would rather not have to do the op at all if there was some way around it honestly physio might help for a while but then again it might not u could always explore other avenues while you wait for your apointment but i think they all lead back to surgery

    best wishes and i hope you find the answer soon chris

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  • Posted

    I'm 3 weeks post-op foramenectomy/laminectomy/discectomy. I certainly didn't get the impression from my surgeon that he was 'knife happy', in fact it was quite the opposite. I almost felt that I was having to convince them that they should go ahead with the surgery.

    I also have 2 herniated discs in my neck and the same surgeon told me that unless I was climbing the walls in agony they probably wouldn't go ahead with surgery. I'm in no hurry to go back for surgery having had 2 this year already, but if it is going to get my standard of life back on track then I'm all for it.

    I've been told that surgery is inevitable sooner or later, I'd rather have it now while I'm still relatively young (43) and able to give myself the best chance of recovery.

    Good luck with making your choice.

    Sandra

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  • Posted

    hi

    i certainly agree with chris and sandra, if you,ve had the problem this long then its probebly not going to go away and living with the pain is the only option, after the first initail injury i went through periods of flare ups that would totaly disable me for around 10 days then things evened out and i only had tolerable pain but this last year has been unbearable, i,ve never been out of pain that requires strong painrelief day and night and had put me off work since feb, iam so scared of the operation BUT to live like this indefinate no thanks. i dont think surgeons are knife happy theres not enough cash to go around but he ?she prob realizes that thats the only option left and they probebly didnt come across that way. good luck with the wait, let us know how things are progressing eh . gail

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  • Posted

    Hiya,

    I'm 5 days post discectomy. My surgeon told me that the only way I would have relief was to have surgery as we had tried waiting for an improvement and physio had not helped. I had hydotherapy the aim of which was to keep my mobile and it also enabled me to sit longer than 10 mins ata time I am also on Morphine and have been since March 07. I didnt have the impression that my surgeon was knife happy. He explained the pros and cons of each decision to enable me to make an informed choice. I asked him loads of questions which I prepared before the consultation. I was advised by my gp and a phsio friend not to have osteopathy or chiropractic as this could worsen the situation. I was also advised by my hyrotherapy physio not to swim apart from backstroke as other strokes could aggrevate my back. Even last Thursday prior to signing the consent form for the operation my surgeon informed me that I could change my mind if I wished. You have to weigh up what is going to be best for you in your situation. No one can force you either way. Good luck in what you decide,take care, jules smile smile

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    I had a microdiscectomy 7 months ago after 20 years of on and off back problems and 1 year of hell that lead up to the op. From the moment I came round from the anaesthetic I could feel the difference-no leg pain at all, I could feel I was sore around the surgery but nothing in my leg- when lying down flat an hour or so before was impossible due to pain and cramping. I went home from hospital next day and then had a week where I did not do much, then a week of moderate activity/walking, then we moved house! and got pretty much back to normal within another week or so. I was lucky to have help at the beginning and for a while later (I've got 2 kids), but didn't need as much as I'd expected. I had some aches and pains but my body had got to adjust from a year of walking crooked and these soon went so I would very much recommend that if you are at the point of not coping any more with family, work, social life, sleep etc.-only you really know when that is-and your surgeon recommends it then go for it. I was really scared about having the operation but I was suprised at the immediate result and how quickly it took the scar to heal and to recover generally. I also slept again, full, good nights sleep-pure heaven! So if your surgeon is positive that it's your disc that's giving you the problem it makes sense to trim off the bit that's pressing on the nerve and causing all the pain as there's never been any scientific proof that anything can make the disc go back in (even after £300 chiropractic treatment!!!!!), and it is a relatively safe and minor (1hr then 6-8wks recovery) operation. It also has a good success rate 95%, unfortunately I am in the 5% that the disc has prolapsed again and today have just signed another form-but don't be put off by that. I hope you reach a decision you're happy with soon.

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