Herniated disk

Old 05-11-2010, 06:32 AM
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I had 3 disc L4 L5 and S1. Check out a procedure called IDET. For me they IDET'ed 2 and decompressed 1. It worked great for me as well as a couple of my friends, It is not for everyone as with any procedure.
Old 05-11-2010, 09:17 AM
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I had a herniated disk, L5 I think. I have a decent tolorence for pain ( boke finger, went back to work, worked for 9 months with inguinal hernia) but the pain this generated was something I didn't think was possible. I worked (mechanical contractor) for nine months with this. Tried physical therapy, chiropractor, massage therapy, acupuncture, nothing worked. Finally, i went to see a surgeon. He was highly recommended. He looked at my MRI and immediately wanted to remove 2 disks, install metal rods,etc. I politely left. I found another nuerosugeon and his approach was after i exhausted everything else, he would shave a small piece off of my disk and close me back up. I agreed ( in fact I had to push him a bit because I was now ready) and it was like a light switch was flipped. I laugh because when I woke up after surgery the nurse came running over to give me pain meds, I laughed out loud and never took anything, it felt that good. I was walking a few hours later.
I am careful now and it has been 5 years or more. No heavy lifting.
When you first have surgey, you feel so great about a week afterwards you will be tempted to ignore all the doctors orders- DON'T. That's how you get reinjured.
Shop for your doctor like you would a car, if I went to the first guy, I'm not sure where I would be today.
Best of luck to you and your daughter.
Old 05-11-2010, 10:12 AM
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I'm a radiologist so I don't operate on folks but I read the MRI's all day and sorta know alot about this stuff.
1) The natural history of disc protrusions and herniations is that a good number of them will get better over time with conservative measures like PT, etc. So don't rush into anything.
2) The decision to operate is usually based on whether the disc is producing motor symptoms like weakness. In general, operating on a disc will not stop back pain but will help the symptoms that the disc may be producing by compressing the nerve root next to it.
3) Neurosurgeons and orthopedic docs have different perspectives on the spine. Orthos are bone doctors and generally are better equipped to treat bone based problems that can be helped by fusing and stabilizing the vertebra or removing bony structures that may be compressing nerves. Your young daughter is likely not in that situation. Neurosurgeons are nerve doctors and are better equipped to deal with pure disc problems and issues of neve root compression. In general they have more experience with micro discetomy procedures. They focus more on freeing up nerve roots than on moving or stabilizing bony structures. If it were my back, I would be much more inclined to go neurosurgeon than ortho for a pure disc problem. Let me repeat this, in general, disc operations will not help back pain but the symptoms associated with nerve compression.
4) I would also try a Physical Medicine and Rehab doctor or a Pain specialist. You need to find one who does injections and nerve root blocks. They can put anesthesia and steroids right at the nerve root which can provide relief in many cases. No knife!! The downside is that the relief is frequently temporary and may need to be repeated. Be careful with the pain doctors, though. Some of them are a little seedy and focused on writing pain med prescriptions.
5) Some of these same docs also offer a percutaneous discectomy. Also no knife!!

Last edited by camnbo; 05-11-2010 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Add #5

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