20 answers

Wanting to Avoid Back Surgery for Herniated Disk

I am really needing to know if anyone has information on back surgery, good or bad. I have had an MRI and Discogram that both show I have a 3 to 5 mm herniation at L5/S1. I have done some injections that haven't helped much. My doctor wants me to have an intradiscal injection, but we haven't been able to find anyone that does that. His wife had it done and no longer has any problems. The last specialist I saw wants to put in an X-stop type device in but insurance says it is too new to know how well it works over the long haul (approved in 2005). I have been hurting for 2 1/2 years and am getting a bit scared about all of this. Any info anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi L.-

My husband had herniated discs and had tried the injections as well with no relief. His doctor wanted to perform surgery but before agreeing to it my husband went to a chiropractor and did the spinal decompression procedures. He had weekly appointments for a couple of months but has now been pain free for over a year. Occasionally if he overexerts himself his back will be stiff, but he has not had the extreme pain that he had prior to the procedures.

Good Luck,
K.

2 moms found this helpful

Be careful of the injections as I have several friend who did that and it actually made it worse. I have had a discectomy but it was in the neck region and it worked great. My mom also had the same surgery I had and had no problems. The lower back is different, I'm sure, but I know lots of people who have had successful surgeries. Just make sure you research your doctor. A neurosurgeon did my surgery. Dr. James Bonnen. He's really good. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Find out if your injections were in the nerves or the actual spine/disc. My husband went in for injections twice (injection in the nerves). It did not help much. We then went to a pain specialist (Dr Charnov - Houston TX), he did another set of injections in the disc and my husband had 75% relief! We went back a couple months later and had the proceedure done again, and my husband felt like a new man! These injections do not last forever, yet you can have them done again and again. Find a good pain specialist - it will change your life! Do not wait too long, the older you are the more difficult to treat.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband works at a clinic in Houston that is the best at these types of procedures. People come from all over the world to receive treatment there. No Joke! Call me at ###-###-####, let me know who you are so I won't think you're a telemarketer, and I will give you the clinic information. God works in mysterious ways.

1 mom found this helpful

i will say this about the back surgery on a herniated disc-it was a miracle for me. i hadn't been able to walk without extreme pain for over two years and finally had to give up on just dealing with it. i realize there are alternatives, and i cannot speak with authority on those, but the surgery gave me back my life. i was able to get up in the recovery room and walk (assisted of course). i just cried - it didn't hurt at all! recovery is a bit long and you do need to be cautious for quite awhile, but i'm jogging and going to yoga and not suffering at all! btw-i'm 56 (this week) and haven't felt better. of course there are always risks involved in any surgery, but being free of pain meds every day and moving around pain free were worth it for me. i have a discreet tattoo on the small of my back that means "peace" and my surgeon told me afterward that he thought he was able to leave the mark without altering the meaning. good luck in your decision and i wish you freedom of the pain of this situation soon! take care, C. dawn

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried any other alternatives to injections? Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, acupuncture, etc? I'm a physical therapist and if it were my back I would make sure you have tried all other options before surgery. Of course it depends on your level of disability and how much it is affecting the quality of your life. I have seen many people avoid surgery with stabilization exercises and or McKenzie movement biased therapies. If you have tried them and they were unsuccessful, then definitely do your homework on researching your surgeon's and there success rates. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband had surgery twice for a herniated disc in the course of about 6 months. The second time was his fault as he completely overdid trying to lift something. He's doing very well now, although his back does get tired so he has to limit himself with the kids sometimes. He could not have gone on with his back the way it was. We are very grateful for the doctor God provided for us! I'm not sure how far Boerne is from Austin, but my husband saw Dr. James Smith if you would like another opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry you are in pain. My husband had a ruptured disc and it got so bad he couldn't run anymore (and he is very athletic). He went to a very good neurosurgeon and had surgery. He was better right away. The recovery wasn't bad at all and he is doing everything he did before the ruptured disc. The surgery was his only option and he is so glad he did it. Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

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