Lumbar Surgery? Had discectomy on L5 - S1 still have nerve pain.
I had a discectomy for a herniated disc in August 2009. It had horrible sciatica pain down my left leg into my foot. I couldn't walk or drive. Now 3 years later I still have numbness in my left, little to no strength in that leg and nerve pain in the leg and foot. My lumbar pain is around a 5 out of 10 on a daily basis - but I have been on tramadol and gabapentin for the last 3 years. I'm functioning but I still can't sit at a desk for more than an hour, drive long distances or exercise without paying a price in pain.
My discectomy surgeon said the nerve pain would improve...it did not. Does this mean I have permanent nerve damage? I have been told I need a lumbar fusion now. My concern is I'm functioning now - although medicated - and I'm worried about the pain getting worse. The nerve pain may never get better and could get worse with a fusion surgery. After 3 years could the nerve pain improve? If I don't do the surgery could the nerve pain get worse? I would love to hear so of your stories.