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surgery or not

Started by kdusmc on 06/15/2011 8:25pm

I have a pars defect on my L5 S1, my lower back hurts all the time, i have a really high pain tollerance but it just sucks being in pain all the time. I have done PT, Chrioprator,. I went to Doctors yesterday and they said i could do surgery but then told me the things that could happen and now im kinda scared, im 21 and in the military, this descion will probably make it to where i can or can not re-enlist. Any one have any thoughts?

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2 Responses


Sorry to hear about the pain. Yes surgery is a big decision, but sometimes it is essential and often it works great. Here's what I'd think about if I were you.....
1. Am I sure that the non-surgical treatment options (PT etc) won't work? It sounds like they've failed, but be sure in your own mind that you feel you gave them a good shot at succeeding. That way you'll not be able to second guess yourself later if you do have surgery .

2. If the non-surgical treatments are proving pointless, then you're facing a tough choice.....surgery or live with the pain. In that case, I'd definitely investigate spne surgery, but procede wisely....

3. Ask your GP to identify for you a spine surgeon who has a top reputation... not a local guy who maybe does a few spine surgeries and a few surgeries on hips and knnes each month, but a top spine surgeon at a top medical center. Go for the best.
4. Meet with the top spine surgeon and hear what she / he recommends. Then, go and get a second opinion!

5. If, after getting both opinions, you're comfortable with proceeding with surgery, go for it!

By the way, if you're in the military, the ortho and neuro departments at the military hopsital - Walter Reed - traditionally have some excellent spine surgeons.

Good luck!


thanks, im stationed at quantico. Do you think Walter Reed or Bethsda is where i should go because the surgeon ive been seeing is at bethsda? thanks for the advice