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Surgery or not

Started by spinegioktin on 10/26/2012 2:11pm

I am in my mid 70s and have been diagnosed with primary radiculopathy, back pains from the spinal stenosis in L3-L4, L4-L5.
Have gone through conservative treatments of all sorts from chiro,PT sessions, NSAIDs, acupuncture,DRX-9000 decompressions, 2 epidurals and other muscle relaxants, topical analgesics etc.

Gone to 2 neurologists and 2 neuro surgeons with different opinions. One neurologoist is referring me to a neurosurgeon (had adverse reaction to his prescribed Flexeril). The other neurologist expressed that if
I were his family member, he would advise against surgery. Neurosurgeon A recommended unilateral laminectomy. An older neurosurgeon who no longer does surgery, but sees patients in the Neurosurgeon
Group does not recommend surgery either, that surgery would for sure make the MRI look good in correcting the stenosis, but does not reflect the same outcome as far as pains are concerned. He recommends more physical therapy and seek pain management RX.

Would like reports from good and bad outcomes of surgeries..

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3 Responses


I would have to say, I would certainly opt for the pain management. After surgery to correct a failed fusion (7 weeks ago today), I tell everyone I can, not to have surgery. I would not have had the first had I known what I know now. I don't really think that there are any good outcomes with these surgeries. Just my opinion. Hope this helps!


I wont advise one way or another, what I will do is share what I did.
In 2005, while at work I ruptured T,11-12. & L,3-S,1. The symptomatic discs being L,4-S,1. For 2 yrs I did all the routine treatments as you yourself have done, none of which helped. I was bound and determined NOT to have surgery. However, I reached a point where the meds simply no longer worked. I was just a shell containing not me, but a big ball of pain, I couldn't even THINK. I was ready to die to get some relief, in fact, in my mind, I was already dead. So in 2007, I had a 2 level fusion done, L,4-S,1. I am so glad I did. I'm still in pain, don't get me wrong, but it's night and day compared to before the surgery. Pain scale before surgery, while taking morphine was 20/10. Pain in my lumbar now (if I don't over do it), while taking lortab 10/325, 1 or 2, every 4 hrs, along with a muscle relaxer is anywhere from 3/10-7/10. ( Manageable pain.) I consider this a success.
Having said all this, I'm one of the lucky ones. Surgery, to have, or not to have, I imagine has everything to do with whether your pain can be controlled with meds and if by taking those meds you have quality of life.
I hope I helped a little.
Take care and keep us up-to-date on what you decide
Janet. :),


Hi SpineGioktin, My Dad is 76 and he is like a 25 year old works 7 days a week. So age doesn`t matter I don`t think at all. You could live 30 more years, "do you want to live like you are"(I don`t). Please sir I`ve worked with people over 60 to 80+ all my good working years. Don`t let them use your age as they talk to you.I had a L3-4fusion in 2010. I`m in more pain now then. But that part of my back is fixed. More problems happened because of the fusion but my whole spine is just going bad. I all worked my self here my job was just bending and lifting . There are better ways for fusions now days then 2 years ago have them go through the side only. So they don`t cut your back muscles. That is what Hurts us for ever. Sam