Back on Sunday morning July 8th I woke up with a numb left leg, it scared me to say the least because as I had to drag my leg up the hallway and tell my wife I think I have had a stroke I was torn up. However in going to the emergency room I was told I had a sciatica, the nerve was pinched, the doctor recommended seeing my regular doctor and getting an MRI done. I did that and the MRI showed my L4 and L5 discs were bulging, there was also bone spurs on the S1 and S2 that were pressing on the nerve root, hence I have had a numb left foot ever since. The doctor sent me to see a neurosurgeon who prescribe Neurontin twice daily and Soma and Lortab 7.5 as needed to kill the pain which is sometimes awful. He said at that time he thought I would heal on my own. He even suggested a chiropractor if I wanted to but to tell him not to hurt me. I did see a chiropractor and turned out he is a patient of the neurosurgeon himself, he knew exactly what he meant by not hurt me. Since them he has been doing traction at 85 Lbs pull 2 to 3 times a week, nothing has happened. Every once in a while I might put 1 or 2 days together without the need for the narcotics, but the neurontin is everyday, it is killing my memory. I work at a factory, on my feet all day in management. At the end of the day I am in pain, plus I deal with meneires disease. Last week the neurosurgeon did a complete about face and said I would not recover without surgery, begged for a few weeks to see if I would heal. The chiropractor says avoid surgery. Anyone had any experiences or have advice. I would rather not have surgery either but how much time do I wait?
Depending on your age, surgery can do more harm than good, and this is hard to fix so many will not mess with it. It will improve on its own if you do all the right things, and rather than a Chiropractor I would suggest a Physical Therapist who knows how to treat this. Drop some wait if applicable, stay hydrated and learn all the tips and tricks of back posture, bending, sleeping positions, etc. I have this only much worse than what you report, the body will heal and improve, but you'll always have top be careful, on guard, and in some pain if you do not take care of yourself. Hope this helps.
Bad backs seem to run in my family. My son wouldn't be walking without spinal surgery-so that's something to consider. Your back will only deteriorate, not improve. That's the law of nature-wine is about the only thing that gets better with age. My father had a slipped disk from a construction accident. He went to a chiropractor. One leg was shriveled up and he almost couldn't walk. His leg became better-he was limping really bad and was in agony. But after a year, he was back to hunting and riding horses. It was amazing. Now my son didn't have reflexes or feeling in his hands or below his knees. He had the issue of falling because he couldn't adjust his balance while walking-like a person with artificial legs. He tried exercising in physical therapy. Currently for surgery, recovery is quick- a few weeks. This was with a disc being at a right angle to the vertebrae. My brother, a Marine, also opted for surgery.
I'd follow the advice of a second opinion, but based on my family's history of having massages and manipulation work and not work, and having surgery work, I think that you have an excellent doctor that has tried practical pre-surgery options. If the back and bone manipulations were going to work- they would be working by now.
You are in a bad place! Trying to figuire out if the pain is bad enough for surgery. If you decide to do surgery, make sure you find a doctor that has come highly recommended. Talk to everyone you can in your area that has had back surgery, see what kind of results they have had. My first surgery left me in horrible pain. I did not have a choice right after the wreck. The second surgeon was wonderful, but the damage had been done. He did what he could do but it still left me with terrible nerve pain. Anytime you are opened up, you will never be the same. You will have nerve pain after surgery, but nothing like what you are experiencing now. Take the time to recover and follow doctors orders. It never hurts to go to as many doctors as you feel comfortable with. Make sure he takes the time to listen, no rush jobs. Good luck! Hope I have helped.
Hey papasam, so sorry to hear about your problems. the reason they say not to have surgery is that 80% of back surgeries end up as FBSS, (failed back surgical syndrome). The only reason to have surgery is if you simply cannot walk anymore, and there is no other option!! I would see another physician. One thing that might work for you is a table that you hang upside-down. I have known people who have used this table, and have had remarkable results. I understand that they use it in the military also. Talk about MAJOR traction, LOL. I did have back surgery to put an SNS in, and I was under the impression that if you didn't cut your discs, or spine, there shouldn't be any problems. WRONG!! I DID get FBSS, and now I have more pain than ever!! There are so many nerves that get cut near your spine, that it is nerve damage and scar tissue that is the cause of the problem. I also have muscles spasms now that make me cry out in pain at times.
Only you can decide for yourself, what is best for you, as I don't walk in your shoes, but I am giving you my experience.
I truly wish the best for you, as I know that this is a very difficult decision.
My friend Papasam, I am so sorry to hear you are not getting better. I am still not well enough to get to the neurologist to get you an answer about your question you aked of me. A lot of the failed back surgergies, & I am one of them were done many years ago by orthopaedics, & times have changed. If you are to continue to work this may be your only option with the complaints you are having now. Things have improved over the years, & surgery isn't as bad as it used to be. The techniques are newer & better. I would most definately listen to your neruosurgeon, but also get that second opinion if you feel uncomfortable with this decision. You have tried about everything, & the longer you wait the more damage that is being done to your back & leg nerves. Of course only you can make this decision, but don't base it on us that have failed back surgeries. My first was 44 years ago, & I was young & stupid about doctors.
Let the first one that came along do my surgery & it failed. The second one was 8 years later, & it gave me 14 more years of working. Because of the first surgery that failed, I have so much scar tissue & damage to my spinal canal it will never be better & no one will touch my back now for fear of putting me in a wheelchair forever. I would trust the newer docs today before I would the one that messed me up so long ago. The newer procedures work so much better, & like I said, the longer you wait, the worst you chance for a good outcome. So do as your doctor suggests & get that taken care of. I have a sister in law that waited for years & finally gave in & had it done. Exactly your problem. This was just a few years ago, & she had a complete recovery with no more problems. Times have changed, & so has the rate of recovery from back surgery. I would love to have my redone, but now it's impossible. Don't wait too long my friend..
Hello. So sorry you have such a severe situation. Work must be a huge challenge for you.
Something for you to consider: second opinion should be from another practice group. So if you go to xyz clinic try abc clinic instead. Of course this depends on any insurance you have, you neurologist should be happy to refer your out.
Better yet, consider going to a major research hospital for that second opinion like the Mayo clinic, John Hopkins, whatever your insurance allows and is available to you. Again, your doctor ought to have leads for you. A new perspective from people working cutting edge science (sorry about the pun) can get you in touch with the new surgical techniques available. Some are so amazing that you won't believe it.
The search will be worth the effort. Let us know how it goes.
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