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when to decide to have surgery

Started by 1110219204@facebook on 06/28/2014 3:09pm

Hi i am looking for advise i have a rupture at l5 s1 and a lateral tear l4 s5 i have had 2 epidural shots that have decreased the pain but my legs are getting weak with some numbness and i am gaining weight due to not wanting to re injure my back my job requires a lot of twisting and standing will surgery get me back to being active and give me the ability to handle my job requirements injury was two years ago

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3 Responses


Not sure how old you are.
But if your young. NO. DON'T GET IT DONE.
surgery is the last thing you want to do.
When it's done your working days are done.
Trust me. I'm 42. Had a failed fusion L5/S1 four or five years ago.
Now I'm so miserable do to pain. And never going to be able to do anything I use to.
If you in your later years were its close to retiring.
Then go for it. Almost all surgeries that involve the spine.
Are last resorts. And most only make things worse.
God bless you.
You'll be in my prayers.
Ray weed.


I completely agree. If the shots help you get getting them. Yes depending on the surgeon if it goes wrong your life is over as you know it.
This whole matter should be discussed with your health team to go over the pro's & con's to this matter. Get a second opinion if you think you're even close.Get all reports, x-rays,MRI's you have had on this matter to give to the other doctor to come up with an opinion from a medical point.

The best people you should contact is health team with your doctor's input. Have you tried PT yet? you tried doing exercises in the pool if appropriate for your medical condition.

Has your Doctor prescribed any medications?

If your insurance company is going to pay for it, you'll need to go through all the steps of medications, PT and shots.. this is a slow process of time to see if anything works. When all no longer works then and only then surgency is considered.

As far as the job goes, mention this to your doctor. S/he can give you a letter that you are restricted from doing that. Also discuss disability with your doctor,, Just incase.

At least this is generally the way it works.

You don't give any background of your medical history as you may already are on this path.

As one who have had many surgency throughout my life, I would advise you to be cautious on this matter. Get all documentation and when ready get second opinion.


I am new to SU but have been through two spine surgeries. The first one was performed in 2007. Three level fusion with rods, pedicles and screws .It was done at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the U.S. The surgery progressively failed for the following 6 years. My spine eventually collapsed and I had to have corrective reconstructive surgery. I had 14 disks repaired with placement of rods from the base of the spine to my shoulder blades. The surgery took 12 hours and my spine had to be broken in three places. I have suffered a lot with chronic pain and extreme mobility limitations. The research shows that there is about a 40% failure rate on spine surgeries. The restrictions caused by fusions are both physically and mentally challenging. I now feel that spine surgeries should be an absolute last resort. There have been times when I almost gave up. It took one year for me to reach maximum improvement physically but the mental healing will take a lifetime. Try everything you can beside surgery. If you cannot get relief then reconsider at that time. Best wishes.