2 docotrs with extremely different opinions, confused!!!
Hi! Quick background, I am 37 years old, had a laminectomy with disectomy in March 10 for herniated disc at l5/s1 after all conservative options had been exhausted. Had continuing pain in my hip/thigh area and low back after surgery but was told that was normal. Started physical therapy approx. 6 wks post op, and pain became unbearable to the point of being laid up entire days even with pain meds. Had new MRI in late June which now shows herniations at l3/4, l4/5, and l5/s1. Went for a second opinion because I didnt have much faith in the Dr that did the surgery after seeing those MRI results and finding out that he put in for authorization for a second surgery without even discussing it with me. Any ways I go to the 2nd Dr and he says, there are no herniations (MRI report states 3 levels are herniated) and that anyone who tells me they can tell me whats causing my pain is lying but that a discogram (sp?) may pin point the pain but unless I want to have a disc removal with fusion there is no point in doing the discogram and that my best best at living a normal life at this point is to get off pain meds, and do 35-45 min a day of aerobic excercise. He also said I could go about doing anything I want without any risk of further damage including lifiting up to 40 lbs.
Needless to say I left his office with my head spinning, how could 1 doctor be recommending a 2nd surgery and tell me I can do no activity (which I am in no way sold on doing) and they other say to just go about my life as normal. I am in so much pain I can barely walk the grocery store, and when I do I come home and have to lay down and thats with the pain meds. Can anyone give me any advice on how 2 doctors could see things so differently? Also have any of you had a doctor tell you, its fine to just live normally, lift normally etc and that your not risking doing any additional damage...how is that possible, something caused the damage to begin with right? Thank you in advance for any help you can give!